Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Apparently, UCLA dental students have the lowest quality of life"

Every dental school has its up's and down's. Either you're paying way too much for your education and your swamped in loans (actually - that's probably everyone minus Texas), or the administration at your school is always difficult, or the people you're surrounded by are shady, or your requirements are too strenuous, or the weather is brutal, and honestly, the hypothetical list of complaints just goes on and on and on.

This is something one of the med students told me the other day. He was like, "This probably won't make you feel any better, but apparently, UCLA dental students have the lowest quality of life of all dental students." He was right to assume it wouldn't make me feel any better, but there's definitely some truth to that statement. 

We have some of the most academically rigorous classes, our clinic requirements are apparently unreasonable in some respects (that's a hurdle I have yet to encounter, but I'll let you know about it once I get there), it's difficult to get patients to clinic (it's hard enough for me to explain directions to my mom with all the construction in front of the dental school), and yes - I would say they really put us through the wringer. 

Despite it all, I've gone through most of dental school with a pretty positive attitude - I stay involved, I try to make sure my friends know how much I appreciate them, I make an effort to care about things outside of this dental school fishbowl, and I try to maintain a healthy balance in terms of eating right and exercising. I mean, look how much I did in one year! In the end, it's all how you look at it, because it's so easy to complain and forget about all the good times (one of the main reasons I continue to update this blog). 

That's why my goal for D2, a year that is notorious for its unending lab projects and exams - (people keep saying that winter is coming), is to make the people around me happy. Because in the end, it's really hard for me to be happy when the people I care about don't feel the same way. 

It's so important to step back and remember how lucky we are to be where we are. So even when school is stressful and it seems like the world is against you, it's important to be happy because all those people who have helped you be who you are today, did not invest time in you so you could mope around. They did it because they knew you could be someone big - they knew you could be someone important, who could make a difference, and be a positive influence in so many other lives. Whatever dental school you're at now, I know there's someone out there who didn't get the golden opportunity that you have today. ~1500 people applied to UCLA during my cycle, and there are only 88 of us in my class... That's only 6% of the people who applied!! 

So yes, even though UCLA is hard, I still think back to my first couple days of dental school, when I would see the 2nd years in lab and be amazed at how much they know. Well guess what people, I'm that second year now!! I may not know very much, but whatever I know is because UCLA has forced me to grow up and to learn a crap ton in one very short year. I was prepared enough to take my boards and pass them by the end of my first year (which I will post about shortly) and overall, I'm happy. I still have 2 exams, 3 quizzes, and dentures this week but hey, you gotta work to get that DDS.