Hi, my name is Ojaswita or you can call me OJ, and I’m a current second-year Optometry student at Salus University. I went to school in New Jersey most of my life, and I went to Rutgers University-New Brunswick with a major in Biological Sciences. I knew I wanted to pursue optometry when I started working at an optometry practice my junior year of college. Once I knew I had an interest in the field and I could imagine myself committing to it for the rest of my life, there was really no looking back. Salus was my top choice because of its proximity to home and I truly admired doctors I have met who received their education at PCO.
Almost everything we expect in the program has been predictable until this spring 2020 semester, where we experienced a global pandemic and had to completely alter our experience of school. Once the pandemic started, we had to begin online academic training and we were in the middle of the semester so we had a ton of midterms with finals shortly to follow. Being cooped up at home is not an easy feeling when you are also stressed with the amount of studying we must do. It took a lot of self-discipline and organization to stay on top of the material and the exams.
I’m going to provide you some insight on a typical day in the virtual academic life as an optometry student.
9 a.m.: Wake up, or at least snooze my alarm for a second.
9:15 a.m.: Meditate (starting the day with this helps me enter the day with a calm mind).
9:45 a.m.: Exercise. I usually go for a run in the neighborhood or do home workouts (during quarantine, exercising helped me stay mentally sane and kept me sharp).
10:30 a.m.: Shower and eat a healthy breakfast. I usually make avocado toast with eggs and some fruits on the side.
11:15 a.m.: Make some Dalgona coffee or some hot coffee and look at my to-do list for the day that I made earlier in the week, and just lay all my study materials out.
12 p.m.: I officially start studying for the day. I typically watch a lecture on Panopto (our online lecture videos) and make my own notes while watching it.
1 p.m.: Usually around this time, I would have a mandatory attendance CPS Class (clinical problem solving) where a small group meets with a doctor and discusses cases with each other through the online meet-up system on Blackboard.
3 p.m.: Take a short break, eat a snack such as some Trader Joe’s dumplings or a homemade burger.
3:30 p.m.: Continue listening to a lecture and make notes for an upcoming exam.
6-7 p.m.: Dinner time
8-12 a.m.: I typically study until I get tired, so I usually listen to more lectures and I go through flashcards to review previous material if I don’t want to listen. I proactively take notes since it’s almost the end of the day (this is also the point in the day where I have one of my friends FaceTime studying with me to keep each other motivated).
12 a.m.: I start getting ready for bed. I like to FaceTime a friend who is also a night person like myself, and watch some Netflix.
1 a.m.: I go to sleep.
I am not the type of person who wakes up super early and goes to sleep early. During quarantine, you have such a flexible schedule (since we don’t physically attend lectures), I optimize my time according to my best interest. I start the next day usually in a similar manner, but I may have a different mandatory lab or lecture and I still have to fit in time to study for lectures and review previous material.