Just kidding. But it is a pretty big deal, and it has a significant impact on our mental health and well-being. Stress can come from a variety of factors. School, social life, even the changing weather can cause stress! Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Eustress (mild to moderate stress) can act as a motivator and energizer,” the Student Health and Wellness Center said.
But even if it’s really helping us, that doesn’t help the fact that stress isn’t fun, and too much stress can have a negative impact on us. Many pre-vets wonder how the stress of undergrad compares to the stress of vet school, and how those who have been in our shoes before have dealt with it.
“While it’s no doubt a lot of work being a vet student with so much to learn, I'm honestly less stressed in vet school than I was in undergraduate,” vet student Bryn Thompson said. “Dealing with the courses along with the uncertainty about getting into vet school led to a lot of stress [in undergrad]. Now for me it's just about becoming a good vet.”
On the other hand, vet student Katie Krebs said that vet school was more stressful than undergrad, because “everything we're learning now is relevant to our future careers, so there's more emphasis on really learning rather than just memorizing and forgetting.” So really, there’s no certain answer on whether vet school is more or less stressful. Everyone is different!
We often look for ways to minimize our stress, especially when midterms and finals roll around. Though you may have heard this many times before, the answer really is balance.
“The way I see it, my time is summed up into three categories: Educational time, fun time and educational-fun time,” vet student Jose Guerrero Cota said. “Keeping a balance of these categories is critical for my stress management. You can't prioritize one for too long without compromising the others.”
For vet student and PhD candidate Lisa Ma, it’s all about keeping perspective, “I make time for myself, no matter what,” Ma said. “I will plan little fun things to do on the weekend, or go to the arboretum to eat lunch, or just make sure I get an hour or so each evening where I can relax. If I absolutely just don't have time to do that because I have a big exam coming up or something, I make sure my mindset is positive. I will keep looking forward to beyond the test and remind myself of the awesome time I'm going to have afterwards relaxing.”
Nervous about the stressful life that vet school brings?
“It is stressful, but it's the great kind of stress where you know it will pass and you will come out better for it,” Ma said. “As a vet student, I love what I'm doing so much that I want it to impact other parts of my life. That doesn't mean I don't still retain my hobbies and passions. It just means that I enjoy them all the more as a vet student.”
PSSD Board Assistant 2015 - 2016