Wow, it's amazing how much life can change in a month! It seems like I was just feeling the burn of final exams, but now the "living' is easy." I was able to find a job on campus cleaning and making minor repairs to phoroptors and slit lamps. The job itself is very interesting and beneficial because I will be able to perform simple maintenance on optometric equipment in my own practice one day.
It's amazing how fast first year went! Things came at us so quickly that I didn't notice how fast time went. It feels like I was just at orientation. The course material was difficult, but it was a lot of fun to learn because it was relevant to my future profession. If it hadn't been for my planner I would have gotten lost early on. While it was challenging, there was plenty of room for fun! To help relieve stress, I joined the Vision Therapy club and played on an intramural basketball team. I also made it a goal to treat optometry school as a full time job. In other words, I worked really hard until 5 PM and then went home. This made it easy to balance school life and family life. Knowing that at 5 o'clock I would go home to relax and watch Netflix with my wife made it easier to work hard and efficiently on campus. This rule did not apply during test weeks when I would also study after I got home, but that was only a few weeks per semester. While it was the most demanding academic year of my life, it was very doable thanks to my planner and my supportive wife.
We have had such an amazing time here in Memphis! My wife was able to find a great job soon after moving here. We decided to live at the Hamilton apartments in Mississippi. It takes 20 minutes or less to drive to school and we get so much more for our money living here. All of the shopping you would ever need is nearby (Nordstrom is missing according to my wife, but I'm kind of grateful it's not here :) They are opening up a big outlet mall nearby which will make Christmas shopping a piece of cake! We also love the fact that our favorite restaurants are close. With so many other students living down here, we don't feel out of the loop either. In fact, I was able to carpool with some other students. With gas being so cheap this year, we all paid next to nothing by carpooling.
There are so many fun things to do! Southaven, Horn Lake, and Olive Branch have a ton of parks. We love going geocaching, playing disc golf, pretending like we know how to play tennis, and getting half-priced shakes at Sonic after 8. My favorite hobby is playing actual golf. With the "golfnow" website, you can play 18 holes with a cart for 10-15 dollars at Wedgewood and North Creek golf courses. Both courses are in good shape and both are a lot of fun. It takes about 15 min from the Hamilton to get to both courses.
Being only 20-25 min from Downtown Memphis, we have had an awesome time exploring the city. We love going to Redbirds and Grizzlies games. Even though I'm a Utah Jazz fan and my wife is a Dallas Mavericks fan, we have really enjoyed the Grizzlies games. You can get tickets on stubhub for cheaper than a movie ticket! Redbirds tickets are also less than 10 bucks and are tons of fun (make sure you get the BBQ nachos). My wife and I don't drink and aren't really into the music scene, so Beale Street doesn't have that much appeal to us, but we've heard it's a lot of fun :) We do, however, love food and Memphis has a ton of great places to eat! Southaven has Memphis BBQ Co. which is awesome, but you can't go wrong with the BBQ anywhere here. We loved Elena's Taco Shop up in Bartlett for delicious Mexican food. They have tons of delicious burger joints. Delicious dessert places. Basically, we live in food paradise.
Summer has been a lot of fun so far. We decided to stay in Memphis so that my wife could continue working at her great job and so that I could work on campus and do some shadowing in the clinic. It has been a nice, relaxing break, but I'm excited to get back to school. Last year reinforced my love of optometry and increased my desire to learn all that I can while I'm in school.
That's all for now! Maybe one of these times I'll upload some pictures, but it's summer and I'm feeling a bit lazy :)