Congrats! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been accepted into dental school. But, now what? Well, you’ve worked hard to get to this point and must continue to do so to earn your degree. Between the early morning lectures and late-night study sessions, the fast-paced lifestyle of a dental student could become overwhelming for anyone. However, starting dental school marks not only the beginning of a critical chapter in your professional career but also the start of many new important lifestyle choices. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you become successful in dental school.
Manage Your Time Efficiently
Time management is the most important lesson anyone ever learns while in dental school. Hardly anyone needs to be reminded how crucial staying on top of your studies is, while also balancing events that happen in your personal life. A helpful tip to use your time as efficiently as possible is to focus all of your attention on the task at hand. If you are studying, don’t waste time on your phone updating your social media; turn your phone off or use an app to lock yourself out of social media while you’re on the computer. Oppositely, if you are spending time relaxing, don’t feel guilty about not reviewing your notes at the same time.
Make Each Day Count
Before you know it, you will be walking across a stage with a big, fancy diploma in your hand, marking your completion of dental school. If you don’t take the time now to carefully plan out your time at dental school, the next four years will fly by whether you’re ready for it or not. The start of your professional career in dentistry begins the moment you get accepted into dental school, not when you complete it. Map out your personal goals at the beginning of each semester and make sure that you are working towards completing them every day. It will be easier for you to manage your tasks and achieve your goals if you spread them out over the course of several weeks versus attempting to complete them closer to the deadlines.
Create Lasting Relationships
Your professors in dental school have years of experience teaching new knowledge and techniques in dentistry and are therefore some of the best resources to you in your studies. Focus on establishing lasting relationships with professors who know extensively about certain fields that you may be interested in by attending their office hours or signing up for seminars. Additionally, get to know your upperclassmen. Having been in your shoes, they can sympathize with the work that you are going through and understand the challenges you are going through. The sooner you start networking, the stronger the relationships will be. You never know when a recommendation or referral might come in handy in the future.
Always Have The Big Picture In Front Of You
Don’t get caught up in the nitty gritty details that will come across you during your four years in dental school. Remember, your main purpose in dental school should be pursuing a career in dentistry, not deciding whether to sign up for a morning lecture or an evening one. Furthermore, doing well on exams and in classes will not do you any good if you do not take advantage of the opportunities around you. For example, if you are craving for more hands-on experience, set aside some time out of your week to volunteer at a community dental clinic; or if you are interested in doing more research, talk to a professor about spending extra time in the lab. Such extracurriculars will not only boost your knowledge of dentistry but also allows you to have a better idea of the types of dentistry you would like to pursue post-grad.
Enjoy The Journey
Last but not least, you should definitely cherish the moments you have as a student in dental school. While dental school may seem like a daunting experience to many, it will also be one of the most rewarding experiences in your dental career. Many people might think that four years is a long time, but four years is nothing in comparison to the years you are about to spend in the dentist’s chair treating patients. Take classes that challenge you, become close friends with a classmate, and take advantage of the opportunities presented to learn more about yourself as a dentist. Your success will be a direct measurement of the amount of personal effort you put in during these four years. So, remember to take chances, pursue your passions, and make it an experience you will never forget.