Thinking about applying to optometry school? Already applied and trying to make your final decision about where to go? It can definitely be tough making a choice that will determine the next four years of your life. Hopefully, some advice from someone who can now look back at being in your position will help.
My biggest piece of advice is speaking with current students. I don’t mean simply talking to students on your interview day. Try your best to reach out to students and ask them how they are doing at the school. Every school has its ups and downs and it is really important to hear the honest opinion of someone currently attending.
If you don’t know how to reach out to a current student, you can always contact the admissions office and see if they are able to provide you with contact information. Generally, they will be more than happy to help. Simply send an email or a quick text asking the student what they like and dislike about the school they chose.
A few additional tips you can use to really make sure you’re making the right decision include taking some time to get to know the city and considering housing. The city your school is in can make a big difference. It’s nice to be able to escape the stress of studying and occasionally explore. Additionally, getting an idea of where you may live the following year can be helpful. You want to be comfortable. I loved my apartment in Chicago and found that some of my best ICO studying was done right there. However, if I ever needed a break, the whole city was mine to explore.
Optometry school is a big decision. You want to try to pick a school that will support you. In a demanding program, enjoying your environment can make all the difference if you start feeling overwhelmed. I highly recommend reaching out to a student, or even a few! Don’t be afraid to ask whatever is on your mind. Who knows? Maybe in a few years, someone could be reaching out to you!