My name is Michelle Alaimo, and I just started my first year here at SCO. I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and went to Ohio State University for undergrad, so moving to Memphis was definitely a big change for me. So far, the transition could not have gone smoother! Before classes started, I was able to meet my second-year big sib, get to know some of my classmates, and spend time exploring Memphis. Although I know I will eventually miss the days of lounging by the pool, I was ready to jump in and get started with classes!
The last week of August, our class had orientation for two days, where we learned all about how things work at SCO. Getting to see the ins and outs of the school just reminded us all why we chose SCO and how many resources it has to offer. We also got our first set of equipment, which was so exciting! The first day we learned about the logistics of SCO, like where to park, where our lockers are, etc. The second day of orientation was more focused on the field of optometry and our classes. We got to meet our instructors and hear about their expectations. Besides getting information about starting optometry school, throughout orientation we also took fun photo booth pictures and met classmates through different activities.
At the end of the second day of orientation, our families and friends arrived for the much-anticipated White Coat and Honor Code Ceremony! It was such a great feeling to put on our new white coats and celebrate this next step in our journey to becoming optometrists. Of course, after the ceremony we had a delicious barbeque dinner! I loved getting to show my family Memphis and SCO over the weekend.
There have been many opportunities to meet other SCO students and make friends. I had already met a lot of people through the Housing Fair back in March but was able to meet so many more people in the past couple of weeks, including upperclassmen. The social fraternity at SCO, Omega Delta, has already organized multiple events like a pool party and float trip to bring students together.
This past week, we started classes! The first day was surprisingly not as intimidating as I had expected. All of the instructors were really great, and unlike undergrad, all of our classes are actually important for our career which makes them more interesting. After morning lectures, I had my Theory and Methods lab, so I got to jump right into learning the techniques and basics to patient care. After only a few days, it already feels like I learned so much!
I am confident I made the right decision in choosing this school, and know I’m going to be getting the best optometric education and clinical experience I could. Besides that, I’m going to make so many memories with an awesome community and eat lots of delicious barbeque! I can’t wait to see what these four years have in store for me at SCO!