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My personal journey to the RVC

Truthfully, as a young child I was wary around animals. I wasn’t one to go in for cuddles, instead I would keep my distance. But as I grew older I exposed myself to animals, forced myself to face my fears and realised that they aren’t as bad as I imagined. Over time, this grew into a love of animals instead, a love that has led me to where I am today.


Secondary school

At home I always watched anything animal related, be it The Yorkshire Vet, a David Attenborough documentary or anything on Animal Planet! These channels exposed me to the wonder and diversity of animals since I couldn’t own any pets.


I didn’t do much work experience but at age fifteen I volunteered for six months at a city farm, as part of my Silver Duke of Edinburgh award. It was my first experience of hands on work with animals and my favourites were the goats on the farm. Preparing food and cleaning paddocks were my main jobs; but meeting new people and working together with them made the experience more enjoyable.


Sixth form

The pandemic disrupted my ability to get more experience. Therefore, I had to be determined and persevere to find some. Fortunately, it paid off when I secured three weeks work experience at a vet clinic. It was very educational and intriguing. I was lucky to observe many consultations and procedures such as heart scans, eyelid surgery and even bladder stone removal surgery! Also, I helped to sort out deliveries, clean the clinic and pack medication, decreasing the workload of the staff.


Currently

Initially I planned to study veterinary medicine but wasn’t accepted. Presently I’m a first year RVC student on the Bioveterinary course, which I’m loving. It offers a diverse range of content around how the animal body works, even down to the smallest cells, which is amazing!



My personal fears

A lot of times, I felt I wasn’t good enough and I had a lot of self-doubt in my abilities despite my parents’ encouragement. Being someone who’s of a Nigerian culture, the idea of studying anything animal related than human medicine isn’t common at all. Initially, others tried to persuade me to study human medicine and expressed concerns surrounding my choice. Additionally, I was worried about the lack of diversity in animal related professions. These made me question if I made the right choice for myself and how much I could achieve. Being rejected from studying veterinary medicine did put me down, but later I realised there’s other ways to reach there.



My advice to you

If you feel you aren’t being supported or encouraged in choosing to enter an animal-related profession, don’t let that waver your dream or your self-belief. If it’s possible to find some people that share similar goals, this may help provide a supportive environment. Discovering anything that will help you preserve your passion, such as veterinary podcasts or blogs etc, can be great help too.


If the road to your desired profession isn’t as straightforward as you want, I recommend that you enjoy the place you find yourself in, learn from it and not be discouraged if it gets tough since it’ll all be worth it in the end- as I had to do myself.


Finally, if my younger self knew that I’d become an animal lover despite owning no pets, studying an animal course at university and one who attempts to drag her family to a zoo every time we go on holiday, I’m sure I’d be surprised and proud of myself!



Written by: Aayesako Abu


Disclaimer: We at Animal Aspirations pride ourselves as being an educational platform. We want people to formulate their own opinions, as well as respect the opinions of others. We kindly ask that you adhere to this message to help create a safe space for expression and starting conversations, for the benefit of everyone using this platform. Any discussion deemed to be offensive has the right to be removed by the Animal Aspirations team.

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