Some things I wish I’d known...

My optometry experience so far has been extremely rewarding; the course is highly insightful and offers a practical approach to learning. I applied for the course knowing the importance of the role of an optometrist and hence, I understood that my university experience would be by no means easy.

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I believe that all new students starting optometry at university should not underestimate the difficulty and volume of knowledge that will be required to be successful within the course. Therefore, I believe students should be ready and willing to work extremely hard to achieve their goal and this is something they should know before starting the course.

Something I wish I would have known is how helpful work experience is and how it can put you at an advantage particularly in the dispensing module which is extremely important. Whether this work experience is in the form of a part time job, a summer placement or perhaps time shadowing an optometrist it really helps you to see the information you are given in lectures actually happening in the work place. Some of my peers with part time jobs in an opticians have found some of the dispensing labs come a bit more naturally as they are used to dealing with lenses and frames on a regular basis. Hence, some form of experience before starting the degree and even better to continue on weekends during the degree is a big recommendation from me. I have just started my part time job at Boots Opticians on a Saturday and already I have been able to understand things in my lectures much easier because I can actually see it happening in practice.

Another thing I wish I’d known is that the course, particularly in first year, contains modules which are very mathematically/physics related. Personally I did not study physics or maths at A-Level and so I was a little rusty from only studying those at GCSE level. Of course the content of the courses can differ within different universities but I know that if I would have known I would have perhaps spent time over the summer prior to starting the degree re-familiarising myself with the general principles of maths and physics.

Overall, I would highly recommend the degree as I do thoroughly enjoy it. I would just suggest doing enough research into it and making sure it is the right degree for you. 

Emma Clarke
Manchester University

 

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