I know, I know. I left you guys hanging for like A MONTH. Not cool. But I’m back. And I’m here to tell you about my experience with the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE), the reason I went into hibernation mode for multiple weeks.
So, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the process of becoming a veterinarian here’s the deets: You need a bachelor’s degree to get into vet school, 4 years. Vet school itself is 4 years. During your 4th year you need to take two ‘board exams’ in order to practice medicine once you graduate. One of those is the NAVLE, which every vet student in North American is required to take. The second is the state board exam. Each state has it’s own board exam and you have to take the state board exam in the state in which you plan to practice. Wow, that info was really boring, but I can imagine that some people might be lost reading the rest of this post without this information.
Now the fun stuff that you’ve all been waiting for… my experience with the NAVLE.
Top 10 worst days of my life. Ok, maybe that’s being a little over dramatic. But seriously, it was terrible. I was so calm and collected about it up until about 4 days pre-exam. Then I just f*cking lost it. My anxiety and stress levels were the highest they’ve ever been in my life. It sucked. Test anxiety sucks. I was running off of adrenaline 48 hours before the exam and I wasn’t sleeping well. I stayed at a hotel overnight about 7 minutes from my testing site so I didn’t have to get up extra early to fight an hour and a half of bay area traffic. So that was a bonus. But I literally slept about 2 hours total the night of the exam because I was so stressed out.
6am rolled around and I’m just laying in bed at that point but some employee at the hotel knocks on my door and slips a 30% off coupon for my next stay. Like who does that?! Not that I was sleeping but 6am?? Really?? So I try to close my eyes for another hour and get up at 7. Ate breakfast which didn’t feel all that great because of all the knots in my stomach. Literally bathed myself in essential oils lavender and eucalyptus that I had been using in an essential oil diffuser to help keep my stress levels down.
I drive over to the testing center and get there at 8am, 30 mins before the start of my exam like they asked. Line almost out the door and a waiting room full of people. I finally get to the front desk and hand over my paperwork for my exam and put all my sh*t in a locker. I take a seat along with everyone else who’s freaking out and go back and forth between staring at blank walls and the receptionist at the front desk. It’s on a first come first serve basis and obviously I didn’t get there early enough. 8:15, 8:30, 8:45… the entire time I’m panicking. I finally get called into the back and they do their routine search and go through the procedure of my scheduled breaks. Another lady then takes me into the testing room and has me stand by the door while she sets up the computer. Seemed like it was taking longer than it should. She comes back towards me and says give me one second and goes to get another employee. Then they are both trying to get my computer to work. Initiate more panic. Finally after more than 5 minutes I sit down to enter my information and start my exam.
First question pops up. PANIC. I literally turned around and looked at the door and contemplated taking an emergency break to step out and collect myself, but time was ticking. 2nd, 3rd and 4th question. PANIC. At this point I’m rushing through the questions because I’ve already wasted about 5 minutes freaking out. I literally panicked through the entire first section. I felt real sh*tty about it too. I rushed through every question and panicked through every question, so who knows what happened. That went on for the first 3 sections. By section 4 I had started to get used to having to speed read and choose my answer immediately without being able to think about it because there wasn’t enough time for that. It was frustrating and stressful. By the time I was done I felt like I got hit by a bus. It’s now a week later and I’m just starting to feel like myself again.
Now for the next one. I’m currently studying for the California Veterinary State Board Examination which I’m signed up to take on December 3rd. If I could I would take it tomorrow. I just want to get it out of the way and move on with my life. Test anxiety is the WORST. I’ve been obsessively checking the testing schedule website to see if anyone drops their exam this week so I can just take it and get it done! I start my next rotation on Monday the 28th so it would be REAL nice if I can take it before then.
On a completely different note, I always have one of my jewelry creations to share with all of my posts. Today I’m sharing with you some horsetail keychains that I put together for one of my best friends! She graduated last year and owns her own veterinary practice in Arizona. After having to euthanize some of her horse patients, she wanted to give back to her clients and asked me if I could put together some horsetail keychains. I don’t advertise that I make horsetail keychains on my etsy site but all you have to do is contact me. Send me an email, leave me a comment, message me on intsagram, etc. and I will be happy to work with you! I mean how cute are these?!?