Now a senior at Tufts and preparing to enter veterinary school next year, I felt prompted to reflect on my last three years here as a pre-health student.
I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine (I even wrote my Common Application essay and one of the Tufts supplemental essays on it), but I often felt that my everyday life revolved around this goal. It seemed like my extracurriculars, hobbies, and grades were all for the sole purpose of getting into veterinary school. I had adopted the label “pre-health” as my identity.
This mindset slowly changed as I began to meet other pre-health students on campus. I realized that these people were not only unique because of their interests in medicine, but because they had other passions that helped define their being. The aspiring emergency medicine doctor plays in an orchestra due to her love for music; the pre-dental student has a passion for studio art; the biochemistry student pursuing an MD–PhD is a third-degree black belt in TaeKwonDo. These pre-health friends I have made at Tufts have not only supported me in my path to becoming a veterinarian, but have encouraged me to grow as a person, to enjoy my hobbies for what they are, and to eventually redefine what it means to be “pre-health”.
Beyond this self-development, Tufts truly has provided me with so many opportunities to explore my interest in veterinary medicine. Participating in the Pre-Veterinary Society, and soon completing my role as president by the end of this semester, has given me a community of individuals who share the same passion as I do and who are so willing to help one another. Opportunities like suture labs, guest speakers, and student panels are only made possible because of the efforts of students in the society who organize events for other pre-veterinary students.
Faculty from the Tufts professional schools have become some of my most prominent mentors in this journey after taking their courses. From Human-Animal Interaction with Dr. Mueller to the One Health course with Dr. Linder, I could feel the genuine desire these professionals have to help aspiring pre-health students.
While I intentionally chose to attend Tufts because of the campus environment, I didn’t expect that the community of students pursuing the health professions here and the faculty from the professional schools would play a part in my growth. But looking back, I don’t think I would be where I am today without them.