Bad Decisions

I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I never dreamed I would end up on the other side of the world...

I am a veterinary student at an AVMA accredited university in New Zealand. I'm from the United States and I am approaching the end of my fourth year and going into my final year (it's a five year program over here), and I'm utterly miserable. I'm not really sure what to do about it- I come from a poor single parent household and I've had to take out loans to pay for this- I owe over $200,000US now and I'm not even done. I started out liking veterinary medicine- I wanted to be a vet since I was four years old, I volunteered at the local zoo in junior high and high school, I volunteered at a veterinary clinic at a zoo near the university where I did my undergraduate degree for 3 years, I volunteered at an animal shelter for one year- I've had lots of experiences that most people only dream of. But over the last two years, I've started hating the profession. I'm not sure if it's the profession itself that I hate or just the school and the country, but I hate it and it's an effort to get out of bed to go to class in the morning. I hate that I'm isolated and lonely all the time, I hate that I'm stressed all the time, I hate that I have to time for anything, not even my own emotions, and so I feel dead most of the time. I hate that I have no close friends- I have no time for them. I'm starting to feel like I don't even like animals anymore- I would rather work with children. I worked in a preschool part time when I was doing my undergraduate degree and I loved it- I'm not sure if God is planting this in my heart or if it's just something I've thought up on my own, but it's frustrating because I can't hear Him. It's like He's not there. I sit in my room all the time, miserable, in tears, lonely, crying out to God and begging for Him to either give me joy with this career or put me into a new one and give me peace over it and open up some time for me so I can have some friends- I'm pathetic- I check my phone hourly in hopes of getting a text and check my emails 20 times a day just so I can hear from people who never keep in touch. I feel trapped because my debt is so high that I really can't afford not to have a well paying job to take care of my student loans and I certainly can't afford to drop out and start a new program and rack up 4 more years of debt. My faith is very, very weak right now. My friends don't understand what I'm going through- they keep telling me to hang in there. I told one lady I was lonely and she said she would pray that God would be my constant companion until the doors opened up for me to have some more time to spend with people, but that's just it- they won't open as long as I'm here and i will continue to be lonely. I thought God created us for companionship. I am utterly, completely miserable and not sure what to do. I think coming over here was the worst decision of my life. I am not sure I can last another year, let alone the rest of this semester.
I have to go to work soon, so this is just a quick reply to let you know I've read your post and will get back to it with a couple of thoughts.
Are veterinary programs typically so time-consuming? I know that medical school is high pressure, and medical internships are a little like military boot camp in that they have pressure built into them. I guess what I'm asking is, can you slow it down a bit? Maybe take one less class or something? What would happen if you took a semester off to refresh?

I'm curious also, how did you end up in New Zealand for school?

How long have you been in NZ, and how much longer do you have to go in your program?
Are veterinary programs typically so time-consuming? I know that medical school is high pressure, and medical internships are a little like military boot camp in that they have pressure built into them. I guess what I'm asking is, can you slow it down a bit? Maybe take one less class or something? What would happen if you took a semester off to refresh?

I'm curious also, how did you end up in New Zealand for school?

How long have you been in NZ, and how much longer do you have to go in your program?

Sorry it took me such a long time to respond. My story is a long one. I did my undergrad degree at the University of Hawaii, met a friend from New Zealand, and thought it would be cool to study over here. As a little girl, I always wanted to visit Australia (Australia is actually way different from NZ)- I thought it would be a good experience since it wasn't too far from NZ. So, I went, and I ended up losing the friendship with that person, anyway.

Now I'm horribly miserable with my life. It's an effort to get out of bed in the morning- I don't really sleep anymore, I'm grouchy all the time, I have no attention span, and I just don't care. I don't care about anything. I came here with too much emotional baggage (I was abused as a child by my own dad) and unfortunately, veterinary school takes up all of my energy and I don't have any left to deal with it. Yeah, it would be a tragedy if I left because I just have 7 more weeks of this year and then the rest of next year, but honestly, I don't think I will even last the 7 weeks to the end of this year- I want to go now. It's pretty much at the line where I am saying I don't want to do any work anymore, and the only reason why I'm still here is because I took out a student loan to pay for the year, and if I walk out now before the end, I will owe A LOT of money right away.

