Flashback to First Year Struggles

ICO Blogger has a flashback of her White Coat Ceremony, Flashback Friday, Illinois College of Optometry, ICO, OAT exam requirements, OAT score, Optometric Oath, white coat, eyes

My kindergarten graduation ceremony was held in my school’s cafeteria. My classmates and I lined up in the hall, then walked in. As everyone else climbed up to the stage, I continued to walk right back out into the hall. I cried and refused to go up until the principal said I could just stand on the stairs behind her.

Flash forward to my ICO White Coat Ceremony. My mom, brother, and grandparents were all in Chicago for the weekend. However, they all were unsure if I would get on stage. To be honest, if you had asked me two weeks earlier, I didn’t know if I was going to still be at ICO. Was it all because of some silly stage fright? Nope. Check the full story out at my older blog, Don’t Panic.

The short version: The second day of classes first year, I had a major panic attack that would not stop. I ended up having go home for the first week. My family came back with me and I got through the next week much more easily. With multiple panic attacks and studying for tests, keeping up with the workload was difficult. One of the medications I was on makes me have really bad night sweats, which at first would wake me up and keep me up in the middle of the night, especially the night before exams. Due to everything going on, my GPA was not what I hoped it would be and I ended up failing a course. I had to meet with the Academic committee and ended up retaking the course during the summer. The bright side? I now know that subject so much better!

By sophomore year, my GPA was on the rise. In March, I passed part 1 of boards. In three weeks, I take part 3. I have had a few obstacles while being at ICO, but so far, I think I am a better doctor and person for going through everything I have. In May, I will fearlessly stand up on stage.

Even though this year has just started, I encourage everyone who is struggling in a class, gets nervous before seeing a patient, or just misses home to take a deep breath. ICO is a family. Someone is always here to help you. If I can do it, you can do it.

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