I said I would be back!
So, here I am, the night before orientation. Unfortunately, I have to repeat the long hours of orientation (although I’m not quite sure why). Just like last year, we will have 1 day of orientation followed by 2 days of the Florida Learning Experience (summer camp! Vet school style), a rest day, and a club fair day. Classes start in a week! This fall schedule, in my opinion, is a lot nicer than last year in regards to exam schedules so I’m very happy about that! I already know some of my new classmates, and I’m excited to meet the rest of the vet school family that will help maintain sanity for the next 4 years.
I absolutely love the support I receive through UF CVM; I have no complaints.However, completing my medical withdraw was an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. The red tape and bureaucracy at the university level was insane. Which to me was very disappointing–the people going through a medical withdraw obviously are having problems and deserve support. Instead, the process became a source of much anxiety and frustration.
The first issue with the process is that it is designed for undergraduate students. In order to complete my retroactive withdraw, I had to get a letter from every single professor/course coordinator for each one of my classes. Well, UF CVM doesn’t operate on a regular semester schedule, we have block schedules. I was expected to go to my veterinary molecular biology professor, who I only had the first 3 weeks into the semester, and divulge the ugly details of why I am undergoing a medical withdraw and ask for his blessing; even though I passed the class. Do this x8 for the amount of classes we take. Absolutely ridiculous. Nonetheless, there was a deadline attached to when the letters had to be submitted in order to qualify for the tuition refund.
Furthermore, I constantly received conflicting information regarding deadlines and proper paperwork. I am a dual DVM/MPH student and planned on taking masters courses this summer: unfortunately, even though the university had on record that I was in the process of a medical withdraw, my account showed a balance of over $7,000 for the classes I withdrew. My only option if I wanted to continue was to pay the University the balance while I waited for my medical withdraw to be approved, only to have them refund it back to me. Unfortunately, I don’t have 7 grand laying around, so I could not take the courses. Which meant that I couldn’t take out student loans to help support myself over the summer. This all came with great timing, as I had just racked up my credit line for an emergency dental procedure when I was in so much pain I couldn’t eat. Game on, poverty!
Luckily, I had no problem finding jobs. I ended up quitting the clinic I was hired at that I mentioned in a previous post to go be a bartender at World of Beer (why not?). Now I work at a veterinary clinic that I absolutely love.
The medical withdraw was eventually finally accepted… at the end of July (apparently, even though I delivered my letters in person and made it very clear my file was ready to be reviewed by the committee, the message never went through and I found out a month later after I called to get an update that my file was never put on the agenda to be reviewed. Awesome!). I was proudly informed that the tuition refund and re-admission would take 6-8 weeks to process! Which wouldn’t be a problem except my program started in 4 weeks. Another battle. I had the Dean of Students Office email me the approval letter which I hand delivered to the Bursars and Registrars office to try to expedite the process. I still haven’t registered and my re-admittance hasn’t gone through… which is cool because my classes start next week. Luckily, the Office of Students and Instruction at UF CVM assured me they can twist some arms if it is not done in a timely manner. Go team.
This long rant about my experience is leading up to me saying that the process needs to change. Especially for professional programs that don’t abide by the university calendar. I have hopes to appeal to the student government once they are back in session to call for reform. Hopefully I can get some good out of this.
The most important thing is: I am here and I am not letting the past get in the way of vet school. I’m excited to start so I can start kicking some academic ass!
Anyway, here are some pictures of my adorable lil dingo puppy. She was dumped at my job with the mobile clinic up in Tallahassee. I picked up the poor little thing and knew instantly she was mine. Her name is Anya!
Stay tuned for more,