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August 15, 2016




“A chance to be at ho〽️e another four years? How could I ever say no!”

With the current application cycle up and running, I have reflected a lot on how far I have come since December 1st, my first interview, my first year of undergrad, and even since my high school graduation.

I made the decision to become a dentist when I was 11 years old, so my goal has been set on the horizon for quite a while, and after going through the battles of undergrad, I was ready to take my DAT and apply to dental school. Once I submitted my application, millions of thoughts entered my head for the next couple weeks, varying from overly optimistic and wondering how I couldn’t get into some dental school in the country to the lowest of lows spent thinking there was no way I could compete against some of the legends that post on student doctor network. (By the way, I highly suggest avoiding that site like the plague if you want to keep any ounce of consistent confidence while awaiting replies from schools.)

When the interviews started coming in, I was ecstatic. I remember every single email and phone call and remember who I told first and how thrilled I was to even be given a chance to prove myself. I remember telling my mom when I applied, “Just get me in the room. Just give me a chance to talk. I truly believe I can get into a school if they meet me face to face”. I was given the chance, and now I just had to interview and hopefully get in come December 1st!

After going to a few places around the country, my U of M interview arrived, and I was happily nervous. I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t believe in myself, but rather because I had such a life-changing four years of undergrad here, and I wanted to get into this dental program. The MMI format was challenging but also very rewarding to talk to many different people. I ended up having the most fun out of all my interviews here (which may sound weird, I know), and I was able to be my talkative, confident self at this interview.

I had a few other interviews after U of M, and one blew me away. I was sure this place was something special and might actually take me away from Ann Arbor.

The days before December 1st were excruciatingly nerve-wracking. I remember not being able to sleep the two nights before because of how nervous I was. I had to keep reminding myself to pay attention in my fall semester classes instead of thinking about all the interview questions I was asked and all the answers I gave and how I could have answered them differently.

After talking with my family and after much thought, I felt I was ready to try something new and leave Ann Arbor and Michigan in general.

Then I get a call from UMSOD on December 1st just after 9 in the morning. I got in. I couldn’t believe it. I barely remember what I said back on the phone or if I even spoke fluent English, but one thing that will always remain clear is hearing on the other end, “How would you like to stay at Michigan for a little bit longer?”… Hearing that question, knowing this school wanted me to attend, made my answer certain: I couldn’t leave.

Now I’m in my D1 year, and I couldn’t be happier. My classmates are incredible, and all faculty blow us away with their extensive knowledge. Oh, and not to mention U of M is the top dental school in the country and second best in the entire world. Seems funny now that I even considered for a second going somewhere else.

For all the current and future applicants to dental school, I would highly consider thinking about Michigan being your number one choice. While the winters are tough and not everyone’s favorite, Ann Arbor is indescribable in any written form. It has to be experienced first hand. While I was blessed to be given a chance to spend eight years here, even four years is something that will change a student into a career ready adult. U of M will give you connections you never thought imaginable before, and you will get to know so many influential scholars, and that will have such a positive impact on your future. You will be coming to the best school in the country and the school that will prepare you to be the best dentist you can be, which leads to providing exceptional care to patients and that, after all, is why so many people are attracted to dental school and the profession in the first place.

Michigan is ho〽️e. Those who stay, those who will come, will be the best leaders. Go Blue!

Cory Ball is a D1, from Grand Rapids, and his advice would be to enjoy every moment of the opportunities given to you. You never know which ones will change your life and what amazing life lessons you can gain from them.

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