Rosie Perrett has finished her first year of studies at Liverpool and is awaiting her exam results. In the meantime, EMS placements will give her the chance to consolidate what she has learnt.
- British Veterinary Association
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My first year at Liverpool university is at an end and it honestly feels incredible and odd to have no more studying to do (at least till September). It has been a brilliant year and the past two months have been the busiest of all. Revision and exams took up most of May. June was spent celebrating the end-of-year exams and my birthday, which happened to fall the day before my last exam. When my exams finished, the next week was spent having dinners, cocktails and a visit to the races with friends from Liverpool, home and from my time at Swansea – the perfect way to end the year.
During May, the best way to describe my lifestyle was as that of a hermit. I did allow myself a few walks to the park before I went truly stir crazy staring at four walls for 22 hours of the day! Cramming isn't an option in veterinary science. It's important to know it all and if you attempted to cram you would still have to start three weeks in advance. I tried to prepare myself as best I could using mind maps, homemade questions, notes and books as my new best friends. By the end of the exam season my walls were covered in colour- coordinated mind maps and questions in the hope that even in sleep I would retain more information.
The objective structured practical examination was the first; it includes a professional skills task, an anatomy task and a clinical skills task. I was glad to get it out of the way because it was the one I was most nervous about. There's something more nerve-wracking about speaking to your lecturers than doing an examination on paper; very similar to how I felt for my interview.⇓
The three written exams went okay. I don't know my results yet, but I know that this time last year I didn't think I would be in this position and never thought I'd even get on to the course. Over the year I've learnt an incredible amount, to the point where many of the simple actions I do or see I'm relating to my veterinary knowledge; for example, when I was walking the dogs at my first preclinical EMS. It was a rescue centre kennels where I got to see the process that strays go through, including temperament testing, training and the importance of socialisation.
At the end of exams, the veterinary society organised a summer ball on the Wirral. It was a time to relax and celebrate with friends after what has been a brilliant first year. There were cocktails on the door, a saxophonist, a three-course dinner, a band, and free photography throughout the evening. It was a beautiful setting and it felt like I was at a wedding, not a student event. The following day I made the eight-hour journey home, having packed up all my belongings and leaving my little student room to embark on a summer of relaxation and placements.