There are plenty of ways to get involved outside of classes. If you are unsure which club to join, NECO hosts a club fair at the beginning of the school year. There is pretty much a club for everybody including a Spanish club if you need to brush up on your Spanish-speaking skills. It is a nice way to de-stress from school or from the difficult exam you just took!
While I’m only one month deep into classes this fall, I have already attended numerous events hosted by the student organizations at NECO.
One of the most recent events I attended was a talk held by the Private Practice Club. PPC was established ten years ago with having the goal in mind to provide business management education for students so that they will be successful in the private practice world. The club brings in guest speakers from around the country to speak about various modes of practice and what to look for when buying a practice. The first guest speaker was Dr. To, a recent graduate from the Western University College of Optometry. Dr. To presented various ways to purchase a practice and the common issues optometrists are facing and how to overcome them.
I am also a part of the Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, which better known as VOSH club. VOSH provides eye examinations to underserved communities throughout the world. This year, we will be providing eye-care in the Dominican Republic. In order to attend the trip, there are a few fundraising and screening requirements that need to be completed by the end of the fall semester of third year. I joined this club in hopes to give back to the community and educate others about how important your vision is.
Two of my favorite events I attended this fall were the back-to-school barbeque and the NECOlympics. At the beginning of each year, NECO hosts a barbeque for students to get together. More importantly it’s an opportunity for the first year students to get to know each other as well as upper-classmen. It was nice to see the second years and faculty after a relaxing seven-week summer vacation and it was great to meet the incoming class of 2021. We all bonded over pasta salad, burgers, and beer.
I also enjoyed participating at the NECOlympics. This event happens on a weekend and each class year participates in various sports and activities including basketball, kickball, relay race and a food-eating contest. The third year class didn’t take home the trophy, but we did place first in the food-eating contest which ultimately matters the most. It was a nice way to compete against our colleagues.
In the coming months, I am looking forward to attending Casino night held by VOSH as well as attending a class ski trip in Vermont—both of which happen in January! NECO gets transformed into a casino with hired dealers to assist with roulette, black jack, and poker. With the amount of “funny money” won, students have the chance to win awesome prizes ranging from fancy dinners to boat cruises.
Biren is in his third year at NECO. He is from Chicago, Illinois. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and trying new foods. He always enjoys great company and making new friends.