Public service announcement: Justine Bednarski is a closeted shopaholic (pun intended). Aside from not owning enough hangers for the surplus of tops I have somehow accumulated, my kryptonite lies in the hands of the shoe gods. Although trendy, my riding boots and strappy wedges weren’t quite the style of shoe appropriate for the pre-clinical and clinical settings of dental school.
I am a first generation American. Both my mother and father grew up in communist Poland. After overcoming many obstacles, they were fortunate to obtain their U.S. citizenship and establish themselves in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. My parent’s immigration to the United States is heroic in my eyes. They made sure their future family would have lives filled with opportunity. Neither of my parents had the chance to go to college or get advanced degrees, but they understood the meaning of education in the U.S. They instilled in me the importance of achieving. My parents did not specifically push me into a professional degree. However, due to their constant encouragement to excel, I grew to love academia and dreamed of becoming a dentist. The next question was: how on earth was I going to achieve this?