Substance and Soul

Q & A

Samantha WetterholmComment

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

I get quite a few questions about dental school, studies, and life in general so I decided to do a post answering some of the questions I’ve received in the past week. 

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{Paraphrased} from the lovely Abbie, at abbiesunshine

“It seems that you have found such a great balance between your studies and life outside of dental school. Do you have any suggestions on maintaining a balanced lifestyle–specifically when you’re stressed or under pressure?”

I get questions similar to this quite often, especially along the lines of trying to find balance. Believe me, it has taken a lot of effort and a lot of practice when it comes to finding balance in my life. I spent many years being hyper-focused on the details and didn’t always take a step back to enjoy the view. Because of my über-organized habits - I actually started by scheduling “me time”. I wouldn’t ignore a doctor’s appointment so why should I ignore a “me time” appointment? Once I began making balance a priority, it became easier. Start with blocking out your hour before bed and a half day on the weekend to only focus on yourself. Turn off your email and do what you love. Read a book. Go to a café with some friends. 

When I’m particularly stressed, I go back to this method. I tell myself to just shut off and focus on my physical and emotional needs, even if I only have enough time to block out 30 minutes or an hour at a time. :]

Anonymous asked: 

“In your opinion, do you think it really matters where you went for undergrad when applying to dental school?”

In my opinion, I really think it’s more important to be a strong candidate overall than to come from a “prestigious” university. I only say this because I went to a very small, private, liberal arts university {that hardly anyone has ever heard of} and I felt like I did alright. The difference lies in the preparation. I knew coming in that I would have to set myself apart on my application because I didn’t have a big name university backing me up. Dental schools might not know how challenging my classes were so I had to not only get top notch grades but also perform well on the DAT {it’s standardized for a reason}. At the end of the day, I truly believe it’s not where you came from, but where you’re going. 

{Paraphrased} from the enchanting Kristin, at starcollectors:

“Maybe majoring in Biology undergrad wouldn’t be the best for me because I’m not great at math and being a bio major means taking a lot of advanced math classes. I […] was thinking Bachelor of Science in Psychology to get in my core classes instead, do you think this would be a good idea for me going into dental school? (Also I’m kinda squeamish, will I make it? XD)”

This one is a two-parter. 

First, hard work pays off, I REPEAT, hard work pays off. It breaks my heart {okay I’m overly dramatic, but still} that people sell themselves short at times. It’s usually along the lines of “I don’t think I’m smart enough for…” or “I don’t know if I can do it…” but I would tell you to your face if I could, you are a rockstar and never forget it! {Okay getting off my soap box now}

But to answer more specifically, I only had to take one advanced math class in college {I took Calc 2} but there was the option to take biostatistics. There was also math involved in Chemistry and Physics and no matter what major you are, you will need to take these courses anyway {for both dental and medical school}. I would say be whatever major you are passionate about because you will need to take dental school prerequisites anyway. Do what you love! 

Second, a few people have also asked about the “icky” portions of dental school. I will tell you, I have never been squeamish so I didn’t have to get used to anything {it all fascinates me}. But several of my peers and friends started out really sensitive and have become way more comfortable over time. If you are completely horrified by blood, maybe stay away from periodontal surgery and go into orthodontics hehe. The “icky” parts are pretty few and far between. :] 

So I hope you have enjoyed this first Q & A with me. Wee!

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{How adorable are these animals by the way?}

If you would like me to answer any of your questions please leave a comment below or you can email me anytime. 

Have a wonderful day my lovely friends and followers!

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