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Dilemma: Take time off or finish undergrad?


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Hi everyone,

I’m going into my 4th year at an Ontario uni, and I’m not sure if I should finish the last year of my undergrad degree or take the next year or so off. The reason I don’t wanna finish the last year of my degree is because 1) I don’t care for my degree, 2) I don’t want to lower my GPA (my 4th year will have quite a few subjective social science courses), and 3) I don’t want to pursue a masters degree since research doesn’t interest me.

I plan on only applying to U of T dentistry this year as I don’t qualify for Western (I only took 4 courses per term instead of 5) and I’m not willing to leave Ontario (my long-term boyfriend is a PhD student at U of T and he plans on going to U of T for med after he graduates next year). I know it’s risky only applying to one dental school, but I’m confident that I can eventually get into U of T (I don’t mind taking multiple gap years if necessary). I have a 3.95 CGPA and I still have to write the DAT. I plan on spending the next year working, studying for the DAT, and going to dental hygiene school in November (right after I write the DAT). I know that dental hygiene probably won’t help me too much in the admissions process, aside from the interview, but I know for a fact I want to pursue a career in dentistry. I can’t imagine doing anything else so I thought that dental hygiene would be a good backup career and would help prepare me for dental school a bit.

Do you guys think this is a good idea/plan or am I being crazy lol!? I already contacted U of T to see if only completing 3 years of your undergrad degree would be a disadvantage, but they said they give equal consideration to those with or without an undergrad degree. All that matters is that you have 30 half courses completed. But I’m not sure if there’s any major disadvantages that should be brought to my attention.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks! 

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58 minutes ago, Fentist said:

How are you so sure he’s going to uoft? Is that the only school he’s applying to as well?
 

All your eggs are in one basket 

Thanks for the reply. He's applying to med schools all over Ontario. U of T is one of the few med schools that favours graduate applicants; hence, he'll most likely get accepted to U of T since he'll have a PhD. He's also a very competitive applicant (3.97 undergrad GPA, 4.0 grad GPA, tons of publications, extracurriculars, etc.). If he doesn't get accepted, he's planning to do a postdoc at U of T. Even if we broke up or he left Ontario for whatever reason, I'd still prefer to stay in Ontario since this is where all my friends and family are. 

Yeah I'm really worried about relying on U of T for admission. But the likelihood of being accepted to schools OOP is probably very slim anyways and I can't imagine spending another 2 years in uni full-time just to qualify for Western (this also puts me at risk for lowing my GPA). And the US is a no go... wayyy too expensive even if I were willing to move. I really do want to pursue dentistry but I feel like location is everything to me. Do you know of any successful dental school applicants who only applied to 1 school? Also, do you think I'm crazy for withdrawing from undergrad and starting dental hygiene school instead? Or do you think its worth finishing my undergrad degree?

 

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I'm gonna play devil's advocate (because it's fun) and poke a few holes in your thinking.

Nobody really cares for their degree. If your goal is dental school, then you're not wrong, the undergrad degree doesn't really matter. It's a vehicle for getting grades, learning how to study, getting to know yourself and getting some life experience, enjoying life, making friends, and then moving on.

But failing to finish it doesn't seem wise to me; it would be cheapening the last 3 years of your life. You can still apply to U of T dental even if you write the DAT in November, so why not do that and finish your degree? At least for one application cycle, whatever grades you receive in your 4th year won't register for admissions until after you're accepted (and as long as you don't flunk, you're fine).

I'm sure there are ways you can mitigate the 'difficulty' of your fourth year. And even if there isn't, it's still worth completing.

As for the dental hygiene route, do not mistaken dental hygiene for an easy degree; it's not. You learn a lot of things just as in depth as in dental school, and it's a two-year degree. I would wager that if you actually go that route, and finish dental hygiene, you'll be less and less inclined to take a stab at U of T dental.

Take the hand you've been dealt. You're lucky. You have options. You have high grades. Why are you pigeonholing yourself so early?

Finish your degree, apply to U of T dental, and if you don't get in, then re-assess from there. 

