Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the days before dental school- before the navy blue scrubs, the “conscious incompetence”, the juggling of patients and their demands [“I can only come every other Tuesday… and only in the mornings… oh, and can I come at 9:45 instead of 9?”].
In this sort of tunnel vision, I forget the days when I wanted nothing more than to know the direction my future was headed in Operation: Getting Into Dental School. Where would I live for the next four years? What would I do if I didn’t get in? What the HECK am I doing?
Untangling the confusing web of dental school requirements: prerequisite classes, letters of recommendation, writing a personal statement, studying for the DAT, interviewing…is enough to make my head spin, even to this day.
Although I didn’t decide I wanted to go to dental school until the semester before I graduated from college, the few resources that I took advantage of through my pre-health advisor and club were invaluable. I still have a copy of my mock interview on a DVD tucked away in a drawer in my desk [I’m not sure why I haven’t thoroughly disposed of it-few things are worse than watching yourself on camera].
Somehow I managed to finagle my way into a couple of dental school acceptances, and here I am today, three years later. During my first year, I began volunteering at the ASDA Pre-Dental Committee events and absolutely fell in love. There is no better motivation than to be surrounded by groups of eager pre-dental students dying to be in your shoes, picking your brain, and looking up to you as the All Knowing dental student. For the next two years I filled the role as the ASDA Pre-Dental Chair and continued planning events- wax nights, mock interviews, personal statement reviews, simulation clinic activities…anything and everything that could help these “baby dentists” grow and flourish in their quest to dental school admittance.
Seeing familiar faces in the incoming classes, getting email updates “I got in to dental school!!”, and following the paths of students that I have met during my own “Pre-dental” journey in dental school has been one of the most rewarding.
Bottom line: You never know who you can inspire. Or who can inspire you.