Thursday, April 05, 2007

Quarter-life crisis or best awakening ever?

Come June this year, I will become a member of the Big Three-O Club. Yes, I'll be 30 years old.

Most of my friends my age are either married with children or single and enjoying a lucrative career. In other words, they are all happily settled.

I, on the other hand, am spouseless with an emptying bank account. So being at the wise age of 29 and ¾, I have decided to add further upheaval to my life. I have decided to drop everything and go back to school to pursue a second career.

I am going to be a Vet.

Working with baby pandas in the Giant Panda Breeding programme

This hasn't been an easy decision to make, believe me. But I've weighed my options, examined all the pros and cons, studied all the possible alternate routes I could take and talked to about 5,555 people. And I believe that this is the best thing I could ever do for myself.

For 8 years now, I've enjoyed a very interesting and fulfilling career in Journalism. I started out as a reporter, ventured into media training, and then started my own training company.

This means that to study Veterinary Science, I will have to give up my company, a steady income, and a comfortable and familiar life with my family and friends here. Instead, I'll be back in school with students who are guaranteed to be at least half of my great age. Plus I'll have to cope with the stress of being super-super thrifty with my pennies and adapting quickly to living well in a foreign country without my loved ones close to me.

It's all quite scary, but I believe that it'll be well worth it.

Unlike this Vet, I'm vertically challenged. It could be a problem..

Here's what I have to do to become a Vet.

I'll have to do an 8-month Foundation course in La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia) starting this June. This means having to struggle with all the triple science and math subjects and I'm not even sure if my old brains are in working condition anymore!

La Trobe University -- where I'll be giving my brains a good work-out for the next 8 months

What's really pressurising is that because Vet Science is such a popular and competitive course, I'll have to score well above 90% in all my subjects, especially in Chemistry and Math. If I can survive that and successfully gain entry into the 1-year Pre-Vet course in the University of Melbourne , I'll have to struggle some more with the same triple sciences and math subjects. Not so fun, eh?

The University of Melbourne -- my second home for 5 long years

But again, if I can get through that year, that's when the fun begins. I'll be studying tougher subjects like genetics, immunology, anesthesia, parasitology, pathology, radiology, etc… but that's when I'll also begin actual wok with the animals in emergency clinics, farms, wildlife rescue centres, and animal shelters.

Chemistry and all its mind-boggling formulae

Animal Anatomy

So it will be a long and tough 6 years, but it will also be stimulating and rewarding. I'm very excited about this new journey I'm about to embark on. Good things don't come easy, I know.

I am fully aware that this is a very heavy investment in terms of time and money, but I believe strongly that at the end of it all, I'll be much much happier because I'll be doing what I love for the rest of my life – helping to heal the animals and giving them the best life possible.

~5-Cat Style


Kaze, Latte, or Chase said...

Oh that is wonderful! How amazing that you know what you want and you're going for it at all costs. That is so admirable. Good luck!!! That sure is a long time but I'm sure you will be so happy with the outcome.

P.S. My VET has that cat anatomy chart in his office!

meekie said...

I have also reached my big 30 2 months ago with nary much achievement but the most important thing is... go with your heart's desire and live out your dream. ^^

Goodluck and bless you for helping to make the lives of animals better. :)

CatDonna & Cats said...

Fwah! I applaud your courage. May it be well rewarded. All best! Especially with the science and math...

Victor Tabbycat said...

Wowee! Good fur you! Mom's 37 an still doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up, but she likes the job she's kinda sorta fallen backwards into. House, hubby, kid, cats, werk, hobbies - it's comfy.

Mom says don't worry bout yur age cuz college-age kids don't know what they want anyway. Mom studied Audiology (ears and hearin) until she realized she HATED it and hated grad school, and shouldn't be doin it. She says Anatomy and Physiology were the worstest classes fur her, while clinic wif real live patients was too stressful wif her anxiety.

But that's Mom. You haf thot this thru an tried ofur fings an have the drive to make this werk. Go for it!

Bonnie Underfoot said...

