In the midst of the semester, we often find ourselves incredibly focused on studying for midterm week and practicing our clinical skills for proficiency examinations. A common misconception for prospective students is that graduate school leaves no room for events outside of school. One of the most commonly asked questions to current students during interview day is, “Do you have time for a social life?”
Time management is the biggest challenge students have as they enter optometry school. The truth is, managing your day is the key to success. Whether you are blocking out a time to practice your newfound clinical skill with a classmate, studying for an upcoming test, or going to see a movie, it is important to efficiently plan the next step forward so you don’t fall two steps behind.
NECO’s organizations often host events for students and non-students to participate in. One of these events is Dining in the Dark. This evening is hosted by the Public Health Club and lets participants experience how difficult it is to perform everyday tasks with impaired sight as they dine in the dark. As guests, we step into our patients’ shoes while raising awareness for World Sight Day and fundraising for blindness prevention.
Many students also choose to attend optometric conferences and meetings. The American Academy of Optometry holds an optometry’s meeting annually, inviting optometrists, ophthalmologists, residents, and students to Academy to learn about updates in vision science research, optometrist products, and continuing education workshops. A number of our students flew to Academy 2016 in Anaheim this year to experience one of the most popular optometry meetings. These events are a great way to stay engaged within the field of optometry while mingling with others in the optometric community.
In addition to these events at school and in the field of optometry, it’s also important to do things outside of school. Take advantage of the city! Boston is a great city to reside in as a student. Whether you are studying at another university’s library or exploring nearby events, there is always something going on:
Autumn is my favorite season, and just walking around Boston Commons is already quite the colorful scene. But if you do need a change in scenery and an escape from the bustling city life, the exhibits in Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University would be an excellent stop to enjoy nature before winter approaches.
The Boston Public Library in Copley Square is a beautiful library available for everyone in the heart of the city. Their newest renovations have completed and the warm atmosphere invites everyone to either tour around the building, sit down for an afternoon of quiet study, or have a cup of coffee in the courtyard.
Museum of Fine Arts has had three all-night parties in the contemporary wing for their #mfaNOW program http://www.mfa.org/programs/special-event/mfanow-overnight-december , with the last one coming up in December. Admission is free for everyone, includes food, drinks, and music, and is both a fun gathering and great way to appreciate art in the fall season.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, some students decide to stay in town for the short holiday. Here is a reminder to be thankful for both your supportive family and your wonderful friends. If you are staying in Boston, plan a Friendsgiving potluck gathering to celebrate!
image caption: Take a stroll around the city with your classmates!
Tiffany is a third year student at New England College of Optometry. Born and raised in Maryland, she graduated from the University of Maryland in both Biological Sciences and Psychology. Her initial interest in optometry stems from shadowing and working in practices that provide vision therapy.