And yet I'm stuck- I would rather be working as a preschool teacher- much less stressful and I get joy from being around little kids. But the pay is horrible- I am not in it for the money, but when you already have a $200,000 debt in student loans (and I haven't even finished my vet degeee), $29,000 a year won't pay the bills. I am kind of struggling with this because I always lived in poverty as a kid- I was even homeless for 6 months of my life and so the thought of being in so much debt is horrifying. It's kind of like I'm stuck between choosing a career I absolutely hate and being in poverty again- I don't want to be rich, but I would rather not live in government housing if I could avoid it. I grew up in that environment and it was not nice.

And it gets more complicated... I like a guy over here, but he wants me to stay in the vet program, even though he knows I'm completely miserable, and he wants me to stay in NZ even know he knows I completely hate it, just because he likes me. I don't think he's going to follow me back to the US, so that relationship is pretty much dead in the water, and it bothers me.

Sorry I shared so much- I don't even know you but I just wanted to get it out there...
Thank you for your reply; it wasn't excessive.:) It gives a more detailed picture. It's easy to give advice, particularly if it is in the form of platitudes. I want to give some thought and prayer to your situation before I start yappin'. There is hope and redemption, of that I am absolutely certain.
You have to look at things through God's eyes, not your own.

If you are a Christian, your steps are predestined. Accept the vet course and NZ as being where God wants you for the moment. Try and see why He has put you there. Get qualified! $200 000 is a lot to repay. Wow so much just for a vet course in NZ, what were you thinking? :oops:
I'm just going to call you #01 for short, okay?

Well, #1, let me tell you: Before you are about to achieve a success, the devil blitzes. He hates to see people happy or successful, especially if they praise God.

Every time I have moved to a new location, I have prayed for new, good friends. Each time, God sends them. I have been a student for many years as well. The biggest effect you can achieve is to control your sleep. Irregular sleep habits can quickly cause weight gain, irritability, and depression. Here are some things I learned over the years:

1. Try to wake up the same time each morning. Your body loves this. You will find you begin to wake a few minutes before the alarm. And, you will feel rested and great!
2. Also attempt to keep your going to bed time consistent. If you need to study more during the week, alter your going to bed time, but keep your waking time. (This is from scientific studies, not just me.)
3. Avoid eating in the hour before going to sleep. It diverts blood from refreshing the body to working the stomach.
4. Avoid eating heavy foods, ones that digest slowly, in the three hours before going to sleep. Slow digesting: potato (fries are the worst), anything with milk, steak.
5. Always sleep these hours as a minimum: 11 pm to 3 am.
6. If you have reduced sleep in the night, nap in the day.
7. Never nap after 5, not after 3 if possible.
8. Don't drink coffee to stay alert. Do some exercise; go for a walk or do some pushups.
Ms. #1,

Remember: confusion is not of God. Depression, doubt, and their cousins are spirits of the enemy. You will complete your degree and many, many jobs will open up to you.

Each time you feel doubt attacking your mind, praise God. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thes 5:18) The devil can't stand to be in the room with praise of God. Also, respond to attacks on your peace with prayers for your loved ones, for the peace of Jerusalem, and for those who persecute and mistreat you. The enemy doesn't like that, either.

And, of course, in the war against the flesh: strengthen the Spirit. This happens in prayer, in walking with God, and in reading the Bible (the bread of life... bread strengthens the heart).

Put God first, and everything else will fall into place!
The answers are inside you, not in your circumstance. It is possible to be happy in extremely miserable circumstances, and also to be miserable in Utopia.

Look within. Also, make sure to spend time to smell the roses, as it were (and be thankful for the opportunity). Do something entirely different than what you are currently doing with regularity. We all get trapped in the cages we make for ourselves sometimes, and I think that this is what I'm seeing here in your words. Concentrate on what is, not in the way you think things should be, and come to a greater understanding of the magnificence of creation.

I've now noticed how old this post is... hopefully you've found your own answers by now. :D