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!