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I completely forgot I didn’t publish my last blog post, even though I had written it last month. I just published it now. T_T

The pace has picked up and I’m getting super overwhelmed with grad school. The first few weeks were sooo laid back and easy; I couldn’t believe it. I made the mistake of getting too comfortable during those weeks and now that things are at full speed, I am sooooo overwhelmed!!!

My learning speed when it comes to difficult material is very slow. I have a hard time comprehending things unless I take the time out and go over it myself at my own speed. And lately now that I have re-entered school to go to optometry school, I have not been doing my job of spending all of that time outside of class to really understand everything. It’s not like undergrad anymore where I can cram a few days or the night before (complete with stress and lack of sleep). I’ve been doing that for the last two weeks, but I can tell it is just not possible as things get more difficult, and my classmates will quickly leave me in the dust if I don’t keep up.

Feeling super overwhelmed the last two weeks, I decided to look into maybe a new system for me, since my old system (which was successful in college) is not working out for me anymore in grad school. I’ve started using Google Calendar because with 7 classes a week with 4 clubs and an optometric frat, I can’t keep track of my schedule in my head anymore. Starting to make an agenda on paper with a weekly view now, so that I don’t get behind on assignments.

I used to record lectures and type notes during class, go home to relisten and fix my notes to make them verbatim to the recording, create electronic flash cards, and use the notes & cards to study. Aced all my exams. Now, it is not working as well especially since my classes are double the length of undergrad and to be honest, my professors expect us to comprehend much more than what they say in lecture.

So, my current plan is to continue reviewing the lecture recordings, notes, and flash cards, but I will need to set aside much more extra time to actually find outside sources to solidify my understanding. Additionally, a bunch of pdfs, Microsoft word files, powerpoints, and handwritten paper notes (in fact, I prefer all electronic but most of my classes are best using handwritten notes) is getting really overwhelming for me. I’m trying out Evernote, finally, despite having it ever since 2008. I never used it since it didn’t seem necessary to me. But now that I have so much going on and so many files, I think the Evernote interface will really help me keep things together and feel less overwhelming. You can type notes, include PDF files and PDF books, pictures, all in one place. Sadly, it does require an upgrade to premium for more space per month and features such as annotating directly onto pdfs, searching text inĀ images or having Microsoft files directly embedded in there. I’m not sure that I’m ready to invest in $45/year for that yet, but if Evernote ends up really helping me with my studies, I’ll consider it.

What’s fantastic is that Evernote is compatible with all platforms (I have a Windows desktop AND a Mac laptop), as well as with mobile decvices! I love studying on the go and during downtime, so a multi-platform program is a big necessity for me. If you’ve ever used Evernote, I would love to hear about your tips and experiences!

Off to do some cleaning to de-stress, and then study mode for the night – I need it desperately. I really miss reading and commenting on blogs…maybe I will do that as a stress reliever during downtime in the future.

Before it even hit 8:00AM I already had my picture snapped for my ID badge. As a person who prefers to take multiple shots before deciding upon “the one” picture, I’m not happy with my photo, but I’m sure I’m just nitpicking. This picture is going to stay with me for 4 years and I guess my consolation is that it doesn’t look bad and it could’ve definitely looked way worse. :p

There was a point during the beginning of our university president’s opening speech where I felt really emotional, almost teary eyed. It was the realization that this was a turning point in my life, one which will lead me to a future that I can see myself in and be really happy with.

I’m not so good with names, so it’s going to be a bit of a struggle learning about 100 names from my class, but I imagine they’ll come to me pretty quickly over time. As we’ve been told many times during orientation, these are the people we may become lifelong friends with. I’m a little apprehensive about successfully forming some good bonds and I feel like a 5 year old again, worrying about whether or not I will make any friends on the first day of class.

In some aspects I’m a very social person, but depending on the situation I can be really shy. I find it easy to go up to someone and say hey & introduce myself to make some small talk, but continuing the conversation for an extended period of time is hard for me. I guess you could say I find it easy to talk, however, I don’t find it easy to talk non-stop. If I had to fill the silence the entire time, I would not be able to do it. I’m not sure if I should embrace finding people I can enjoy comfortable silence with, or if I should maybe challenge myself to fill in the gaps of silence. I should probably do both, honestly. It’s going to be tough, but I will try to make an effort to talk twice as much as I normally do. We’ll see how that goes. :p

I’ve surprisingly befriended a lot of commuters from my class already. I was extremely concerned that everyone was finding roommates and living close to campus, but I have met a handful of girls who are commuting from home as well. It’s really nice knowing we’ll have the same experience and we can help each other get through it.

Ironically, I haven’t really been able to talk to one of the two girls that I was acquaintances with before entering optometry school…which is a tad bit surprising but it makes sense that we are trying to expand the circle of people we know.

