At the sound of three bones breaking in perfect sequence as my ski-boot-covered foot slammed onto the ground, my adventure day at Squaw Valley turned disastrous. I was never the student to break the “no skiing, no snowboarding” rule of dental school. Now, one surgery later, I found myself in excruciating pain and unable to walk.
Jordan Brunson, East Carolina ’20, was awarded the ASDA Distinguished Leader Award at this year’s National Leadership Conference in Chicago. The award recognizes a fourth-year dental student who has made significant contributions to their ASDA chapter.
My path to #ASDAfever is a wild one. I believe dental students are “wild” in so many diverse ways — we are wild about Friday nights, wild about advocacy, wild about self-reflection and wildly focused on creating a brighter future. Together, we are all wild about dentistry.
I knew I wanted to be a dentist since I was 15 years old, and when I turned 21, I decided to practice dentistry in the United States after graduating as a dentist in my home country, India. As I started to research this process, I came across a number of dental student forums and Facebook groups with an abundance of information. Unfortunately, because of the vastness, it was difficult to distinguish between what was false and what wasn’t.
Since I started walking, my feet were always on the move, trying to mimic the dancers I saw on television. When I was old enough for dance lessons, I enrolled in pre-ballet class, moving on to ballet, tap, hip-hop and jazz as the years went by. Dancing was a passion I discovered fairly early in life and, surprisingly, so was dentistry.
When people learn that I started a business in dental school, they often wonder why. Thinking back to my first year, I knew I needed more. I was stressed. I had no outlet. I decided then that I needed to occupy my free time with things that I love. So, I bought a camera and a 35mm lens with some tax refund money from my gap year and started CM Photography LLC.
I may forget my coffee mug or my apartment keys on my way to school, but I will always have my backpack with me. It’s my Mary Poppins bag of dental school essentials, everything I need to help get me through each day. Here are a few things you’ll find in my backpack.