Welcome to the Royal (Dick) Vet School’s third blog post from the Social Media Ambassador team. This week is written by Nivan Mamak, a second year vet student - #DickVetHijack
As my preclinical years at vet school draw to a close I think it’s a great opportunity for a bit of reflection. As clichéd as it sounds, it feels like yesterday I was walking into this new building in a strange and different country where I knew absolutely nobody and had only a vague idea of what to expect in the coming months. Fast forward two years and here I am, finally able to introduce myself as a Dick Vet with a straight face, finished my second year, with a great group of friends and involved in lots of activities both inside and outside school. I suppose that sense of only vaguely knowing what is to come is still there but now there is a sense of familiarity as well; a feeling of belonging.
But it’s not been all work and no play! I am involved in the University’s Baking Society and we meet once a week during term time to eat cake and drink tea. There is a theme for each week’s bakes with our most popular being Savoury Week, Scottish and Bake Your Course! We always have several creative dishes and I’ve tried many new things I would never have had elsewhere. We also have several other events through the year including a Christmas Dinner, a Great British Bake Off inspired cupcake challenge and our recently successful afternoon tea in collaboration with the Royal Voluntary Service.
The University has almost every club and society imaginable - from the Harry Potter Society (who can often be seen playing quiditch in The Meadows) to the Exmoor Pony Trekking Society (who go on lovely treks through the Pentland Hills behind the vet school). The vet school itself is one of the best in the world, with it’s own Small Animal, Exotics, Equine, and Farm Animal Hospitals, Dairy and Sheep farms and sprawling grounds of gardens and pasture. The teaching building sits opposite the famous Roslin Institute, where Dolly the Sheep was cloned, and we even get taught by some of the researchers from there.
Ever played Zombies, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride or Pandemic? If your answer is never, they are all must tries! These are some of the awesome board games I have been introduced to whilst in Edinburgh. Every other week I get together with a group of friends and we spend the day playing board games at a café convenient to all. I also enjoy location based games and Ingress is a big part of my life. I’ve visited Lindisfarne Island in the middle of the night to coordinate a multi country operation in the game!
Edinburgh is a great place, not too big and not too small. The people are friendly and welcoming and there are loads of students milling about especially if you’re around the university areas. Being the capital of Scotland, there is something to do here for everybody. I come from a city with a population of close to 20 million, so it’s quaint to be able to get from one end of the city to the other in about an hour!
It is also a new and magical experience for me to be swimming while snow is swirling outside above the pool (the pool has a glass roof)! Before I came to Scotland, I could count on one finger the amount of times I had seen snowfall. Making snow angels and having snowball fights has been a new experience. Now I am back home in India and missing Edinburgh and yet I know when I am back in Edinburgh I will miss home… Such is the life of a student. For the next few weeks though, I have my clinical placements to look forward to and lots to learn here before I head back to tackle my clinical years.