And yes, I get a few moments of doubt when I think, what if I just can’t understand something or perform something correctly? What if my classmates surpass me and I am left feeling inferior? But I try to reassure myself that I know myself and for all the times I’ve struggled in the past, a ton of repetition, practice and hard work were all I needed before I mastered something. And this entire experience will be many steps harder than my past struggles, but in being honest with myself, I realize I can definitely push myself even harder. I know I can challenge myself, and eventually make my past struggles look like nothing. It’s a scary thing to juggle in your mind, but I suppose grad school was meant to take you out of your comfort zone anyways.

I’m also just a tiny bit worried about my current relationship with my boyfriend. It’s going amazing and I am really happy with us, but I can’t help but wonder how hard will it be once the ball really gets rolling. I think it’s going to need a balance between really making an effort to see each other and be together as much as possible, and getting used to the fact that we’re going to be so busy that we will need to be apart sometimes. And no, we don’t need to worry about me “finding someone else” in opto school. There’s about 19 guys out of a class of 100 for crying out loud, LOL. The odds are good for the men but not so much the women, haha. It’s funny because the other girls I’ve met who are currently in relationships have expressed that their boyfriends have said the exact same worries as mine. :p I personally don’t think anyone in opto school should date around within the class. Our class size is just too small for it to be successful and not awkward.

Until next time! Whenever that may be…

Finally checking into this place again! Although kind of stressed lately, I’ve been having a good time for the most part!

The not-so-fun: It’s been quite the task to get all of my requirements taken care of before starting grad school for optometry. For quite a while, it was an endless task of going around to different places to get things done. I had to retrieve my old lab tests & documents proving my immunizations, get a physical & evaluation, draw blood to perform a chicken pox lab test to prove my immunity to it, get a form notarized, have a TB test done (which required coming back a second day to check the results), get my health insurance sorted out despite my application being in limbo since December, read documents and fill out all kinds of forms, complete a financial aid application and apply for loans, transcripts, blah blah & blah. It all would have been easier if I had health insurance & just one doctor to go to, but I didn’t and had to go around to so many places/clinics. Not to mention the stress of driving on freeways (I dread freeways).

I’m almost in the clear except for a few things though, so besides a few stressful days at work, I’ve been having lots of fun!

So far this summer, I’ve…

Gone to another yelp event that had free food, booze, and an awesome self-guided tour of the Iowa Battleship.

Yelp’s Patriotic Party at Battleship Iowa

Attended a strawberry festival (the fresh, sweet strawberries paired with soft-serve vanilla ice cream was so good) and went to a friend’s house party for her birthday afterwards. The party was a ton of fun with lots of drinking involved. The end of the night went terribly, however, so I’ll leave the rest of it unmentioned. And no, nobody got sick or puked.

Went to a little get-together at my friend’s lovely (and very large) house for a small jacuzzi party and a tasty dinner at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.

Roscoe’s Chicken

Celebrated July 4th by working a super short (4.5 hr) shift at work, having hotdogs/hamburgers at my house, a Filipino dinner at my boyfriend’s, and watching a really lovely firework show at the park.

July 4th

We went too late to fully enjoy it, but we were able to experience a little bit of the local art walk. It was fun seeing the street filled with people and looking at people’s artwork/galleries. We went to a restaurant afterwards to have some dessert (best bread pudding ever) and drinks.

Sad little shacks for cartoon action figures

Card House

Strange, human-looking, broken chair that gave me weird vibes

We also went to the arboretum and took a really relaxing walk around. My favorite was seeing all of the turtles!

Arboretum

The arboretum had different “biomes”

The pond was home to many ducks :)

Can you spot the turtle?

Turtle!! What a cute little guy

My boyfriend and I went shopping to prepare some outfits for our Vegas trip in August. This time I bought a pink dress and a red dress for bright, vibrant colors! In the past I’ve worn black and gray dresses so I thought I’d go for colorful this time :) I bought them for super cheap as well – I usually don’t splurge on dresses unless they’re on sale. I got them for $13 and $10 haha. We’re trying to get our entire group to have one matching night where we all wear red! That is going to be so cute :)

Preview of me wearing the pink dress

We went to the dollar theater and finally saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s kinda fun going to a 10pm showing after a long day of work, and then knocking out after going home. I enjoyed the movie – I actually like the dorky portrayal of Peter and the smart heroine, Gwen (*tear*).

And you bet, I’ve been doing lots of gaming with my boyfriend as well. :p Steam had a summer sale recently and I totally bought Terraria for $2. We’ve been playing it a lot together in multiplayer mode and it is ADDICTING. I love these types of games where you get to explore, build a house, discover/craft things, fight bosses. So, Tera has been on the backseat as of lately. I also bought a 2-pack of BattleBlock Theater to play with my boyfriend but we haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

Terraria – Oops, I didn’t mean to drop a bomb and blow up our house. LOL

 

It’s a two month countdown until I start optometry school in August. I’ve looked into whether or not I should start preparing academically for the road ahead but the resounding answer was a big NO. Apparently it’s no use trying to tackle tough material blindly by yourself, and they will teach you everything you need to know once you start school. Plus, once school begins you’ll wish you had fully enjoyed your summer break before the madness begins. :p So…no more academics for me since I finished my last pre-requesite class (human anatomy) last month. I’ve only just been working a ton to save up some money. Especially since it was finals week last week, most of our employees (most of who are college students) went MIA and I was one of the few people who could fill in every day.

Besides working, I really want to enjoy myself to the fullest. I don’t have the money to go traveling the world like some people do before they between undergraduate college and another 4 years of optometry school, but I still want to make it a good summer. What are some things you would do, if you didn’t have much money to spend, for one of your last care-free summers? Here are some things I’m hoping for so far:

  • Cook a full-course meal and go on a picnic
  • Thrift-shopping and swap meets for treasure finds
  • Art Walk (and our parking meters are free after 8pm)
  • Visiting our local zoo on a free day of the month
  • Jacuzzi party after a chicken waffle lunch (haha this is so specific because it’s already been planned ^_^ )
  • A trip to the arboretum
  • Bolsa Chica Conservatory
  • Watching a lot of TV shows and anime (I’ve never been one to watch that many at all when I’m in school)
  • Read a lot more books (sadly something I don’t do much for leisure when I’m in school)
  • Watch fireworks on July 4th
  • Learn how to crochet? (I was always jealous of those amigurumi patterns I could never use)
  • Do more wool felting and plushie making
  • Go to a theme park (hopefully with some good discounts)
  • Clubbing night at a local club (it could be either very ghetto or fun, we’ll see haha)
  • Beach day
  • Go hiking on some trails
  • County Fair (preferably on a day with free entrance in exchange for a donation)
  • Dollar Theater movie nights
  • Do some gaming with the bf
  • Go back to couponing (I used to get free stuff in the mail all the time and my family would ask me, “What’s today’s item?” haha)
  • Day at our favorite/beautiful library to read manga (oh yes, totally the opposite of nerdy 8-) )
  • Go back to running and getting some sunshine a few times a week
  • Train ride to somewhere as a mini-adventure
  • Karaoke lounge
  • Dave & Busters night
  • Bowling
  • Las Vegas weekend with my favorite people (obviously the most expensive thing on the list, but we’ve planned ahead and I’ve saved up for it :p )

Contact lenses always used to scare me. I remember as a kid my older brother decided to try contacts and he spent ages at the optometrist trying to put them in his eyes. He eyes ended up becoming really bloodshot and irritated after poking at them so much. I remember leaving my brother at the office to go around shopping with my mom in the meantime because he took so long. I thought to myself, I’m never going to do that. He got eye infections very often, too (but now that I’m more educated in contacts, it’s because he didn’t follow all recommended precautions).

There have been a few times where I wish I did have contacts, but the thought of touching my eye (I have a terrible blinking reflex with anything coming near my eye) and the complication of contacts made me like my glasses just fine. Today I still love my glasses for the convenience and fashion, but I’m glad that I am finally giving contacts a chance as well.

I work at an optometry office and I am going to optometry school in August (finally! T_T ) to work towards becoming an eye doctor, so I recently decided it was finally time to tackle my fears and give it a shot. I’m not going to lie, it took me two hours at work trying to get them in and take them out a couple of times (I tried with 3 different brands of contacts that day), leaving my eyes looking like I had watched a soap opera, and I still wasn’t good at it. It wasn’t the best idea to learn insertion and removal with one of the most difficult to handle lenses, but now I am very good with the “easier” lenses at least (hooray!). I used to be terrified of putting eyedrops in my eyes before. If someone like me can handle contacts, that definitely proves it is possible for almost everyone!

Read on for some general information about contact lenses and for my personal tips on how to insert and remove lenses. Contact lenses used to just be beyond me but now that I’m getting better, I thought I’d share for any hopefuls out there.

