Aha! My password still works!
I realize that I never got to say goodbye to you all from the vantage of this student life blog, especially now that the student life is over.
Life after my externship in Wichita has been one thing to the next, and I am still in awe at all that has transpired. Graduation was extremely gratifying. It was quite cathartic, celebrating for an entire week with my classmates, and I am so proud of all we have accomplished and will accomplish in our careers.
Two days after graduation, I headed off to Cartagena, Colombia, for my final SVOSH trip as a student. Even though those long clinic hours can be quite difficult sometimes, I still think after four years of SVOSH that there was no better way to spend my time at the end of the school year. We saw roughly 1100 patients in Cartagena.
Rolling right along, my brother also graduated the week after that, and he earned his Master’s in International Business/Asian Studies from Johns Hopkins University. So proud of him, and of course my parents were super happy to have two graduates in the same month.
Then, in the following week, I had sinus surgery to fix a lifelong disorder. Ha, the recovery was not pleasant (I liken the feeling to drowning, but in air), but there was no better time for it. I will never take for granted the ability to simply take a deep breath.
A few weeks later (and still recovering), I ventured to Canada for a heart-filling reunion with my mom’s side of the family, and we celebrated her 86th birthday with a lunch cruise on Lake Ontario. I remarked at how quickly my little cousins are growing, and we very much enjoyed interviewing my grandmother about life in the southern Philippines around World War II.
Just this past weekend, one of my best optometry school friends, Michael, married the love of his life, Connie, providing a very warm, very fun (but quick) reunion for our SCO friends.
While all these life events have happened on a grand scale, daily life has operated on a much smaller scale. I will be joining a private practice south of Nashville this fall, and a lot of the summer has been devoted to preparation for the beginning of my career in optometry. (Exciting!) I’ve gotten my Tennessee license, started the process of getting credentialed on insurances, and attended my first Continuing Education lectures as an optometrist (thanks, SCO and SCO residents!). Also, I have enjoyed short visits to Memphis from my parents, exploring yet more of this awesome city with my now-fourth-year girlfriend, Emy, and the satisfying simplicity of being. Life is good.
And thus in the midst of this extraordinary transition in my life I leave you. Thank you for reading my musings on optometry school these past few years, and I would especially like to thank Sunnie Ewing, Jim Hollifield, and SCO for this opportunity to connect with you all. For those of you currently in optometry school, good luck, and before you know it I’ll be calling you doctor as well. To those of you thinking about optometry as a career, know that optometry is a wonderful, fulfilling profession, and that I consider my years at Southern College of Optometry to be among the best in my life.
And yet, at the dawn of my career, I still believe that the best is yet to come.
Virgilio Gozum, O.D.