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Student Involvement in Dental School

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Dental school can be a tough but rewarding experience for many of us. It can be an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs with varying levels of stress and pressure. With that said, the key to a pleasant dental school experience is balance.  The involvement of students in extracurricular activities is very important in the overall dental school experience.   Dental school is definitely not a place where you want to feel alone and isolate yourself because no one will understand your struggles like another dental student. There a lot of opportunities and different ways to get out there and get involved. Community service event are always a great way to mingle with people while doing something for the greater good. Involvement in activities and events are also a great way to take a break from the curriculum and to release some stress Involvement in student organizations is another great way to be active outside of school. Student organizations give students the opportunity to learn skills that aren’t exactly integrated into the curriculum including but not limited to leadership experience, event organization experience, and a sense of family orientation within the dental school. I believe that involvement in these types of things enriches the whole dental school experience. There are organizations like ASDA (American Student Dental Association) and SNDA (Student National Dental Association) that offer insight of dentistry from a political standpoint as well as knowledge of how organized dentistry works. Large organizations like these can also offer unique opportunities and discounts through their membership including but not limited to discounts on car insurance, free disability & life insurance and more. In addition to all of that these organizations offer plenty of networking opportunities with practicing dentist and dental relate companies through social events and conferences. Specialty interest groups offer unique information tailored toward different aspects of dentistry as well as help students to navigate the residency application process for their specialty of choice. Other ways to relieve some stress and take your mind off the books is to exercise. Exercising can burn a lot of energy and help with focus. There are often times where you can find classmates to work out with you and make it a group effort and regularly scheduled activity. The bottom line is too much of anything can harm your health, even school. So having some balance between school and life is very important for success. While good grades are very important so is good mental health. Having something to distract you from the pressures and stresses from school is critical. There are so many ways to do this that it should be easy to find something to get the job done. Just don’t be scared to step outside the box and try something different.