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Final-year diary
  1. Jennifer Hall


After five years at Nottingham veterinary school, Jennifer Hall is about to take her final examinations and feels it is time to join the grown-ups!

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I'm a week into my study period for finals and writing this diary piece seems like the perfect procrastination. Friday the 13th was the last day of rotations and, in a fortnight, I will no longer be a student!

My final year has been spent in a group of four – Harry, Matt, Phil and me. We have been through a lot together, and it's a scary prospect to think that they will no longer be beside me in a few months' time when I start work. There have been many times when we have relied on each other; discussed cases in the car, backed each other up when difficult questions arose and giggled about embarrassing situations. Now, I'm on my own, and so are they.

It has been a long haul for me to reach this point; this is my second degree and I have spent eight years at university. I suppose I should feel excited about what lies ahead, but at the moment I just feel a bit numb. It's not apprehension; I'm looking forward to the celebrations once exams are over, and I've got the job of my dreams (in large animal practice) beginning in August. Perhaps I'm just holding off the emotion until finals are over, but I think it's more to do with the realisation that this is it . . . it is time to grow up.

There is a lot to think about and get my head around, which makes it hard to focus on the forthcoming exams. On the plus side, this is the last time in 15 years that I'll be sitting exams in June!

My revision strategies are a little haphazard; where and how do you start revising five years' worth of learning? I have used a combination of fourth-year lectures, notes from my final year and In Practice articles as my resources for revision.

If there is one thing I have learned in the past year, it is that there are some situations where there is no right or wrong way to approach a clinical decision for treatment. Most of the time it depends on the clinician's choice or practice policy, which is fine when thinking about my own practical approach, but makes it hard to know where to start with revision. In terms of approaching my exams, I have followed the teaching we have had from university and I have found In Practice articles that have really backed up the procedures/treatments I have seen on EMS; I wholeheartedly recommend them.

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It is time to stop this procrastinating; I must leave this article here, and wish all those taking exams in the next few weeks the best of luck. I look forward to a feeling a little more light-hearted next month, when, fingers crossed, I will be a vet!

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