The proof of using music therapy to stimulate feelings of calmness lies in how I sat down to write this article. It was finals week, and I needed to focus so I put on John Mayer radio on Pandora and got to writing. Whether I am getting ready for a long day of seeing patients, a fun night out on the town or a coffee-filled morning of studying, I tune in to different music stations. Music can impact our mood.
Before entering dental school, I worked as a registered dietitian. My life centered around health and wellness. I woke up at 5:15 a.m. every weekday to go to the gym. I meal-prepped every weekend. I spent a lot of my free time researching new health products, while also coming up with new ways to make traditional comfort foods healthier. My life focused on being healthy and learning new ways to help my patients eat better.
If you have seen the meme that compares dental school to riding a bike that’s on fire, that is exactly what dental school was for me before I learned how to stop comparing myself to my classmates.
Do you ever think that your success is just a result of luck, or you didn’t really earn your achievements? Do you feel like you tricked everyone into thinking that you are smarter than you really are, and it is just a matter of time before someone discovers your secret and exposes you as a fake? Do you believe that your accomplishments aren’t that special because you think “anyone could have done that”? If so, you may be dealing with imposter syndrome, like me.
We know a tremendous amount about how our body works. We can identify important landmarks in the oral cavity, distinguish the differences between types of diseases and even recite step-by-step processes of metabolic reactions. With such a great deal to absorb and memorize, we sometimes need a reminder to observe the health of our own bodies. Staying physically and mentally active is an essential part of a student’s everyday life. But with classes, lab projects and a whole lot of studying, it can be easy to skip your standard gym workout or even a mundane run around the block.
In our work, we see many recent dental graduates with huge debt loads — $300,000, $400,000 or even $500,000 right out of school. They end up in our practice, often overwhelmed with how to pay down their debt. And while most of them know that their income is solid and poised to grow, they still grapple with whether it makes sense to pay off their debt, or to minimize their loan payments and, instead, set aside money for the future.
Navigating dental school is challenging. Between the long hours in the classroom and training, there’s little time to think about your finances. However, now is the best time to start saving. Whether your goal is to pay off debt, increase your savings or start investing for the future, there’s no time like the present to get started.