by Jolyn Low

Oh my goodness. The past three days or so have passed by in such a flash. Life is just going by so quickly that I haven’t really been stopping to catch a breather, which I am finally doing tonight. I need to reorganise my life. Its a complete mess (in a good way). The next week will be pretty fun with volunteering, classes and interviews, all of which I’m looking forward to immensely. 

I’ve learnt so much this week and have had quite a good time despite the crazy schedule. Mid-terms and presentations went rather well given that I reached the stage of not giving a shit anymore. Also, I’ve had really good company these days in uni. I just found that my statistics tutor was from Singapore and a RV alumni! I’ve attended talks on feline behaviour, a career as an equine vet and just yesterday had a workshop on horse hoof care! It feels really good to be learning more in my spare time off classes that are relevant to my future, and even better to be getting hands on opportunities on cadavers. 

Now I have a (hopefully lucky) horseshoe on my topmost shelf. I used to have one from pony club camp back when I was little, but it has since been thrown away. 

I have found the teaching style here to be so supportive and encouraging. Everything is complimented. “Oh, you’re doing great! That’s really good!” “You should consider a career as a farrier and forget about being a vet!” “You guys are really talented!” “You’re really good at bevelling!” It’s very different from what I’m used to, where your best is never really enough and compliments are hard to come by. I clearly remember the day my aunt shot me down for my A levels, stating that her friend’s son had 8 As. It made me so mad. 

I don’t believe what they say – I’m so awkward with the tools, and the cadavers that I trimmed never looked as good as those that others did. But I’m so grateful for having had such great teachers, resources and experiences, and am even more thankful that my parents love me so much to let me pursue these dreams of mine. 

I found that I’m pretty happy to get down and dirty if I have access to a washing machine and a hot shower afterwards. What normal Singaporean young adult would be able to say that they know how to (amateur-ly) file a horse’s hoof, or remove a metal shoe from it? To be honest I’m a complete loser and actually hammered my left thumb the first time I tried to remove a nail from a hoof, but that’s just the horrendous hand-eye coordination and clumsiness that I have to bear with. I am basically a self-mutilating future vet. I made my right thumb bleed and bruise the other week from attempting the bucking bull machine and now this. Can someone please save me from myself? Note to self: it might be a good idea to get a doctor as a future boyfriend. Mhm, best idea I’ve had in a good while. Except that we’ll both be crazies working in the medical field, and we’ll be the epitome of biological hazards and dysfunction since we’ll probably be unable to function after shifts and have silent supper dates after work. 

I think it’ll be really funny to come up with a list of qualities my future husband should have, just to look back on and compare when or if it happens in the future. Let’s limit it to 10:

  1. Be completely accepting of and enjoy my weirdness – I’m not that strange, I just have a morbid fascination with biology and have a huge heart for animals (and probably him). 
  2. Support me in my dreams, ambitions and endeavours, as I will support his. I appreciate being cautioned or advised at times though cause I’m not the most thoughtful when it comes to certain decisions. 
  3. Learn how to deal with an upset me – which basically means a bawling mess or an angry little thing. 
  4. Love Honey to bits and pieces. She’s a spoilt little thing, but if someone dates me they date her too, because Honey is my baby and she will be at the wedding (I swear unless I don’t get married in say 9 years’ time)!!
  5. Accept that I can be insecure, vain and very flawed. So never ever call me ugly even though I’m a lazy ass and often look pretty horribly tired on most days. I give my all for my work, and if that’s how I’ll look like giving my best then please love me for it. 
  6. Be optimistic and humorous. I try to be, but it gets difficult sometimes. And I absolutely adore a good laugh as long as its not at anyone’s expense. 
  7. Make the effort to communicate with me. 
  8. Commit to and prioritise us, and be able to work with me to make the best decisions for our collective future together. 
  9. Never say hurtful things to me. I don’t think I would be able to handle a significant other using a harsh tone on me. 
  10. Accept that I will probably collect a harem of animals and will expect him to treat them like our kids. 

I have been talking to my classmate about the future a lot. The topics of what kind of veterinarian we want to become has popped up so often, and I am so confused. I know that, realistically, I will become a small animal veterinarian. But I have always loved the idea of practising on all animals – cows, sheep, horses, pigs, you name it. I’m not so much interested in exotics, but I do want to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way in the coming years. We also talked about practising when we settle down and (maybe) have children. 

I’m not sure if it is because we are slightly older, 20 and turning 21 soon, that we ponder over these things. I’m so skeptical as well – I have a lot of ambition, and how is settling down possible when you have so much that you’ve yet to do?!

I have one week of study break before the last 5 weeks of school. Time to get things done and end this year with a bang, I’d say.