Summer Recap 20/20

Hello friends! I hope that you are all doing well.

These past several months have certainly been a whirlwind of emotions—anxiety about the world’s health and safety amidst the pandemic, anger about social injustice in the US and the need for change, uncertainty about what the rest of my education will be like, and holding onto hope for a stronger, healthier, and more just community in the future.

Optometry school certainly looks a lot different now than it did back at the start of 2020. Right after spring break in March, the University as a whole switched to virtual distance learning instead of in-person classes. My classmates and I finished up our second year didactic courses through zoom and pre-recorded asynchronous lectures online, and our second year clinics were put on hold. We enjoyed a brief but much-needed two week break at the start of May once second year finals ended, and then dove into a full load of summer semester virtual courses (as third years now!! where has the time gone??). In mid June, the College of Optometry got permission to safely resume clinic operations (with many new PPE, disinfecting, and social distancing protocols) and the class of 2022 returned to Columbus. By the end of June, everyone in my class had passed our final clinical proficiency exam and we performed our first eye exams on public patients as Opt3s.

Somehow it is already the end of July, and we are finishing up the final week and a half of summer semester courses and gearing up for our final exams. I am heartbroken that the remainder of my third year courses will be online, and I truly miss seeing all of my classmates together in one place every day. Despite that, I am incredibly grateful that we are able to continue with clinic and labs in person and that we are still moving forward in our journey to become eye doctors! There are definitely some perks to online learning that are worth mentioning though, such as it being socially acceptable to wear my PJs for morning exams and unlimited tea/snack access only a few steps away (@Goldfish I love you, please sponsor me).

As final exams and the general end-of-the-semester chaos looms over me, I am reminded of all that I have learned this semester—both about eyes and about life. I learned how deeply I love being able to go to the library, and I can only imagine how exciting it will be to return to club Prior someday (no offense to my cozy apartment desk though, I couldn’t imagine spending the majority of my waking hours anywhere else). I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the college’s most recent virtual book club focused on topics of diversity and inclusion; it gave me so much food for thought and important insights to different perspectives and experiences to say the very least. I have learned that with great flexibility/customizability of my daily schedule comes responsibility, and that creating a steady routine for myself makes a huge difference. Finally, I have learned to more deeply enjoy and appreciate the simpler things in life. My picnic blanket has gotten record use and holds the fondest memories of time well spent with friends this summer. I have newfound appreciation for just how refreshing walks through the neighborhood and along the Olentangy Trail can be. My newly acquired houseplant livens up my room and brings me so much joy each day. Being more intentional in setting aside time to keep in touch with friends and family over video calls has made all the difference in the world in reminding me that even while we are physically apart, we are still connected to one another and can get through this together.

To the class of 2022: I know that times are tough, but we are doing the best we can and have to remember to give grace to ourselves and each other. We’ve made it past the halfway point of optometry school, and I know we can keep pushing forward and finish stronger than ever!

10/10 would recommend getting a houseplant to liven up your school-from-home study space! I got mine from Strader’s, a local garden center with a kind and helpful staff and a great selection of plants! They have locations all throughout central Ohio.

Opt2 Part 2

Winter break was a much needed change of pace from the juggling act that is life as an optometry student. I happily spent large portions of my break snuggled up with my dog, reading for fun/not for school, watching movies, and spending time back at home with my family. My goal was to hibernate as much as humanly possible. As happy as I am to be back with all of my optometry friends, it was hard to get back into the school routine.

But somehow 3 weeks of the semester have already flown by and I am finally getting back into the swing of things. I am learning new clinical skills in lab that build upon the skills we learned last semester, and I am enjoying the time spent with my classmates practicing together outside of class. I also have a new set of courses this semester, such as retinal disease, ocular pharmacology, and visual neuro (among others).

The coming week is particularly exciting for my class because we get to perform our first comprehensive eye exam on our own patients for the first time! It is especially meaningful because we all get to invite our friends and family members to sit as our patients throughout the semester. This term of OptII clinic is helping us fuse our classroom knowledge and clinical skill set to prepare to perform exams in all of the different OSU optometry clinic services starting our third year. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a bit nervous to take this next step in my clinical education, but overall I am excited to work and learn my way through the unknown and grow as both a future optometrist and as a person.

A Day in the Life of an Opt2

I can’t believe that this semester has gone by so quickly! I have been surprised by how different second year feels than first year—our classes are more eye-specific and clinically focused, we are learning more in-depth clinical skills for the first time, and we spend a lot more time in lab/preclinic practicing with one another. Here’s a taste of what a typical Monday looks like for an Opt2!

6:30 am: Wake up, eat breakfast, and get ready for school. The morning is my favorite part of the day, so I like having a little extra time to check my email and prepare for the day ahead before heading to school.

9am-11am: Optometric examination lab. During this time each week, we learn & practice clinical skills such as refraction (“which is clearer, one or two?”), retinoscopy, and tests to assess our patient’s binocular vision capabilities.

11am-1pm: Primary care techniques lab. In this lab, we are learning how to examine ocular health with skills such as tonometry (checking eye pressure) and fundoscopy (viewing the retina). 

