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Dear Class of 2025

We are continuing with our tradition of writing a few quick words of advice for incoming students. After having been through a year at ICO these second year students know a thing or two about succeeding at ICO... So we'll let them take the stage from here:


Scheduling and organizing your day for optimum success, Edem Jongue:


Hello, ICO Class of 2025! We at ICO are thrilled that you are now part of our academic family. I am sure that each one of you look forward with great anticipation to a year of tremendous student success. Allow me to share a few time management tips that have helped me in my studies here at ICO.


1. Plan and read ahead. Look at the syllabus of each course before the classes officially commence and begin to mentally organize your study time.

2. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Place a little more focus on areas where you may be weak.

3. Make weekly goals and break them down into daily goals. Do not procrastinate and as much as possible try to be one step ahead in your coursework.

4. Jot down your questions and try to get them answered before other new concepts are tackled.

5. Pace yourself in your studies and do not forget to take mini breaks throughout the day.

6. Maintain a positive mindset. Enjoy your studies and ask yourself, “Am I understanding this?” Trust me, it will make a difference in your academic success.


You can do this!


Enjoying life at ICO (and Chicago!), Jiani Lin:

Welcome! You made it. We all know that it wasn't easy. The endless pre-requisites, OAT, virtual interviews, all in the middle of a global pandemic! We're so proud of you for making the right decision to attend ICO. While school is important, remember that you are living in a world-class city. Take your time to explore and enjoy what Chicago has to offer!

Chicago's food scene is none like the other. Deep dish pizza is a classic, along with Chicago-style hot dogs. The multicultural neighborhoods of Chicago shines when it comes to food. No matter what kind of food you like, there's a restaurant for you right here in the city. For those who enjoy nature, running along Lake Michigan is one of my favorite things to do. The lake is only a 20-minute walk from ICO, which makes a wonderful study break. You can also rent a Divvy bike and bike along the lakefront into the city. If you like sports, Chicago is home to the Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls, and more. The Sox stadium is a quick walk from school, and always a good time with a group of friends. At the Art Institute of Chicago, you can check out Chicago's art scene with Monet's Water Lilies, and Grant Wood's American Gothic. Once you're in the Loop, check out one of the many rooftop bars for an Instagram-worthy view. There are endless things to do in Chicago - enjoy your time here!


Making Sure to Take Care of Yourself at ICO!, Kennedy Simmons

Do not forget to put yourself first both physically and mentally! If you are not at your best, then how can you perform your best? As school progresses the number of responsibilities will increase, and this may make you feel as if there is no time for anything but school. This is not true! Do not feel guilty for taking time for yourself! This time may be spent going to work out, hanging with friends or something as simple as watching cute dog videos on TikTok. These little things are important for giving your mind a break because burn out is real and you need time to rest and recover. If you are overwhelmed, stuck on a concept, or exhausted after an exam do not feel like you must continue going. Take a step back, relax and breathe sometimes this may even help clear up a concept you were struggling on or give you that much needed motivation to continue. You may find yourself focusing on your GPA or grades but remember ICO chose you and you are exactly where you should be. Whenever you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or upset just remind yourself that you are now part of an amazing community who is committed to helping you succeed. Also, it never hurts to seek encouragement from those family members and friends away from the Optometry realm 😉.


We have every faith that you can do this and we're excited to come along for the ride! If you want more pieces of advice here are our letters to the Class of 2024 and Class of 2023.


Good luck everyone with your first week of classes!