This is an open letter to the incoming first years. Congratulations! You made it through a tough application process and the fun is just about to begin. The next four years will be a whirlwind of new experiences and knowledge that will sculpt you into who you will be as a future practitioner. Here are seven steps to help you have a successful first year:
In between the early morning runs to Starbucks, and late nights study sessions, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the fast-paced lifestyle of a dental student. But every now and then, it’s important to remind ourselves that these four years of school form just one chapter in the story of our lives. Here are five tips that will guarantee success not only in dental school, but also throughout your life.
Applying to dental school can be an arduous task. But that doesn’t mean dental school will be any less difficult! One way I eased my anxieties about dental school was getting acquainted with waxing teeth. Being familiar with teeth waxing can give you a head start in dental school if you’re unsure what to do with your time.
In May of last year, 17 Arizona State University students joined 16 Texas Tech students for a seven-day excursion to a rural community in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I had the privilege of be involved in this expedition thanks to the Arizona State University Chapter of Global Brigades, the largest student led international non-profit organization that promotes health, wellness and economic stability to under-resourced communities. Our mission was to provide a holistic-model approach to help the community meet developmental goals to self-sustain and thrive on all levels. This model implements resource programs including business, dental, environmental, human rights, medical, microfinance, public health and water missions. This opportunity gave us the chance to immerse ourselves into a new culture and experience a different way of life.
I still remember the first ASDA event I attended. It was the District 2 meeting during fall 2014. Since Stony Brook’s ASDA chapter was hosting and that’s where I attend undergrad, it made sense for me to go. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Despite the fact I had been a predental member of ASDA for two years, I hadn’t attended any district events. However, by the end of the meeting, I was motivated to do more with my membership. I had officially caught “ASDA Fever.“
“We already know you’re qualified. We don’t want to ask you about your interests in dentistry or your academic achievements. Today, we want to test your critical thinking and communication skills.”
That’s right. More dental schools are using new interview styles, not only to get to know you better, but also to test your ability to make ethical and informed decisions. Every school is unique in how they conduct the interview, so know what to expect for the different interview styles and don’t be caught off guard.
In addition to stellar grades and competitive DAT scores, extracurricular activities are a must on your AADSAS application. There are many opportunities available including shadowing local dentists or specialists, volunteering at free dental clinics and getting involved with ASDA. These additions will positively enhance your application and show the admissions committee that you are truly interested in dentistry by having hands-on experiences and interactions with patients.