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I was originally a biology major when I moved here for college, with full intention to work with animals, and I switched to theatre (my second love.) It is now the end of my second year and my rescue kitten came into my life and having a pet again reminded me just how much I love animals.

I have decided to pursue biology again on a pre-vet track which means starting all over... and i'm terrified. BUT I finally feel like I found my calling, which I hadn't felt until now. I am happily terrified and really want to just get this ball rolling. Is it horrible to say I hate my twenties and cannot wait until i'm 35 and settling into life more smoothly? :catsm
 

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Congratulations to you for finding what it is that you truly love to do. And don't feel like you're not settled simply because you changed your mind. It's worth it - and it's much easier - to take your time to try out new things now rather than sticking with something that you're not sure about and then suddenly realizing when you're 35 that it's not for you. Trust me.

My trajectory: I entered college a pre-med biology major, was miserable, discovered I liked literature, majored in English, worked in publishing for 3 years but started contemplating grad school in English after 3 months in the "real world," realized that I liked French literature much more than English-language literature, and went to grad school for French.

For 8 years, I plodded very, very slowly towards my Ph.D. because I couldn't decide if teaching college was worth the misery (and the money!).

In my 8th year of grad school, I got a full-time job teaching college and knew I'd found my passion. I wrote my dissertation in 2 summers and finally got my degree after 10 years. I was 35.

I finished paying off my student loans in 2011, when I was 45. But I absolutely love what I do.

I've known plenty of people who've made career changes after they started working in the field they always thought they'd wanted to pursue. So...finding what it is that you love to do when you're 20? You've got a huge head start! :) And even if you change your mind 10 times in the next 10 years, there's no reason to stress about it. As long as you ultimately end up loving what you do, it's all worth it.
 

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LOL! You just learn to hide your fears and insecurities better! ;):D
 

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Yes...it's so much better to figure it out when you're young and don't have responsibilities hanging over your head that keep you in a career that you hate. So it's good that you're doing this now.

I obviously don't know you and have no idea if this type of flip flopping is normal for you or completely out of character. Whether you're the type to think things through or just jump at them. But with 2 changes in 2 years, if I were your parent(s) I'd be asking you some hard questions like:

1. Do you have the grades to get into vet school? What GPA and test scores do you need and is it reasonable to expect that you can achieve them?
2. If you don't get into vet school, what is Plan B? What kind of job can you get with a pre-vet degree? Will you need even more schooling?
3. Are you prepared to go out of the country for vet school? I believe many vets end up doing this.
4. You just got a cute little kitten and now want to be a vet...Are you romanticizing the profession? Have you seriously thought about the negatives...and there are a ton of them.

I would recommend that you take a year off from school and go get a job in a vets office or shelter where you will get a good idea of what you'll be dealing with. If at the end of the year you still want to be a vet, then it's probably your destiny. If not, you haven't piled up another year's worth of school expenses.

Whatever you decide....good luck...
 

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You made the right choice by starting over and going back to your first love. This is a very temporary setback and you will be so much happier in the long run. By pursuing theater you might always have regretted not going the vet/animal route but by doing the vet/animal route now you could always do theater as a hobby later. There are no hobbiest vets. Good move. Don't rush it, enjoy your 20's. They'll be over before you know it. I didn't start really living and being life smart until I was 30!!
 

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These four questions are spot on to what you need to ask yourself. I would take time to consider them and be honest with myself in answering them.

1. Do you have the grades to get into vet school? What GPA and test scores do you need and is it reasonable to expect that you can achieve them?
2. If you don't get into vet school, what is Plan B? What kind of job can you get with a pre-vet degree? Will you need even more schooling?
3. Are you prepared to go out of the country for vet school? I believe many vets end up doing this.
4. You just got a cute little kitten and now want to be a vet...Are you romanticizing the profession? Have you seriously thought about the negatives...and there are a ton of them.
Question 4 is one to really reflect on. The negatives can be so draining. There are some on this forum that do work in the shelters and have faced many negatives and it does take its toll. Perhaps you can speak with some of them too.
IMO I think that volunteering is a very wise move and from what I've noticed, you ARE trying to gain experience by volunteering to work with pets, in your area. . But as was suggested in doodlebug's post, why not take a year off school and give your pet experience time. Undevided time, to explore how you feel and the direction you want to take.

Good luck in your pursuits!
 

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I don't think that volunteering at a shelter and actually working there provide the same experience. Of course it depends on the shelter, but around here, volunteers are somewhat insulated from a lot of the worst situations. In addition, only being there a few hours a week doesn't have the same impact as a regular 40+ hour week.
 

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Goodness I changed my major twice.
I was preveterinary, then realized I missed languages. Changed to a French major and realized I missed my sciences. Took a semester off, and found a way to combine language with medical sciences= speech language pathology.
Sometimes it takes a while to find your true calling.
I don't regret dropping the vet program. I am not sure I could handle all the pain and suffering, the frustration.
I do see human suffering to be sure, but usually I feel I can talk with them about it and offer some emotional support, yk?

