Maria's Blog

The following entries are presented from most recent to oldest posts.

Maria and three friends sitting at restaurant table smiling

More to Explore as an OD 4

Graduation is quickly approaching, and I can’t believe that in 6 months my time in Boston will come to an end. Back when I was a fresh-faced undergraduate student researching different optometry schools across the USA, I was overwhelmed with the thought of having to make the life-changing decision…

computer and pen image with logo for canadian optometry boards

Studying for my Canadian Board Examination

I’ve reached many academic milestones since I began my OD degree at NECO three and a half years ago. Every month I’ve spent at NECO has come with unique challenges and personal achievements. My most recent milestone was finally writing my Canadian Optometry Board Examination.

group of students by banners for special olympics

Experiencing NECO Outside the Classroom

The New England College of Optometry always has a large variety of events and clubs in which students of all years can participate. However, it is often much more difficult for fourth year students to attend NECO events. Many OD4s have their clinical rotations outside of the city (or even outside…

Five students/ODs in hallway

My First Rotation as an OD4

I recently completed my first rotation as an OD4 at a Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Hospital and found it to be one of my favorite clinical sites to date. All NECO students are required to complete 4 three-month long rotations at various sites, during their final year in the program: a Veteran’s Affairs…

Four students outside at EyeBall

May the Fourth Year Be With You

It has been more than a month since I wrote Part 1 of the National Board Examinations and the stress from intensively studying for 3 months straight has finally faded away. So have, unfortunately, many of the ocular facts I crammed into my head in preparation for this exam.

Maria and group on stairs

Looking Forward

Last week I finally tackled one of the biggest challenges facing third year Optometry students everywhere: NBEO Part 1. Part 1 of the National Boards consists of all of the vision science information we have been learning for the past 3 years. To say it is a great deal of information to have to know…

Maria and two students by VOSH banner

Boards On the Brain

My final semester as an OD3 is in full swing and every day that passes brings me closer to two major events. The first, of course, is Part 1 of the National Board Examinations. Part 1 takes place in March of this semester, and although I dread having to write this exam, part of me wishes March would…

Group ofstudents and ODs in hallway in white coats.

‘Twas the Night Before Finals

The Fall semester is finally over and only one semester of classes remains. Overall I found this semester very relaxed and clinically applicable. Much of what we learned was focused on refining our skills and building on our previous knowledge base and I enjoyed all of my classes and my clinic placement…

view from below looking up at Beacon Street College building

Boston, I’m Falling For You

The semester so far has been an exciting one in a lot of ways. Midterms have come and gone (my second to last round of midterms ever!) and finals are already looming on the horizon. I am coming to the realization that in about four months I will be writing Part 1 of my board examinations and I will…

Maria at table with another student

Academy Approaches: The Road to Anaheim

Being a third year Optometry student means that, in a lot of ways, my workload is lighter. The idea behind this is that more time is being spent in clinic and preparing independently for board examinations. With the extra time I’ve had, I have also been trying to get more involved in the various…

Group of volunteers at special olympics

OD3: A Summer Retrospective

This summer was the start of my third year in the OD program and time just flew by! Being in the OD/MS program, I spent almost the whole summer in Boston, working on my research for the first half and then completing the summer academic semester during the second half. Although Boston is beautiful…

Maria with two students in fancy attire

Making It to the Halfway Point

Well, we did it! In 3 very long weeks, we conquered 2 proficiencies and 6 exams, accompanied by seemingly endless stress and frustration. But we did it! We made it through to the end of the current academic year and we now can officially call ourselves third year optometry students.


A Day in the Life of a Second Year Student

Life as an optometry student can be very challenging. As well as having to digest a lot of theoretical knowledge, we have to learn and gain competence in many clinical techniques. Have you ever wondered what a typical day is like in the life of a second year student?

Four students in fancy dresses

Battling Midterms and the Cold Weather

Midterms are finally over and I’m writing this blog exhausted but content. It may still be a long way off, but by this time next year I will be writing my last round of midterms ever. Let the countdown begin!

Maria and a group of students

20/15: the Year in Retrospecs

2015 was one of the most important years of my life. Despite the workload being heavy and the subject material being challenging, 2015 was when I really began to understand how the material I was being taught related to the field of optometry. Sometimes I can’t believe how much the OD class of 2018…

Hindsight is 20/20: Lessons Learned from My First Weekly Clinic Assignments

As the fall semester of my OD2 year comes to a close, so does my first semester of weekly clinic assignments. To say that having weekly clinical assignments in my second year of optometry school has been a learning experience would be a huge understatement.

Group of students standing by research poster

Academy 2015 - New Orleans

Attending the American Academy of Optometry’s 2015th annual meeting was a 5 day experience unlike any I’ve ever had before. I never imagined that I would get the chance to travel to New Orleans to experience this renowned conference of optometry, especially not while I was still a student.

group of students on scavenger hunt

White Coats and Ophthalmoscopes

September has arrived and with it (slightly) cooler weather. More importantly, September has brought about a major change in the NECO experience: the introduction of weekly clinic assignments which involve interacting with, testing, and helping to diagnose real life patients. I cannot emphasize enough…

Group photo for T35 Student researchers for 2015.

Student Research Opportunities at NECO

This summer was my first full one in Boston and extremely busy! As well as taking four 2nd year OD classes, I also spent my summer working on research for my Master’s degree by participating in the T35 research program. I came to the New England College of Optometry knowing I was interested in doing…

My First Year at NECO: A Canadian Student’s Tale

As this is my first blog post as the New England of Optometry Class of 2018 student blogger I thought I would make it about my experience during my first year at the college. Hopefully these blog posts will be eye opening for students interested in attending NECO in the future, as well as my fellow…