Student Focus on Christina Gluch
Name: Christina Gluch
Hometown: West Hartford, CT
High School: Northwest Catholic High School
Undergraduate Institution: Seton Hall University
Undergraduate Degree: Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology
Anticipated #OSUopt Graduation Year: 2025
How old were you when you received your first eye exam? What was the experience like for you?
I was 15 when I first went to the optometrist, since I was having trouble seeing the board for the first time. Even though it was a straightforward exam, finally getting to put on my first pair of glasses made all the difference. It felt like I was seeing the world in high definition and all the leaves on the trees had so much detail. That feeling of seeing clearly is unmatched!
When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in optometry?
I realized I wanted to go into optometry halfway through undergrad when I felt a lot of uncertainty about what to do with my future. I was looking for a career path that would challenge me to use my talents in the medical field and be able to create relationships with my patients all while having a good work-life balance. I mentioned this to my friend, Dr. Katherine Bej, who happened to be an optometrist, and she suggested I shadow her one summer. After seeing optometry in action, I was sold on the profession!
Why did you choose Ohio State Optometry?
I chose Ohio State Optometry for the academic rigor that prepares us to optimally treat our patients. I want to know that when a patient sits in my chair, that I have the education that can provide them the best care possible. Along with that, the reputation Ohio State has at forming some of the best optometrists in the field. A degree from Ohio State Optometry holds some weight since others know you were taught by some of the finest optometrists and professors.
What was your first impression of Ohio State Optometry?
My first impression of Ohio State Optometry was that it was always advancing. Since starting school here, my class has been able to enjoy the new state-of-the-art optometry clinic and the new classrooms in Hamilton Hall. Ohio State makes it a point to keep up-to-date with the latest advancements in patient care and gives the students an edge.
What surprised you most about Ohio State and/or Columbus?
All the food in Columbus! It seems like there is always a new restaurant opening up each week and plenty of cuisines to choose from. Aside from food, the energy in Columbus on a Saturday during football season is unmatched!
Which clubs/organizations have you joined at Ohio State?
I have been part of the executive board for student council for two years now and have enjoyed helping each class make the most of their time here at Ohio State. Currently I am student council co-president, and we have been working on building back up the camaraderie within the student body after some years of COVID-19 restrictions and isolation. Aside from that, I am also a member of Epsilon Psi Epsilon, which is the only optometry fraternity in the country!
Who has most positively affected you during your time as an optometry student so far?
My mom and my best friend Katya have been my biggest supporters through my journey in optometry school. I would not be where I am today without their words of encouragement through some pretty difficult semesters. They believed in me during times where I doubted myself and I am forever grateful for them.
What was your favorite part of optometry school so far, and what are you looking forward to in future years of the program?
Starting clinic and seeing patients on a regular basis. It was overwhelming at first realizing these patients are coming in to get their annual eye exam by me! However, each week I have seen myself grow in confidence with my skills and better differentials on what the diagnosis might be. Getting to problem-solve while having that patient interaction has been one of my favorite experiences so far.
What advice do you have for the Class of 2027 as they start optometry school this fall?
You’ve gone through hard times and you will get through them again. Trust yourself that you have all the tools to get through optometry school even if you feel so overwhelmed at the moment.