Having graduated last week, newly qualified vet Jennifer Hall finds she has a new skill to learn before she starts her first job – unwinding.
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I'm currently writing this diary lazing on a chair in the garden, drinking a cup of coffee and assessing what to do with my day. If there's one piece of advice I'd pass on to others for when they finish at vet school, it is to put aside some time after your finals that is simply for you.
In truth, it has taken a month or so for me to wind down to a point where I am happy to just sit and do nothing! That probably sounds crazy, but, on reflection, for the past five years my life has been filled with vet school – there has always been work I could be getting on with, EMS placements, AVS to sort out, and it's a strange feeling to suddenly have no pressure to be anywhere or to do anything. To begin with I felt guilty sitting around, as if I should be doing something, but now, with only a couple of weeks to go before I start work, I have dedicated some time to myself, and I feel much better for it.
I have still had various bits and pieces to do, such as finalising arrangements for the graduation ball, which took place last weekend. It was fantastic to see everyone, and we had planned some really fun things for the evening, including fireworks, personalised chocolates and champagne cocktails served in a commemorative glass for everyone to take home.
On the domestic side, I've also had to find somewhere to live for when I start work on August 1. This was harder than I thought. I needed a place that was the right rental price, in the correct area, with off-street parking, and which was clean, warm, dry and felt safe for a girl on her own! In the end, I took my mum with me – what would I do without her? We spent the day searching for somewhere until I found a flat that looks out over Dartmoor and yet is within walking distance of the high street.
My income protection is in place, I've moved out of my house at uni, the grad ball is over. Now all I have to do is spell my name correctly on the RCVS Register on Friday, and spend some quality time at home with my parents. Oh, and move all the contents into my new flat, dig out my notes and gear up for my new career as a farm vet.