You should have a plan, but one that maximizes your options. I'd say your current plan is reducing them simply because you don't want to do a 4th year of undergrad.

None of us wanted to do 4 years of undergrad, but hell, we all did. I did 5. 

So I understand where the desire to bail on a few things now comes from (because our gut tells us to or because we don't feel an inclination toward them), but I don't think this is wise at all if your ultimate goal is to go to dental school.

Just my two cents.

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2 hours ago, cleanup said:

I'm gonna play devil's advocate (because it's fun) and poke a few holes in your thinking.

Nobody really cares for their degree. If your goal is dental school, then you're not wrong, the undergrad degree doesn't really matter. It's a vehicle for getting grades, learning how to study, getting to know yourself and getting some life experience, enjoying life, making friends, and then moving on.

But failing to finish it doesn't seem wise to me; it would be cheapening the last 3 years of your life. You can still apply to U of T dental even if you write the DAT in November, so why not do that and finish your degree? At least for one application cycle, whatever grades you receive in your 4th year won't register for admissions until after you're accepted (and as long as you don't flunk, you're fine).

I'm sure there are ways you can mitigate the 'difficulty' of your fourth year. And even if there isn't, it's still worth completing.

As for the dental hygiene route, do not mistaken dental hygiene for an easy degree; it's not. You learn a lot of things just as in depth as in dental school, and it's a two-year degree. I would wager that if you actually go that route, and finish dental hygiene, you'll be less and less inclined to take a stab at U of T dental.

Take the hand you've been dealt. You're lucky. You have options. You have high grades. Why are you pigeonholing yourself so early?

Finish your degree, apply to U of T dental, and if you don't get in, then re-assess from there. 

You should have a plan, but one that maximizes your options. I'd say your current plan is reducing them simply because you don't want to do a 4th year of undergrad.

None of us wanted to do 4 years of undergrad, but hell, we all did. I did 5. 

So I understand where the desire to bail on a few things now comes from (because our gut tells us to or because we don't feel an inclination toward them), but I don't think this is wise at all if your ultimate goal is to go to dental school.

Just my two cents.

Thanks for the thoughtful input!

I agree, it kinda does cheapen the last three years of my life since I’m not gonna reach the end goal of getting my degree. However, I’m only going to do a short-term withdrawal from my program so I won’t permanently be dropping out. At my uni, you have up to 8 years to finish your degree; hence, if I don’t get into dental school after 4 admission cycles, I’ll go back to uni and finish my 4th year while I apply for a 5th time. If I don’t get in again, then I’ll definitely reevaluate my life.

Another problem with going into my fourth year is that I won’t be able to seriously write the DAT in Nov. I’m taking an accelerated summer course right now and I’ll be starting to study for the DAT in the beginning of August. I should have started studying earlier, but I had a lot going on these past few months (family member passing) so I couldn’t bring myself to study but I’ve gotten things back on track. The reason I need so much time to study is cause I never took 1st year bio in uni! I’m in a professional program (dietetics), so I was able to take physiology 1 and 2, microbiology and other life sci courses without needing to take first year intro bio. Also, despite acing chem in first year, I was never that great at it! I definitely have my work cut out for me from August to November. 

Unfortunately, since I’m in a professional program, there’s not a lot of flexibility with the courses I can take to fulfill my degree requirements. I kind of pushed all my “really difficult” courses to my fourth year cause I was dreading having to do them. A lot of them have a ton of essay writing which isn’t my cup of tea. My CGPA will most definitely decrease. But I don’t think it will go below 3.90. 

Yes, I’m expecting dental hygiene to be difficult but since it’s an 18 month diploma, it won’t affect my CGPA for dental school admissions. It’ll just be a great way to get hands on experience while providing me with a backup option if dental school doesn’t pan out. I plan on applying to dental school every year, as dental hygiene definitely won’t satisfy my goal of becoming a dentist! 

