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  • Writer's pictureBella Rawson

Vet School Diaries - Week 5, Year 1

Firstly, a big apology for my weekly diary being a bit late - had a bit of crisis last night on Skype with my mum. It's been quite an overwhelming month and I'm struggling with the work, especially now that we're in isolation. It's made me think a lot about whether uni is the place I want to be and if this is what I want to be doing, at least during the pandemic anyway; I think that's the main problem, the fact that uni isn't normal right now, and the entire set up and premise of this style of education is that students are meant to socialise and make friends. Having that removed and seeing the same four walls every day means it's been quite draining and tough, and I haven't had a chance to make friends with anyone outside our staircase.

Anyway. I'm sticking it out till Christmas, and we'll go from there. On to this week's blog...


It's day one of staring at four walls and honestly these two weeks aren't gonna be great. I started the day with an impossible biochemistry lecture that I would've found easier if I could've gotten a textbook from the library to follow along with - alas, quite difficult when you're trapped inside and can't go anywhere. Luckily today's anatomy practical was online, so I'm not missing any of my in person ones until tomorrow, but it still sucks.

We also had a physiology lecture and the cruel reminder that we were meant to be going to for animal handling practicals in the afternoon. Rabbits and Chickens - I was looking forward to a non-stress filled afternoon cuddling some cute animals. I calculated what animal handling sessions we were missing because of this isolation period, and it turns out to be half. We have six sessions (cows, sheep, dogs, cats and birds, rabbits and poultry, and equine) and I'm missing three of them. We have to reschedule them ourselves as well which is doubly annoying, because nobody at university ever seems to reply to an email. Oh, they can send them just fine - that's why I get twenty of the things an hour. But receiving? God no, it's just impossibly hard to click 'reply' on an email. Too far to scroll.

(future me says: when I finally did manage to get a reply to reschedule, I could only do 2/3 because dogs no longer has any room this term, which means I get shunted to next term unless someone else ends up in isolation in the same period. This would be just fine, if it weren't for the uni's requirement that all animal handling sessions are completed by the first week of Lent term - if they don't wave that requirement, I may not have to worry about thinking about dropping out, might just get kicked out instead! Can you tell it's been a lousy week?)


We missed the first in person practical we were scheduled for today, but I did receive the online shopping order we made! I've got plans to make sausage casserole this week and chicken soup with noodles that I got for free as part of a Fresher's welcome pack. I ordered a leek as part of the soup and casserole, but have you seen how big it is??? That's a regular, full size loaf of bread next to it!

I spent the rest of the day doing a physiology lecture and some basic revision of my previous lectures. I didn't have the energy to do anything particularly difficult, mostly from exhaustion of the impending doom of isolation and how shite it is that we can't do what we'd planned to for Halloween tomorrow, but I was proud of myself for the work I did manage to do in the end. Onwards and upwards - preferably not sideways though, or else I'm going out the window.

Saturday and Sunday

This week's weekened is depressingly empty, so I've combined them into one paragraph so it at least looks like I did something good.

I skyped my grandparents on Saturday and filled them in on how isolation had been so far, and then we had a mini get together for Halloween where we didn't do much except chat and watch one of my staircase play Fifa (yes, it's just as boring as it sounds that part, but we did in general have a decent time. On another, definitely unrelatednote, I'm crap at Fifa.) My one achievement of the day was managing to write a physiology essay that I was semi-proud of since the diagram didn't look like it had been drawn by a three year old like my diagrams usually do.

Sunday I managed to get some batch cooking done for the week and finished off a biochemistry essay I had due on Wednesday. I woke up much later than I intended to on account of being up till 2am, but I managed to squeeze everything in, even if it was slightly more stressful than it should've been. You'd think having a good four hours of my timetable freed up not having animal handling and practicals would leave me more time during the week, but there's something about isolation at uni that just leaves you not wanting to do much. To be fair, I am at one of the richest universities in the world - I could probably get some funding a do a study on it. 'How sad are you, on a scale of 1-10? No, desperately clawing at the door everytime somebody walks past is not an appropriate answer.'


Hurrah, back to lectures! (note, sarcasm).

To be fair, the first one I had today was antomy and that's by far and away the best module in my opinion. We were looking at the hoof and claw, the structure and what everything's used for, and it was all rather interesting. Got a pro tip on how to cut dogs' nails as well, so watch out Molly ;)

The biochemistry lecture was, unsurprisingly, incredibly confusing, but this lecture series is only 3 lectures long which means it should be easy for me to summarise. This section is on glycolysis and respiration, which though no love is lost between biochemistry and I, was one of the more interesting year two A-Level Biology topics. I'm thinking of doing a revision post to go up Saturday or Sunday on it, so if you're interested in finding out how we make energy from oxygen and our food, this is the place to be (or an actually reputable website, but I'm a good 26th option).


It's election day in America, and I'm gonna be up all night. I think there's little chance we'll know straight away who's one due to all the postal ballots this year, but it'll be good to watch the most exciting bits and pieces come in. Florida will be the most interesting I reckon and their polls close pretty early our time, so that'll be good.

In other news, my physiology supervision confused me to no end, and me and another vet I live with ended up just turning our microphone off to yell our confusion at each other and lament about how oh so terrible vet school is and we feel like we're drowning and can't cope. We're four weeks in and we have SIX YEARS of this, what the heck did I sign myself up for?


I was meant to have a four hour online practical today (they're just as rubbish as they sound, one of the top universities in the world can't figure out how to use basic computer programs. I had a lecture the other day over Zoom with over 400 people where 100 students couldn't attend because the lecturers hadn't realised Zoom only has a capacity for 300 people. Yes, I know. Don't go there.) The four hour practical, predictably, turned into only an hour, because we were meant to do the actual experiment in our biochemistry supervision, but now because of our isolation and lockdown in general all our supervisions are now online so, of course, we couldn't do it. Surprise, surprise.

Today was also the day where I realised I was out of the essentials (bread, milk) because I'd gotten them as a group with the rest of the staircase and hadn't factored in how quickly other people eat this stuff. Yes, lesson learned, never again. Thinking that this was totally okay, I'd just do an online shop, I logged on to a grand total of no less than 6 supermarkets to find there were no delivery slots until January. Thanks, lockdown.

Luckily, one of my closest friends (Rosie, you've met her in previous posts!) also goes to Cambridge, and was kind enough to go and grab some bits for me. I ended up asking her to grab my stuff for my weekly batch cooking as well so that I didn't have to ask her to go twice for me, and thankfully I've now got enough to last until the end of my isolation. Mum was not impressed when I told her this and panicked I was going to starve until I explained that I had more than enough food to last me (a good two weeks I reckon) but I was out of the fresh stuff because of my decision to share group stuff without considering the fact that a) lockdown was coming and b) people eat stuff much faster than me. Honestly, it's a learning process.

Anyway, I'm sorry this week's diaries is a lot shorter and with fewer pictures. Being locked in isn't the most exciting thing in the world, and unless you want a picture of my toilet or every key I type on my computer, there weren't many chances for a photo op. I've only got a week to go now so next week's post will be just as boring as this one, and then we should be back to our regular, interesting posting.

Well, I think it's interesting. Others may have a different opinion...

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