I spent most of my first car ride to Mount Holyoke kicking the back of my stepdad’s seat. No, really, I was that terrible.
By the end of my junior year of high school, desperate to find the perfect fit, I had become a pro at touring colleges. Nearly every weekend, our itineraries filled with different schools to visit, my family hopped in the car and drove all around New England. After I showed interest in gender-minority institutions and absolutely fell in love with Bryn Mawr, Wellesley and Smith colleges, my parents suggested that we go check out Mount Holyoke.
“No,” I insisted, picturing the words “Holy Oak” in my head. “I won’t go to a religiously affiliated school.”
During my school breaks, I spend a lot of time teching at various animal hospitals across the South Shore of Massachusetts. At the Randolph Animal Hospital, which doubles as the town shelter, I have the pleasure of working with the resident stray dogs and cats. As a future shelter vet, this aspect of my job is especially important to me.
In the summer of 2017, when I first started as an intern at the clinic in Randolph, I met an American pit bull terrier named Rollo. He had been living at the shelter since the previous December, when he had been found roaming the streets, super skinny and covered in bite wounds. It soon became clear that he harbored a fear of other dogs, and this, combined with a slew of health issues, made it hard for the shelter to find potential adopters.
During summer and winter breaks from Mount Holyoke, I work as a technician and an intern at three different veterinary hospitals. Two of the hospitals treat small companion animals and one treats wildlife: the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
As a pre-veterinary student, I am incredibly privileged to be a part of these three communities. Over the past few years, I have developed so many important skills — from drawing blood to making small talk with clients — that I hope to one day utilize when I am a veterinarian myself.