15 hours and 1,030 miles later, I finally arrived at my destination – Memphis, TN. I have only been here a little over a week and I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made. Memphis is quite different from my hometown – Miami, FL; however, one thing remains the same – boiling temperatures that beg for some ice cream or a dip in the pool. I must admit... I am secretly hoping for colder temperatures to hit so I can finally experience a real winter – as Elsa would say, “The cold never bothered me anyway” (but who am I kidding, I’ll regret saying this in a couple of months).
I guess now is as good a time as ever to introduce myself. My name is Betsy Del Valle and I will be a first year optometry student this upcoming Fall (Class of 2019!!). I grew up in Miami, FL although I was actually born in Cuba. I have many fond memories of growing up in Miami, and it will always hold a special place in my heart; however, I have always been intrigued with the unknown and upon graduating from high school I chose to relocate to Gainesville, FL to attend the University of Florida where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition (Go Gators!!!!).
University of Florida Class of 2012!
After completing my degree at UF, I decided to move back to Miami and eventually pursued a Master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition at Florida International University. You may be wondering why I decided to pursue a master’s degree as opposed to going straight into optometry school; the truth is, I didn’t know much about the field of optometry until after my undergraduate studies. However, what I did know was that I wanted to further my education and eventually work in healthcare. Once I began shadowing a variety of optometrists, I realized that optometry was a perfect match and my love for the profession was awakened.
An interesting fact about me is that I have a slight obsession with animals (especially penguins and giraffes) as well as anything optometry related as you will come to learn.
Zoo Miami - Feeding my favorite vegetarian.
Georgia Aquarium - With my one and only.
Eye at the Joule - Dallas, TX
Fast-forward to August 2015 and here I am, in Memphis, TN ready to begin the next chapter of my life.
With each day that goes by, one by one the class of 2019 is slowly but surely invading the City of Blues and the countdown has officially begun – 16 days till Orientation! Until then, I will continue to explore this historic city and all of its hidden gems. Next time I write, I will hopefully have made many friends and have finally begun this journey that will take me one step closer to attaining my ultimate goal of becoming a Doctor of Optometry!