1-2pm: Lunch break 🙂

2-4pm: After lunch, we come back for a few hours of optics class. One of the biggest changes from first year to second year is that we spend less time in lecture each day and more time in the lab. I will typically have traditional lecture for half of the day, and then clinical labs or a rotation in the eyewear gallery for the other half of the day.

Evenings: After going home to make dinner and take a little break, it’s study time. We are expected to spend time practicing our clinical skills outside of lab, so we end up meeting up multiple nights a week to practice together for a couple of hours. It has definitely been an adjustment learning to balance studying with practicing and to get used to having our eyes dilated so often! When we aren’t practicing, there is plenty to study for our classes this semester—optics, pharmacology, anterior segment ocular disease, and optometric exam (where we learn the theories behind all of the tests that optometrists perform on their patients).

10 pm: Finally, it’s time to go home and get some rest to prepare for another busy day tomorrow!

Summer Recap 2019

Hello everyone!

After a flurry of activity at the end of spring semester with final exams, keystone, and our white coat ceremony, having this summer off has proven to be a wonderful and restful change of pace. When I was not working part-time as a tech at an ophthalmology office, I had plenty of time to relax and visit with family and friends. Here are some of the highlights from this summer!

This past June, I attended Optometry’s Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri alongside many of my classmates. Throughout the week, I had the opportunity to attend many different continuing education sessions, leadership talks and workshops, and learn about up-and-coming optometric products in the exhibit hall. We also got to cheer on Bri Farley as she got third place at the annual student bowl! It was great to explore sites around St. Louis such as the Gateway Arch, visit the city museum, and attend a Cardinal’s baseball game as well.

In July, a team of us went to Dayton, Ohio to volunteer vision services at a Remote Area Medical (RAM) disaster relief clinic after tornadoes struck the city earlier in 2019. With the help of many additional wonderful RAM volunteers, the clinic provided free eye exams and glasses to 56 people in one day!


It’s hard to believe that summer break is nearly over and that my second year of optometry school starts next week. I can’t wait to catch up with the rest of classmates and learn more hands-on clinical exam skills!

Flying Through First Year

Hi everyone! I apologize that it has been so long since I’ve posted—time certainly has flown by this semester. I can’t believe that my first year of optometry school will be complete in 26 days (but who’s counting?).  In between endless studying for our weekly exams, many exciting things have happened this semester. Eye Ball, getting my optometric equipment, and observing and participating in many complete eye exams have certainly been highlights! 

This semester, I’ve been able to take advantage of more of the resources on the larger OSU campus. There are so many fun fitness classes each week at the RPAC, and going to a cardio barbell class each week after neuroanatomy lab with some of my classmates is one of my favorite stress-relievers! There’s also a gym located a mere five minute walk from the optometry college, which makes the school/health/life balance a little bit easier. 

Campus is absolutely beautiful in the spring, and I have enjoyed many picnics & study sessions by mirror lake.


As I approach final exams and keystone, I’m more appreciative than ever for my support system. I know that the next few weeks will be stressful, tiring, and challenging to say the least—but I have my wonderful and caring friends, classmates, and family to lean on. I certainly have plenty of things to look forward to as well—our white coat ceremony in May, attending Optometry’s Meeting in June, and a relaxing summer off from classes.

Thanks for reading!

Returning from the Outside World

Hello again!

After a grueling end to the fall semester, winter break was much needed and well-appreciated. The sudden change of pace in my daily life was a shock to my system—no more frantic studying, no more early alarms, much less caffeine, and much more free time. It was refreshing to return to the outside world and step out of my optometry school bubble for a while. Throughout break, I spent some quality time back home with my family watching Christmas movies, snuggling with my dog, and catching up on sleep. I reconnected with some friends who I hadn’t seen in a while and worked part time as well. I am so grateful that I had time to rest and recharge before beginning another busy semester.

But in the blink of an eye, winter break has come and gone, and the first two weeks of the spring semester are now complete. We certainly hit the ground running this semester, with a packed course schedule, our transition into clinic, and many interesting events and opportunities. Last week, I attended the Ohio Optometric Association Student Night, where I was fortunate enough to listen to many successful Ohio optometrists speak about their experiences and give advice. It was certainly an inspiring and motivating evening. My class also begins our first clinical experience this semester! Every other week I spend an afternoon in the primary vision care service practicing pretesting skills and observing as the third-year students perform their exams. It feels so rewarding to have some hands-on experiences and have a chance to meet some third-year students as well! I am also looking forward to the process of becoming a member of Epsilon Psi Epsilon (EYE), the optometry fraternity, in the coming week. Those of us who are joining EYE have been working hard with our scavenger hunt teams, competing against our classmates to visit many people and places around the college and campus as a whole. We have a game night and initiation ceremony to look forward to as well!

My EYE scavenger hunt team & I practicing our axial anisometropia arms with Dr. Mutti

After a restful winter break, catching up with my optometry school friends, and taking part in some great opportunities these past couple of weeks, I feel reenergized and ready to hit the books. Here’s to another semester of learning and growth!

