Class of 2014
After living most of my life in California and just graduating from UC San Diego, coming to New York City and SUNY Optometry was an entirely new experience for me. I found out about SUNY Optometry from my pre-optometry friends and classmates in the pre-opto club at school. I knew to expect a rigorous but rewarding program, both in terms of the academics as well as the clinical preparation. One year through, I found this to be true and so much more. I found the people—the professors, staff and upperclassmen—to be friendly and helpful.
We stepped into clinic for observations in the very first week. Back then, I knew very little about the procedures performed by the intern. One year through, I can now do many of those same procedures myself. I loved being able to apply what I learned in lecture to actual clinical practice, even if it was mostly practicing on my classmates for now. We even had many opportunities to use what we learned to give back to the community, such as providing vision screenings at the local homeless shelter, at schools and at the Special Olympics. This made the intense studying even more worthwhile, knowing that we can already make a difference in the lives of other people.
While school was intense, I enjoyed exploring the city with my classmates and getting involved in extracurricular in our free time. We attended many free concerts in the city, tried different restaurants, watched Broadway shows, ice-skated at Bryant Park and checked out the holiday decorations, among many other things to do in NYC. There was still time to participate in class council, have a part-time job, and check out special optometry-related events, such as the Vision Expo.
What I like most about the program at SUNY is that it prepares me well for the profession of optometry, while the city itself provides opportunities to unwind and try something new everyday. It took some time to adjust to life across the country, but soon SUNY became a second home to me and the people here like a family.
Class of 2014
Being an economics major from UCI in California, I did not always know that I wanted to become an optometrist. As soon as I decided to pursue the profession of optometry, I kept hearing wonderful things about the program at SUNY Optometry. Those who I spoke to commented that although the program is difficult, the experience would be well worth it and I would be a better optometrist because of it. After attending SUNY Optometry for one year, I have to agree!
SUNY Optometry provides its students with an unrivaled clinical experience. Firstly, students enter the clinic from day one. Students begin by observing during appointments, and by the end of their second year are conducting entire eye exams on patients! Secondly, the school being located in New York City has the advantage of a very diverse patient population. Certain eye conditions have higher prevalence rates in certain populations, so a student as SUNY will see almost every type of condition before graduating!
Living in New York City is developing me into a more well-rounded person. I am constantly meeting people of different cultures, backgrounds and religions. In addition, there are a ton of new restaurants and cultural events to experience such as theaters, concerts, festivals, etc.