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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ryan Corte

12 Tips For Optometry Students To Succeed During Optometry School

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Optometry students have a lot on their plate during 4 busy years of optometry school!

In this video, I share my favorite tips for optometry students to succeed during their optometric journey.

Optometry school is a marathon, not a sprint!

Here are my top 12 tips for optometry students to survive (and thrive) during optometry school.

1) Arrive early on your first day of optometry school

Before your first day of optometry school make sure you arrive early and keep in mind we are all creatures of habit.

Therefore, be careful about where you sit on your first day of school - it just might be your seat for the next four years! ;)

2) Don’t procrastinate

The optometric course load contains a lot of information that is not meant to be crammed.

Time management is very important to succeed during optometry school. I strongly recommend that you stay on top of your course load and study a little bit every day.

3) Develop your own routine

You're going to want to develop a strong routine and keep in mind this routine will evolve throughout optometry school.

I recommend you identify how you best study (in a group or by yourself), take notes and organize them for future reference.

Personally, documented all of my notes on Google Docs and store them on Google Drive. I found this made it easy to search for topics when I had to reference them in the future.

4) Get to know your classmates

I like to consider my optometry school classmates as part of my optometry family. You're going to spend a lot of time with them over four years.

Many of your classmates will become lifelong friends that you will see throughout life including big major events (i.e. weddings, conferences, reunions, etc.).

So don't be shy - get to know your classmates and develop some really strong friendships!

5) Practice self-care

Optometry school is a marathon, not a sprint.

Take care of yourself:

  • Eat healthy

  • Exercise

  • Get enough rest

  • Practice mindfulness

When in doubt, if you run into a time period where you're really struggling, talk to a professional!

6) Embrace hobbies outside of optometry

You're going to eat, sleep, and breathe optometry for four years. After that, you're going to be a practicing optometrist that sees thousands of patients a year.

Your work as an optometry student and optometrist never really ends (until retirement).

Therefore, I strongly recommend you embrace your hobbies. Get outside, go to the gym, hang out with friends, or simply do something you love.

During optometry school, I loved playing on our intramural basketball team (the Eyeballers). We won a lot of games and had an absolute blast doing so!

7) Get involved as an optometry student

Ways to get involved as an optometry student include (but are not limited to):

  • Optometry school leadership (i.e. AOSA, NOSA)

  • Optometry class leadership (i.e. class president, vice president, secretary, treasure)

  • Optometry school groups (i.e. private practice club, sports vision club)

  • Volunteer organizations (i.e. SVOSH, Lions Club)

Also, I recommend attending optometric conferences. You'll learn a lot, have a blast doing so, and will have the opportunity to meet others in the profession.

Get involved as an optometry student - you won't regret it!

8) Build relationships with faculty and upperclassmen

Buddy up and find an upperclassman mentor. They are a wealth of knowledge, as they just went through everything you're about to go through.

When it comes to faculty, find mentors and really lean on them to learn more. They are there to teach you and help you on your optometric journey.

9) Practice makes perfect

It's easy to come into optometry school and anticipate that you're going to be an all-star at every single thing that you do.

Clinically, practice makes perfect. It takes time to build your skillset. So put in the hard work, stay focused, and ask for help when you need it.

You will get better each and every day!

10) Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Every optometry student runs into roadblocks throughout their optometric journey. The course load is tough and life gets in the way.

If you're struggling or something isn't clicking, don't be afraid to ask your classmates or faculty for help.

11) Embrace lifelong learning

Optometry keeps changing. In fact, optometry as a profession has evolved so much since I first applied to optometry school.

Never stop learning! From patient care to billing and coding to the business aspects of optometry, there is a lot to keep up on.

12) Enjoy the optometry school journey

I have good news for you! You will become an optometrist you will succeed.

Optometry school is a journey. The entire process from pre-optometry to optometry school to becoming an optometrist goes by so quickly.

Don't get bogged down with worries and anxiety because you will miss the big picture of what is happening right in front of you.

Be present and every moment of optometry school!

Final thoughts

Optometry school is a wonderful time in life! It's four crazy busy years that go by in the blink of an eye.

What questions do you have for me about optometry school? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for my next video where we can reflect and grow stronger together.

If you liked this YouTube video, subscribe to my channel for more personal development and thought-provoking videos!

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