Some tidbits for those interested in contact lenses:

  • Contact lenses should be worn as prescribed to you by your optometrist. Unlike some “one size fits all clothing,” one brand/type of contact lens does not fit everyone. Eye shapes and comfort levels vary. It’s important to check that your eyes are healthy enough and check that you are a good candidate to wear contacts.
  • Check the shape of the lens and make sure it is not inside-out before wearing them. Here’s a great article on checking for the shape. It won’t be the end of the world if it’s inside-out, but it won’t be comfortable.
  • Never shower with contacts on – avoid having your contact lenses touch tap water at all times (only use saline solution and designated contact lens rewetting drops).
  • Keep nails trimmed until you are good at inserting and removing your lenses so that you don’t risk scratching your eye. People going in to learn contacts the first time should NOT wear eye makeup or have long nails (I’ve had to train people who did and it was super difficult).
  • Never sleep with contacts on. They’ll get dry since there is no blinking motion to continually lubricate them, your eyes will also get deprived of oxygen as you sleep, and you’ll be more prone to eye infections.
  • Avoid wearing contacts ALL the time. You must let your eyes take a break from contacts – they need to breathe!
  • Contacts go in first, then makeup. Contacts come off first before removing makeup.
  • If it hurts or feels uncomfortable, take it out – you don’t want to gamble with your eyes.
  • When taking out your contacts, make sure you clean it and then rinse it with contact lens solution. Do the same before putting them in your eyes if they are dirty or you drop them.
  • After your contacts have been stored in solution and you wish to put them in your eyes, rinse them really well in solution and then non-preservative saline solution so that your eye will not get irritated by any chemicals absorbed into the lenses.
  • Take control of the lens. Yes, be gentle with them, but be firm and in control. You can pinch them gently between the pads of your fingers. Don’t be afraid to handle them, or else you’ll end up dropping them countless times (I definitely did that at first).
  • When learning how to put in and take off contact lenses, don’t give yourself a time frame. Just relax and take it as slow as you need to, stretching it out to different days if you have to. Irritating your eyes and getting frustrated is no fun.

Insertion Procedure:

  • Wash hands with non-moisturizing soap (if not possible, then rinse longer – it can irritate your eye) and rinse off really well. Dry off with non-linty towel or paper towels. In my case, I always have a problem with lint & having it irritate my eyes, so now I try my best to be patient and air dry my hands (it helps to flick off as much water as possible, wave your hands around, and blow on the fingers you’ll be using to touch the contact).
  • Check the shape of the lens. Nice and round bowl shaped edges pointing straight up is the right-side out. Flared out edges and slanted edges is inside-out. Some lenses are numbered (it will read “123” if correct, or will read backwards if inside-out). Another tip is to hold the lens between thumb and index finger and pinch the bottom inwards as if you were going to fold it in half. The right-side out will look like a taco with edges pointing inwards. Inside-out will have the edges pointing outwards. Also, when you place the contact in your palm and rub it with solution, you might notice it’s more difficult if it is inside-out.
  • Place lens on index finger of your dominant hand. Having the contact on the very tip of my finger always seems to be difficult, so instead I try putting it on the side of my finger instead.
  • Use non-dominant hand to hold upper eyelid open. Use middle finger or ring finger of dominant hand to hold down bottom eyelid. Point your chin down, look up, angling your face so that you expose as much eyeball as possible. Once you get used to it, you may find it easier to just leave your upper eyelid untouched, use your non-dominant hand to hold down your lower eyelid, and just pop in the lenses using your dominant hand. No need to pry both your eyelids open.
  • I try to aim as low on my eyeball as possible (more towards the bottom white space). The first few touches always make me want to blink, so I do the top or bottom first to get the sensitive part of my eye more used to the sensation (it feels like when you get a strand of hair stuck in your eye and you want to take it out).
  • Once my eye is a bit more used to it, I roll my finger so that I can get the rest of the edges to suction onto my eyeball. It might require a bit of maneuvering around to get all or most of the edges to make contact with the eye, but when the edges are suctioned on there for the most part, I’ll either use my finger to push in the remaining parts or look in different directions before slowly closing my eyes to get all of the contact to suction on. If it isn’t coming off of your finger, dry your finger on the back of your palm and try again. Try to slide the contact towards the middle of your eye, where the contact fits perfectly, if it still isn’t coming off of your dry finger.
  • Some contacts are harder to put on than others, depending on the water content of the lenses. Dailies Total 1 give me a lot of trouble for example, while Acuvue Oasys I can put in right away.

Removal procedure:

  • Wash and dry hands.
  • Sometimes it helps to place rewetting drops or saline solution in your eyes a few minutes before removing your contacts to make it a little easier. (However, avoid doing this with Dailies Total 1 as it makes them too slippery to remove)
  • Open lid(s) similar to insertion procedure. Use index or middle finger to aim for the bottom of the contact (on the bottom colored part of the eye) and drag the contact to the bottom or the side (away from nose). At this point the contact lens may or may not wrinkle a bit (either way, don’t take your finger off of the contact yet), and add your thumb to pinch it out of your eye.
  • If you have trouble sliding the lens away from the center of your eye, just try directly pinching the bottom of the contact. Try going for a wider pinch (like you are gently squeezing the left and right sides of the lens) if it doesn’t seem to work.
  • Although I haven’t been able to do it, some people find success with sliding the lens either all the way down the eye or all the way to the side and the lens will just roll right off.
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