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The discussion continues! This week, STARTING.OVER asks: "I am a 42 year old married 21 years and mother of two with a need for a new direction. I feel like I'm way over my head and do not know where to start. I haven't attended school in 23 years. I'm interested in becoming a veterinarian. Where do I need to start?"


February 27, 2007 at 10:03 pm
(1) kim says:

try online school i am im 44 and would like to be a vet tech

March 3, 2007 at 9:30 am
(2) Jackie says:

I am currently a 4th year vet student and I am 39. It is never too late to start there are many women in my class that are older than me. School is a HUGE sacrifice and friends and family need to accept the fact that they will be second in line for your time over the next four years. Start by contacting vet schools in areas where you would like to attend (only 27 in the US) and find out what their pre-requisites are. Some of the schools offer programs over the summer where you can go for a week and shadow the students on clinical rotations. You attend surgeries, lectures, client appointments, etc. Tufts University’s program is called “Adventures in Veterinary Medicine” and that is what I did to figure out if vet school was for me. Good Luck!

March 5, 2007 at 9:46 am
(3) Katrina says:

I am a 34 year old single mother of two. The only thing I can tell you is get in there and go for what you want! I am currently in school trying to fulfill the requirements for Vet. school. they may be hard but it can be done. I will finish my Associates Degree in a year and one-half with honors. So a not to you would be that you can do anything you put your mind to it is never to late.
Good luck and best wishes!

March 5, 2007 at 11:45 am
(4) Mary says:

No! You are not too old! I contacted WSU and asked about my age, I am 49 now, they said that was not a problem! They like their more mature students! Go for it! Do what you really want to do, if you don’t you will be sorry!

May 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm
(5) Lisa Higgs says:

I’m married, 45 (female), have 3 babies (20 month old twin girls and a 3 yr. old boy). I am currently an RN…work full time…and the goal is to get into Vet school within the next 3 to 4 years! NEVER give up on your dreams!!! With the current state of the economy…we’ll probably all be working well into our 80′s, so by God, do what you LOVE!

August 18, 2009 at 10:24 pm
(6) Sydney says:

Hello all!

I am 41 years old (single and on my own) and I finished he vet school pre-requisites YEARS ago. I was actually afraid to apply and ended up in another career. I regret it now and want to figure out how to re-learn everything I need to do well on the GRE. I work full time so I could re-take classes…but only one at a time. I feel I must take some chemisty & physics over again. Gosh, I don’t even know where to begin! Any suggestions out there?

October 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm
(7) rosemary says:

Nice to know ther are other “crazies” out there like myself!
I am a married mom of five and in the midst of applying to vet school…one hint; be prepared to redo many classes if they are “aged out”, ie, over 7-10yrs old. Frustrating, but seems to be the norm. And, get to know the admissions people- they are usually really helpful and once they get to know you, it may make the experience of applying less daunting.

November 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm
(8) Ellen says:

Wow! I see I’m in good company. I’m 45 and now that the children are grown and gone, I finally get to do what I have always wanted…go to vet school! My application is in for next fall. I was a little nervous about applying due to my age but I’ve seen that many of the non-traditional applicants that are accepted are around my age or older. I will be giving up a secure job with a great salary, but I am miserable working in my current position and I definitely see myself working into my 70s (you’ve got the right idea Lisa!). Life is too short not to be following your passion!!! Luckily I was only missing one prerequisite, which I am taking this semester (got an A so far). I’m confident my application is competitive and am so excited at the prospect of pursuing my dream. To anyone else out there that is considering it…..GO FOR IT! You’ll be glad you did.

February 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm
(9) Shawna says:

I have recently decided to go to vet school, was worried about being 43, I’ve worked years ago as a vet tech, and spent my life working with large animals (horses and cattle). After reading these comments, I have the confidence to go for it, but I’m not sure where to start, I live in a smaller west texas town with a junior college, and don’t have alot of extra funds for school, any suggestions, like should I make an appointment with the junior college counselor?

April 11, 2010 at 10:51 am
(10) Meri Lee says:

Hi, WEll, I guess I am not too old, to consider becoming a vet. I am 55 years young. I have a 12 1/2 yr old son. Been married for almost 24 yrs. Almost went to nursing school before my son was born, was accepted, but decided not to, cause we had waited so long for a child, and did not want to miss any firsts. Have prereq, but prob too old now. Took them like almost 13 yrs ago now. Would prob have to redo. Do have a undergrad degree, but in lib arts. More power to those of ya’ll who pursue your dreams.
I live about 35 min from UGA. They have a top Vet school in Athens GA

May 14, 2010 at 1:51 am
(11) Chris says:

THere are so many more women than men in vet school…Is there anything like affirmative action for men?

