The Last Summer of My Life?
by Sasha Hill
It blows my mind that during this exact time last year I was frantically filling out the AADSAS application, studying for the DAT, dissecting my personal statement, and obsessively watching YouTube videos on “how to get into dental school” -- all while simultaneously trying to silence the voices of doubt that flooded my head. Sometimes as pre-dental students I feel like we expect failure before we even try. I know I certainly did.
But now I sit here on the other side of this rewarding experience and I can only reflect back and smile as I come to the realization that I will be starting my first year of dental school in just a few short months. Something I have been working towards for the majority of my life.
We can never fully expect what a situation will be like until we are living in it. I may have my idea of what the first year of dental school will be like, but no amount of mental preparation will be like the real thing. If you’re anything like me, you like to try to plan and prepare for any aspect of your life. How does someone even prepare for dental school? Do I relax for the next two months filling my time with pool days and resting my brain for this marathon I am about to endure? Or do I spend my time reading my Dad’s old dental books with the false idea that I will actually understand a single thing they’re saying? The answer is neither, yet both.
Being a former athlete I understand the importance of practice. Without practice there is no chance of success when it becomes game time. And yes I know dental school is not a sport, and if it were it would easily be considered a triathlon. So when you train for a triathlon you don’t just wing it on race day, yet at the same time you don’t push your body to the limits 2 months out. So, what exactly am I doing during these next 2 months of what people are calling “the last summer of my life?” Well for starters I am trying to spend more time reading—something I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with since I was a child with an undiagnosed reading disability. But don’t worry, my dad’s textbooks are no where in sight! Instead I am reading a variety of subjects in a variety of forms. I may spend a few hours reading a cheesy fiction novel and then end my day reading an article about the positive relationship between physical therapy and dentistry. And I am finding the more time I am spending reading the more I am enjoying it!
Now don’t for a second think all I am doing this summer is reading… I am a Colorado native after all, and if there’s anything we Coloradans love, it is spending as much time outside as humanly possible. If I am not at work or the gym, I am almost guaranteed to be found at the pool; I always say I’m a better person when I’m tan! Although I will still be in my home state for school I know my time with my parents and my sweet 8 month old Husky are few and far between. And with that realization I am trying to soak up as much time with those 3 as I can. Whether it’s playing scrabble or watching Friends together I am focused on being present and enjoying this last summer together.
I’m am so grateful that I will have a support system and family a few hours away that will make this transition into dental school all the easier. I cannot wait to start school at the end of July and know these next four years are going to be life changing! See you in a few months CUSDM!
About the Author
Sasha Hill was randomly born in Louisiana but has claimed Colorado as her true home. After attending Cheyenne Mountain High School, an apparent feeder school for CUSDM, she did what most good Colorado children do and went to CU Boulder (because the bad ones go to CSU). With a brief threat of attending an out of state dental school she ultimately decided on University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and could not be happier. In her free time she can be found working out, praying on Sundays, and taking up sports that will benefit her role as an “aspiring country club wife.” Go Buffs.