By Jonathan DeDell
Special To The Standard
Not everyone knows what they want to do after high school. In fact, very few know what they want to do in high school. For senior Sarah Appleton, neither of these two things were issues because of her love for animals.
“Sixth grade was when I first found my interest in veterinary medicine,” Appleton said. “I did a project where I had to shadow someone that had a career in something we were interested in.”
Appleton spent a day at the Kedron Valley Veterinary Clinic. She’s been volunteering there for seven years now.
“I run blood tests, watch appointments…pretty much anything they need help with,” Appleton said.
Appleton’s first memories of her volunteer work at the clinic are quite interesting.
“It was my first or second year volunteering and I was in with a client with the vet and it was a lady with a dog who was pregnant and the dog was having trouble giving birth,” Appleton said. “While the vet was looking the dog over it gave birth and the puppy fell off the table —and I caught it.”
She got a glimpse of another side of veterinary medicine, when she did her junior transition job shadow at Mystic Aquarium. At the aquarium, she got to see a physical exam on a seal. “We had to put on a full body suit, step in bleach and wear gloves,” said Appleton of the exam.
Growing up, Appleton developed a great love for animals.
“I had four dogs, five cats, one fish, one hamster, and turkeys. I also grew up riding,” she said.
Her least favorite animal is the smallest of all: “I don’t like spiders,” she said.
Appleton’s home is quite different from many others. Since her parents moved to Vermont in 1991, they have lived off the grid.
“It’s good…it’s not a lot different from ‘normal’ energy…you just have to be aware of how much energy you’re using,” said Appleton.
The lifestyle has affected her awareness of the environment and caused her to spend her time in other ways besides on the computer and in front of the television.
“I’ve grown up outdoors,” Appleton said. “It’s made me more of an outdoor person and environmentally conscious.”
Like most seniors, Appleton has finalized her plans for after high school. She will attend the University of Rhode Island to study marine biology and pre-Vet.
“I’m determined to go to vet school because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” she said.
Her college plans don’t just end there though.
“I hope to study abroad…maybe in Australia.” If her plans for vet school fall through, Appleton’s backup would be art school.
For Appleton, art has always been something she’s loved.
“My mom’s an artist and I’ve grown up being artistic, and I originally considered going to art school,” Appleton said. “The art career is kind of hard and not everyone is successful and it’s very hard to get excited, so I thought that going to vet school would give me more options for better jobs later on. Plus I like it more than art. I’ve always liked animals more than art.”
This article was first published in the June 21, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard.