Welcome to my blog!
I am thrilled to be sharing my optometry school story with you as it unfolds at the Ohio State University (OSU) College of Optometry.
Leading up to optometry school, I was most excited knowing that I would be working with eyes in the near future and anything else, I would stick out till the end (I expected it to be a hard and long journey). It’s been a month since I moved to Ohio and my transition to the college has been nothing but smooth. I am not just sticking it out but loving every bit of it, at least so far.
Orientation lasted for two days where faculty and staff gave endless advice and encouraged questions, as a problem that remains unknown will likely go unresolved. I received my class schedule, final exam schedule, whoa! and sat in information sessions on the policies and expectations of the school and the optometric profession. I was well informed about the slew of resources available to students, financial aid resources and had a better understanding of the ins and outs of establishing residency as an out of state student.
An interesting aspect of the orientation was the inter-professional orientation program. Students from other health professional schools i.e. physical therapy, pharmacy, medicine and the like were grouped for discussions and an activity. As I watched the organizer of my group write each representing profession on a paper and paste it on the wall/doors of the room, I laughed as I thought to myself “I am going to call you out if you forget to post optometry!” Optometry was finally posted and I was grateful. As the only optometry student in my group, it was an opportunity to preach the gospel about eye health. It was interesting to learn about other fields of medicine and most importantly how each profession is related and contribute to the overall wellbeing of a patient. OSU is one of the few schools with various health professions represented on one campus and that provides an advantage for inter-professional exposure, education, and practice.
There have been many social events since school began and I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with upperclassmen at the college. Everyone has been very welcoming and quick to share his or her experience and offer advice. One neat thing at the college is the big sib/little sib program where OPT I students are paired with OPT II students to serve as an additional resource to help navigate and ease the transition into a new academic institution. I attended a picnic to meet with my big sib and other OPT II students and enjoyed conversing and getting to know students a bit more. SocialEyes is another program at the college where a number of students (~ 8 or 9) are paired up with a faculty member with the sole aim of organizing social events outside of school. I commend the brains behind this program, as it will definitely help keep my sanity and be an opportunity to bond with some of my classmates. I met with my SocialEyes leader and my group members during orientation and we shared our interest and brainstormed potential social activities. While I haven’t had a SocialEyes event yet, I am excited and look forward to kayaking and hiking after my first round midterms. Mind you, this is the first time I will be doing either and that should be interesting.
Orientation was crowned with a welcome dinner at the Faculty Club. We met faculty members, student organization leaders, and leaders from the Ohio Optometric Association and Optometry Alumni Society. We enjoyed good food and listened to interesting introductions made by faculty members about my fellow classmates. There was so much joy to go around and I must say, I like my new found family.
Classes began the following week and the struggle quickly got real. With the exception of labs, all class sessions are held in the famous classroom 22. I thought it was pretty funny that we had to “claim” our seats during the first week of school. I have been learning a lot of interesting things most of which are heavily related to the eyeball and its functions. I am still getting used to the 26 credit hour course load and my ~ 8-hour days in class. It’s been challenging keeping afloat as materials build up by the day, but I am consoled knowing that I am not alone in this struggle.
There are numerous clubs and organizations; American Optometric Student Organization (AOSA), National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), Student Volunteers for Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH) etc. to join and opportunities to get involved all the while establishing a professional network and attaining leadership skills while in school. I have appreciated all the club meetings I have attended so far, particularly the Low Vision Rehabilitation Club (LVRC). I got to listen to 2 individuals living with impaired vision share their story and that was a reminder to keep the dream of becoming an eye care provider alive. It’s always a pleasure hearing visually impaired persons talk about life and to say their quality of life hasn’t really deteriorated because they can still do everything.
There is so much to talk about so believe me when I say this is an abbreviated version. I promise I will be done with this post soon.
I attended the Bad Habits – The Eye Docs of Rock concert during the Alumni reunion celebration weekend. It might interest you to know that the band is made up of alumni from the college and has been in existence since their college days. That was fun and I got the chance to make small talk with representing alumni. I attended the first ever African American Alumni breakfast the following morning and met a handful of the 30 African American optometrists who have graduated from the college. OSU is committed to increasing student diversity and minority representation at the college and I believe the reunion is a start of a wonderful thing that many underrepresented minority students will benefit from.
I am happy to be here and I look forward to contributing to the success of the college and getting molded into one of the “best of the best” optometrists. To my 68 classmates, I look forward to knowing you all on a somewhat personal level over the next four years.
Congrats on getting to the end of my post. I hope you enjoyed reading. Until next time! Cheers!