World Veterinary Day is this weekend, which is important to me because it is my dream to become a veterinarian.

Growing up, I do not come from an agricultural background, and the only animals my family had were dogs. It wasn’t until high school before I began to consider a career in veterinary medicine and had the opportunity to take electives that related to this career. During my senior year, I was able to intern at a local clinic, and it was there that I was able to pair my love of animals and my interest in science into a meaningful career.

Coming from a suburb like Frisco, I did not have much experience with large animals coming out of high school. Now, as an animal science major at Texas Tech, many of my classes focus on livestock and not so much on small animals. This was new to me at first, but I quickly began to love this perspective and realize that I wanted to work with both small and large animals in the future.

Vets do so much more than care for our pets. Many work to keep our food supply safe by caring for livestock and by working in regulatory roles. Also, many have careers teaching students at the undergraduate level. Some of my undergraduate professors have even been vets. Additionally, there are a number of vets that are involved in research that will improve the lives of not just animals, but humans as well.

I have had some amazing professors that have helped make many challenging classes, like physiology and chemistry, less difficult and interesting to learn. I have enjoyed how my classes have built on each other. Things I learned in my first semester are still important and being expanded on in every class I take. This will help me in the future, because I’m not just memorizing information, but actually learning important concepts that I will use later on.  

Texas Tech’s veterinary school would help me by offering an additional in-state institution to apply for. Texas A&M is currently the only vet school in Texas with limited capacity, and it would be far cheaper to attend an in-state school than an out-of-state institution. An additional vet school in Texas would give more options to students like me to stay in Texas and save money as we attend vet school. I also support the Texas Tech vet school because it will help address the current shortage of vets. Many rural counties do not have enough vets, and the Texas Tech vet school can provide a solution to this issue. 

I support the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine, and I am asking for the Texas Legislature and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to support this program as well.

Chris Asleson is a junior studying animal science at Texas Tech University. He is a 2016 graduate of Centennial High School in Frisco.

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