Sammy DeRidder finds her passion for veterinary school that is animals.


Sammy DeRidder

Senior Sammy Deridder with one of her many pets.

For many people, owning pets can mean as little as one or two animals, but for senior Sammy Deridder, this means 35. Since she lives on a farm, she is constantly surrounded by animals; these creatures never fail to bring joy to her. 

“I actually have a lot of pets; I live on a farm,” Sammy said. “[I have] three dogs, and I have some goats and some pigs and cows and chickens and ducks. I have around 35 [pets].”

Despite how hectic it gets having to be surrounded by so many animals every day, there is nothing that brings Sammy more joy than being able to spend quality time with her animals. 

“I sit with my animals to pet and cuddle with them,” Sammy said. “It’s not really funny, but they jump all over me and I love it. Going down to hang out with my animals is my calming time, it’s my sanctuary because I have so much fun with them. 

Taking care of pets is a huge responsibility within itself, so 35 of them add to the stress. If there was one animal that makes the responsibility almost impossible, it would have to be her cows. 

“The cows have to be given so much water,” Sammy said, “and they’re constantly needing hay and stuff.” 

Considering her affinity to animals, there is no doubt in Sammy’s mind that after high school, she’ll go into a field of study that involves animals; she wants to be a veterinarian. 

“I want to do something with animals,” Sammy said. “I’m thinking animal sciences and my ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian.” 

As far as attending a university goes, just like many other high school students, Sammy plans to attend college for a minimum of four years, and her love for animals has only made the process of applying much easier. 

I want to do something with animals. I’m thinking like animal sciences [since] my ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian.” 

— Sammy DeRidder

“I’m just looking for a good academic college,” Sammy said. “I want [my college] to have animal science or pre-vet programs.”

As far as applying to colleges go, if there’s anything that Sammy has learned within the process, it’s that the experience as a whole has allowed her to learn more about herself as a person. 

As of right now, Sammy has applied to around seven schools within the United States and has, fortunately, been able to hear back from some of them within just her first semester of senior year. 

“Applying for college has been stressful, but I’ve learned a lot about myself in the whole application process,” Sammy said. “It’s been pretty good so far.” 

She’s stressed knowing it’s her last year of high school along with all the stress and turmoil to turn in her college applications on time. If there’s anything Sammy has realized, it’s the aspect of high school that she will miss the most: the people she sees on a daily basis. 

“I’m going to miss the atmosphere, [and] the safety of coming into school every day and knowing everyone around me,” Sammy said. “I’m going to miss all the bonding, [and] my teachers because they’ve influenced me and impacted my life a lot.” 

Aside from all the feelings of nostalgia and stress that comes with senior year, there are two things that have kept Sammy fairly busy outside of school: her commitment to the NHS as well as her job at KJ Catering. 

Prior to working at KJ catering, for six years, Sammy used to swim as an extracurricular, but as of last year, she decided to stop due to the sport putting a lot of pressure on her back. On top of that, it contributed to a back problem known as scoliosis; this is ultimately what led her to work at KJ Catering in March of this year. 

“I’m working at a catering company called KJ catering, and I’m a part of NHS,” Sammy said. “I’m spending a lot of my time volunteering, [but] I’m not in any sports anymore. I was a part of the swim and dive team for [a while, but] before that, I [had been] swimming [for] six years.