Optometry school teaches you the most substantial information needed to be the best doctor you can be. But you also learn a lot outside of the books. There are some specific points I will take with me throughout the rest of my time at Indiana University School of Optometry and some that I will take with me throughout my career.
Ask a question. Simple, right? It may not always appear as simple due to feelings of intimidation or insecurity. However, it does get easier and the first step is just to start talking. Talk to your professors, assistant instructors, upper class men, and your classmates. Ask those who have been through it or are going through it with you. If you learn one more thing that day because of it, it’s a successful day.
If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it
The first semester of optometry school is beyond stressful and will presumably get worse before it gets better. That is why it’s extremely important to evaluate each situation as it presents. Situations like test dates, what didactic material you’re learning, class schedules, etc., can be worrisome.
If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it.
There are so many situations that will be presented to you, but if you can’t change it, why worry about it? Policies or procedures set up by the school that affects the entire class – don’t worry about it. Everyone’s going through it together, and you will all survive it together. There is plenty to be concerned about as you go through school and kick-start your career, spend your time on the things you can change.
Do your best and stay positive
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my first semester of optometry school, it is to take pride in doing my best. When you feel good about the efforts you make, it will be easy to stay positive. We will make it through this, but we have to keep our heads up!
Overall, my first semester of optometry school was a success. I figured out how to balance my classes, events, and every new opportunity. There is plenty more to experience and learn, but I will take these initial lessons with me throughout school and beyond.