June 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm
(12) Vegas says:

I am 45 and will be applying for vet school when I am 49 since it will take a few years part time for me to complete all the science prerequisites. But this is a career I do not want to retire from.

August 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm
(13) Lady Noah says:

THANK YOU for the question that sparked these fantastic answers. I am a 43yr old housewife who’d forgotten a promise I made to God 10yrs ago that if He helped me to find my two cats I would become a vet. My prayer was answered within the hr, but after only a brief spell of checking into vet type programs I lost faith in my abilities and didnt dare to believe I could do such a thing. Ive been leaning toward pre-med, but now my 10yr old female cat is taken ill, going to the vet tomorrow, and its sparked my memory of the promise. I think my little girl is diabetic, and that diagnosis would be a relief,as it can be treated at home. Not ready to say goodbye to her yet, she’s got a lot of living left to do…and so do I! Animals have been lifesavers to me over the years and now it’s payback time. God Bless folks, and please, never give up on your dreams, God doesn’t, and the animals are counting on it. :) )

May 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm
(14) shirley Walker says:

Thank you for all these comments. I am 58 and thinking of going to vet school. I feel better about going back to school.

June 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm
(15) cat says:

I am 51 and have had a lifelong desire to become a vet, but it just seems so impossible. This forum has given me hope to at least do the research:)

February 15, 2012 at 1:42 am
(16) Debbie says:

I’m so glad I found this forum. I just turned 44 and am in a career I loathe. I work for the federal government, and I feel like I would be crazy to leave because it’s such a stable job, good salary, great benefits, etc. Unfortunately, I hate the job and dread going to work every day. I love animals more than anything, and I wish I had gone to vet school back in the day. But now it seems I’m not the only one contemplating a career change later in life! Thank you!

April 12, 2012 at 1:32 am
(17) JoAnne says:

I am 40 and researching vet schools, finally putting me first and leading my life. My one issue is that in comparing schools, they do not have the same prerequisite requirements. Anyone out there care to share there process as far as deciding how to take prerequisites that would satisfy the requirements for multiple schools? Thanks.

October 25, 2012 at 3:52 am
(18) Richard says:

I am 26 currently attending a college to become a Vet Tech, I LOVE it. I feel like its my calling. When I am in the O.R. with the doctor I feel so alive and curious. I ask tons of questions and help with tasks that I am aloud to help out with. but I WANT MORE. I am pretty sure I just made up my mind about becoming a Veterinarian. Thanks guys!

February 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm
(19) Maria says:

I am so grateful for this forum. I was totally about to give up on even trying to look into becoming a Vet; thinking I was old (I’m 32) and too many other responsibilities (3 kids, two of them still in diapers). But now I have hope. Maybe I’m not destined to stay in my current career, which I am miserable in and maybe I can pursue the career I always wanted. I am glad to see that there are others out there that are refusing to allow themselves to be held back. Their strength and courage is inspiring.

March 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm
(20) Joe says:

I am about to turn 29 and although to some I have accomplished many things for my age, I tstill have a love for animals and yearning to be a veterinarian that I can not ignore anymore. I have been a soldier since I was 17 and after a long relationship with the Army I feel that I am not going anywhere in life. I feel like I am to old to be a Veterinarian. I think about how old I would be if and whn I graduate and I feel like it would be too late in life for me to do very much with it. I have a wife and son that I have to support and maybe I am kust being selfish about my wants and needs. I feel like I should do something else that would only take four years to complete but I would still be just wasting time because it would not be what I want to do. I guess I am at a crossroads in my life and I feel like no matter which direction I go I will be unhappy. my wife is extremely supportive and wants me to go for it ASAP and quit saying that I can`t do it but I dont want to go to school for so long or drop out and let her down. If anyone has any advice for me I wuold appreciate it. I am very glad that so many people on this thread have found their true calling and have proved that you can do whatever you want whenever you want but for some reason I am still on the fence about all of this.

April 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm
(21) Amanda says:

I have been considering Vet school for the past year now and am really scared to leave my current career. For lack of better words I hate my job. I work in a corporate office and sit 50 hours a week. I moved across the country for this job and I have been at it for 2 1/2 years now. I have always been an over achiever like graduating with my BA at age 20 (almost 21) and then getting a good paying job out of college with great benefits. But as I sit here in my cubical I wonder if I made the right choice? I am almost 24 and I feel like I am going to be so behind the times. from what I calculated it would take me 2 years of the pre work because I didn’t take much science or math course for my BA in business and then another 6 for vet school. so it total I would be a poor person until age 32! I feel that is why to old. Please share with me your thoughts because I feel very discouraged.

