As the first week of classes finished, we asked our second-year bloggers Kashifa, Alek and Bobby to look back on a few lessons they learned in their first year. Here is their letter to the class of 2024.
Dear Class of 2024,
Before anything, congratulations on making it here! You are all bright passionate people. Remember to give yourself credit where it’s due! In optometry school, you can sometimes get lost in the whirlwind of things. Here are a few things that we learned during out first year. We hope it helps you.
Schedule your day and stick to it.
This piece of advice was given to me by Dr. Z during my orientation! I believe this is the key to being productive and efficient as an optometry student. Every minute is valuable when you are in optometry school. Scheduling your day to include time for studying, eating, taking breaks, and self-care is very important. I think it really helps prevent burnout especially when you take out time to do things you love outside of school. Studying is bearable when I know that I’ll get to take a 30-minute break to watch a show in an hour. I am also most productive when I schedule my day by the hour and write down the most important tasks for the day. I love the satisfaction when I cross off items that I have completed at the end of the day!
If you want to learn more, check out my blog post for tips on how I effectively schedule, and some other study tips. - Kashifa
Be open to learn from those around you.
You’re about to spend the next four years with some of the brightest minds in the nation from classmates to ICO faculty and staff. When you first arrive, it can be easy to close yourself off and stay in your comfort zone. This was definitely the case for me when I arrived. As an introvert, I’ve always found it hard to put myself out there. However, I quickly came to the realization that this mentality was doing a disservice to myself. I started taking small steps towards socializing with the people around me and getting involved with more activities at school. I’ve been astonished by the breadth of knowledge and the varying experiences the individuals at this school carry. Many have become personal inspirations and people that have made me re-evaluate certain aspects of my own life. So, whether you personally identify as an extrovert or an introvert, make the effort to put yourself out there and be open to learning from others in this community.
Remember to put yourself first.
Prioritize your health as much as school. This means both physical and mental health. Work out, meditate, sleep a bit more, anything that adds to your health. Let yourself be alone and find out for yourself if you’re bothered by something. If you are unhappy, trust yourself to handle the situation. This goes for school/class or life in general. You’re smarter than you think. Another person’s success is not your failure. It can be easy to get lost in grades and numbers but remember you’ll be a doctor whether you had As, Bs, or Cs. Your patients won’t ask you about your GPA. They’d rather have loving doctors who genuinely care for their eye health.
Learning to embrace change was a big part of my journey as a 1st-year optometry student. Trust that what you’re doing is taking you in the right direction. - Bobby
We are so looking forward to meeting each and every one of you!
Kashifa, Alek, and Bobby