Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

“Do you see the difference?” I leaned in and focused on this young patient’s eyes. She looked normal to me. Then Dr. Mark held up a picture of what her eyes looked like five months before. In the photo her eyes were turned outward looking in different directions. She had come in to see Dr. Mark with complaints of difficulty reading, headaches, and some double vision. Before that day I had no idea that optometrists used vision therapy to help patients. In five months this patient went from feeling frustrated with school and reading to significantly improving her grades. Dr. Mark had a huge impact on the trajectory of her life. I want to be a part of that too!

I have a friend named Michael. We met in junior high in a special needs class. I was his peer tutor. Mentoring Michael required me to be patient and listen closely to what he needed. To this day we still spend time with one another. We have developed a longstanding relationship. As an optometrist I will offer primary eye care for all family members at any stage of life. I hope to have lifelong relationships with these patients like my mentor, Dr. Frank, who has seen the same families for over 35 years! I cherish my friendship with Michael and look forward to cultivate lasting relationships with many others.

My passion for physics and the human body led me to a crossroads as there was more than one path I could choose. I knew that I did not want a completely booked schedule with limited family time. I could not picture myself operating on patients that were under anesthesia. As I began to remove certain professions off my list optometry remained. Sometimes knowing what you do not want makes it easier to know what you do want!

As I continued to shadow, prepare for entrance exams, receive letters from schools, and interview at multiple locations I came to know what I wanted. Attending the Southern College of Optometry, 1,600 miles away from home, is preparing me to positively impact others’ lives!

Christopher from Mississippi
Southern College of Optometry