Life as a 1st Year Optometry Student

Whether you’re in a 3 or 4 year program, the first 6 months or so of optometry school are TOUGH. Mainly it’s just a lot more info and more classes at once than undergrad, so you need to be way better at time management. It’s not that the classes are harder per se for a 1st year optometry student. In fact, learning ochem for the first time is probably harder than most of my first year classes. But overall, it is definitely tough.

Having good friends in your program is critical. You may feel not “on top of it” when you first start, and this is totally normal. Make sure you prioritize making good friends in your first few months. Everything is more manageable when you’re going through it with a friend. Here is me and some of my friends in my program 🙂

In terms of studying in Opto school, the best advice I have received is to be strategic. You can’t learn every single piece of info like you did in undergrad. Focus on what is most important as a 1st year optometry student.

If you want to get a sense of a “day in the life” – a bunch of my friends have written about their typical days here.

You can totally get here. I believe in you. It is totally worth all your effort – you can do this!

2018-12-21T09:26:34-07:00Optometry School|

Optometry School Requirements

Just figuring out the optometry school requirements is a difficult process in itself! Rather than going to each school’s website, you can view an aggregated list of optometry school requirements for every school here.

If you want to get a sense of what GPA you’ll need to meet the optometry school requirements, you can view the statistics on the most recent entering class here.

In terms of pre-reqs, Anatomy, Physiology, and Biology 1 are the classes that have helped me most in my first year of optometry school. Optometry school is pretty Biology heavy (so far at least).

2018-12-21T08:45:40-07:00Optometry School|

Why I Chose Optometry

My path to optometry was a rough and winding one. When I was in undergrad at UC Santa Barbara, I considered the idea of going to medical school or into physical therapy. I did about half of my pre-optometry requirements while at UC Santa Barbara. But when I graduated, I wasn’t mature enough to commit to a career for my whole life.

So I took a job working at Oracle (a big tech company near San Francisco). I learned a lot, but honestly, I hated it. I hated being behind a computer screen all day. I wanted to help people one-on-one. So I got a career coach (to be honest – one of the best decisions of my life) and interviewed dozens of people in different professions to learn about different career options.

Around this time, one of my family members was having issues with double vision, so he went to see his optometrist. His optometrist, along with neurologists and ophthalmologists, ended up finding out that my family member had Multiple Sclerosis. I was very sad to hear the news. I thought it was so strange that you could find out about something in the brain through your eyes. I started talking to and shadowing optometrists… and the rest is history.

2018-12-12T14:59:07-07:00Optometry School|
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