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Getting back in the Groove

January 10, 2011

It’s the first Friday back from Winter break, and all I can keep thinking to myself is “How is it already January, and wow, this is going to be a rough, yet extremely valuable semester so I better stay super organized and expect a lot of long study nights!” Since my sleep schedule is still completely off due to Winter break, I have dozed off an average of 1 to 2 classes a day. Oops, my bad. I’m relieved though that we didn’t have any pop quizzes!

On a happier note, I enjoyed my time off and am excited to be back and “start over” again. Although break seemed short, it allocated just enough time to hang out with friends and enjoy an adventurous family snowboarding trip to the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania. 

As I reminisce on moments last semester, I find myself remembering a large chunk of time spent practicing my hand drilling skills in our pre-clinic lab, or studying in the dental library. Yes, I admit that I study ALL the time in the dental library, and for people who are unfamiliar with it, it’s not pretty or anything, in fact, it’s a bit creepy, especially at night. The library has these large cubicles with semi comfy chairs, and is always freezing to keep me awake. But sometimes the freezing part can get ridiculous, so in order to combat this, I occasionally bring in my space heater and leave it on to help bring some feeling back in my hands and feet. My roommate and friends would joke about it because I’d be carrying this rather large space heater across campus covered up in a large tote bag so it appeared less obvious. Thinking back, I agree and laugh it off too. I guess it was pretty silly, but hey it worked! Since I always see only D1’s on a regular basis at the dental library, and since we spend the majority of our days in school and clinic, I think of the dental building as our home away from home, literally.

Although studying long hours and being in the same building all day long was something I anticipated upon beginning dental school, I did not expect to love so many people here. I’d have to say that it reminds me of high school, but in a much better way. The reason I say it’s better is because we’re all here for practically the same reason, everyone seems to get along well even though there may be different social “cliques”, many classmates help each other out especially by sending exam study guides and such, and the upperclassmen have been very welcoming. I especially appreciate our pre-clinic atmosphere because I formed a close relationship with my row instructor and classmates around me. And last but not least, I especially adore the friends I have made in class, and am blessed to have started dental school with a friend from undergrad who I not only room with, but have also grown closer to. So while reality has kicked in that grad school is practically my new full time job now with an added load of studying, it’s a pleasure to have friends along the way undergoing the same experience to vent to and laugh hysterically with all the time.

I’m very thankful to be at Michigan’s dental school and cannot believe the grand amount of information I’ve already learned. While many D1’s say they can’t wait to become D3’s so that they can apply the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired on real patients, I have to say that I hope it doesn’t go by too fast because before I know it, it’ll all be over and who knows what life will bring after that.

Raya Abu-Zahra is a current D1, and has realized over winter break that she has developed an obsession with staring at people’s smiles and figuring out ways to perfect them.  

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