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My name is Pooja, I'm a current first year at SCO from Dallas, TX, soon to be 26, and I'm new to writing for the SCO blog!
I figured I'd write a little about an insecurity I had while applying to optometry school and give you a little bit of background info about myself in the process.
I graduated from Southern Methodist University (the only school to have received the death penalty in football, and where "Kevin" from the Office went to college) in 2014 with an Applied Mathematics degree. I matriculated into SCO in 2017 and spent the years in between as part of the work force.
Now a little spoiler, optometry was not a career choice I had imagined since I was a child. And whilst in college, I thought I wanted to work corporately for a company called Mathnasium (math tutoring company, not a gym where really fit people do math) and work my way up. Lucky for me, I did find a gig working for Mathnasium. My official title was "Center Director". My responsibilities included running a center in its entirety: hiring and firing, making sure I broke even/made profit with my overhead, tutoring kids, marketing, and etc.
While I definitely learned a lot with my experience at Mathnasium, I realized working for a corporation was something I did not want to do. I wanted a career that would give me the ability to be my own boss and would have an immediate positive impact on people's health.
I eventually found my way to optometry (more details to come in another blog post). But one of the biggest factors I worried about was that my undergraduate studies were more heavily math based than science and that I would have two years between college and graduate school. I worried that I wouldn't be able to handle the rigor of 23 credit hours my first semester!
Well as you know, since you're reading this, I decided to take on the challenge. And though first semester was no breeze, I've done pretty well for being a non-traditional student.
This is me walking up to get my white coat. Also hoping I don't trip in front of everyone!
Having those concerns definitely kept me on track, but being surrounded with like-minded and striving individuals, being successful academically wasn't overbearing. In reality we're all in this together (yes, I made a high school musical reference). I've been able to have a social life, partake in clubs at school, and even the Student Government Association!
Heads up, SCO Class of 2021 can cook!
With a semester under my belt, I can say I found the right career and the right school for me!