During the month of March, I started my spring break attending the first Explore UTSD at the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston, Texas. It was such an intriguing way to start my spring break as a predental student. I first heard about the event through my predental club at the University of Houston and quickly reserved a spot.
The day first started out with donuts and coffee where we were able to meet other predental students from across Texas and current dental students. It was fascinating to be around others who had the same dream as I did: to become a dentist. Dean John A. Valenza welcomed us and informed us of the vision of the school. I was very delighted to know how welcomed we were. We then heard from Dr. Pierpont about dentistry and the admissions process, and it was great to hear how the process plays out from his point of view.
We went on guided tours around the campus, and I was excited to start applying to follow my dream. Throughout the day we heard from dental students about their obstacles in their undergrad days as well as their experiences getting into dental school. Out of all the exciting events planned that day, my personal favorite was being able to drill and wax for the first time. The only time I had ever held a drill was to clean it. It was exciting to see how powerful the dental drill actually was. For two hours I was able to sit in the same chairs as dental students and try my hardest to drill and wax like the professionals. We were able to take home our pre-prepped horse tooth and #30 occlusal prep. I will forever keep them as a reminder of how captivated I felt that day to be a part of Explore UTSD.
Words cannot explain how excited I felt as I attended Explore UTSD. As a predental student it means a lot to me that ASDA officers, members and dental students, and staff take time out of their busy schedules to reach out to students like me to make us that more excited about pursing our future. As a predental student, I sincerely encourage other predentals to take advantage of opportunities like the one I had. It will give you a feel for what dental school is like, and you will fall more in love with your passion for dentistry. A great way to learn about upcoming events is to ‘Like’ dental schools and their ASDA chapters on Facebook. Here you can like the UTSD at Houston page and here is the UTSD ASDA page. Another way to get connected is to become an ASDA member and take advantage of networking opportunities, exclusive member benefits and publications written just for dental students and predental students.
Have you attended a simulation course or preview program at a dental school? Share your experiences in the comments below!
~Kaylee Jordan, University of Houston ’16, Predental