Monday, February 28, 2011

Learning about myself in the new semester

I'm not going to say that undergrad was easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was certainly different than grad school.  I was able to make time for all-girl cheerleading, a sorority, being an RA, staying involved in the pre-health/pre-optometry club, and attending football and basketball games.  I have no idea how I managed to do all of this around school... oh yeah - tests were never cumulative and I only took 18 hours at the most!

Optometry school has included 23 hour semesters and studying, not to pass a test, but to understand how to care for patients.  This semester we have 8 classes totaling 23.5 hours!  With what I learned from last semester, I've been able to improve my grades significantly!

These past few months have been a whirlwind of coping with stress, balancing studies, and handling the roller coaster of emotions.  I was nominated based on last semester's GPA and recommendations from faculty, staff, and current student ambassadors to be a part of Southern College of Optometry's Student Ambassador program.  It was something I really wanted to do, and didn't get super involved at SCO to make sure I would have time for it if I got selected.  See, that was my problem at NC State.  If something sounded interesting, I just did it without taking my personal time (and life) into consideration.  I was bound and determined to not do that in grad school, especially since I'm married and live about 30 minutes away from school.  I prayed for two weeks after turning in my application for God's will to be done in my life.  Well, after interviewing and competing for one of 10 slots (against 33 very qualified students), I was not selected.  I was really bummed considering I had gotten my hopes up very high and asked a TON of friends and family to pray for me.  But what I've learned is that God is calling me to relax for the first time in my life.

I've always been an over-achiever, which was pretty easy to do in undergrad when the majority of students do the minimum to get the degree and know that a job is waiting for them at the end.  However, the student body at SCO consists of 120 first-year students just like me!  All of us are still perfectionists, leaders, and over-achievers!  So, I take a look around and realize what I looked like to everyone else.  I can see the stress and wonder why they put themselves through it.  I'm learning that God wants me to be a good wife, to gain close relationships with good friends, and worry about my success as a future doctor, not my success as an involved student.  As the eye changes focus from looking at something close-up to looking at something far-away, I have had to do the same in my life.  I have had to change my focus on the future and not just how involved I am at SCO.  I study with the needs of future patients in my mind.  I am constantly thinking about my career and what type of work environment I want to be a part of in a few years.  The future is my focus and with that I have some great updates to share!

The past two weeks included 7 tests and my interview.  I made an 89 on my opthalmic optics practical, a 90 on my opthalmic optics test, an 85 on anatomy, a 100 on theory and methods (100's get stickers in his class by the way), an 81.8 in optics (by the way, my first test of the semester in that class was a 100, so I tried to shift my focus to other classes), and a 100 in ocular physiology!  I got a tutor for physiology this semester because I didn't do well in that teacher's class last semester, and it really paid off!  The one test that I haven't gotten back from the past two week's test marathon is intro to optometry.  I'm certain I did quite well on it, but he had to leave town last week on a family emergency.  Apparently, his father is in the hospital, so I'm patiently waiting for that grade.

All in all, the semester has started out wonderful!  I couldn't ask for anything better.  At this very moment, I am relaxing in the mountains of North Carolina with my wonderful husband!  Yesterday, we ate dinner at Hardee's, and today we got brunch at Bojangle's.  Neither one of these places exist in Memphis, so they were a must while back home :).  We will have to find some time to go to Cookout later for a spectacular milk shake.  Don't tell Tony Horton... yes I started p90x with a fellow classmate this semester - we're insane!

Until next time!  I'm relaxing, not studying! :)