Take one day at a time, Suze Orman tells vet school grads

Suze Orman, author and financial advisor, speaks during the UF college of Veterinary Medicine at the Phillips Center on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at Gainesville, Fla.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8:40 p.m.

Learning to become a veterinarian means students have to do some rather unpleasant manipulations to large animals that they never believed they could do.

But now that they have succeeded at that, paying off their vet school loans is not the impossibility they may think — at least that's what financial guru Suze Orman told Saturday's fresh crop of animal docs in an address at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine commencement.

"You're thinking to yourself, ‘How is it possible that I am going to pay back $150,000 in student loans? I'm never going to pay that back. What am I going to do?' Listen to me and listen to me good, class of 2013," Orman said. "I want you to think back to all of these things you said to yourself, ‘I can't do that. I can't palpate a cow. And what's worse, palpating a cow or taking semen from a horse?' But you did it, didn't you?"

Orman learned about the roller coaster of veterinary school — her examples of the elation over accomplishments and depression over the demands drew big laughs from the grads — from her niece. Katelyn Carey Stender is one of the 87 new vets in the class of 2013.

A best-selling author of financial books, Orman is also a television personality. She has financial shows on CNBC and has done fundraising specials for PBS.

Her basic message has three points for a start toward financial success: Live below your means but within your needs, only buy what you need, and get as much pleasure in saving as you do in spending.

"You don't have to impress people with what you wear or what you drive," Orman said, adding she has just one pair of earrings. "The choice, doctors, is up to you. You can and will do anything that you want to. All you have to do is take it one day at a time."

Orman told the graduates not to be afraid of their student loans but to instead embrace paying them off to one day be out of debt.

The graduation ceremony was also a farewell for the college's dean, Glen Hoffsis, who is retiring. Under his tenure, the college built a small-animal hospital, renovated the small-animal clinic and converted an outdated library into a new learning center.

Meanwhile, 2013 class president Samantha Haas said the past four years have been a remarkable experience for the students.

"Don't forget where it all began," she said. "Right here in your heart."

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top