Granted, I’m a very mushy person in general… but I am holding back tears as I write this post. The UFCD Class of 2021 has finished their FIRST SEMESTER OF DENTAL SCHOOL!
It’s impossible to write about everything we did this year, but our incredible Class Historians and Media Manager really summed it up in this video:
Having time to reflect, there are a few things I think I did right:
- I managed to maintain small victories, like ironing my clothes every morning and brushing my hair!
- I didn’t have a single anxiety attack, besides while preparing for my first exam in dental school! I struggled a lot in undergrad with remaining calm, so I haven’t pinpointed why I’m not having this problem anymore. Some of my hypotheses include:
- I “made it”, so there’s a lot less pressure for competition. I want to learn the information so I can be a good dentist, not just for the grade.
- I’m still in the “Honeymoon phase” of being in dental school, so they could literally throw anything at me and I’d smile through it.
- I feel like all my classes are applicable at this point, and I’m learning things more relevant to my career than in undergrad.
- I preserved a healthy relationship with my fiancé.
- It can be really annoying to want to see your loved one when you’re knee-deep in textbooks, and sometimes it’s hard not to feel guilty when they are picking up your slack. We kept open communication, so we were always on the same page. We understood “We love each other, but right now, school has to be first.”
- School came first, but it wasn’t the only thing that mattered.
- This included maintaining my faith and not sacrificing church for studying, which is important to me.
- It also meant spending time with classmates outside of school, because you can really go crazy if that’s all you think about.
But there were a few things I think I need to improve next semester:
- I developed a lot of unhealthy habits.
- I had never pulled all-nighters before, and this semester I pulled a few. During finals week, I averaged sleeping less than 3 hours a night to pull the grades I wanted.
- I think I’m addicted to caffeine and sugar. Even when I’m not studying, I find myself making lattes and ordering iced coffees. I also started eating more fast-food (Chick-fil-a is on campus!), because I was too lazy to cook and to pack lunch every day.
- I stopped working out once classes picked up. Fortunately, our Wellness Chairs are scheduling some events for us next semester, so I hope to get back into group fitness.
- I was too shy.
- I had a ton of fun making friends with my classmates and going out, but I still caught myself holding back because I’m shy by nature. This also kept me from asking more questions in class, which made it harder to decipher my notes when I got home.
- I started skipping classes when the going got tough.
- I fell behind on studying and started skipping classes to catch up since we could watch the recorded lectures online. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for everyone (some students learn better this way), I personally think there is a lot to gain from being present in the classroom.
When it’s all said and done, my first semester was GREAT. Sure, I could find things to complain about, but I’m choosing to stay focused on the positive. Only 10 more semesters to go! In the meantime, enjoy a sneak-peak at the Class of 2021 Friendsgiving Party put on by our fantastic Social Chairs: 😊