Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience

Reference Books

Although we want to encourage you to work hard and play hard (a great aim throughout your career!), we also want to urge you to take some time to prepare for a successful start to school. Time spent now will pay off great dividends during your first year! We highly recommend that you get these books and read them before coming to school. They been carefully chosen to provide you with the best possible foundation for your positive transition to veterinary school.

We strongly urge you to get these books and read them BEFORE you start school in August! They will provide you with the best “head start” we can provide and will lay a great foundation for a successful veterinary career. Please do yourself a favor and GET THESE BOOKS!!


If you’re asking yourself “where the heck are my people and how do I find them?!”, then BELONG: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life by Radha Agrawal is for you.

How is it that the internet connects us to a world of people, yet so many of us feel more isolated than ever? That we have hundreds, even thousands of friends on social media, but not a single person to truly confide in? Radha Agrawal calls this “community confusion,” and in BELONG she offers every reader a blueprint to find their people and build and nurture community, because connectedness—as more and more studies show—is our key to happiness, fulfillment, and success.

Insight by Tasha Eurich

Four Self-awareness Archetypes Graphic




Mindset by Carol Dweck

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is an excellent overview of the current research on how to be a successful contender at every challenge you undertake. It explores how personal perspective either limits or enhances your ability to succeed. Mindset #1 is called the “fixed mindset”. Holding on to these beliefs can close down options and opportunities. Mindset #2 is the “growth mindset” which is curious, optimistic and hopeful. We will use many of these principles in the upcoming Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience (COLE) and know you will benefit from having a solid understanding of them throughout your entire professional career.

Mindset #1

I want to make sure I succeed.
I believe my abilities are "fixed."
Success = proving I'm smart and/or talented.
Failure means I'm not talented or good enough.
Failure means "I am a failure." (an identity)
I'm interested in OUTCOMEs.
I avoid challenges.
I thrive in safety - feeling smart and/or talented.
My interest is kept by good results.
I find blame or excuses for mistakes and setbacks.
I feel good enough...
...when I don't make mistakes.
...when it's perfect or when I win.
...when I can do it and others can't.

Mindset #2

I want to make sure I stretch and learn.
I believe my abilities can improve with effort.
Success = stretching to learn something new.
means I'm not growing or fulfilling my potential.
means "I failed." (painful, but not defining)
I'm interested in the PROCESS, regardless of outcome.
I seek challenges.
I thrive when challenged or stretched or growing.
My interest is kept by challenge and growth.
I learn from mistakes and setbacks.
I feel good enough...
...when I try hard.
...when I started to figure it out.
...when I work hard and do something I couldn't do before.


Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine

PO Box 647010
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-7010

College Phone: (509) 335-9515
College Office: Bustad Hall, Room 110

WSU CVM Footer
Washington State University