I’m pigeonholing myself because I’m scared of ruining my chances of getting into u of t :S sadly, it kind of comes down to the fact that I don’t have confidence in myself. I never expected to do so well in uni, as I was always a low 80’s student in high school, but somehow I managed to pull off a high CGPA through hard work. I’ve had dental school on the back of my mind since first year of uni but I didn’t think it would be possible until my third year. I just don’t want to jeopardize my chances if possible. 

I really appreciate you playing devils advocate. Do you still think I should continue with my 4th year after everything I’ve told you?

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Finish your degree and then decide from there. It may undermine your application even if you think it shouldnt. Not worth the risk imo. And lets make a worst case scenario. If you ever wanted to apply to other schools then youd always have the question of why you didnt complete your degree in the normal time frame like everyone else. Not worth going into the explanation if you cant defend it well...

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3 hours ago, dentistrydmd said:

Finish your degree and then decide from there. It may undermine your application even if you think it shouldnt. Not worth the risk imo. And lets make a worst case scenario. If you ever wanted to apply to other schools then youd always have the question of why you didnt complete your degree in the normal time frame like everyone else. Not worth going into the explanation if you cant defend it well...

I contacted U of T admissions and they said “There is no disadvantage to applying with 3 years of university. Your marks are what is most important.” I also trust this since I’ve heard of quite a few people getting admitted to U of T with incomplete undergrad degrees.
 

I agree, the gap years definitely raise a red flag. But tbh if I don’t get into U of T after 5 admission cycles, I’m probably not cut out for dental school lol. I must be really shit at interviews and/or CASPer if I don’t get in after that many tries. I’ll just move on with my life and either continue working as a dental hygienist or enter another career path (registered dietitian, etc.).

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6 hours ago, Mooshy99 said:

I contacted U of T admissions and they said “There is no disadvantage to applying with 3 years of university. Your marks are what is most important.” I also trust this since I’ve heard of quite a few people getting admitted to U of T with incomplete undergrad degrees.
 

I agree, the gap years definitely raise a red flag. But tbh if I don’t get into U of T after 5 admission cycles, I’m probably not cut out for dental school lol. I must be really shit at interviews and/or CASPer if I don’t get in after that many tries. I’ll just move on with my life and either continue working as a dental hygienist or enter another career path (registered dietitian, etc.).

You're right about people with incomplete undergraduate degrees, but that was because they were admitted in their third year. Maybe I'm incorrect, but I haven't heard of anyone getting in with three years of undergraduate studies they took a hiatus from a couple of years prior. Anyways it sounds like you have a decent plan for your future, so I would go with your gut.

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Having a degree is always worth something. You never know how life plays out, we all never expected this pandemic to happen and it did. Lets say for whatever reason dental school didn't work out, or you had to unexpectedly move and you can't finish your degree. At least completing a degree you know that you have a bachelors and you can find a job after if things don't work out. You may have a plan but clearly from this year's experience plans can go out the window in a drop of a hat. I say for sure finish your degree and go from there. There's a reason why almost everyone finished their undergrad, because if all else fails thats the thing we can all fall back on. Otherwise, if you don't complete it, the only thing you will have is a high school degree, and there isn't much you can do with that. Have more confidence in yourself and also challenge yourself. you kept up your grades this far, what would prevent you from doing well in your fourth year? Often times we make decision in fear and end up regretting them. Most people on this forrum are urging you to finish your degree for a reason, we all know that this is the one thing you can fall back on. Not completing it is a big mistake in my opinion. You can always say that you can go back to it in the future, but statistically thats very unlikely. Again, you don't know what life would be like then, maybe you have kids or a family, or maybe you moved to a different country, etc etc. 

