The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Anna Drahos - Dick Vet Student Blog - 22nd May 2017

Welcome to the Royal (Dick) Vet School’s first blog post from the Social Media Ambassador team. This week is written by Anna, a first year GEP student - #DickVetHijack

Students have the opportunity to visit Edinburgh Zoo before exam week.
Students have the opportunity to visit Edinburgh Zoo before exam week.

As we near the end of the year and with exam season upon us, it is crunch time for most students across the whole University of Edinburgh.  All over the city you will find students swarming every library space, coffee shop, and patch of sunny grass.  Out at the Easter Bush campus there are a steady stream of students coming in to study, but not nearly as many as the main Central Campus, which is why I like to come to this secluded gem.  Life isn’t all about studying despite what many people think, there is a balance to maintain.  It is important to take time to enjoy the surroundings, especially when the weather has been so beautiful. Yes, in Scotland it’s been known to rain here and there (or a lot!), but this May the weather has turned out exceptionally well.

First, I should probably say I am a North American.  It is not rare to find international students in Edinburgh – sometimes it feels there are more North Americans than Scots!  I enjoy taking part in American past times such as softball and I was surprised when I started vet school to find a co-ed softball league run by the City of Edinburgh Council.  Not to brag or anything, but currently my team is the top in the league, our last game was a couple days ago and we won 32-2. 

Vet School can be just as interesting as societies and sports, in our last few classes we have been dissecting a cow named Jet.  I would have named him Dozer.  Do you get it?  Because he is a bull, so he’s a bulldozer…..  I love punny jokes.

An African Hunting dog!
An African Hunting dog!

To mark the end of our first year we had a field trip to Edinburgh Zoo.  We split into groups of 10 and each of us had to present a talk to our class about an animal and its anatomical and physiological adaptations.  Mine was the African Hunting Dog :D  I had a very interactive presentation a where my group-mates acted out a hunting strategy.  My favorite part of the zoo is the Penguin Parade.  Every day at 2:15pm the penguins can walk on a little marked path, if they want to, outside of their enclosure, carefully watched by staff members and volunteers.  The crowds of people watching help make a human barrier to the pathway.  I was right at the front and a juvenile penguin walked so close I could have touched it, but obviously didn’t as we were asked not to.

After that, we attempted to see the Giant Pandas.  I say attempted because they were not out and about L Pandas don’t like to waste their energy on such trivial things such as amusing zoo guests!

Moving on we went into the Lemur Walk where you could almost touch lemurs, although, again, you shouldn’t.  They just chilled out in the sun and while we took selfies with them as close as we could get.

The day wore me out though, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Edinburgh Zoo, or Edinburgh in general but the hills feel like mountains sometimes!  The Zoo in particular as it’s located on a steep hill.  My suggestion, if you ever find yourself there, is to start at the top and work your way down.  After a hard day of walking it was nice to get some ice cream and lay in the sun to regenerate.

To finish this exciting week, I went to a pub quiz with some friends – they’d just finished their exams so were celebrating.  If it’s a specific topic such as Disney or Harry Potter, count me in but, I’ll readily admit; I am not the best at trivia… I do like to challenge myself though and thankfully I have brilliant friends!  We go to The Mockingjay, it’s a cute little pub and the Quiz Master is from L.A. and she often makes jokes about how people can’t understand her.  The trivia questions can be on anything so often we need to think outside the box.  This week we weren’t half bad, finishing only 7 points below the winners. We came 4th… out of 6.  The Last placed team wins a free sundae, you get a bottle of wine for Second and the winners get a voucher for £30.  A free sundae sounds good to me, but sometimes people try super hard to lose and I’m too competitive to lose too often!

Overall this week has been enjoyable and I easily managed some down time along with my vet school schedule.  Next week are my last exams of the year and I am excited to complete Yr1!