What to do on long trips to uni? – Optometry Edition

Author: Cindy Van (Class of 2017)

Although there are a lucky few who live near campus, most students will need to commute considerable distances. T1, T2, T3, T4,5,6,7, 895, 891, M50, M10, M41 – these seemingly random combination of numbers and letters are a way of life for many of us.  Doing that five days a week can take a lot of time out of your study – but it doesn’t have to! Train rides (and bus rides if you don’t get too carsick) can be a great time for you to reflect and maybe even get a bit of work done. Here’s a few suggestions on how you can make the most of it.

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Read ahead on your lecture slides. It takes 20-30 minutes to read through the slides for a lecture, but this way you’re able to circle areas that you might find confusing ahead of time. When you get to the lecture, write down explanations in your own words so that when you revise this in two months’ time, you won’t have any missing info.

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Type up your study notes. Granted, this takes a bit longer, but you’ll still be able to get a good chunk of it done, meaning that you’ll be able to relax a bit more when you get home. On that note, get your tutorial questions done as well!

Catch up on sleep! It doesn’t have to all be uni work. Sleep and taking care of yourself is important so that you can concentrate in class. Twenty minutes is all you need for a power nap to refresh your mind. Just remember to set an alarm so that you don’t miss your stop!

Go through your clinic routine. Time management, flow, and better flow; trying to improve your clinical performance can be difficult if you don’t think about what order you’ll be tackling things like entrance testing. Short bus rides can be a great time for you to reflect on the order of testing; try and imagine yourself actually doing the testing, including when you need the patient to have their spectacles on or off, the equipment that you have in hand as you transition to the next test, etc.

Logbooks. Every year, clinic students let logbook entries pile up and end up having to do 5, 10, or an even greater number of reflections on patients that they’ve seen weeks ago! Most students also don’t write down notes when the supervisor is giving feedback, making it very difficult to remember what to write even after a few days. Do these when you’re on your way home, and save yourself a headache at the end of the rotation.

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Editors: Cindy Van and Celine Zhang

Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of UNSW OptomSoc or the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science.

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