For years, I have dreamed of the day when I would say farewell to my academic career and hello to my professional one. I dreamed of the day that all of my efforts and the support of my family and friends would produce a degree. Now that the day is here, I am filled with mixed emotions.
Graduating means so much to me, to my family, and to those around me. It means that all of the years of studying and nights dedicated to memorization were worth it. It means that I can finally give back to those who have nurtured me and that I can help my community progress. It means that I cannot lose sight of my obligations and my duties. It means that I am responsible for providing the best vision care I can provide. It also means that I can say good-bye to student discounts and deals.
I am grateful for all the help I have received along the way. From my parents with their endless wisdom that far outreaches mine. From my brothers with their friendship, constant encouragement, and listening ears. From my best friends with their humor and clever mnemonics shared during our early morning review sessions. From my professors and attendings, like Dr. Goodfellow, whose love of optics nurtured my own, and Dr. Harthan, whose guidance in clinic was indispensable. From the security guards with their endless coffee and genuine regard.
I am excited for what’s to come – the patients that I will meet and treat, the lessons I will learn along the way, even the ocular injections that I may do. At the same time, I am also nervous that I won’t always have the correct answer, but am confident that I will be the best doctor that I can be.
These four years of optometry school have gone by quickly, and I will always fondly look back on all of the experiences I have had, the hard lessons I have learned, the forever friends I have made, and more.
Here’s to life after it all.