New Year and New Responsibilities

It’s hard to believe our D1 year has ended, and we are now D2s! Time has flown by. Truth be told, I did not imagine myself as a D2 nine months ago. As of right now, D2 year doesn’t seem much different. I think the general consensus is that we will begin to ‘feel’ like D2s when the D1s arrive in September.

87 Newly minted D1s in September, 2016!

One change we’ve experienced is that we have started to spend relatively more time in lab and less in class. There seems to be a bigger emphasis on preparing us for treating patients this fall. Some of our professors have also claimed that our class has developed a ‘personality’, and they treat us accordingly. (What does this mean? I have no idea, haha.)

One of the biggest changes with D2 year is the fact that we have started to assume more leadership positions. For example, the list of ASDA committee chairs was e-mailed out earlier this afternoon. Congratulations to everyone who was elected! Our chapter’s committees are in great hands. 🙂 In another example, one of our classmates, Amanda, is helping to coordinate our school’s participation in a free clinic weekend this November. She wanted to gauge interest for the event, and 51 classmates replied ‘YES’! The enthusiasm is infectious!!

I applied for a few positions, including Basic Dental Principles (BDP; a teaching program for dental students and a hands-on dental course for undergraduates) and the ASDA Pre-Dental Outreach Committee (Pre-Dent). Having actively participated in both as a D1, I was hopeful that I could continue my participation as a coordinator or chair for one of these programs.

Unfortunately, I was not selected for either. I am pretty disappointed in myself, but moving forward, I am curious as to how I can become a better member and improve. Regardless of the outcome, I still plan to support both organizations, and the greater ASDA community, in their upcoming events this year!

I had been worried about overcommitting to extracurriculars while trying to pass classes and maintaining a balanced life outside of school. I planned to reconsider my decision to run for class President if I was selected for BDP or Pre-Dent because I strongly believe that people who occupy elected positions should commit fully to the people they serve. Looking ahead, I will run for class president, as I hope to lead and effect the change that my classmates and I wish to see.

In our first week as D2s, I asked a handful classmates for advice they would share to D1s. Here’s what they said:

“Don’t fall behind, explore LA, and eat KBBQ.” – Kent A.

“Don’t worry too much … because we’re all going to be dentists! Don’t be shy to ask for help in lab. Everyone wants to help so all you have to do is ASK!” – Sara Z.

“Take the time to get to know yourself inside out, as weird as that sounds.” – Kathleen (Kat) N.

“Don’t let school overwhelm your life – spend time with other friends, family, et cetera.” – Cathrine (Cat) F.

“Have fun and enjoy your classmates!” – Jessie J.

When I see upperclassmen, residents, and faculty, I am reminded by everything we don’t know. However, when asked a dental or medical-related question, I realize that we have learned a lot about dentistry, healthcare, and treating others with compassion. Cheers to finishing D1, everyone!

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3 Comments Add yours

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