I’m an incoming first year student in the class of 2016 at the Illinois College of Optometry. This last weekend I had an amazing time at Optometry’s Meeting 2012 in Chicago! I worked at the OptometryStudents.com booth in the exhibition hall on Saturday and had an incredible experience meeting and networking with enthusiastic optometry students, professors, optometrists and many more involved in the profession from across the country. Afterwards, I was able to attend a huge student party at the Palmer House Hilton which was a blast (think nightclub/casino in massive hotel ballroom with hundreds of students unwinding after a busy, exciting week)! Not only did I have a great time, but I feel very fortunate to have had this experience early on in my career as an optometry student, and plan on attending every Optometry Meeting that I can in the future. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICTURES FROM OPTOMETRY’S MEETING IN CHICAGO
The whole experience had me thinking of my beginnings as a pre-optometry student, and those of other pre-optometry students and incoming first years everywhere. I would strongly encourage everyone to be as involved as possible right from the beginning, as I’m sure many of you are already. From participating in a pre-optometry club to volunteering to keeping up with the latest news and issues in the optometry world, it’s a great way to grow as a person, network with your peers and find out who you want to be and how you want to practice as an OD in the future. There are so many things happening right now or that began years ago (I hope to get into these issues in future articles) that will have a direct impact on us 4, 5, or 6 years down the road as we move through school and become practicing optometrists. In the end, being informed and involved from the beginning helps create better OD’s and strengthens the optometry profession as a whole.
OptometryStudents.com serves as a fantastic resource to help connect students and ensure that the future of the profession will continue to be a promising one. Please don’t hesitate to contact myself or anyone else at the site for advice or to discuss an issue going on in the profession, as I’m so thankful for the many optometrists I observed and optometry students that I went to for advice throughout my application process. From California to New York down to Puerto Rico, I had a great time meeting optometry students from across the country and the optometrystudents.com team. I look forward to doing it again next year and starting at ICO in August!