“White looks good on you”

Well class of 2021,  we did it!!! I know I myself, our professors, our parents, loved ones, friends, etc. could not be more proud. Looking back on this year, it’s honestly amazing to see all of the knowledge we’ve acquired, the milestones we’ve marked, the friendships we’ve made, and so much more.

Now as I sit at home, I quite frankly literally do not know what to do with all of this free time. In fact, I even asked some of my friends, “what is free time and how do you use it?” (joking… kind of). It’s also a blessing to just sit and look back at this year.

Personally, this was the most challenging year I have experienced thus far in my 23 years of life. From being the farthest I’ve ever been from home (yes, it’s only a mere 3 hours, but my undergrad was 1 hour away), missing my friends from undergrad, no longer being a college athlete, new professors, new city, new friends, new living arrangements, new EVERYTHING — I was overwhelmed to say the least. I did adjust to city life and to school, but it took a lot longer than I would have liked. I like to think I’m decent with change, but when your “world” was once the confines of the area of Pittsburgh, PA to New Wilmington (Amish country), PA, things seem to get a little challenging. I was no longer a drive from home, a walk away from all my best friends on Westminster College’s campus, or a short walk to the pool or bio labs where I spent nearly all of my time. Everything seemed to be a 20 minute drive or walk away in Columbus. And don’t get me started on parking in Columbus… HOWEVER, though it sounds like I had a lot of complaints, which I did, I still adjusted. I still succeeded. I found my friends, the people I vibe well with. I found the places I like to study, the coffee shops I like to frequent, and the freedom that comes with being in a new place. There’s so much to explore in Columbus, and once I got my footing, I was able to run a little faster, and explore a little more. The city is a really cool place with a lot to offer. Not to mention the amazing food (I’m definitely a “foodie”). So here I am at home, grateful for this whole year. Never would I ever have imagined the challenges I would face this year, especially academically, but I came out swinging nonetheless. I am so proud of my classmates and myself for all we have accomplished this year. It’s truly inexplainable, unless you care to take a few hours to sit with us and listen to all the new big words we’ve learned.

Topping the year off with our white coat ceremony was just what the doctor ordered. The ceremony was funny, exhilarating, high energy, emotional, and a whirlwind of other feelings. Putting on that coat (shoutout to Dr. Earley for helping me with mine) was a beautiful moment. It made me feel like all of my hard work was for something, and that being a doctor really is within my reach. You see, unlike most schools that just give their students the coat at the beginning of the year, we must earn ours. With every hour spent in class or studying, with the time we must dedicate to our classes instead of talking to friends or making time for ourselves, we earned our coats through hours upon hours (what seemed like 1 eternity later..) of grueling work both inside and outside of the classroom. Optometry school is no joke. It’s not just a year or 2. It’s 4 years of learning how to give the best care possible to our patients. It’s learning not only the science, but the patient-doctor dialogue/interaction. It’s learning to make mistakes and listen to others. It’s learning that you’re no longer the best of the best because you’re at school where everyone came from being “the best/top of their class”. It’s learning to be humble, kind, and compassionate. It’s 4 years in which we grow into the best doctors possible from the encouragement and support of all those around us. 1 year down, 3 to go.

I am extremely grateful for this summer off, and I know it is much deserved and needed. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to use all the fancy new equipment we got this year. Here’s to a blessed year, and more to come.

It’s the Final Countdown!

Where has the time gone?! It seems like just yesterday we were all anxiously awaiting our first day of classes, or perhaps awkwardly introducing ourselves to a plethora of people, classmates, professors, upperclassmen, etc.

All I know is that I’m pretty grateful that what they say is the hardest year of almost any graduate/medical program is almost coming to a close! I think I’m most grateful & excited because like my classmates, I am SO ready for white coat ceremony. It feels amazing to know we have earned that white coat. We’ve put in countless upon countless hours of class, lab, studying, review sessions, etc. Perhaps that is why time has flown!