The Final(s) Countdown

Today marks the second to last day of classes for our fall semester. As I have been preparing for final exams, I find myself in disbelief in how fast the semester has gone by. Since August, I have spent countless hours in Fry Hall, learned more than I ever thought possible in one semester, and formed many friendships with kind and bright people.

With my first of six exams beginning on Friday, I catch myself feeling overwhelmed, tense, and tired—physically and mentally. As hard as my classmates and I are working these last few days of our semester, keeping up my energy to face the last few hurdles of this semester has been really challenging. It has helped me to take a few minutes each day to relax and do something non-school related, such as calling a friend, going for a walk, or decorating for the holidays.

In one of my classes yesterday, we took some time to reflect on our long term goals and values. Thinking about the things that I want to accomplish in my professional and personal life helped motivate me to keep studying hard these last few days of the semester and reflect on how thankful I am to be a student here. While I’m certain that the coming week and a half will be stressful, I look forward to continuing my journey as an optometry student.

Lessons from Midterms-Round 1

Hello everyone!

I cannot believe how quickly this semester is flying by. Somehow it is already the end of week 9, and my fellow first years and I have survived our first round of midterms.

To be honest, adjusting to being in class for nearly 8 hours each day while still finding sufficient time to study, sleep, grocery shop, and relax has been difficult at times. I have never taken as many classes in a semester as I am currently taking. I spend more time studying than I have ever before, and it is still easy to feel overwhelmed by everything I am expected to learn. My busy schedule has forced me to change up the way that I study in order to learn more efficiently and thoroughly.

When I was visiting various optometry schools during my application process, many current students told me that they spent a lot of time studying with their classmates. As someone who studied almost exclusively on my own during undergrad, I remember thinking, “oh, that will never be me”. But this year I tried studying with my classmates more, and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. At first, leaving the comfort of my previous study routine, albeit a slow and somewhat lonely one, added to the stress I was already feeling about taking exams in general. However, studying with my classmates helped me hold myself accountable for keeping up with the material and made me aware of what I did and did not understand. Actively quizzing ourselves helped us all gain a deeper understanding of the material as well. Best of all, the encouragement and support we gave each other helped make studying more fun. I won’t soon forget the time I spent with my classmates studying histology slides in the lab late into the night (well supplied with snacks, of course) to prepare for our first practical.

Even though optometry school requires a lot of dedication and hard work, I have already learned so much—both in the classroom and about myself. Of all the things I learned while preparing for this first round of midterms, the importance of embracing change and trying new things is one of the most meaningful lessons yet.

The Start of Something New

Welcome to my first blog post! I’m excited to share the next four years of my journey throughout optometry school with you.

Today marks the completion of my third week of classes. This semester is flying by! I have already learned so much and have met some really wonderful people. Here’s a recap of what has happened so far:

Before classes began, we had a few days of orientation activities. I got to meet faculty members and fellow classmates, received my class schedule, and attended various information sessions to learn about tips for success and The Ohio State University College of Optometry’s resources and policies. I also attended a picnic to meet my big sib and other second year students as well as a cookout hosted by Epsilon Psi Epsilon, the optometry fraternity on campus. Another special thing that my classmates and I did during orientation was meet with students from other health professional programs at Ohio State to get a better understanding of the roles of different healthcare providers and how we can all work together for the benefit of patients.

The evening after our first day of classes I attended the formal Welcome Dinner with my first year classmates and faculty members. We had a delicious meal, listened to fun introductions about each of our classmates, and listened to faculty and student leaders in the College of Optometry speak.

My Opt1 roommates and I on our way to the Welcome Dinner!

I have also gone to a variety of informational meetings and welcome events for some of the many student organizations here at Ohio State Optometry, such as the American Optometric Student Association, Epsilon Psi Epsilon Fraternity, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, and more!

The theme of one social event to was to represent your hometown (or where you went for your undergraduate studies). My Opt2 roommate Sara and I met through Pre-Optometry Club at Miami University!

I’ve had some fun outside of the school setting too, including going to Hocking Hills with some of my classmates over Labor Day weekend and checking out some fun restaurants around Columbus.

In addition to attending all of these fun activities, I have stayed very busy academically. It has definitely been a big adjustment getting used to being in the classroom for 7-8 hours most weekdays and taking a heavier course load than I ever did during a semester in undergrad. All of my professors have been wonderful at making lectures fun and engaging—it is clearly evident that they are very passionate about the material that they teach and student success.

My biggest challenge as an optometry student thus far has been staying energized and motivated to continue studying when I get home from class, but I am finally getting back to the grind! (Side note: I’d like to thank the inventors of chai lattes and goldfish crackers for sustaining me while I study) One strategy that has helped me to be more productive on weeknights after a long day of classes is to find classmates to go over material with or even just sit with at the library to help hold each other accountable for getting work done.

These first few weeks of optometry school have truly gone by in the blink of an eye, and its time to stay focused on my studies as our first round of midterms are quickly approaching (pun(s) intended). Thanks for reading!