The last time I posted on what a veterinary students week looked like, and in a way it was a little deceptive, because I just so happened to be having a light week that week. So to make up for it I decided to show you some real truths of the run up to – and process of exams.

As a little background to how things work in UCD, we have three trimesters (or terms), starting in Autumn, Spring and Summer. Each trimester is made up of 12 teaching weeks, followed by a review or study week, and then two weeks of exams at the end of the Autumn and Spring trimesters. You may not be doing exams for the whole two weeks, but it is helpful to know that you will definitely be finished by whatever date if you plan on going on holidays, doing work experience etc afterwards.

The first trimester starts in September and runs to just before Christmas – this is something that I LOVE about UCD, because who wants to be studying over Christmas? Or more realistically, who wants to feel guilty because they aren’t studying over the Christmas break?! We are back then usually half way through January to start the second trimester, and finish up with exams in May which are structured just the same as the exams before Christmas. The summer trimester is generally only for graduate students. 

And here’s how it went…

1. Study Week Highs

Study week filled me with aspirations of reviewing everything, yes, everything. No stone (note/lecture) would be left unturned. They say ignorance is bliss right?

Image Study Week Highs

2. All that Study

As the week goes on, and exams loom, you find yourself studying at all hours, all day, every day. I find its easier to just hibernate in study mode for the three weeks, because any glimmer of outside fun just fills me with guilt (because I could be studying during that half hour of course) or despair (because – exams).

All that study

3. Brain Food

Eating good healthy food is important around exams, or stress in general.

Brain Food

4. Coffee

I don’t think I have to explain this one. If your not a coffee drinker, chances are if you become a Vet student, your going to become one. Especially when you have been up 12 hours, and you have your second exam of the day to be conscious for. But remember to hydrate also!


5. Eating Your Feelings

Somehow my diet tends to turn into a hybrid mix of healthy brain food coupled with whatever amount of calories I can get my hands on quickest. After all, clogging my arteries with fast food is the quickest way to learn about drugs for cardiac disease right?!

Eat Your Feelings

6. You Start to Develop an Odd Sense of Humour

Your studying for 12+ hours a day, you’ve lost all concept of what is day time and night time. So naturally the most hilarious thing ever right now is the fact that tear shaped cells are called dacryocytes – get it?!

Odd Humour


It never ends, seriously. You start the week with the intention of covering everything, but slowly you realise that at best you’ll get a chance to read your notes briefly and hopefully you’ll remember on the day. Coffee dates = study, taking public transport = study, walking = study, going for a meal with friends = study.

Never End Study

8. The Self Pity is Real

You’ve made it to week 3, and you can’t remember what you did before exams. How does one even human anymore?

The Self pity

9. 6am is the New 9am

For anyone who laughs at this – remember what career your actually getting into. Early mornings, late evenings, maybe even all nights. But don’t worry – college is sure to train you before you graduate.


10. The Librarians are the Nicest People Ever

The librarians in the Veterinary School are without a doubt the nicest people ever. From making sure the library is decorated out to suit the season (Easter, St. Patricks Day, Halloween and Christmas) to putting up banners wishing students good luck in their exams and popping a chocolate coin onto everyones desk during study week. Below you’ll also see my exam schedule for a past exam season – yes that is 5 exams in 3 days.