Preparing for D1 Year, From an Incoming D1

Ok deep breaths… it is FINALLY happening. After many monotonous undergraduate classes that had nothing to do with my career, the dreaded DAT, and application after application, I can finally say I am going to be a dentist (the imaginary crowd goes wild in my head). Well now what? I was so worried about getting that phone call December 1st that I had not yet thought about the next step. Literally the only thing I had planned was my outfit for the white coat ceremony down to the jewelry (I know, I may be a slightly neurotic). I decided to follow the advice of previous dental students I have met on my journey here. All of them have said the same thing “HAVE FUN, do not procrastinate, and don’t you dare pick up a text book no matter how bad you think you need to prepare”.

Being a “Type A” person you could not fathom the temptation to read my entire Anatomy and Physiology book three times over to try and get ahead. However, I know what is coming down the pike over the next year; plenty of reading will be done. Stimulating the brain is still important, so even though I would love to binge watch every season of The Office on Netflix for the bajjillionth time I decided to put my kindle to use. There are, and will be, lots of crime, mysteries, sci-fi and biographies in my near future.

I notified the office where I work that I will be leaving in June so I can spend that month traveling with the money I have saved over the last year. Just booked my ticket to Boston, because I am a huge history nerd. After Boston, I will hit New York and Chicago to experience some big city living. I am even going to squeeze in a Disneyland trip, because it would be sacrilegious for a “Disnerd” like me if I did not go to the happiest place on earth before embarking on this new chapter of my life.

If I could give any advice to the incoming student this next year, I would repeat: have fun, don’t procrastinate, and don’t you dare pick up that textbook.

Preparing for D1 is exciting, yet possibly the scariest thing I’ve come across in my life so far. Though the future is never clear, I know some what is to come…lots of late nights, tears, and sighs of relief when exams are over. I am very excited to be a part of a community that has the same goals and aspirations as me! No one in my family is in the dental field so just imagine me trying to convince my family and friends that I am not a psychopath collecting human teeth from dentists around Arizona. Because I am from the valley, I do not have to find a place to live. This does not mean that I am not getting my study space all figured out. My Pinterest boards are filled with office spaces, featuring modern desks and chairs with hilarious dental quotes that I hope will keep me sane once their hung up on my wall. The transition into dental school can be a challenging one. That is definitely the thing I am most nervous about. I want to create a space that is both calming and motivating through the long hours of learning.

I feel like a little kid on the first day of kindergarten, hoping that these students, my peers, my new family, are going to like me. My doubts quickly fade when I remember they enjoy a good dental pun and care about people just as much as I do! I am only a bit ashamed to admit that Facebook page stalking has been completed (yeah, you know you did it too), and it is clear that ASDOH did an excellent job choosing their students in order to create a melting pot of wonderful, intelligent, and caring individuals. So I can be at ease knowing there will be plenty of lifelong friends to be made.

Speaking of friends, that’s another activity I have been up to; being with my friends and family as much as possible. They all understand that my life will be very different for the next four years, so we try to do activities together like hiking, swimming, shopping, food festivals, concerts, anything under the sun to make these last few months of freedom count! If I could give any advice to the incoming student this next year, I would repeat: have fun, don’t procrastinate, and don’t you dare pick up that textbook.

Alyssa Holmes, ASDOH ’21

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