When I was younger, I used to have a certain idea of what it would be like to be an adult. I would be a veterinarian of course, treating animals with confidence all day before heading to a home that consisted of more than one room and a shared bathroom, where two Labrador Retrievers would be waiting for me, tails wagging. I would have a garden, with herb plants that would never die, I would have one of those fancy coffee machines with a timer that wakes you up to the smell of a fresh cuppa and in weekends I would add the smell of fresh bread from a bread baking machine I had added the ingredients to the night before (as it would of course also have a timer like the coffee machine).
Yes, life would be so organized and I would calmly float through it due to the ‘adult instinct’ I would suddenly be granted as soon as… when exactly? Not that I ever thought this image was genuinely realistic for someone like me, but in the past few weeks I’ve definitely learnt that adult life is nothing like the image described above. In a way it’s more fun and exciting, though stressful as well of course. It seems like just yesterday that I started internships at my faculty and now my graduation ceremony is just a few days away!!
The transition from student to adult is currently being bridged by a kind of grey ‘in between’ phase (which come to think of it is probably exactly what adult life is really like). These past weeks I’ve caught myself doing a lot of things I’d never done before: organizing my big move to another country, experiencing living together with my favourite German, gaining experience at a veterinary practice in England, negotiating contract terms for a job at said practice, looking for a house to rent… The list of ‘adult activities’ seems to be growing and growing!
Luckily the transition is made a bit easier by not all being in one go. No, I’ve not become an Alumni overnight!! Besides still having a huge amount of contact with classmates still working towards graduation, I’m continuing to work hard for IVSA where I can. Most of my work has to do with the Working Group on Policies (recently renamed from its earlier ridiculously long name).
After months of hard work, we seem to be past the point of finding our feet and have really begun to streamline our efforts. With the help of Ondřej and Aqil, two Manuals were completed right before Symposium and I’m proud to say my fellow members have applied these perfectly and are working even harder than they already were. It’s so great to see how enthusiastically they have buried themselves in their work and what an amazing amount of effort they are willing not only to put into drafting policies, but especially into working together to find the best way to structure the Working Group so it will be able to continue in coming years. I’m very proud of them all and grateful for such a hardworking team! You will be able to see the results of said efforts very soon as well I expect!
It’s not just my committee that has been taking the bulls by the horns though. Quite recently we also had a meeting between the Chairmen of all Committees and Working Groups. Here we could all share updates on our current projects and discuss new ideas for collaboration. In my opinion, this is really the best way to stay up to date on the steadily growing amount of projects going on within IVSA. It also creates some fantastic opportunities for more growth within and beyond the boundaries of our association.
Combining everything with the huge changes in my life recently hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely been rewarding. Seeing how much IVSA has managed to achieve in just the past few years is simply amazing and I can’t wait to see what the future brings. Lucky for me, the road doesn’t end here anymore. Now there’s a whole new path to be discovered as an IVSA Alumni!
See you in Vienna!
Hannah van Velzen