Last Sunday, four amazing and challenging years of optometry school culminated in the graduation ceremony for the class of 2015. It’s surreal and strangely unexpected—even after all of the testing, preparation, and clinical rotations, it doesn’t feel like it could possibly be time to graduate. Even through all the struggles of optometry school—the late nights studying, the need to adapt quickly to new clinical rotations, struggling to master new techniques in the lab—it still feels like it’s gone by too fast. It’s bittersweet, also, to be writing my last blog post for NECO after four years.
I’m extremely grateful for the experiences I’ve had at NECO. Over the past four years, I’ve been taught by a wonderful faculty and also by an extremely dedicated and inspirational team of clinical educators. My clinical experiences have been diverse, and I’ve learned from every single one about different aspects of optometry—not just about low vision, or contact lenses, or pediatrics, but about seeing patients as people in need of our help rather than sets of eyes, and about how to understand the needs of the community we are working in. I’ve been given advice that I will continue to use throughout my career—particularly the need to stay current on optometric news and new areas of research in eye care without neglecting the knowledge base that I have built during my time in school.
What will I miss most about NECO? The answer is, unquestionably, the friends that I have made here. In addition to a stellar education, NECO has a way of connecting you with other people. I’ve made friends here who I know will be my friends for life—and I’m proud to know that the friends that I have made are dedicated and passionate and will make incredible doctors. I’ll miss them so much, but I’m comforted by the fact that we’ll stay in touch and be able to visit each other, in addition to seeing each other at optometry conferences and events.
Although finishing optometry school and leaving Boston is difficult, I’m extremely excited about what’s coming next. I will be joining a private eye care practice in my hometown of Buffalo, New York and am grateful for the opportunity to serve my community. I’ll have the chance to work with pediatrics, primary care, urgent care, geriatrics, contact lenses, and all of the components of a private eye care practice, in addition to performing pre- and post-operative exams for refractive surgery patients.
I’d like to congratulate the class of 2015 on our graduation from NECO, and wish everyone the best of luck. We’ve all worked hard, and I know that we’ll continue to do so in our careers as doctors. I’ll miss you guys, and congratulations—we did it!