Surviving Your First Year of Dental School

January 19, 2023

Out of all of the professions out there, dentistry has been rated the second-best job in the United States recently, and it is a career that thousands upon thousands of people decide to pursue.

Although, going through dental school is not all sunshine and roses. Getting accepted can be a challenge, then there is the price where it is most likely you will need to take out private student loans, and then after all of that, you need to earn the degree. It is a challenging program and can quickly become overwhelming, but the reward far outweighs the challenges. Here are some tips for surviving your first year of dental school.

Time Management

The best thing you can do when going through dental school is to have good time management skills. It is crucial to stay on top of your schoolwork and any extracurriculars you may be a part of. Finding that balance between your personal life and education is vital to dental school success. Your first year will be when your time management is most tested. You may find that you may want to study nonstop, but it is equally as important to keep some semblance of a personal life too, in order to find success.

Stay Organized

This may seem obvious, but it may prove to be a difficult task. Staying organized throughout your school year is a major component of your success, especially during your first year in dental school. Be strategic in how you organize, and always plan ahead. Look ahead to your due dates or specific projects, exams, or papers, and ensure they are all written down on your calendar so you are never unprepared.

Effective Studying

Another way to succeed during your first year in dental school is to find the most effective way to study. You may want to change how you study depending on the class and its material. Do not compare yourself to your fellow students. Instead, find what is most effective for you and go with it. If you learn best through drawing pictures or making charts with bullet points, then do it. You will find a higher chance you will succeed in earning your degree.

Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy

Getting good grades is not the only thing to remember when going through your first year of dental school. It is vital to also take care of your body and mind. A few times, you may find yourself trying to pull an all-nighter to study or finish a project for a course, but this should not be a regular thing. It is vital to ensure you get a good amount of sleep to keep your brain and body working properly. It is also essential to set aside time for yourself to do something outside of your coursework. Consider taking one evening off from homework or classes every week and enjoy an activity you love, such as watching a movie or going out with friends. It helps recharge you so that you can be more productive throughout the rest of the week.

Remain Professional

As a future healthcare provider, it is vital always to remain professional as you make connections with professors or other students. Your first year in dental school is where your professional networking begins, not after you earn your degree.

Get Involved

To make the most of your time during your years in dental school, getting involved is an excellent way to enhance your future career. You can build your leadership and teamwork skills through your school's extracurricular activities. You may also want to look into serving the community around you to become socially engaged and make a positive impact in your local community. There are also student lead organizations that you could join that would look great on your resume.

Overall, your first year of dental school can be full of challenges and overwhelming at times. To ensure you have a successful first year of dental school, it will be crucial to follow all these tips.



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