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2 hours ago, HouseBunny said:

Having a degree is always worth something. You never know how life plays out, we all never expected this pandemic to happen and it did. Lets say for whatever reason dental school didn't work out, or you had to unexpectedly move and you can't finish your degree. At least completing a degree you know that you have a bachelors and you can find a job after if things don't work out. You may have a plan but clearly from this year's experience plans can go out the window in a drop of a hat. I say for sure finish your degree and go from there. There's a reason why almost everyone finished their undergrad, because if all else fails thats the thing we can all fall back on. Otherwise, if you don't complete it, the only thing you will have is a high school degree, and there isn't much you can do with that. Have more confidence in yourself and also challenge yourself. you kept up your grades this far, what would prevent you from doing well in your fourth year? Often times we make decision in fear and end up regretting them. Most people on this forrum are urging you to finish your degree for a reason, we all know that this is the one thing you can fall back on. Not completing it is a big mistake in my opinion. You can always say that you can go back to it in the future, but statistically thats very unlikely. Again, you don't know what life would be like then, maybe you have kids or a family, or maybe you moved to a different country, etc etc. 

Thanks for the insight.

I never really thought of it that way. You’re right, I could have a completely different mindset in a few years from now. I could be in a situation that pushes me to move, etc. However, I’m having a hard time seeing the benefit of my degree. It’s a professional degree which means it’s essential useless unless I become a registered dietitian, which is something you can only do if you get a dietetic internship (extremely competitive as less than 10% of people get internships in Ontario/there’s only 5 participating hospitals that accept 5-10 people each). I would have to dedicate all my energy and time into pursuing a career in dietetics if that’s what I really wanted, but at this point in my life, I don’t. And even if I wanted to do it later on, my dietetic competency courses that grant me eligibility to apply for internships expires 3 years after graduation! Hence, I was thinking that if I extend my degree until the last year possible, then at least I could always become an RD if I change my mind (i.e., dental hygiene isn’t for me in the long term) and dentistry doesn’t work out. The only jobs I can get without the RD credential is diet tech, food service manager, or maybe a quality control position in a food lab.

I also agree that, statistically speaking, it’s very unlikely for me to go back after so many years, but I think my reasoning is different than most people. I’m more so leaving school to maximize my chances of getting into U of T dentistry, not because I couldn’t handle the rigour of school, etc. I definitely see the benefit of having a degree if dental school doesn’t work out, but the benefit of getting it right now is very limited. I rather study something I’m more interested in (dental hygiene) than spend a year doing courses to get a piece of paper I can’t do much with. I’m a fairly motivated person so I can’t imagine not getting my degree eventually. As you mentioned, the only major risk is the uncertainty of life. But I still feel like taking that risk is worth it (pros>cons), especially since I’m pretty set on staying in Ontario and I’ve felt that way for a long time. 

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2 hours ago, Mooshy99 said:

Thanks for the insight.

I never really thought of it that way. You’re right, I could have a completely different mindset in a few years from now. I could be in a situation that pushes me to move, etc. However, I’m having a hard time seeing the benefit of my degree. It’s a professional degree which means it’s essential useless unless I become a registered dietitian, which is something you can only do if you get a dietetic internship (extremely competitive as less than 10% of people get internships in Ontario/there’s only 5 participating hospitals that accept 5-10 people each). I would have to dedicate all my energy and time into pursuing a career in dietetics if that’s what I really wanted, but at this point in my life, I don’t. And even if I wanted to do it later on, my dietetic competency courses that grant me eligibility to apply for internships expires 3 years after graduation! Hence, I was thinking that if I extend my degree until the last year possible, then at least I could always become an RD if I change my mind (i.e., dental hygiene isn’t for me in the long term) and dentistry doesn’t work out. The only jobs I can get without the RD credential is diet tech, food service manager, or maybe a quality control position in a food lab.

I also agree that, statistically speaking, it’s very unlikely for me to go back after so many years, but I think my reasoning is different than most people. I’m more so leaving school to maximize my chances of getting into U of T dentistry, not because I couldn’t handle the rigour of school, etc. I definitely see the benefit of having a degree if dental school doesn’t work out, but the benefit of getting it right now is very limited. I rather study something I’m more interested in (dental hygiene) than spend a year doing courses to get a piece of paper I can’t do much with. I’m a fairly motivated person so I can’t imagine not getting my degree eventually. As you mentioned, the only major risk is the uncertainty of life. But I still feel like taking that risk is worth it (pros>cons), especially since I’m pretty set on staying in Ontario and I’ve felt that way for a long time. 

