Managing Expectations

After a lengthy winter break, I was ready to begin my second semester of Optometry school as a superstar. I imagined returning to school in a blaze of glory where I was more involved, a genius in the classroom, and basically a celebrity to my adoring classmates. I imagined my return to school a little something like this:

Derek opens the double doors to Starling Loving Hall and  a technicolor dream carpet unfurls before him leading him to the basement. As he descends the staircase to Room 22, puppies and land dolphins greet him with  fancy upper New York socialite double cheek kisses. Of course, each subsequent animal presents Derek with a bouquet of roses as he continues his descent down the staircase (and he magically lost 20 pounds the night before, so he’s looking fine as he works those steps). The paparazzi diligently wait at the bottom of the stairs and take pictures of Derek as he makes his way to the classroom, ready to tackle his first class of the semester. Derek calls the paparazzi vultures and banishes them, but in a likable way that increases his Twitter followers by 2 million. Suddenly the entire class of 2020 encircles Derek, and begins asking him about his holiday break and in general, attempts to bathe in his radiance. Suddenly, gold coins pour out from a crack in the ceiling and flood the halls. Derek looks around at his classmates and in a suave charismatic tone says, “Fellow optometry students. If you want to work your way into my good graces, collect these gold coins and donate half of them to starving children. Then take the other half and deposit them into my bank account so I can buy a Nintendo Switch this semester.” Then as the students collect the money, the faculty run up to present Derek with the ‘Student of the Eternity Award’. Derek graciously accepts and with humility says, “I couldn’t have done it without you, my esteemed professors.” Suddenly a pipe bursts spilling out rubies. “Professors, be a dear and collect these rubies for me. Donate half to spay and neuter pets, and place the rest in my bank account.” As the professors collect rubies, the lights dim and Johnny Superstar approaches and asks Derek to the Winter Harvest Festival and NOT because of a bet with the popular jocks that he could turn Derek into the Winter Harvest Festival Queen, but because he genuinely adores Derek’s eccentricities and quirky pigtails and glasses. 

That was my realistic expectation for the start of a new semester and I was determined to make it happen. Unfortunately, my reality was a bit of a let down. I began school with a week long stomach virus that caused me to miss a few days of class, my first clinic and I missed out on pledging Epsilon Psi Epsilon, which sounded like a lot of great fun. Worst of all, I received zero puppy kisses and only eighteen rubies. It was quite the let down, especially because I placed such an emphasis on starting this semester with a bang; however, things don’t always go as planned. It’s important to manage your expectations with school and recognize that there may be circumstances outside of your control that challenge you. What is nice though, is that there are always plenty of opportunities to recover when things don’t go your way. I was able to catch up on all my missed school work and my clinic was rescheduled. Now that I’m feeling better, I’m going to try my hardest to be involved in as many school sponsored events as possible, because I believe that the events outside of the classroom are just as important of an experience as the work you complete in the classroom. There are a number of awesome upcoming events, like a Night at The Races and The EyeBall, where I’m planning on having an awesome time (barring any unforseen illnesses).  My semester may have gotten off to a rocky start, but I’m optimistic that things will go much more smoothly from here on out, and who knows, maybe I’ll still get the land dolphin/gold coin rain/Winter Harvest trifecta. Or not. Yeah, probably not.