I wrote this article to provide advice to optometry students who need a boost in their confidence. It is an instructional article that will teach you how to adopt a mindset that will guide you through optometry school with a smile on your face.
Midterms have now passed and students from optometry schools all over the country are not very happy with their grades. I have talked with a few of my classmates and a few of them seem a bit demoralized about the grades they received and seem lost when they think about how to gain control of the situation.
Well here is the answer.
A positive mentality with an mind state of acceptance is a guaranteed formula for success on exams.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. -William Shakespeare
Plain and simple, things HAVE NO MEANING until you assign a meaning to it. It is human perception at its finest. A kitchen table is nothing until you consider it a platform to put your plate on and eat off of, and just like your midterm in optometry school, it is just a piece of paper, but when you assign meaning to this piece of paper it takes on an entirely new value.
During Optometry school you will spend the majority of your time studying, but the way you view this time spent is entirely up to you.
This gives you the power to frame the situation in whichever way you want. Perceive it as a FUN learning experience and you are setting yourself up for some EXCELLENT grades.
Below are some study mentality tips that you can adopt to help you through opt school.
1. ACCEPT IT AND SMILE- There is a saying that I really LOVE. It goes, “this too shall pass”. The point is, you are going to HAVE to study, there is no 2 ways about it. I find that when I tell myself “Wow I realllllly do not want to study right now, this sucks”– I end up sitting at my desk upset and I get nothing done. The negative energy spoils the capability for my brain to retain information. On the contrary, when I say to myself “OK, I accept it, I am going to study and do my best and I will just enjoy it, (and smile)“- That is when the time flies, I retain information, and I do well. So next time you sit down to study, say out loud THIS TOO SHALL PASS – THEREFORE I ACCEPT IT AND I WILL DO MY BEST!
2. IT’S A SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY- Simple, what you focus on in your mind you will receive in physical reality. I had a friend who I would constantly tell “Hey ____, I am going to get a 100% on this exam, I do not have a doubt in my mind.” I would say it even if I was a little sketchy about the material. She would tell me, what’s wrong with you, why are you so optimistic? There is no way you can get 100% the test is too hard. The fact that I focused on the best possible outcome and constantly thought in my head from day one that I would do EXCELLENT on the test, that is simply what would happen. What you focus on expands, and if you constantly have self talk saying “oh, I am going to fail” then you will consequently do bad. So from day one, have positive self talk about look the test STRAIGHT IN THE EYES WITH CONFIDENCE!
3. START WEEKS IN ADVANCE- OK this one right here is critical. I actually just finished midterms but I must say, I started doing midterm preparation about a month before the exam. If you have the time, I really recommend putting in 3-4 hours in per day a least few weeks before. There is nothing that will prepare you more then ample time to study. So maximize that by small chunking your material and managing your time correctly!
4. BE POSITIVE- A positive attitude is key to acing an optometry exam. If you are totally pissed off about taking the test it will effect your results. If you are scared of the test it will hinder your results. If you are unsure of yourself, or at the mercy of an exam you will buckle. Be strong, be confident and practice POSITIVE self talk. A positive mind state will generate positive results. Your overall positive mind state about hitting the books and learning something new will totally support the actual process of retaining information and make a big difference when you are trying to remember something. Positive vibes support learning and support information retention. Negative vibes are your worst enemy! Positivity brings confidence and confidence brings success.
5. CONVINCE YOURSELF YOU WANT TO STUDY- Say like you are about to go study some gross anatomy and you REALLY do not want to. If you could only convince yourself you want to study! Basically you need to re-frame your mind by focusing on the opposite of your feelings. By doing a situation re-frame you can choose to focus on the exact opposite of the reasons that keep you from studying. No one really WANTS to study, we rather be hanging out with our friends or just relaxing. Yet if you think of things like how grateful you are for being able to have your hands on such powerful knowledge, or the payoff in the end you can bring yourself to put the time and energy into learning the information.
Part 2 of this article will be posted in 2 days! Please check back soon.
We would love to hear what you have to say about these study mentality’s! Please post a comment and get the conversation started!