This second semester, in my opinion, has been better than first since we have a grip on what needs to be done to succeed. We’ve all found what studying techniques work for us, we’ve explored more of Columbus, found those study spots that don’t get old, found the people we love to vibe & study with, we’ve found our (stem cell) niche… I had to throw that nerdy pun in there.

Second semester has still been full of challenges! From exams being more difficult, different material, being in clinic, and ordering our hefty amount of equipment, life has not slowed down! However, I have realized more and more the importance of taking time for yourself. It may seem that all your classmates ever do is study (and for some, that’s true), and you may try to do the same because if you don’t, you feel like something is “wrong.” This whole feeling is something I have completely learned to overcome. Whether it’s taking time to workout, go to my new favorite bakery, Cherbourg in Bexley (shout out to Kristen for the suggestion), watch some Netflix, take a walk, walk around Target, meal prep, these are all CRITICAL to survival. Life is hard, but it’s the little things that help so much!

Something else I have learned from second semester is the importance of more advocacy for Optometry. I have encountered a myriad of people who have almost no clue what our profession entails. From family members, to nurses at the doctors office, to friends, it’s been a fun and interesting task trying to educate the public. I feel as if I have a few new catchphrases such as, “Optometrists are doctors too!” or “No, we don’t go to school for a year or two, it’s four years, plus more for residency!” or one of my favorites, “We’re not just here to ask you which is better, 1 or 2?”. My passion has grown even further for the profession, and I feel so blessed & grateful to be at The Ohio State University. So here’s to the final countdown, our last free summer, becoming real doctors, making an impact, and pursuing the dream. Proud to be a buckeye! Proud to be a future optometrist!

Second Semester Showdown

It’s seems like just yesterday we were on break, snuggled up at home or maybe laying on a beach with family members… Yet, now we find ourselves back in the swing of things, living our fast paced lives, ready (or not because here it comes…) for second semester of our first year!

Walking again into Fry for the first time after break was rather refreshing once I got to see the friends I missed and listen to the stories of their winter breaks. Reconnecting before we jumped into classes was just what the doctor ordered. However, it didn’t take long for professors to hand us work, lecture for 3 hours straight, or for us to be asked if we’re “sleepy already?!”. But that’s okay!

As second semester is well underway, it’s filled with slight more relaxation since we have the first semester under out belts. It feels satisfying and reassuring to know we have made it one step further to our degree. Though the journey is long, there’s always an adventure around the corner… Speaking of adventure, it’s pledge week for those of us joining Epsilon Psi Epsilon, and I could not think of a better way to jump back into school than with some fun on the side. ΕΨΕ is the only optometry fraternity in the nation, and we are so lucky to have it here at The Ohio State College of Optometry! ΕΨΕ is a phenomenal way to connect with more peers, especially those you don’t sit with during class, and it’s even more wonderful to get to know some of the upperclassmen better.

It may feel like all we do is study, but ΕΨΕ gives us the opportunity to take a step back and interact with those who we share the profession with. It allows us to grow in camaraderie and show a little more of our buckeye spirit!

Most of all, I think each of us is especially looking forward to the white coat ceremony. Our sizes have been taken, embroidery has been ordered, and we are ready to feel like true up-and-coming optometrists, especially since we’ve had our first taste of clinic! Though most of us were nervous, with the help and patience of our attendings and 3rd year students, we were pleasantly surprised at the enjoyment and learning opportunities presented to us.

So bring it on second semester! OptI’s are ready for you!

Just See How Far We’ve Come

Time is everything.

Yet somehow it seems that time has flown by in the blink of an eye during our first semester of Opt School here at OSU. For many, we are grateful to have completed one of the most stressful semesters we have ever experienced. For some, time may be moving too quickly. However, I am certain a collective sigh of relief was echoed after exiting Fry for the final moment of the first semester for us Opt I’s.

So what exactly have we learned within this first semester? That’s quite a hefty question, but I definitely have some ideas.

We’ve learned that sleep is vitally important. Some of us have taken this to heart and gotten nearly 8 hours every night. Others have stayed up till 3 a.m. attempting to shove the last pieces of ocular anatomy or pathophysiology into their overworked and tired brains.

