I am once again re-evaluating my "life goals."
I don't really feel like I have a real, vested interest in anything. Pretty much other than wanting to have fun, travel, take photographs, and learn more about neuro, I've got nothin'.
I feel like going to vet school would be a mistake because my one true academic interest is neurobiology.
But I feel like not applying to vet school would also be a mistake, because what if...?
But if I apply and end up not going, then I've wasted a ton of time and money on the GRE and applying and and and.
I love animals, but really, if they're not well behaved they tend to piss me off fairly quickly. And I'm interested in health -- or at least some aspects of it. Working with animals and health were the original draws for me, but there's a lot about the veterinary profession that is undesirable to me. Aside from the long hours and little time off, there's mountains of paperwork, euthanizing animals, and often seeming to cause more pain and harm than good. I don't like the fact that we often hold animals down and force them to endure procedures that are bewildering and terrifying or even painful to them without even being able to provide intelligible explanation. I don't care for the idea of cutting into a live animal, even to help. I don't like that we aren't able to help patients due to lack of knowledge or treatments, or worse, lack of resources to fund treatment. I don't like idiot clients who wait five months to have their pet seen when it's obvious the animal hasn't been doing well. I don't like the supremely stupid clients who don't follow instructions and then wonder why their animal isn't getting any better. And I really don't like the clients who take the time to see us for something completely treatable, only to complain about the expense and turn down treatment options and let their animals suffer.
I don't like my current work -- it's mostly easy, tedious chores that I could have done in high school, or even in middle school if I'd been allowed. I can't imagine actual tech work is much more interesting. I've seen what they do -- they spend the majority of their time doing appointments, simple procedures like blood draws and vaccinations, more technical procedures like dental work, or paperwork. That's pretty much it. The vets.... pretty much the same, but with surgeries and the like piled on top of that.
In short, the reality is far from the ideal many young people have when they say, "I want to be a vet!"
The question now is... If not vet school, then what?