General Pre-Opt questions/GPA

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by seejaykayy, 09.29.14.

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  1. seejaykayy

    seejaykayy

    Joined:
    09.04.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    I'm currently a freshman at Johns Hopkins University (I know I'm starting a little bit early... I'm a chronic planner) and have wanted to do optometry since my junior year of high school. During intersession this year, I plan on shadowing my optometrist for about 1-2 weeks, and I'm fairly certain that will be the deciding factor for me. However, JHU is notorious for their grade deflation, especially when it comes to weed out classes like Chem, Physics, Orgo, etc. I was wondering if having a not so great GPA (the average GPA for Salus, my number one, is 3.4 I think) from a place like Hopkins would be viewed as ok, or if I should think of another career. I honestly don't know if I can get a 3.4-3.5 here... it's super difficult, especially in the science classes. I'm planning on taking some 'easier A' classes just because I actually do enjoy them (thinking of double minoring in visual art and psych), but I don't think they'll help much with the GPA. I am looking at PT as a backup, especially since my state school is ranked incredibly high for PT, and I am genuinely interested in PT if optometry doesn't work out.
    I was also wondering if JHU will prepare me well for an optometry school, because these last few weeks I've been here have been the most difficult of my life, haha. I can only hope the effort I put forth here the next 4 years will be enough to ease the transition to grad school!
     
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  3. Olive910

    Olive910

    Joined:
    04.27.14
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Woah.. first of all, breathe!

    The average GPA of Salus is just that. An average. Some people will fall above, some people will fall below. Salus will 100% take into consideration that you are at one of the most respected and difficult schools in the country. In fact, in my interview, the interviewer had praised me for taking my post-grad classes at a selective institution vs. at a community college because he told me that certain decision categories are "weighted"-- ie, your GPA will be weighted by the fact that you went to an incredibly rigorous institution and you will be given more leeway vs someone who took the same courses at a less rigorous one. So how selective your undergrad was does matter in that you start out with more "points" toward your acceptance. Also, remember that other factors-- like your OAT score, general interview skills, etc, will also be considered. Your GPA is not THE one factor that will make or break you, so relax!

    I think you should shadow the optometrist. If you can, I would recommend doing so more than once. And then shadowing a PT. And then someone else! This post sounds so much like how I was when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do... I know it is difficult to feel like you are already falling behind but trust me, you have plenty of time (4 years!) ! The only way you will know if you are doing the right thing is to try lots of different things and see what you enjoy the most (and keep in mind you will never LOVE anything 100% of the time). If you think that might be optometry, at the end of the day, optometry as a profession is not going to be anything like your gen chem or orgo class, so don't be discouraged by them. Everyone just gets through them. Definitely keep taking psych and visual art classes. They will keep you sane and make you a much more well-rounded person. You might even find that one of these is what you want to do with your life instead!

    TL;DR: you seem super stressed. relax and figure out what you like!=)
     
    Last edited: 10.05.14
    seejaykayy and OpticalBlackOut like this.
  4. mblum

    mblum

    Joined:
    10.05.14
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    To speak from experience, I am a senior at a university of the same prestige of Johns Hopkins, and I recently applied to optometry schools for next fall. I had a GPA of 3.3 (overall, lower science GPA) at the time of application, and I received interviews at all 7 schools to which I applied, actually attended 3 of those interviews, and was accepted at all 3 (one of which was PCO). I obviously did more to counter the lower GPA (shadowing, optometric service trip, large amount of leadership and extracurriculars), but I think that admissions definitely takes into account the prestige of the university that you attend. I also truly believe that the caliber of your university will better prepare you for the OAT, which will offset the lower GPA. I only spent two weeks preparing for the OAT and received a TS 380 and AA 370 - and I definitely attribute these high scores to the preparation of my school. If optometry is what you really want to do and you put the time into it, you will be able to do it! Good luck!
     
    seejaykayy likes this.
  5. seejaykayy

    seejaykayy

    Joined:
    09.04.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Thanks so much for the advice! Yeah, the psych and art classes are interesting but also help break up my hard classes with enjoyable ones :D I will definitely shadow my optometrist and a few others, and maybe some PTs this coming summer.

    Did you eventually decide to go for optometry? What swayed you?
     
  6. seejaykayy

    seejaykayy

    Joined:
    09.04.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Optometric service trip? Was that through your uni or did you do that through another service? I'm currently not in any leadership positions but I wanted to ease into college and will probably try to take one on maybe next year. Did you take any classes over the summer and transfer credits over? I'm thinking of taking orgo this summer at my local state school, and maybe also biochem next summer. Did you take orgo 2?
     
  7. Olive910

    Olive910

    Joined:
    04.27.14
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Yup, I am a first-year optometry student! After I graduated, I was still on the fence so I decided to try working for a little while. I wound up hating that and quit so I could work at an optometrist's office. I not only really enjoyed the environment there but was also genuinely interested in learning about the different diagnoses I got to see-- that experience definitely swayed me!
     
  8. seejaykayy

    seejaykayy

    Joined:
    09.04.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Thank you so much! I'm planning on shadowing over my extended Christmas break, very excited! Question, though: due to some policies at my university and my plan to Major with 2 double minors, I'm not going to be able to take at least 3 prereqs at this uni and will probably have to take them at my state school over the summer. Will that look bad?
     

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