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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Challenge Course Builds Strength, Teamwork, and Friendships

September 29th, 2016
It took teamwork and problem solving to get that little, yellow ball into the can.

It took teamwork and problem solving to get that little, yellow ball into the can.

Every year the new class of students begins their veterinary college experience with three days of orientation. One whole day is spent on the OSU Challenge Course, participating in team events that help students get ready for the difficult and rewarding years ahead. Here is what the Class of 2020 had to say about it:

  • I learned when presented with unexpected things, we can rely on each other for help, especially when it comes to solving problems. I think the high ropes metaphorically represented our fears and anxieties of starting veterinary school, but in the end we just had to go for it and ‘jump’.
  • I was personally terrified of climbing the poles and doing the challenges. But I found that although I barely knew anybody, they were all willing to support and encourage me to try. It was an incredible feeling knowing this group of strangers wanted me to be successful and were willing to help me get there.
  • The challenge course could be seen as a metaphor for vet school and life as a whole. With so many different minds working on the same challenge, we were able to come up with creative solutions and feel successful.
  • It was crazy to see how much the challenge course is going to relate to our upcoming four years in school. There was one particular moment that really helped me see how it relates: When I was on the catwalk with a fellow classmate that I had just met the day before, she could see how frightened I was, so she began to encourage me to step outside my comfort zone and walk across it. She kept telling me it would be okay the whole time.
  • I could not have succeeded without the help from my classmates.
  • I learned that mind over matter is a powerful mantra that can be used in many aspects of life, whether it be something physical like the challenge course, or something academic.
  • I learned that a strong support system is needed when attempting to do challenging things like climbing across cables thirty feet in the air. Just like the challenge course, vet school will be challenging and we will have to overcome obstacles. It will be the strong support system of our class that helps each of us succeed and make our way through school!


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