We’ve learned that we are at an institution that truly cares about us. From office hours, to joking with professors, to interacting with our amazing upperclassmen, we are certainly well taken care of. Shout out to the second years who brought us all those sweet treats before our General Anatomy skull practical!

We’ve learned that we must rely on each other to get through both the “easy” and the seemingly insurmountable days. Without our peers we would be nothing. Without the friendships we have solidified, the time spent studying (and definitely laughing/goofing off), and the memories made with those we spend countless hours with, we would be nowhere. Personally, it is my classmates that push me even harder, challenge me to know more and be better, and make me a happier student. I am so grateful for each of them.

We’ve learned what it’s like to fall short and keep moving forward…I think this is a really important point. We all come from such great schools, we are all very much “type A”, and we all love to succeed. However, this is not an easy task for anyone, and we would be crazy to think that Optometry school was going to be a walk in the park. There are always bumps along any journey, some more eye opening than others, but in the end, we just keep moving forward.

 

Last, but certainly not least, we have learned that the dream is very much alive because we have made it to the end of our very first semester! Just typing those words makes me feel phenomenal. Though we have a long way to go, I like to think we’ve come a long way, and I’m thrilled to see where our paths lead. Cheers to the end of first semester, and to the beginning of a new year!

 

Too blessed to be stressed

It’s no secret that grad school, medical school, optometry school, and just about any professional school involves a hefty amount of work, which, of course, induces stress. Why go through all of this stress you may ask? Well, for some, school comes naturally, for others, it’s the dream of helping others, and for many, it’s all about following the dream.

I’ve dreamt of the day I would sit in my respective Optometry school’s classrooms, but never did I imagine to be so fortunate as to attend THE Ohio State University. The name definitely holds a profound amount of prestige, and as I make my way through exploring the campus and all that Columbus has to offer, I find myself realizing that I am indeed too blessed to be stressed.

Optometry school has been my dream since high school. When I attended some of my very first freshmen biology courses in undergrad, I wondered if that dream would remain possible. I should know better than to even doubt myself minutely, because giving up is not in my nature. I think that’s something everyone in the class of 2021 has in common; we’re no quitters, and we fought to get here. Our perseverance is alive in well as we trek every day to Fry 22.

We are too blessed to be stressed because no matter how many exams are thrown at us, how many hours of labs we attend, how many mistakes we make, how much money is spent on tuition, we have made it to a point in life that not many people get to partake in. We are in the process of becoming the future primary care providers of vision, and that is a privilege. We are endowed with so much knowledge (sometimes so much that we feel our brains might leak onto the table right there in front of us). We hold the future in our hands. It’s not all about the grades, the numbers, or the person who already knows how to work a slit lamp or a Fundus camera. It’s about the journey, and I am so excited to continue this journey with the class of 2021.

“Eye’ll Be There For You”

”… cue the lyrics to the hit TV series Friends, but with a slight twist!

 

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Pace, and I am so excited to start blogging for OSU’s optometry page.

 

It seems like the class of 2021 has been here for months, but in reality, we have only been here for a few weeks of class. That being said, the amount of material we’ve learned, friendships that have been made, miles travelled, bus routes taken, food consumed, and eye puns made have been numerous.

 

But optometry is more than just eye puns and solely eyeballs. In fact, our first day of orientation was greeted by an abundant sense of humor from one of our professors, Dr. Earley, as he joked that we would have to explain to people what our profession entails. We are more than just the doctors that ask, “Which is better, 1 or 2?” We are the primary care providers of vision, and that title endows a lot more responsibility than the general public may realize. Thus, we are entrusted with the honor of advocating for this amazing profession. We are indeed doctors, and the training we receive is highly in depth.

 

That being said, many of my classmates and I have already discussed the amount of responsibilities we have already acquired and will continue to take upon ourselves. The journey is a long one, but the rewards are great (at least that’s what we have in mind). So here’s to a beautiful journey filled with a myriad of opportunities, loads of laughter, a heaping amount of support, and the best effort we can put forth to help those in need. I’m overwhelmed, but mostly overjoyed, to see what the future holds.