Whatever you decide is entirely up to you! Im just trying to provide some insight, at least having a degree even if you don't purse RD, you can still work other jobs. My friend has a nutrition degree but did not pursue becoming a dietician and was still able to find a full time good job. 

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31 minutes ago, HouseBunny said:

Whatever you decide is entirely up to you! Im just trying to provide some insight, at least having a degree even if you don't purse RD, you can still work other jobs. My friend has a nutrition degree but did not pursue becoming a dietician and was still able to find a full time good job. 

I appreciate the advice.

Just out of curiosity, what job did your friend get? I’m not too familiar with what you can do with a nutrition degree on its own. All I know is that usually the job prospects aren’t favourable and tend to be lower paying.

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On 7/12/2020 at 12:36 PM, Mooshy99 said:

I’m pigeonholing myself because I’m scared of ruining my chances of getting into u of t :S sadly, it kind of comes down to the fact that I don’t have confidence in myself. I never expected to do so well in uni, as I was always a low 80’s student in high school, but somehow I managed to pull off a high CGPA through hard work. I’ve had dental school on the back of my mind since first year of uni but I didn’t think it would be possible until my third year. I just don’t want to jeopardize my chances if possible. 

You think your past self defines your present self, but it is in fact your future self that you should be using to define your current self.

Focus on who you want to be, not who you have been. Where are you going? What are you striving for? Why are you doing it?

This is an issue of self-limiting beliefs, it turns out, not an issue of what the 'best' course of action is.

Think of it this way. You want to go to dental school. Okay. Be very honest and clear with yourself about what someone who really wants to go to dental school would do, and then do everything in your power to do that. You shouldn't be afraid of failing. You should be afraid of not trying. It really is as simple as that.

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On 7/12/2020 at 11:28 PM, dentistrydmd said:

You're right about people with incomplete undergraduate degrees, but that was because they were admitted in their third year. Maybe I'm incorrect, but I haven't heard of anyone getting in with three years of undergraduate studies they took a hiatus from a couple of years prior. Anyways it sounds like you have a decent plan for your future, so I would go with your gut.

I emailed admissions again on Monday cause your comment made me a bit paranoid lol. I said “Just to clarify, it doesn’t matter if someone leaves their undergrad degree after 3rd year to pursue something else instead of completing their degree? As long as you have 30 credits completed, you’re eligible and there’s no disadvantages, correct?” And they replied “that’s correct.” I also haven’t heard of anyone “dropping out” after 3rd year and getting accepted to dent, but I think it’s cause most people actually want their undergrad degree and/or are applying to multiple dental schools that require their undergrad to be completed. 

Thanks for the support. I’m definitely leaning toward dental hygiene school but I’m still confused about what I want to do. I have until September to think about, so hopefully that’s enough time to sort out my thoughts.

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Just hoping I could provide some insight from people I know in your situation! While it’s totally possible to get in after 3 years, I know of people with good grades, decent dat and above average extracurriculars who have not been admitted to uoft on multiple tries. Don’t limit yourself, because you really don’t know what will happen, especially if you really are passionate about dentistry. Also, it would benefit you to have a degree as a dental hygienist. If you want to work your way up in the college or branch out from standard practise and work in knowledge translation, the degree is something you’d need. I felt the same way going into 4th year but it ended up being completely different than I had planned, and even a bit easier than the other years. Don’t doubt your abilities! Also - uoft won’t even count your 4th year, so you could even apply this year and get in, with 4th year meaning nothing. 

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2 hours ago, tooth said:

Just hoping I could provide some insight from people I know in your situation! While it’s totally possible to get in after 3 years, I know of people with good grades, decent dat and above average extracurriculars who have not been admitted to uoft on multiple tries. Don’t limit yourself, because you really don’t know what will happen, especially if you really are passionate about dentistry. Also, it would benefit you to have a degree as a dental hygienist. If you want to work your way up in the college or branch out from standard practise and work in knowledge translation, the degree is something you’d need. I felt the same way going into 4th year but it ended up being completely different than I had planned, and even a bit easier than the other years. Don’t doubt your abilities! Also - uoft won’t even count your 4th year, so you could even apply this year and get in, with 4th year meaning nothing. 

