My name is Charlotte Logan, and I’m a student in the Class of 2026 at SCO. I’m from Sherwood Park, Canada, and I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences Major and Business Minor, just this past spring! Now that it’s been almost a full year since I submitted my application to SCO, I have had plenty of time to reflect on my experience throughout the optometry school application process.
In my 2nd year of undergrad, I had been working at a local optometry clinic for a few months and decided on optometry as the profession which I wanted to pursue. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve also discovered your passion for vision care and eye health! I studied for and wrote my OAT the summer before 3rd year and that fall, I submitted my OptomCAS application. While the system is mostly streamlined, each school will require additional essay responses to their own unique questions. I completed these applications while I was still in classes, and while I wish I would have started them over the summer, it was feasible to complete during the school year! The most important aspect about your application responses is to be honest and showcase your best, distinctive qualities and experiences. Don’t be afraid to dive deep into how you got to this point and why you love optometry and will excel at it – both academically and personally (this applies to your interview, too!).
I was fortunate to have SCO accommodate my travel needs (pandemic restriction-related) and allowed me to interview virtually. While I was saddened that I could not tour the school, SCO’s website has a plethora of information and photos so I could get an idea of what the physical school and its community is like. The admissions team was also very communicative about what to expect for my virtual interview as well as the options to learn more about the campus (virtual tours, housing options, financial aid, etc.). To prepare for my interview, I reviewed my application responses and SCO’s website to remind myself of all the reasons why I wanted to pursue optometry, specifically at SCO. I also read The Medical School Interview by Jeremiah Fleenor – it’s a short read and gives you some good perspectives going into your interview. My interview was quite relaxed with straight-forward questions (nothing out of left field, I promise!); it truly felt like I was speaking with a fellow colleague. Be sure to ask any questions you have, whether it be about academics, student life, housing options, or Memphis in general! Most importantly, know that if you are passionate and excited about becoming an optometrist, that will always show through to the interviewers!
The Big Decision!
Immediately after I interviewed, my decision was made! I had such a positive interview experience with the staff and faculty who interviewed me, and my gut reaction was that SCO felt right. At the end of the day, you will be a Doctor of Optometry no matter which optometry school you graduate from, so you just need to decide which school’s community, resources, and values best suit your needs. You also need to consider the city where you’ll be living for the next few years – it’s not all about studying and you’ll have more free time than you may think! It’s important to enjoy where you’re living and learning so you can grow as an individual and a healthcare professional. Memphis is a great city with lots of friendly folks and unique arts and culture to experience!
In the weeks following my acceptance to SCO, I was added to a SCO Class of 2026 Facebook Page, invited to information nights, connected with current students, and informed of the next steps to prepare for optometry school and finalize my enrollment. The Housing Fair and Virtual Happy Hour events are also offered as a great way to meet fellow incoming classmates and connect with upperclassmen. To finalize the enrollment process, you’ll have orientation and most excitingly, your White Coat Ceremony! Receiving your White Coat and signing the Honor Code solidifies your commitment to the profession and acts as a reminder of why you’re going through all the hard work and life changes that come along with optometry school!