I’m going to write about a very touchy subject here.
I come from Toronto (in the magical land of Canada). Before I left, I spoke to my girlfriend about how hard it would be to maintain our relationship. I had heard from friends in optometry school that long distance relationships were especially stressful in first year because of its difficulty. I wanted to make sure that we could work things out–that we would see each other as much as possible in between quarters and reunite at the end of these four years as if nothing had come between us.
When I left her the night before my plane took off, we both knew that it would be difficult. We felt we were ready to put in the necessary work to make things work.
A lot of people talk about how difficult it is to maintain a long distance relationship, but no one really talks about it in detail. A lot of long distance relationships work out–but for me, it hasn’t all gone according to plan.
I’ve just eaten dinner and was about to start studying when I decided that I would rather spend my time writing. So I’m writing this. Even though I have an Optics test tomorrow at 8 a.m.
But I’ll explain why I’ve made that choice a little later.
My classmates and I have been at ICO for nearly four months now. The bright-eyed, naive idealists–who stepped onto the grounds of ICO as a group of strangers, hoping to learn as much about the world of optometry and to help as many people as possible–have disappeared.
Today, we are battle-worn. We know each other as well as only optometry students can know each other. Our bonds are strong, having been tempered by the difficulties and tribulations of professional school. We are like lost soldiers, depending only on each other as we struggle to survive in an endless desert of notes and diagrams of eyes. We climb sand dunes to find an ever-expanding desert of deadlines and test dates. And sometimes, among the sleepless nights spent fending off coyotes, whose only goal is to whittle our GPAs closer and closer to the cut-off point of failing a course, it seems like this desert will never end.
I may be exaggerating a bit here.
It’s not that bad…
No really, it isn’t. I’ve only had one all-nighter since I’ve been here–and that was because I had insomnia.
You’ll be fine, I promise.
I’ve been at ICO for more than three months now. It’s been busy to say the least. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but here’s what a typical weekday is like for me. Keep in mind that this may vary slightly depending on the person:
First thing in the morning (aka waking up up 15-60 minutes before class/test)-4 p.m.
- brush teeth
- get dressed
- (skip) breakfast
- go to class
- doze off in class
- skip class to sleep
- more class
- study in the library or study lounge
- work out (sometimes)
8 p.m. and beyond
- study some more OR
- get fed up with studying and:
- go downtown
- OR browse the internet
- go back to studying
- ponder the meaning of existence
- decompress with reading or more philosophical pondering
So yeah, that’s optom life.
But I’m not here to impress you my dedication or work ethic; everyone here learns all that stuff within the first two weeks of school. Don’t worry–if you’ve been accepted into ICO or any other professional school, you’ll make it to the end. Never doubt what you are capable of or let the pressure get to you…
I’ll probably write something about that later. This post is going in a different direction.
Now that my time at home is becoming shorter, I’m beginning to feel a sense of loss. I’m beginning to appreciate the things I have, things that I have always taken for granted and things that I will not have when I leave for ICO in August.
At this point in time, I live in Toronto, Ontario, in the magical land of Canada. We live in igloos and hunt polar bear. We play hockey while riding on moose and our workforce runs off of Tim Hortons coffee. We always say sorry, even when it’s not our fault.
I’m going to miss all of that.
I’ve never been a sentimental person. I guess that’s because I’m not the type of person who takes his time to appreciate life. I have always been excited to leave wherever I was and experience something new, and that’s evident now in the fact that I’ve spent a ton of time preparing for school, but absolutely none preparing to leave home.