I love being an ICO blogger for many reasons. One of the biggest privileges has been the unexpected recognition and ice breaking ability to kindle new relationships throughout the college. I wanted to share this benefit with the rest of the community in hopes of bringing our ICO family even closer. Thus came the idea for “ICO SPOTLIGHT.” These ICO SPOTLIGHT entries will give an opportunity for students, faculty members, and professors who volunteer to share a little bit about themselves and their love for optometry with the rest of the College.
Kicking off this new idea is a fellow first-year student, Payton Holden! 🙂
Payton comes from the small town of Metamora, Michigan. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Oakland University before picking up everything and moving to the Windy City. Coming from a small town to big Chi-town, without knowing anyone, Payton was taken aback by the openness and friendly attitudes throughout the college. “Professors are there for you and they want you to succeed.”
One of the biggest challenges Payton noticed during her first year of a doctorate program was the outside perception of what this program entails. “It can be hard for other people to understand what you are going through but everyone inside of ICO gets it.” Along with the rigorous curriculum, Payton has also noticed that adjusting to student life takes patience and determination. “Plugging in” life into your busy schedule can be a balance and one that takes time and practice.
Her journey of finding love for optometry is one that is truly inspiring. Her interest was sparked at a very young age as Payton’s father has been blind for over 25 years (Payton’s entire life.) Payton has experienced, firsthand, what we have been learning about in many of our first-year courses over the last six months. Her father los his vision due to complications with Type 1 Diabetes. Payton’s dad has experienced everything from diabetic retinopathy to kidney transplants and Payton has been by his side throughout it all. It has been this experience that sparked the passion in her heart to make a difference in other people’s lives through vision.
Payton wants everyone to say “Hi” if you see her in the hall and to “Work hard, Stay Humble.” This is her favorite quote and is displayed all around her bedroom. This quote serves as a reminder as to why she is at ICO and to keep her motivated in order to make a difference in many people’s lives one day.
**If you want to be featured in the next ICO SPOTLIGHT post please feel free to reach out to me via ICO email!**