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Balancing Act

October 17, 2011
University of Michigan Campus in the Fall

University of Michigan Campus in the Fall

We are currently in the midst of D1 year. Our home away from home is room G378 where we spend the majority of our time at in the dental school. As a D1, our schedule is packed full of lectures,  pre-clinic hours, and other various activities between the hours of 8am-5pm.  After 5pm, our learning doesn’t stop the second we leave the building. As we walk outside and feel the sunshine on our faces briefly and enjoy the fresh crisp fall air, we prepare to stick our noses in our notes and review our lecture materials. What busy bees are we!

Personally, the thing I have found to be most challenging is to balance academic life with personal life. The first few weeks of school, I find myself asking, how exactly does one do it all, how do you fit in school with family, work and extracurricular activities? The answer is simple, you just do it. Instead of constantly trying to figure out how to fit it all in, it just ends up happening. With the heavy amount of course work in general, I am also one of the very few students who has elected to still work while attending dental school. With this decision, I am finding that my time must be very structured and highly organized to manage study time and family time. Maintaining my position as a Dental Assistant at Enspire Dental allows me to fill in the gaps of everything I have learned from my experience in the field, with the materials presented in my courses. It is so exciting to see and understand different reasons for the various parts of dentistry. It is all meshing together and it is very rewarding to know I am moving closer towards my dream, and I realize now that I did not find dentistry, dentistry found me. I must say, being a dental assistant for as long as I have been has given me confidence in my pre-clinical skills and highly enhanced my education greatly.

Dental school is really flying by. Little had I realized, I awoke the other morning and realized we are already almost half way done with our first year of dental school. Looking back, it seems like it was only yesterday I clicked submit to AADSAS for my application and now I have already taken a number of exams, completed an uncountable number of assignments and am already drilling on cavitated extracted teeth. Here is to looking forward with a rewarding experience!

Shannon R. Barth, DDS Candidate 2015

One Comment
  1. October 21, 2011 5:26 pm

    Your four years in dental school will be challenging, but so rewarding! Enjoy every minute and spend time getting to know your peers, professors and advisors. They will become great resources throughout your journey. Good luck!

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