Hugs and prayers of guidance as you move forward.
I actually did find that I was way more confident and together in my 30s
 

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Is it horrible to say I hate my twenties and cannot wait until i'm 35 and settling into life more smoothly? :catsm
As someone who is about to turn 40, I have news for you. It never does get "easier," you just gain a better idea of what is actually important and worthy of being worried abut and focused on, and what isn't. One of the best lessons I learned in my 30's was, with very very few exceptions, to not give a spit about what other people think of how I live my life.

The other lesson is that there are people who are impressed when you step out like that. I remember going to a friend's birthday party last fall and holding court with a group of women I had never met before - I was explaining how henna works and why it is superior to conventional chemical color - I've been using it on my own hair for 4 years, and I get a LOT of compliments on the color. One of these women asked me what I used, and I just took it from there...
 

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I don't think that volunteering at a shelter and actually working there provide the same experience. Of course it depends on the shelter, but around here, volunteers are somewhat insulated from a lot of the worst situations. In addition, only being there a few hours a week doesn't have the same impact as a regular 40+ hour week.
It's may not be perfect, but it's a whole lot better than no exposure at all.
 

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I am still waiting for the "life gets smoother" part. Maybe my 80's? ;)
 

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I've gone through 3 years of school and haven't even come close to a certificate or degree. Lots of miscellanious classes in all different subjects. Still have no idea what I actually enjoy doing. Props to you for knowing what you want!
 

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Definitely work in a vet office. I would say anyone serious about becoming a vet should work in a vet office for a year. I would be shocked if that wasn't a prerequisite, it certainly is for taking the vet tech program... and becoming a vet is much more demanding than a tech, all the drugs to learn alone is mind boggling. Before spending all that money make sure you have the grades for it, too.
 

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I read an article about 4-5 years ago...it said that the average vet comes out of school with well over $200K in student loans. Betting that number is more like $300K now.
 

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I also wanted to be a vet in my early 20. If it's truly your calling, then go for it now, changing a major is not the end of the world and certainly easier now than later.
For me, I ended up working a summer in a vet clinic and decided it wasn't for me after all. Now that I'm mid 30s I've decided to go back to school and change careers. It's definitely not so easy now, so to me changing a major isn't that big of a deal. It's worse finishing a degree that you never use and then later deciding to do something different and having to retake science courses. Ugh!
Also, while I wouldn't want to be 20 again, the 30s are anything but smooth sailing. Lol Good luck with whatever you decide!


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Discussion Starter #19
I definitely already plan on taking some time off and really thinking about everything. I would LOVE to find a shelter nearby to work at, and have been searching. but since I don't know the area well I have no idea where to start. The GPA and commitment it would take to get into vet school don't scare me as much -- my GPA can be where it has to and transferring, which is something i'd have to do if I decide this is right for me, starts it from scratch anyhow. The debt of vet school definitely scares me a little, i'm a first generation college student, but I figure better in debt from a career I love with a decent job market than paying for a 50k school and finishing with a degree in theatre i'm not excited about?

I definitely have been thinking about the downside of being a vet. I have never worked at one (yet, hopefully) but coming from a farm family I definitely know how hard it is to have animals suffering around you. I'm considering doing a Vet Tech program first (although this will extend my time studying) because being a tech, and getting that experience, is definitely something that will give me a better idea as to my future? I've looked for a couple of programs already and am trying to figure all that out. As for the "what if I don't get in, then what?" if I do not make it into vet school first year applying i'd plan to try to do a post-bac program and then try again.

Also, I know life won't get any easier in my 30s but i'm hoping I know myself a bit more and know how to handle life a bit better by then LOL. This unsure and shakey learning of myself, although awesome, is also terrifying!! Question for all of you who survived this age- do you EVER learn to deal with people and the drama and issues they seem to love to bring into each others lives?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Congratulations to you for finding what it is that you truly love to do. And don't feel like you're not settled simply because you changed your mind. It's worth it - and it's much easier - to take your time to try out new things now rather than sticking with something that you're not sure about and then suddenly realizing when you're 35 that it's not for you. Trust me.

My trajectory: I entered college a pre-med biology major, was miserable, discovered I liked literature, majored in English, worked in publishing for 3 years but started contemplating grad school in English after 3 months in the "real world," realized that I liked French literature much more than English-language literature, and went to grad school for French.

For 8 years, I plodded very, very slowly towards my Ph.D. because I couldn't decide if teaching college was worth the misery (and the money!).

In my 8th year of grad school, I got a full-time job teaching college and knew I'd found my passion. I wrote my dissertation in 2 summers and finally got my degree after 10 years. I was 35.

I finished paying off my student loans in 2011, when I was 45. But I absolutely love what I do.

I've known plenty of people who've made career changes after they started working in the field they always thought they'd wanted to pursue. So...finding what it is that you love to do when you're 20? You've got a huge head start! :) And even if you change your mind 10 times in the next 10 years, there's no reason to stress about it. As long as you ultimately end up loving what you do, it's all worth it.
it's nice to know what even with all the turns and changes it's still possible to find what you love at the end!
 
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