First off, congratulations! This is a big achievement. You’ve made it through the roller coaster of studying for and taking the OAT, applying and the interview process. You’re well on your way to being an optometrist, and you are to be commended for your achievements thus far! So now what?
Here are some things to look forward to now that you have been accepted into a College of Optometry:
1. Mixer and Summer Activities
Usually these are pretty informal, but some schools like to take this opportunity to make students familiar with their classmates, the city and campus they’ll be spending the next four years of their life in. A “premixer” is a casual get together the night before the official mixer for those who have traveled in early. Mixers are generally held on a weekend and as such this is a fantastic time to go apartment hunting. Most campuses have on campus housing and are able to pair up students with similar living styles. Finding a couple of classmates that you really hit it off with can save you money in the long run and can be excellent roommates and study buddies!
Your school will likely have extra activities for you and your class to participate in during the summer. If you live in the same town as your future college of optometry, it will be a lot easier for you to participate. Even if you don’t, it is still important that you try to make it to these events to really get to know everyone. The better you know your classmates, the more you will be able to help each other out during school. These are your first opportunities to get to know the people with whom you will spend the next four years of your life with, so put yourself out there and make some new friends!
2. Financial Aid/Scholarships
Although there are not many scholarships for first year optometry students, they are still out there! Take the scholarship application process seriously. Even if you don’t get chosen for a scholarship your first year, it is still important to know the process which will prepare you for the next years’ scholarships. In addition to scholarships, you will have to sign a promissory note and go through entrance counseling if you are taking out a federal loan. Get to know the different types of financial aid and be wise about how you choose to borrow. Remember, live like a student while in school so you can live like a doctor later!
In your final days before beginning optometry school, you will attend your school’s orientation. You will get a student I.D., get all of your major affairs in order for the start of classes, and move in if you are living on campus. It will be informative and exciting, and you will get further acclimated with your new school, city, and classmates/roommates.
The number one piece of advice I get from all optometry students is to try to relax as much as possible before you start classes in the fall! Work minimally but try to save up some cash for equipment and living expenses. Take a vacation if you can and spend time with your friends and family. You will need their support while you are going through optometry school so make sure you give them your time now while you still have it!
What are some things that all of you are doing to prepare and relax for your summer before optometry school? Post a comment down below and let us know!