Vivien Nguyen has been elected vice president of the Queensland Optometry Students Society for 2017. She hopes to help QUT optometry students to make the most of their time at university.
I knew at a very young age I wanted to do something involving health care but initially I saw optometry as being just one of many options.
I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had in my degree, which have occurred only because of the impulsive decision I made five years ago to study optometry.
I come from a large, extended family that immigrated to Australia after the Vietnam War. Optometry has allowed me to network with amazing health professionals including other Australian Vietnamese allied health workers, as well as be a part of the Australian Vietnamese Student Association committee.
Another highlight has been volunteering on an optometric humanitarian mission to rural Mexico, and I'm especially thankful for the guidance and incredible educational support provided by the staff and mentors at QUT.
I really believe that university is the best time to create great friendships, travel and jump out of your comfort zone.
While I'm sure everyone who studies optometry can agree that the workload is not a walk in the park, I do want our members to still enjoy their time at university and be able to reflect back years from now, knowing they made some priceless memories.
Our president Timothy Hoang, with help from our awesome 2017 executive committee, is aiming to solidify inter-year friendships throughout the year by creating both social and educational events.
My advice for news students is to try and get to know everyone in your cohort. Find a group of friends who share the same academic ambitions and motivational drive as you do, and also connect with your clinicians. Be open to any opportunity thrown at you and you'll enjoy your university experience 10-fold.
You should also get ready to master the question: ‘Way one or way two?’