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The Sense of Hustle

September 13, 2016

A piece of advice I would like to give to the D1’s and D2’s would be to never lose your sense of hustle to learn.

It is very easy to get lost in the demands of dental school and the only people who comprehend how challenging it is are the students around you. I empathize with the fact that dental school is tough, it is a constant weight on your shoulders, and when you have a free moment you want to just breathe. However, because of these facts, I find that some students do not show up to school ready to put in 100%, or they want to get by on the bare minimum. I understand when so much is required of you, it is hard to spend the energy you have left. However, I want to tell all of you that now is not the time to simply ‘get by.’ You worked incredibly hard to be at a prestigious educational establishment that has an enormous amount to offer in regards to your education.

Do not let the intensity of the curriculum allow you to put a ceiling onto your own learning experience. Take the time to give yourself a break, but do not fall victim to the new fad of ‘treat yourself’ more than you are working for it. It is imperative to have balance in life, but when you show up to this school, come hungry for an education that some students are dying to have.

I challenge each of you to take advantage of every opportunity to learn while you are here. After a long night of studying, the last thing you want to do is be fully engaged in the rotation you have in the morning, especially with an exam that same afternoon. However, we only have four years at this school, which will go by in the blink of an eye. Use these four years to show up to your lectures, rotations, etc. with the mindset that you want to learn from these world-renowned faculty members that most people do not have access to. Hustling for your education, for your own future, is going to be the foundation of who you become professionally and personally.

Begin this curriculum starving for an education most are not privileged to have, and graduate knowing you capitalized on every single opportunity available; then you can wear the name University of Michigan School of Dentistry, proudly.


Take Away Tips:

  1. Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm you are doing something academic.
  2. Never stop learning! If you have free time during the week, practice that prep you struggle with in pre-clinic, ask a resident if you can shadow them, look up the genetic mutation you heard someone mention but did not know what it was, read articles in JADA that pique your interest… do something educational.
  3. Surround yourself with friends and faculty who encourage you and hold you accountable.
  4. Adjust your perspective to view every day as an opportunity to gain experience and knowledge.

Cassandra Wieckhorst is a D3 and a member of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) and the Special Care Dentistry Association (SCD).

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