Everyone forgets about Edinburgh’s Vet Med students

They work and play harder than any of us

If you find yourself roaming the streets at some ungodly hour of the morning you might see them crowding round a bus stop, trying to keep their eyes open and their hands warm. The vet meds. You’re lucky if you’re a non-vet med student and been on a night out with them even once, you may count some as your friends, but you’ll never really understand what they do every day.

It’s not unusual for them only to have two lectures a day but it takes an hour by bus to get to their campus and an hour to get back again. Not forgetting (which vets make sure you don’t) that they don’t get a free bus service, like their King’s Building’s comrades, so that’s £45 a month just to get to lectures.

Then there’s their favourite topic, announced even before the bus service, that medics study only one species for six years while they get only five years to study as much of the animal kingdom as possible. When I say “as possible” I do not mean in the conventional sense of the term where you look at the time available to you and plan your work accordingly. Here, I mean that you start by knowing the amount of work and half way through realising that you’re short half the time.

This would explain why, starting in first year, vets have to study half their course using online lectures which they must teach themselves after coming home from dissections and lectures, and in between assignments and revision.

Once they are finally given some free time during holidays they have to spend it doing months of unpaid work, which almost always involves getting covered in shit.

The vets retaliate by shaping their campus into a perfect university just for themselves. They have their own sport teams which means they don’t need to come into too much contact with us, although you might sometimes spot one in George Square gazing wide-eyed at what university life is like for the rest of us.

Oh and you know that ski trip that sells out within hours and, come December, everyone is talking about? The vet meds don’t need to worry about that because they have their own ski trip just for themselves.

And sure, most of the time they’re reassembling a horse’s leg or dissecting a dog’s ankle but sometimes they get to see live animals too and their lab time is taken up with playing with dogs.

As part of their degree they also have to go to livestock markets, and maybe it’s just me but I would love to take a day out of David Hume Tower and go to a market full of farmers and their animals.

An important weekend marked in all vet meds’ calendar is the ‘sports’ weekend. This is where all vet schools gather at a chosen university to partake in sporting competitions while drinking copious amounts of alcohol, without stopping.

One of the more important competitions of the weekend is the AVS challenge which is completed by pulling a student from each university. And those of us who have naively tried to get to the front in row will know that the front left of the dancefloor is claimed by them, the vet corner is a thing.

So while they have one of the most demanding courses in uni, and no one really helps them out much, it’s easy to find yourself jealous of the vet meds sometimes being such a large, closely knit group of friends who do absolutely everything together.