Were they invited to the interview every year and rejected every time? Thats probably what worries me the most. But I feel like if I practice my interview skills enough, I can eventually get in. I'm passionate about dentistry but the ROI is poor if I leave Canada (aside from having to sacrifice leaving family and friends in Ontario), and the OOP dental schools are extremely difficult to get admitted to (more so than U of T since there's so few seats reserved for OOP applicants). The only other option is Western but I'm not doing 2 years full-time just to get a shot at western - seems like a waste of time, money and energy. What were your friends CGPA's? And where did you friends end up?

Yes, it would benefit me to have my degree as a dental hygienist which is part of the reason why I will eventually go back to get my degree if dentistry doesn't work out! I doubt my abilities cause I'm very aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a student. I always get low 80's in my heavy essay writing classes (which I have a lot of in 4th year). To make things worse, a lot of courses are doing take-home exams because of COVID. I had an online course earlier this summer that required me to write a 5000 word essay in 2 days for the exam. It was very mentally taxing and stressful. I honestly can't imagine doing that for all my courses during the fall semester. If anything, I may just take 1 gap year. I can work and study for the DAT and then start school again in September of 2021. At least this way I can apply for the admission cycle this year instead of having to wait until next year since I'll have optimal time to study for the DAT in November. But I do like the idea of doing dental hygiene so I'm really not sure. So many options tbh. 

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On 7/14/2020 at 3:25 PM, Mooshy99 said:

I emailed admissions again on Monday cause your comment made me a bit paranoid lol. I said “Just to clarify, it doesn’t matter if someone leaves their undergrad degree after 3rd year to pursue something else instead of completing their degree? As long as you have 30 credits completed, you’re eligible and there’s no disadvantages, correct?” And they replied “that’s correct.” I also haven’t heard of anyone “dropping out” after 3rd year and getting accepted to dent, but I think it’s cause most people actually want their undergrad degree and/or are applying to multiple dental schools that require their undergrad to be completed. 

Thanks for the support. I’m definitely leaning toward dental hygiene school but I’m still confused about what I want to do. I have until September to think about, so hopefully that’s enough time to sort out my thoughts.

To clarify I do know people who have gotten accepted to dent and med after 3 years. That is definitely doable. I was referring to the fact that you taking three years then taking a hiatus and applying during that year when technically in their view it would make sense to finish the degree. 

 

I know you have mentioned that the reason you are not completing your fourth year is because of the nature of the courses there which may lower your GPA (which if they are arts courses I completely agree with that assessment). What about taking other courses which would not tend to reduce your GPA? Also FYI U of T takes your top three years and Western takes your top 2 years in their score for the cGPA (though they require completion of your degree), so you completing your degree will have no effect on this. There is a limitation if you do want to pursue further studies and you haven't completed your degree... Just some food for thought.

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On 7/14/2020 at 3:54 PM, tooth said:

Just hoping I could provide some insight from people I know in your situation! While it’s totally possible to get in after 3 years, I know of people with good grades, decent dat and above average extracurriculars who have not been admitted to uoft on multiple tries. Don’t limit yourself, because you really don’t know what will happen, especially if you really are passionate about dentistry. Also, it would benefit you to have a degree as a dental hygienist. If you want to work your way up in the college or branch out from standard practise and work in knowledge translation, the degree is something you’d need. I felt the same way going into 4th year but it ended up being completely different than I had planned, and even a bit easier than the other years. Don’t doubt your abilities! Also - uoft won’t even count your 4th year, so you could even apply this year and get in, with 4th year meaning nothing. 

Exactly

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11 hours ago, dentistrydmd said:

To clarify I do know people who have gotten accepted to dent and med after 3 years. That is definitely doable. I was referring to the fact that you taking three years then taking a hiatus and applying during that year when technically in their view it would make sense to finish the degree. 

