Going to college out of state was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. During my senior year of college, I had to make another challenging decision; where do I want to attend optometry school?
I wanted to recharge and spend time with my friends and family before dedicating four years to my career goal.
The meaningful skills that I’ve gained throughout my experiences are some that I would have never obtained by just focusing solely on academics.
Though I was scared at first, taking a gap year has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I am here to tell you how I made the most out of my gap year!
Marshall B. Ketchum University. “It’s a professional school.” “There are future doctors studying there.” To my young, immature high school self, that was a future that sounded unattainable, improbable, and far-fetched.
Oklahoma will always be home for me, but California is quickly winning my heart in other ways
When you first start your application journey you might also be feeling overwhelmed with planning out a timeline for applying. You are not alone, you can reach your goal, and making a realistic timeline to apply will really help you.
It can be said that a gap year offers a great opportunity to gain experiences, save money, and have time to refine your application. However, because I was eager to start optometry school and felt like I made the most of my undergraduate years, I opted not to take that gap year. I had enjoyed my undergrad experience fully, I took every opportunity to be involved in variety of experiences by graduation. To not take that gap year was a personal choice for me that also meant finding ways to balance the OAT and application while still taking courses and finishing up my undergrad degree.
Before entering optometry school and after finishing undergrad, I took three years to “test out” optometry.
Deciding to attend optometry school can be a big decision to make, and I wanted to ensure that it was something I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to. I worked full time in private practice to gain some preliminary skills which had the bonus of giving me incredible insights into the field. I also wanted a reset after finishing my undergraduate education. This time allowed me to rediscover some old hobbies like reading and cooking, and also to do some traveling. However, getting back into the swing of school, specifically optometry school, with a rigorous schedule was initially daunting.
Another in a continuing video series featuring SCCO faculty who teach 1st year optometry students, get to know Dr. Catherine Heyman and hear her advice for incoming students.