August is one of the months when I see my students receiving their final VN examination results and at last reaching their much-anticipated goal of qualifying as veterinary nurses. I had the pleasure of attending Central Qualifications’ first graduation ceremony in June and it was lovely to see my students, with their proud families, being awarded their well- deserved certificates and badges.

When they have finished their course, we ask our students to do one last project: a ‘Dear Me’ letter in which they write to their student-self when they first started on the course, to offer advice, support and encouragement to help them through the years of study and hard work ahead. The letters are full of ideas as to how they would like to have changed the way they worked during the course, usually saying that they would stick strictly to deadlines and put in more work during the early part of the course. I haven’t received one letter yet whose writer would tackle the course in exactly the same way if they did it again!

This project was inspired after reading the book Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self by Joseph Galliano, which is full of stories of inspiration and reassurance that things will work out well in the end. I wonder how many of us, look backing with the benefits of hindsight, wisdom and experience, would offer our younger selves advice on how to avoid mistakes or difficult situations and get through hard times, and maybe even suggest doing everything very differently. It sounds great, to be able to read a letter that helps you to avoid situations that upset and hurt you through life, knowing that everything will be OK in the end. But would we end up the same person without experiencing those sad and scary times? Do all these experiences make us who we are?

Coming back to students qualifying this month, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best with your careers ahead. Don’t regret the hard times you have been through to get to this point because they have made each of you who you are – a better-rounded individual than you would have been without them. Good luck to you all!

Abbeydale Vetlink students receiving their awards at CQ's graduation ceremony


Sam Morgan CertEd, DipAVN(Medical & Surgical), RVN

To cite this editorial, use either
DOI: 10.1111/vnj.12161 or Veterinary Nursing Journal VOL 29 pp 254

• VOL 29 • August 2014 • Veterinary Nursing Journal