What was it like attending an ASDA conference for the first time? Well, it was AWESOME! In fact, “awesome” is exactly how ASDA Annual Session started out…
The keynote speaker, Neil Pasricha, spoke on finding all of the awesome things in life, no matter how small or big they may be. Neil’s presentation took me from the world of working to create the perfect crown preparation and obtaining good grades to truly being happy in life by not taking for granted all of the small “awesomes” in life. His presentation was the perfect start to catching the legendary “ASDA fever," and boy oh boy, let me tell you - I caught it!
As a second year student, I had certainly heard of ASDA fever, but I did not know what it meant until I was able to attend Annual Session. ASDA fever takes you from being a normal dental student, doing normal dental student things, to a whole new level. A level of wanting more: wanting to do more, see more, give more, learn more, BE MORE!
I arrived at Annual Session having no idea what to expect. What did I get? A fast-moving whirlwind of watching and learning, seeing and teaching, moving and doing. Early mornings, full days, great people, and fun nights are the backbone of Annual Session. Though it is SO much more. When you have over 700 amazing and motivated people in one place, there is an electricity in the air. Electricity that propels you to get everything out of those 3 days as possible. In fact, as I type 3 days, I am in awe…there was so much packed into Annual Session that it felt like much more than 3 days!
Those 3 days of Annual Session were absolutely exhausting. However, I barely noticed this because of the excitement that was always on the horizon. Attending ASDA Annual Session woke me from a slumber you could say. I was worn out, bogged down, and just plain tired from the demanding life of a 2nd year dental student. After Annual Session, I left renewed, energized, and excited. I want to continue to do all that I had done before (ASDA, school itself, other student organizations), but with added vigor. I want to get more involved with ASDA, not only within my chapter, but also at the district level and perhaps even the national level. I want to get everyone around me to love ASDA as much as I do! I want to be the better version of myself in all facets of my life.
So, what was it like attending my first ASDA conference? It was amazing, exhausting, exhilarating, wonderful, funny, motivational, awe-inspiring… AMAZING! It truly was THE BEST WEEK EVER!
~Kelly Santarelli, Class of 2017, Colorado ASDA Lunch and Learn Coordinator