Advice For Making It Through Optometry School

I sit on the Long Island Railroad heading from Long Island back to Astoria queens, I think about the midterms I just took in optometry school. What a challenge they were, studying an average of 7-8 hours per day everyday for 3 weeks takes soooo much out of you. It’s not like we had three free weeks either! Our class of 78 students at SUNY still had to attend classes, clinic, and learn new material all the while studying for midterms. Midterm week itself when the tests were acutally administered was solely reserved for testing so this was VERY helpful.

I had my ups and downs, some study days would end with a smile and others would end with me contemplating if optometry was the right path for me.

When it is all said and done I look back and laugh with a smile on my face and with excellent grades listed under my name. Yea it was a long, hard and bumpy path but it was soooo worth the hard work.

As I refill my binders with fresh paper and clean out my book bag for the second half of my semester in optometry school I also call up some buddies for a night out in NYC, arguably the most amazing city in the world. I also make my thanksgiving plans, buy concert tickets to see a favorite band, and plan a few weekend getaways up state to the mountains for snowboarding and camping. On top of that I also start thinking of where I want to travel this summer, South America or Italy?

Hard work pays off…

You see, if becoming an eye doctor were easy everyone would do it! Mastering the theory, mathematics, physics and clinical techniques of optometry is extremely difficult but it is extremely rewarding in the end. And I don’t mean in 4 years when you graduate, I mean after everyday at school.

You have to pay the cost to be the boss right?

Yes there are hard days, you will get down on yourself from time to time but I would say there are more highs then lows and you will be so happy you stuck with it in the end.

So I ask you, what’s your motivation?

Is optometry a bridge that spans your dreams?
Is optometry just another little thing you want to master?
A small spec in the big picture? Or is it your end all be all?
Where does the fire in your eyes come from and WHY do you really want to do this?

Some important advice I can give for making it through optometry school is to find out WHY you have chosen this path, what is your purpose?

When you figure out exactly what that purpose is there is nothing that will hold you back and you will most likely breeze through optometry school with all but a few minor bumps and bruises. Any man or woman with an unshakable purpose will reach their goal; I have no doubts about that.

Midterms are rough, they are a true challenge but you learn SO much great stuff so really, it is a win-win situation.

The way you frame your experience within your mind, in other words the thoughts that formulate your view of becoming an eye doctor will manifest themselves into the reality that you will live. So make your thoughts uplifting and positive…

I wish everyone in optometry school good luck on his or her next round of tests. If you didn’t do that good on this round then write out a step-by-step game plan for yourself and make sure you stick to it.

Matt Geller

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