If 5-Cat Style moves to Australia to go to school, what will happen to my dear Bombay?

My man went back an got his degree at 30, an now he wants to change from programming puters to photography. I don't care, long as I get my skritches (from HIM), and food.

Riley & Tiki said...

It is a very good thing you have decided to do. We are proud to know you!

The Meezer Gang said...

We admire your ability to make your life what you want it to be!!! The girl bean wants to be a V-E-T when she grows up.

Daisy said...

Good for you! You should pursue your dream. I am proud of you too.

Luna said...

Oh that is wonderful!

Derby said...

This is from mum, "YOU CAN DO THIS".

I went back to school at the ripe old age of 37 to get a second degree in business, then followed that at the age of 44 starting a master's program in business.

Yes it is hard work, but you know what you want and are willing to work for it. There is a book out "Do what you Love, The Money Will Follow". Follow your heart.

Hmmm, the verification is "OINX" hehehehehe

Derby said...

P.S. My vet has the same kittie poster too!

DaisyMae Maus said...

Good for you to make such a positive and fulfilling life-choice! Veterinary medicine will be rewarding with challenges efurryday!

cat_aunty said...

It is brave of you to make the decision and take the plunge. Gambatte!!!

Jasmine said...

This is fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. I have been following your blog for almost a year now, and I'm sure you'd make a great vet!

I so *almost* did vet science. At the end of high school, when making the tough decision about university degrees and career choices, the two things I was seriously interested in were law and vet science. I ended up applying to law instead of vet science, but did a life science degree along with the law so I could still keep in touch with science. I was still so obsessed by cats and the vet science idea that at every point possible in the life science degree, I focused on cats, e.g. in the metabolism unit my paper was on feline metabolism, in the genetics units I researched Felidae genetics, etc.

Partway through the law degree and the science degree, I decided that I really should have just done vet science in the first place. I was far more interested in animal health/science, in particular with regard to cats, than I was in law. I started investigating vet science degrees and even visited Melbourne University's vet science school. I was pretty set on this plan, but I also wanted to finish the other degrees I'd started, so I was planning to do vet science *after* finishing the others. However, after finishing both the others, I'd pretty much had enough of university and wanted to 'get out into the real world' and 'earn some real money'.

Every now and then when stuff is stressing me out or getting me down, I think back to the day I made the decision to do law rather than vet science, and I wonder how different my life might have been if I'd made a different decision! I still think about it now, and occasionally have regrets, but not too many because things have all turned out pretty well for me anyway.

Unlike you, I don't think I'd have the courage or commitment to go back now and do it. A year or so ago when work was really really stressing me out and upsetting me, I started thinking about a second career and vet science. I turned 30 last year, so I know what it's like to be approaching 30 and thinking about a serious career change that's completely unrelated to the career I'd spent my twenties trying to build up.

Anyway, sorry about the long rambling comment. Your news just really struck a chord with me. I wish you the best of luck with this and please keep us updated!

Parker said...

Hip, Hip Hooray! The world needs more caring wonderful vets, and I know you'll be a great one!

kuro.shiro.neko said...

gambatte, 5-cat! you can do it, because you believe in it!

jia you jia you..

we look forward to your graduation and contributing to the sterilisation program in singapore soon!

Anonymous said...

Excellent decision! Don't worry about the age thing. Its just a number. I just turned 40 and I STILL don't know what I want to do with my life!

jeter harris said...

mi myoozic wuz playin az i wuz reedin yer post ...
"it'z up to u ..."
i think yer doin sumthin grate ... sumthin u reelee luv ... an u will be a success!
mi mom an i are verree prowd uv u!

Oscar the Wonder Cat said...

Yay that is so incredibly wonderful! And you is coming to Melbourne too - where Molly and I live! Wishing you all the very very best with your studies - maybe one day you will fix one of my boo-boos!

KXBC said...

It won't be easy doing the transition but I admire your courage to make the change. If it's going to make you happier, go ahead.

And if you really become a vet in 6 years time, do come home and set up a practice. I will bring my kxbc gang there.

Good the luck!