 

I know you have mentioned that the reason you are not completing your fourth year is because of the nature of the courses there which may lower your GPA (which if they are arts courses I completely agree with that assessment). What about taking other courses which would not tend to reduce your GPA? Also FYI U of T takes your top three years and Western takes your top 2 years in their score for the cGPA (though they require completion of your degree), so you completing your degree will have no effect on this. There is a limitation if you do want to pursue further studies and you haven't completed your degree... Just some food for thought.

? I think you need to re-read what I wrote. That’s why I asked admissions whether it would be a problem if I left my degree before completing it, and they said it isn’t (i.e., there is no disadvantages in the admissions process if you go on a hiatus after 3rd year). They do not care if you have 3 vs. 4 years of uni, even if it means you left your degree prematurely.

I’m in a professional program so there isn’t much flexibility with the courses I can take. 

That isn’t true - U of T always includes your last completed year of undergrad in your CGPA calculation, regardless of whether it’s lower or higher than prior years. The only time your 4th year courses won’t count is when you apply during your 4th year (but I won’t be able to seriously write the DAT in Nov if I start school in Sept) or if you do a 5th year of undergrad or a course-based masters. Even if I were able to successfully write the DAT during my 4th year, it’s a huge risk relying on that 1 year to get into dentistry! It’s safe to say that I probably won’t get in on my first try.

I’m not interested in pursuing a Master’s degree. If I were to do one, it would be a course-based masters with an integrated dietetic internship. But at this point in my life I don’t want to dedicate my energy and time into becoming a registered dietitian. Maybe it’ll be something I’ll do if dentistry doesn’t work out, but I’m not sure what my interests and aspirations will be in a few years from now. As a reminder, I will complete my undergrad degree eventually if I do  not get admitted to dentistry after a few admission cycles. I’m not completely giving up on it!

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41 minutes ago, offmychestplease said:

I've been following this thread and I honestly have a headache. Look, OP many people above have given you very valid points about NOT leaving your degree right now. You seem very defensive and want to fight against every single point anyone makes that does not validate your perspective. Just do what you want, jeez. 

The whole point of this thread is to challenge my thinking. Of course I’m gonna be defensive, I’m very much bias towards not completing my undergrad which I made fairly clear in my post. Some posters have made great points, and I’m taking them into consideration. Just because I don’t agree with everything everyone says, doesn’t mean I’m only here to validate my perspective. I’m trying to sort out my thoughts and this is a great outlet to do so. If it's giving you a headache, then simply ignore it. 

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On 7/14/2020 at 6:45 PM, Mooshy99 said:

Were they invited to the interview every year and rejected every time? Thats probably what worries me the most. But I feel like if I practice my interview skills enough, I can eventually get in. I'm passionate about dentistry but the ROI is poor if I leave Canada (aside from having to sacrifice leaving family and friends in Ontario), and the OOP dental schools are extremely difficult to get admitted to (more so than U of T since there's so few seats reserved for OOP applicants). The only other option is Western but I'm not doing 2 years full-time just to get a shot at western - seems like a waste of time, money and energy. What were your friends CGPA's? And where did you friends end up?

Yes, it would benefit me to have my degree as a dental hygienist which is part of the reason why I will eventually go back to get my degree if dentistry doesn't work out! I doubt my abilities cause I'm very aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a student. I always get low 80's in my heavy essay writing classes (which I have a lot of in 4th year). To make things worse, a lot of courses are doing take-home exams because of COVID. I had an online course earlier this summer that required me to write a 5000 word essay in 2 days for the exam. It was very mentally taxing and stressful. I honestly can't imagine doing that for all my courses during the fall semester. If anything, I may just take 1 gap year. I can work and study for the DAT and then start school again in September of 2021. At least this way I can apply for the admission cycle this year instead of having to wait until next year since I'll have optimal time to study for the DAT in November. But I do like the idea of doing dental hygiene so I'm really not sure. So many options tbh. 