April 26, 2013 at 7:57 am
(22) pam says:

I am 38 and about to start Veterinary studies. One veterinarian I know was 56 when she started. As long as you are still alive and able to learn, you are never too old.

July 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm
(23) Cindy says:

I am 24 years old and so glad that I found this forum! I have been bouncing around the idea of becoming a vet but thought that I might be too late. I have found that nothing else that I dive in brings me more satisfaction that working with animals. It is my passion. My background is in business, I have a bachelors degree in Marketing and would HAVE to take all the prereq’s necessary to get into vet school. I thought this would be an impossible task but seeing everyone’s else’s goals met only makes me more confident and motivated! how did ya’ll obtain experience, besides volunteering?

September 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm
(24) Elizabeth says:

I’m 54 and this forum has given me so much hope! For you younger people wondering if it is worth it to make a change, all I can say is that, if you’re feeling discontented now, it will almost certainly not get better with time, it will probably get worse. Author Steven Pressfield talks about the anxiety and discomfort that haunts us when we’re not doing what we’re meant to do, that the pain of not doing it is much, much worse than the pain of doing it. I’ve always steered away from being a vet because I was afraid of getting my heart broken – I know that seeing animals in pain or who have been abused would be the hardest part for me. But I’ve come to realize, finally, that my heart is being broken a little every day by not doing what I know – and have known most of my life – is my calling. Whether I make it to the ultimate goal of being a veterinarian, or to being a vet tech, or even volunteering at an animal shelter, I’m through with denying my calling in life.

December 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm
(25) Cindy says:

Thanks to all of you who have posted. I am a certified Vet Assistant, who unfortunately, am being delegated to the front desk as a receptionist, at the practice where I work.. I think that it is because I am 54.
I am taking the pre-requisite courses in biology and chemistry and applying to the local college that offers a vet tech program. I do not see my age as a hindrance. I can lift 50 lbs. Fortunately there are age discrimination laws on the books to protect those of us who need to make a career change. I have always wanted to work with animals. However I wasted a lot of my life doing what ” I was supposed to do” instead of following my passion. But I hardly consider myself too old , just a late bloomer.

Like some of you who have posted, I don’t see myself ever retiring. I live in CT and will never be able to afford to retire.
Thanks again to those of you who have posted. I feel much better about the choice I have made( although I’ve heard a lot of negativity from people close to me, even immediate famly).

January 18, 2014 at 9:10 pm
(26) Daniel says:

I’m posting a little late in the thread, but just wanted to say that I’m glad to see that I may not be to old. I’m 44 years old, and had originally planned on going to vet-school. I finished my undergrad with a 3.975 gpa in 1999. I had excellent references, and the GRE was just a formality. Then, my mother got cancer.

I took on a MOUNTAIN of debt helping her with medical bills. The “deal” was that when she passed, I’d sell the estate and use the money to get back to my life. Well, she passed, and I never saw a penny from the estate. I was stuck with credit card payments well over $2000 a month. My quality of life has steadily declined since then.

It’s now been almost 15 years since I graduated. To try again for vet-school I would have to go back and retake 12-15 classes. I’ve tried everything I can think of, have sacrificed everything, and even worked myself in to the hospital. At this point I don’t think I’ll ever get past that financial mistake, let alone ever get to vet-school.

I wish all of the you the best. I hope I get a second chance, but after 15 years of eat-work-sleep, I’ve lost a lot of drive. Short of someone writing me a check for $50,000 or winning the lottery, I don’t see a time where I’ll ever be able to afford to take that second chance.

But, I’ll keep plugging along, and hoping for my luck to turn before it’s to late. Fifteen years of job’s I hate just to pay bills has taken it’s toll…………………………

February 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm
(27) ALICE says:

I am 44 yrs. of age and thinking to go back to school. I have 4 children and my youngest are twin boys and they are 3 yrs. old. I am working with the same company for so many years and I realized that I need to find a job that will pay me great considering I have 4 children. I think a lot about the future of my children. Reading your different comments made me feel better that with my age is never to late to go back to school and live with what you dream for.

February 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm
(28) Lissa says:

I am 37, single, with no kids. I sit at a desk 40 hours a week, completely bored and unchallenged. Growing up on a farm made me want to be a vet, but life took me in another direction. Now I am considering going to vet school, and can move anywhere in the country to do so (CA is out of the question because it is just too expensive to live here). This forum has helped me realize that I’m not too old.

March 15, 2014 at 11:17 pm
(29) Mary says:

You can go to Vet school at any age but one important caveat. You will need to retake many undergrad science classes if your degree is more than 10 years old. That means that you’ll basically have to go through undergrad all over again before applying to Vet school.

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