Here are some answers:

1) Is it hard to get into vet school?  I've heard it's harder to get into vet school than medical school.

Having never tried to get into medical school, I'm not sure about the comparison BUT I can give you some quick tips on getting into vet school:

Be true to yourself.  If you go chasing experiences just so they can stack up on your application, that will be readily apparent and you won't be having much fun.  Fun is key.

Take your time.  Yes, you can race through undergrad and go to vet school early, but there's some necessary how-to-be-a-person learning that happens in college.  Don't miss out on that.

Make yourself into an awesome person, and enjoy the process.  This matters more than grades, recommendations, scores, or any one other component.  If you try to gather all the pieces to build the picture of a perfect applicant, it is ever so much harder than living an interesting and balanced life and allowing the pieces to fall into place.

Get good grades, but not at the expense of your health or happiness. 

If you get some B's (or even C's), you're not totally fucked.  Don't panic.

Get great recommendations.  Ask for them well ahead of time. 

Study vocabulary for the verbal component of the GREs, and study the basics for the math component.  Get a book (or two) and practice, practice.

Research the prerequisites of the schools you're considering well ahead of time.  Make sure your transcript matches.  If your advisor tells you a class will "count", check.  Don't take her word for it.

If your advisor tells you to apply right away/to wait a year or two to apply, make up your own mind.  She may or may not have your best interests as her first priority.

Revise your application essays.  Revise them again.  Sleep on it.  Revise them again.  Send them to all the mentors, family members and friends who you think will have good suggestions on how to improve them.  Revise them again. 

Sleep, breathe and smile. Remember to be a person. 

2) Is vet school itself hard?


Do not go to vet school if you're not sure that you want to be a vet.
However, (I'm told) it will be worth it.  Yay!

3) What kind of vet do you want to be?

I want to be an oncologist.  When I came to vet school, I wanted to be an equine surgeon. Before that, I wanted to be an equine sports medicine/lameness specialist.

4) There are veterinary oncologists?

Yes!  Animals get cancer, and there are indeed veterinary oncologists.

5) Why would you want to be an oncologist? Wouldn't it be sad?

Well, that's an excellent question!

When I began vet school, I had absolutely no idea that oncology was interesting.  I think I vaguely knew that it existed, but that was it.  I knew that I loved horses, so I chose all of my elective classes based on that fact (hello, Equine Anatomy!).

Then I realized that most of the oncology patients were cheerful and charming.  Mostly, you'd never know they had cancer.  I fell in love with one in particular - a gentle, aged, white-muzzled fellow with multiple cancers and metastatic disease everywhere.  I studied with him while he got his palliative treatments.  He'd eat canned chicken morsels from a paper boat.

I learned that cancer is fascinating.  And, cancer is a series of chances:

Firstly, it's a chance to outlive all expectations. It's a wager to be the bouncy Collie with lymphoma, still in a complete remission three years after diagnosis.  If the lovely Golden has metastatic disease in his lungs, it's a chance for his owners to make every day wonderful. Once there's nothing to be done, cancer is a chance to die attended by one's most beloved.

It seems to me that there's a valid place for a wildly optimistic person in oncology, and it is something I would love to do.

6) Do you compost?

Hell yes I compost!  It's very easy. Since I live in an apartment, I collect my compostables in a little metal bin over the course of a week or so, and then I carry the bin downstairs to the compost pile.  It doesn't smell, and my garbage output has dwindled spectacularly.

7) What kind of bike do you ride?

Generally, I ride a black Surly Cross-Check. We've had numerous adventures together, including a fundraising century ride around a large, narrow lake. My Surly is fancy, sturdy and agile, and I couldn't ask for a better bike.