More To Optometry School Than Meets The Eye

We’re roughly halfway through the spring semester and I can hardly believe it! The semester started off with EѰE pledge week, acclimating to our new teachers and classes, and then quickly shifted into midterms. Before I knew it, it was spring break and when I return to Columbus next weekend, we’ll be just a little over a month away from finals. However, as my friends and I have become more well-adjusted to school and Columbus, all our free time hasn’t been entirely dedicated to just studying. Here’s what we’ve been up to outside of class in Fry 22!

1. EѰE pledge week

Epsilon Psi Epsilon is the only existing optometry fraternity left in the country. And although I never considered Greek life as something for me before, I was intrigued by this student organization that was truly special to my school. My friends and I all figured we’d try pledging after hearing over and over about what a great experience it was. It definitely didn’t disappoint; I had so much fun with the scavenger hunt and all the other activities they had planned for us that week. I came out of the week feeling closer to my classmates and having a new strong support system.

which is better, 1 or 2? (one of the pictures from EΨE scavenger hunt)

2. The AOSA Eye Ball

Since we spend most of our time in comfy clothes in the classroom or while we study, it was a lot of fun to get dressed up for the night for the annual AOSA Eye Ball! The Eye Ball is held by the American Optometric Student Association every year and it’s a night where we celebrate faculty and students with awards, dinner, and dancing. I loved having an excuse to slip on a sparkly dress and take a fun study break from an upcoming Neuroanatomy exam with everyone at the College.

our class is a sight for sore eyes, if you ask me

3. Guest speaker talk from Sam Seavey

The Low Vision Rehabilitation Club held an event where they provided us dinner from Bibibop and a special talk from Sam Seavey, creator of The Blind Life YouTube channel. It was so interesting to hear about how Sam navigates his life on a daily basis while having a low vision problem. There were a lot of little things he brought up that I never would’ve realized are problems that patients may have–like how do you put toothpaste on a toothbrush when you have low vision? Most of all, it was inspiring to hear his extremely positive outlook. Sometimes, it’s easy to get bogged down in details like the sulci of the brain and the parts of the heart and you forget why exactly you’re here. But hearing this talk was a great reminder of how lucky I am to be pursuing a career in a field I’m extremely passionate about (and at the best school in the world).

4. Weekly hangouts

One of my goals for this semester was to spend more time with my friends outside of the classroom or library. When we don’t have a particularly busy week, my friends and I have tried to get together to play games, get some ice cream, support the boys’ intramural basketball team, or check out some of the local bars and restaurants. Everyone spent a lot of last semester feeling pressured to put school above all, but this semester, we’ve been figuring out we need each other to do fun stuff to keep each other sane and balance out the schoolwork! Sure I’ve learned a lot in the classroom, but I’ve also learned the importance of working hard and playing hard.

girls night out (you know, like the Miley Cyrus song)

5. Talk from Dean Zadnik

One of the ways I’ve gotten involved is by being a class rep for the new Women in Whitecoats group at the College. Last week, we held our first event where Dean Zadnik gave a great talk about her story and being a woman in the field of optometry. It left me with a lot to think about such as how to juggle your career and personal life, prioritizing things that need to get done, and how important it is that you know your own worth. I’m so thankful that I get to go to a school where I have great role models like Dean Zadnik, and other amazing women, to inspire and encourage me.

with Dean Zadnik and the other Women in Whitecoats class reps

All in all, I would say this semester has been great so far. Although the classes are challenging, it’s rewarding to see how much I am constantly learning all the time. We started spending some time in the clinic this semester where we shadow Opt 3’s and it’s been cool to see some of the stuff we learn in action. For example, we recently learned about retinoscopy in optics and now when I shadow my third year in clinic, I can observe and understand this skill. I’ve loved discovering that there’s more to optometry school than just the eye. Although I’m sure the rest of the semester will be a busy blur, I’m also sure there’s more fun to make it an enjoyable busy blur.