I’m having a bit of a dilemma and was hoping for some advice. I’d really appreciate any help and your opinions!
Basically, I am debating whether I should go back to school in the fall, or take a year (or a semester) off. It may not seem that big of a deal, but it has been driving me nuts because I can’t seem to decide what is the best choice even after talking to friends, teachers, and a dentist I shadowed.
Some background information: I have completed my second year of undergrad at the University of Alberta. I will be applying for the Doctor of Dental Surgery program at the UofA, and will be writing the DAT in November. I have completed all of the required courses and the minimum amount of credits, and I am satisfied with my GPA (3.98). My backup plan is the Dental Hygiene program, and I have also completed the prerequisites for that.
This is my thought process so far: If I decide to go back to school, I will be investing both time and money in courses I don’t need, and at the same time, I could run the risk of lowering my GPA (and hurting my chances). On the other hand, if I take a year/semester off, I can focus on preparing for the DAT to the best of my abilities, my GPA won’t change, and I will have more time for other activities (such as getting more experience through shadowing, volunteering, and of course picking up more shifts at my part time job to start saving up money). It’s just I have never taken a break from school before and I’m not sure how I’ll handle this drastic change in my routine— so I’m not sure if this is a good idea.
I know a lot of people who go for the dental program work towards a science degree (4 years of undergrad) at the same time. However, I’m not sure what I would do with a science degree, nor do I really have an interest in obtaining one, which is why I’m not considering taking 2 more years of undergrad for a degree I don’t want/need.
I’m hoping some of you could provide me with perhaps a more sensible perspective. What was your guys’ experiences and path to dentistry like? I am open to anything and would greatly appreciate any suggestions or comments!