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Hey all, 

I might get some ridicule from asking something like this on a forum (and rightfully so) but here goes:

During undergrad 

I graduated from undergrad this past May, and during undergrad I aimed for dental school. In my 4th year I applied to dental schools, interviewed at some but interviewed poorly and did not get in. I was pretty choked at the time, but was determined to re apply. 

The present

Since getting rejected I started a full time job that I love, and that has given my a little bit of exposure to professions outside of dentistry. I am very intrigued by these others professions and not 100% sure if dentistry is what I want anymore. By no means am I trying to talk down on the profession as I still think it is great, I'm just not sure if it the one for me . 

The conflict 

I just feel confused to be honest. For one, people tell me that I should apply as it would be a waste not to with all the time spent studying for coursework and the DAT. Furthermore, as much as I love my current job, it certainly isn't something I can do forever, and if I was ever fortunate to get into dentistry this cycle, it would be nice to "move on". I've also already paid for CASPER. I guess because of my somewhat neurotic and "go go go" mentality, I would  feel like I "wasted" a gap year not applying to anything. 

However, on the other hand, there are parts of me that don't really want to apply this year. I'm currently 21 turning 22 soon, and while some people are mature and independent at this age to know what they want, I feel like I'm a late bloomer in that regard as I just don't have much life experience and exposure to know 100% what I want in life. Part of me feels hesitant to apply to dentistry knowing that I didn't try or consider the other things out there. Furthermore, if I was ever fortunate enough to get interviews to dentistry this cycle, the timing of these interviews would interfere with some of the things I am doing to try to keep other doors open. I'm scared that with trying to keep my foot in all these doors, I may just burn myself out and do a shitty job at everything. 

I guess another CON of not applying to dentistry would be that my DAT scores would expire. However, if I one day realize that dentistry is what I love again,  I would be more than willing to re write. 

Have any of you found your self in this situation, or have any advice?

 

Thanks 

 

 

 

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Sounds like a question with no right answer. I'll play both sides of the equation.

Go shadow at some dental clinics. See if you can picture yourself there. If it's still ambiguous, go ahead and apply, and make your decision later on. I don't necessarily think preparing for and going to interviews would necessarily destroy all the time you have available to commit to other things you're interested in. I feel as though that might just be something you're telling yourself because you don't want to go through the effort. But the effort is what will help inform you whether or not it's something you actually want to do. Better to try and be sure, than to not try and never know. Go do as much as you can to educate yourself on all of these potential paths; I do personally think applying and interviewing is part of that.

It's either that (apply and keep your options open), or close the door on dentistry for now and focus on other things. Dental school isn't going to disappear. It'll still be there should you really decide later on that you want to give it another shot. But if you decide not to apply, you can't have any regrets about it. Second guessing that decision is just going to eat at you. I think it's also key to realize that at 21, it's pretty normal to have these sorts of ambiguous feelings about where to go in life. Even though this is an important decision, taking your time with it is possibly even more important. Also, there are much bigger battles later on; defining watershed moments aren't in a vacuum, they're a part of a bigger whole.

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1 hour ago, cleanup said:

Sounds like a question with no right answer. I'll play both sides of the equation.

Go shadow at some dental clinics. See if you can picture yourself there. If it's still ambiguous, go ahead and apply, and make your decision later on. I don't necessarily think preparing for and going to interviews would necessarily destroy all the time you have available to commit to other things you're interested in. I feel as though that might just be something you're telling yourself because you don't want to go through the effort. But the effort is what will help inform you whether or not it's something you actually want to do. Better to try and be sure, than to not try and never know. Go do as much as you can to educate yourself on all of these potential paths; I do personally think applying and interviewing is part of that.

It's either that (apply and keep your options open), or close the door on dentistry for now and focus on other things. Dental school isn't going to disappear. It'll still be there should you really decide later on that you want to give it another shot. But if you decide not to apply, you can't have any regrets about it. Second guessing that decision is just going to eat at you. I think it's also key to realize that at 21, it's pretty normal to have these sorts of ambiguous feelings about where to go in life. Even though this is an important decision, taking your time with it is possibly even more important. Also, there are much bigger battles later on; defining watershed moments aren't in a vacuum, they're a part of a bigger whole.

Hey man, 

Thanks a bunch for the insight. I also agree with what you said, that dentistry interviews shouldn't necessarily bring me down in other areas. After reflecting a bit, I agree with you that I've sort of been putting off the effort, perhaps due to not wanting dentistry or other laziness.

 

Going to have to think hard about this. thanks again :)

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I'm 24 and I am in the same boat as you OP. Although, I don't have a full-time job, just part time as a Barista. But, I have been exploring other programs to apply to along with dentistry. If you love your full time job and think you want to "move up" in it, check out if there are any masters or certificate-level programs in that industry that will allow you to do so! The biggest thing I learned from not getting into dental school is that there is more out there. You just have to be open-minded and look for it :)

My DAT scores are set to expire after this year also, so I will be applying one more time. But I'm also really interested in another program offered by Western. Maybe you should consider this too? That way your options are left open! 

Also, you are so young!! We all are! You don't have to go to dental school right now. Lots of people take time off school to work, or take other classes, or travel. Don't feel like you are falling because you're not quite sure yet. You have lots of time to figure it out :) 

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On 10/4/2017 at 6:02 AM, HopefulDent2017 said:

I'm 24 and I am in the same boat as you OP. Although, I don't have a full-time job, just part time as a Barista. But, I have been exploring other programs to apply to along with dentistry. If you love your full time job and think you want to "move up" in it, check out if there are any masters or certificate-level programs in that industry that will allow you to do so! The biggest thing I learned from not getting into dental school is that there is more out there. You just have to be open-minded and look for it :)

My DAT scores are set to expire after this year also, so I will be applying one more time. But I'm also really interested in another program offered by Western. Maybe you should consider this too? That way your options are left open! 

Also, you are so young!! We all are! You don't have to go to dental school right now. Lots of people take time off school to work, or take other classes, or travel. Don't feel like you are falling because you're not quite sure yet. You have lots of time to figure it out :) 


Thanks for the support man :)
Best of luck this cycle and in your next steps !!

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