Friday, December 12, 2014

Don't - Stop - Beliieeevin'

I'm a bit of an optimist. When I see the worst sides of people, I try to remind myself that even bad people have someone they love. Even bad people have friends. Even bad people have someone they're nice to, and someone they share things with.

I suppose what I mean by "bad" is any action/intention that conflicts with my personal morals. In my head, I'll organize "bad" as any time people choose not to act out of kindness, courage, humility, responsibility, or the desire to make things better. I choose to be an optimist because the bad can really hold heavy on my mind, and I need a reason to let those negative feelings go.

Unfortunately, dental school is probably the worst environment for growth on a human level. Daily stressors interfere with the capacity for empathy, chipping away at your abilities to be humble, forgive others, and be a good friend. Because unfortunately, most people in dental are the most stressed and sleep deprived they've ever been, and to top that all off, we're all on the brink of this dream career and its hard to let anything stand in the way of that.

BUT! That is probably the silver lining to all of this - whichever dental school you are at, whichever dental school you may go to, you will run into gunners, manipulative people, major flakes, etc, but it's not really them you're interacting with. It's the worst version of them.

Something that helps keeps my mind fresh and gives me faith in people over again is listening to podcasts. Dental school is literally this little fishbowl of people - people who are slightly more OCD/neurotic than your average bunch - so it's a great way to put things into perspective. I wrote about this in my year off, but it's really a great way to click that mental refresh button when people just aren't everything you wish they could be. And lets be real, I'm not all puppies and rainbows either. My labmates can attest to the extreme hanger I have when we are in lab for 8+ hours a day. I forget, and overbook, and snap on occasion. But I promise, podcasts are a worthy investment for those of you out there who are drowning in finals and just wondering why people act the way that they do sometimes. Ordinary people truly have the capacity for the extraordinary.

And so, on this rainy day, I'm going to try to keep that sunshine alive and make it through these finals!

My favorites are NPR's Radiolab, TED Radio Hour, This American Life, and I hear some great things about Serial :)