Student Focus on Anna Mitchell
Name: Anna Mitchell
Hometown: Simcoe, Ontario
High School: Holy Trinity Catholic High School
Undergraduate Institution: Carleton University, Ontario, Canada
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology
Anticipated #OSUopt Graduation Year: 2026
How old were you when you received your first eye exam? What was the experience like for you?
I was seven years old when I received my first eye exam. I do not remember my first exam well, but I do remember when I got my first pair of glasses. I remember being a little unsure at first, but when I realized I could see all the individual leaves on the trees I did not want to take them off!
When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in optometry?
I became aware I wanted to pursue a career in optometry during my second year of undergraduate program. I have always loved the sciences and through my own personal eye exams began to appreciate the importance of eye care and how it changes lives, including my own. Through conversations and shadowing experiences with my optometrist I realized how much the profession aligned with my goals for a future career within healthcare.
Why did you choose Ohio State Optometry?
The Ohio State University College of Optometry has a reputation as one of the best optometry schools in the nation, and it was certainly a dream to be accepted here. I chose Ohio State Optometry because of the quality of education, campus atmosphere, and high success rate with graduate outcomes. It also appeared to be a close-knit community with amazing educators that I knew I wanted to be a part of.
What was your first impression of Ohio State Optometry?
One of my first impressions was formed through the virtual admissions interview, during which both students and faculty were so warm and genuinely interested in welcoming me as a potential student. Efforts to engage and support students continued by building a strong sense of camaraderie through orientation and in the classroom daily.
What surprised you most about Ohio State and/or Columbus?
I was surprised about how large the Ohio State campus is and yet how close in proximity it is to the Short North and downtown Columbus. I come from a small town in Ontario, Canada and in a short time settled in to be a part of this diverse, energetic, and friendly school community. The college is walkable to many social events we participate in throughout the year and there are so many on campus opportunities to be involved in. I have absolutely loved taking advantage of the many sporting events that come with being a Big Ten school!
Which clubs/organizations have you joined at Ohio State
I am enjoying being a part of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), and Epsilon Psi Epsilon (εφε). I have also received acceptance into the Master of Vision Science program, which begins next semester.
Who has most positively affected you during your time as an optometry student so far?
I have been most positively affected by the many friendships I have made in the college throughout the first year. Attending the same classes together for several hours each day allowed me opportunity to become close with my classmates. We are all there to support each other with the challenging curriculum and plan many events to meet socially and give our brains a break.
What was your favorite part of optometry school so far and what are you looking forward to in future years of the program?
My favourite part of school is being surrounded by so many people passionate about the field of optometry. Collaboration and teamwork are what carry us forward as a school and a profession. The faculty have been amazing as strong educators and promoters of vision research, activities, and discussions, which foster connections between the classroom learning and the profession.
What advice do you have for the Class of 2027 as they start optometry school this fall?
My advice for the Class of 2027 is to say ‘yes’ to as many things as you can during your first year. The College of Optometry and Ohio State have so much to offer, so take advantage of the clubs, in-services, social events, sporting games, and facilities. Now is the time to develop communication and social skills, which will make us successful after graduation and to provide for an unforgettable educational experience!