Scotland

As a vet student abroad, I try not to take for granted that I am living in another country. My studies come first, yes, but becoming a damn good vet requires more than just cloistering myself away behind a wall of stress and textbooks. The vets that I have most admired have known how to think on the spot, handle risk, solve problems creatively, and make a team of the disparate staff and clients around them. Those are skills I can build effectively outside of staring at my bedroom wall, rote-repeating the latest list of memorize-all-this-or-else.

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January, winter mountain skills course in the Cairngorms with the Dick vet climbing club: because in case of white-out, you cannot consult references.

Exploring can be procrastination, sure. But done thoughtfully, and it can also be a chance to build situational coping reflexes.

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A common Pentlands practical: there’s a coo on your trail, what do you do?

Scotland, furthermore, is a mind-boggingly place to develop those reflexes, too.

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Steall Falls, approached from the scree-side of my first-ever bagged Munro, Ben Nevis.

People ask me a lot what I’ll do after I graduate. I know what I want to do, and I know what my ever-escalating student loan debt demands I do, too. I don’t know where I’ll end up after I qualify, or whether staying in Scotland will even be an option for me.

So while I’m here, I’m not going to miss it.

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A ten-minute walk from my flat, just across the road.

 

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