The people I know weren’t even invited for interviews. They are currently working as receptionists, and going back to complete their 4th year. I don’t know their exact CGPA but it was competitive. I can totally understand the gap year with covid. And yes, unfortunately 4th year requires a lot of those types of essay-based courses which is arguably more difficult than your standard MC exam. I felt similar, and even considered waiting a year and not writing the dat, and not going into dentistry at all because of the fear of everything. I really encourage you not to doubt yourself - you’ve made it this far, and whatever path you choose is the right one, but don’t narrow your options if this is what you really want! Apply to schools even if you don’t think you’ll get in, you could literally be one of those few OOP that get in 

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9 hours ago, tooth said:

The people I know weren’t even invited for interviews. They are currently working as receptionists, and going back to complete their 4th year. I don’t know their exact CGPA but it was competitive. I can totally understand the gap year with covid. And yes, unfortunately 4th year requires a lot of those types of essay-based courses which is arguably more difficult than your standard MC exam. I felt similar, and even considered waiting a year and not writing the dat, and not going into dentistry at all because of the fear of everything. I really encourage you not to doubt yourself - you’ve made it this far, and whatever path you choose is the right one, but don’t narrow your options if this is what you really want! Apply to schools even if you don’t think you’ll get in, you could literally be one of those few OOP that get in 

U of T is very GPA-centric so I’m having a hard time believing that they had a competitive GPA and didn’t get an interview at U of T. Usually a 3.9+ is considered competitive. If they didn’t get interviews with a 3.9+ CGPA and good DAT scores, then that’s very concerning for me. But maybe they performed poorly on the CASPer test, or had a weak personal statement? Also, since they’ve applied multiple times, they should have 100% gotten interviews in previous admission cycles since interview invitations used to only be based on GPA and DAT. It seems like their GPA’s may not be as competitive as you think. Also, I’m confused, did they take gap year(s) after 3rd year and now are going back for their 4th year?

I honestly don’t have a complete distaste for courses with a lot of written assignments, but the subjectivity of social science courses is what I really hate. You just never know how well your gonna do. From my experience, social science profs tend to be more reluctant to give you an A. But I may just take a gap year and give 4th year a shot sooner than later. I mean, if I can’t do well in 4th year, then maybe it’s a sign that I’m not cut out for dent¿

I’m glad you found the courage to complete your 4th year and apply to dental school. And you got in, correct?

Thanks for the advice! :) 

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10 hours ago, Mooshy99 said:

U of T is very GPA-centric so I’m having a hard time believing that they had a competitive GPA and didn’t get an interview at U of T. Usually a 3.9+ is considered competitive. If they didn’t get interviews with a 3.9+ CGPA and good DAT scores, then that’s very concerning for me. But maybe they performed poorly on the CASPer test, or had a weak personal statement? Also, since they’ve applied multiple times, they should have 100% gotten interviews in previous admission cycles since interview invitations used to only be based on GPA and DAT. It seems like their GPA’s may not be as competitive as you think. Also, I’m confused, did they take gap year(s) after 3rd year and now are going back for their 4th year?

I honestly don’t have a complete distaste for courses with a lot of written assignments, but the subjectivity of social science courses is what I really hate. You just never know how well your gonna do. From my experience, social science profs tend to be more reluctant to give you an A. But I may just take a gap year and give 4th year a shot sooner than later. I mean, if I can’t do well in 4th year, then maybe it’s a sign that I’m not cut out for dent¿

I’m glad you found the courage to complete your 4th year and apply to dental school. And you got in, correct?

Thanks for the advice! :) 

I can attest personally that I had a 3.95 and didn’t get and interview at UofT but I’m in at western so you can never be too sure Hahahah... and yeah exactly, they finished 3rd year, took a couple gap years and are now going back. 
I do completely understand the issue with social science-y courses - maybe if you go back, look to see if your university has a writing centre or even book appointments with your profs to make sure your papers are on the right track. (That helped me with a course I had revolving around social issues, which had us write a paper every 2 weeks yikes). 
 

Good luck with whatever you choose! 

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