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Hi everyone! My name is Saniya Merchant and I’m thrilled to be part of the incoming class of 2025. I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in Spring of 2020. Moving in this past weekend came with a ton of mixed emotions since it’s my first time moving out of state! Though it’s been overwhelming, I’m very excited to begin this new chapter in Memphis and call this city home for the next 4 years. With the support of my family, friends and the faculty here at SCO, the transition process has been seamless.
My initial interest in the medical field was sparked by my late grandmother who was an OBGYN. As I continued to explore different occupations in the healthcare world I knew optometry was the right fit for me because of all the intricacies in optometry as well as the potential to improve the quality of life for so many people. One of my biggest inspirations to pursue optometry has been my older sister who is currently a Low Vision Resident at Illinois College of Optometry. She has guided me every step of the way and I’m so thankful to have had her support.
It's crazy to think that exactly a year ago I had begun the application process and now I am days away from starting classes. I knew SCO was the right school for me not only because of the amazing clinical program but also because of the supportive staff and faculty that I have met along the way. Everyone has been so helpful in easing many of the stressors we are currently facing especially with things ever-changing due to COVID. I am excited to start my journey here at SCO and look forward to meeting everyone in the class of 2025.