Saturday, August 20, 2011

You'll Never Know-Awareness Week Blog by Brittney Riley

My sister will tell you I have a serious issue with boredom. Pathological even. I can't stand having nothing to do. I think I've been this way since the first cell division I managed to accomplish inside my Mother's womb. When I'd get bored I'd just divide again. I got bored of that after awhile though so two months before I was due my Mom went into labor. I wanted out. Thankfully they managed to sweet talk me into staying, but that just meant I had to channel my energy into another activity which turned out to be practicing my martial arts skills. My mother swore she was going to kick me back once I was born!  These days I have very little free time to get bored. Between my studies and my position as G-PACT's PR director I've almost always have something to do. The fact that I'm always battling my gastrointestinal tract, along with other malfunctioning organ systems, just adds an extra flavor to my daily life.

As you can imagine veterinary school is demanding both mentally and physically. The first two and a half years I was required to take 20+ credit hours a semester. I was at a disadvantage first year because I couldn't spend extra time in anatomy lab. My classmates would go in to lab for 4+ extra hours a week to review anatomy. By the time I got done with that days classes I had a finite amount of energy to study for my other courses (physiology, histoloy, etc) before I was too exhausted to function. So, what did I do? I used our lecture power point slide shows and supplemental slide sets of labeled photos to study. I had no sense of the 3D aspect of things, but I could learn landmarks. I did this and made sure to make the best use of my time in lab. The funny thing is, I managed to pull off better lab grades then some of my classmates that got to review hands on. The moral to that story is along the lines of the old saying--"where there is a will, there is a way."

These days I'm on rotations. Right now I'm on my public heath rotation so I've got it easy. It is a 9-4 kind of rotation with a one hour lunch break. It is pretty demanding physically though, so I get home exhausted wanting nothing more than to take a long nap that extends until my alarm clock goes off the next morning. My goal for what is my last year of veterinary school is to learn everything I can and not kill myself doing it. That is why I made the decision to extend my 4th year so it is about 1.5 years long giving myself ample time to rest during off weeks, and wiggle room if I'd get extremely ill (which it would take for me to not complete a rotation, my best friend in high school joked I'd come to school even if I had lost an arm the night before).

So what does this have to do with boredom? Well, with no coursework there is little studying I have to do in the evenings so I've got ample free time on my hands. I think it is a blessing that I was able to take on the role of PR director for G-PACT. It is a lot of work, but it is fun. I never get bored, I always have something to work on. Best of all, when I'm too tired to sit up I can lay in bed with my laptop and get a lot of work done since most of our work is through the Internet. It is the perfect volunteer job for me. I feel like I am making a difference in other people's lives, and I don't die of boredom.

While I was rambling on, I hope I got across the idea that despite what you are dealing with there is a way to get around the road blocks put in front of you. Find a volunteer position you can do over the Internet if you aren't abe to get out of the house for long periods of time. G-PACT is full of these kinds of tasks but there are others.

To get you started you can try searching for the perfect one here:
United States Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

You can do what you want in life, you just gotta get creative!!
Removing a bandage from a red-tailed hawk's wing at Raptor Recovery Nebraska during my 2nd year of veterinary school

You'll never know what you can do if you don't try.

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