Updated: Oct 9, 2022
Hello, fellow pre-dents!
My name is Katie, and I run the @kteeths_blog dental Instagram page. As I am about to begin my final semester at The Ohio State University as a pre-dental student, I can reflect on my last 3 years and the journey It took to get here.
Like most students, I did not know exactly what I wanted to do in high school, so what lead me to pursue dentistry? Well, shadowing different careers in the medical field during my senior year of high school really gave me insight and allowed me to narrow down my interests. I think it’s really important to shadow any career you’re interested in so you know what you’re getting into.
When I knew dentistry was what I wanted to pursue, I knew my grades needed to be a
priority. It’s really important to start off with a strong GPA because as you advance in college, it gets increasingly difficult to raise your cumulative GPA. Developing the correct study habits was probably one of the most difficult things about starting college, but is just something you have to develop over time with experience. Something I learned was to appreciate and utilize all the resources you have to excel in a class. When a professor or TA offers office hours, use them! I couldn’t believe how many times I was the only student to show up to office hours in a class of 300+ students. I was not afraid to ask for help, or just get my work checked over so I could feel more confident when turning in an assignment. If you have a borderline grade, a professor is also more willing to help you out when they have seen you put in the work.
I also needed to involve myself in clubs that would help me achieve my goals and surround myself with like-minded people. Before I transferred to Ohio State, I attended Ohio University and joined their pre-dental club where I was able to obtain a leadership position my Freshman year. Although I was only a freshman, I decided to go for it and run for a position anyways. I knew serving on the executive board was going to stand out on my application and show admissions counselors my passion to pursue dentistry. It was also a great opportunity for me to learn early on about running clubs and another experience to add under my belt. When I transferred to Ohio State in my Sophomore year, I joined other clubs such as Service, Education, and Activism in Dentistry (SEAD) and Remote Area Medical (RAM) where I was able to obtain more leadership experience. Any leadership experience will look great on a dental school application and does not need to be confined to only dental-related experiences. I had leadership positions in my sorority as well, and every position I held throughout college all taught me valuable lessons. If your university does not have a pre-dental club or any of the clubs I mentioned above, start one! The ASDA website actually has a pre-dental toolkit just for this.
The pre-dental journey is not an easy one, so take all the help you can get. Try to find a mentor if you can, perhaps an upperclassman or dental student who can help guide you on this path. There are also a plethora of pre-dental-related Instagram accounts such as mine that are full of valuable information and honestly an awesome resource. I am lucky that I was able to watch my older brother go through this journey so I kinda knew what to expect.
The biggest piece of advice I received that I still apply to my everyday life is from my Organic Chemistry I professor. On the first day of class, she told us, “Never forget your why” and I honestly can’t forget it. Why do you want to be a dentist? Why are you working so hard? It is really difficult to work towards something when you don’t know why you want it, so at times you need to remind yourself.
I hope you find my insight and advice helpful to your pre-dental journey. I wish you all the best of luck! If you’re interested in hearing more from me, check out my page https://www.instagram.com/kteeths_blog/ for more pre-dental topics.