Student Ambassador Blog Articles

I Chose Optometry After a Gap Year and Exploring Other Healthcare Careers by SCCO Student Ambassador Jasmine Lovan

A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors, here is Jasmine Lovan. To learn more about Jasmine, where she is from, and why she chose SCCO, find her bio here listed alphabetically.

I Chose Optometry After a Gap Year and Exploring Other Healthcare Careers

by SCCO Student Ambassador, Jasmine Lovan


Hello everyone!  I am currently a first-year student at SCCO. Every optometry student has a unique story on how they decided to pursue optometry. I would love to share my story on how I found my passion within optometry in the hopes that aspiring optometry students can relate. 

If you are feeling indecisive or confused on what career path to take after graduating,  know that I have been in your shoes and it will be okay. I encourage you to explore different options and give optometry a chance, as it is a challenging yet extremely rewarding career.

During high school and college, I gained exposure to different healthcare fields by working as a medical assistant and interning as a nursing assistant. I loved building relationships with patients over time and improving their quality of life, but I knew I was not interested in the specific roles of surgeons and nurses in healthcare. Therefore, I started to search for a career that better suited my aspirations.

My evolving passion for optics began when I took a neurobiology class in college. I looked forward to lectures involving the pathway of light through the eyes and the ways in which our brains interpret the images we see. After graduating college, I reflected deeply on my past years of schooling and medical work, which helped me envision aspects I desired most out of a future career. I look forward to having a good work-life balance, as well as having a career that involves my scientific interests. I also aspire to work in an overall positive environment where I can treat and connect with patients.

It was at this point that I realized that my interests and career aspirations could  connect through optometry, and I was excited to learn more about the field. 

I took a leap of faith during my gap year and started working as an optometric technician in a private practice. While working, I was greatly surprised to see how patients were excited instead of nervous to see my optometrist. I constantly witnessed patients leave our office happy with the care they received because my optometrist helped improve their vision and eye health. Seeing patients’ smiles after trying on a new pair of glasses or contacts inspired me. The more experience I gained in the field, the more confident I became in knowing that optometry would be right for me.

The rest is history! After deciding on optometry, I took my OAT and went through the application process. I am so glad that I took the time after graduating college to reflect on different career options because it allowed me to find optometry.

If you are a prospective optometry student, I encourage you to get out there and gain experience in the field. It will help you learn more about what optometrists really do day in and day out and will ultimately help you decide if optometry is right for you, just like it did for me!

Thank you for reading, and good luck! If you have any questions for me, feel free to contact me at  

Jasmine Lovan in Lab

Jasmine with classmates learning skills in SCCO’s pre-clinic labs

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