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2010 cycle...stressed out...advice?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by vlct0ria, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. vlct0ria

    7+ Year Member

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    Just a forewarning, its LONG, but I thank you ALL ahead of time for reading it all and responding. If anyone can help, I know its my fellow SDN pre-dents. :)

    Alright, so I am normally calm and collected around here, but I have just been freaking out lately since classes start tomorrow. My hope is to be prepared to apply this summer for the 2010 cycle. My stress about everything I have going on this semester has gotten so overwhelming that I have started to consider putting the whole process off until the 2011 cycle (in which case I would study all this summer and take the DAT before fall 09 classes begin).

    Here's whats going on already:

    • 4 classes (in-class= 12 hrs/week + HW/studying time= ?) [2 of 4 are going to be tough upper-level bios!]
    • research (in lab 6-8 hrs/week)
    • meetings (3-4 hrs/week)
    • assisting at dental clinic (4 hrs/week)

    What I still need to do (ie. what is worrying me):

    • I can only do the dental clinic 4 hr/wk, so by app time I expect/hope to have anywhere between 50-70 hours. Problem is, I am only acting as a chair-side assistant (beginner stuff- handing over instruments, cleaning, etc)to some UF d4's. I fear that this isn't enough exposure to the dental field, and I am worried that I need to shadow a private practice dentist as well...only problem is WHEN?

    • I haven't taken the DAT...I haven't started with my LORs...I haven't started a PS...I don't know when to study for the DAT, when to take it.

    • I really want to submit my app June 1, so I am wondering when the latest is that I can take the DAT and still be part of the early round of interviews.

    I just have so much going on...and I am so worried about studying for the DAT, I just feel like I do not have time for any of it...which is why I keep telling myself I can put it off a year if I need to...

    So sorry for the super-long post...I know I am probably just overreacting and being paranoid and psychotic, but I am hoping for some honest advice on where I stand and how to get it all done!

    Thanks!
    Victoria :)
     
  2. eternalxdemon

    2+ Year Member

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    Sooooooo first off... calm down!!!! you're doing great. :)

    For the dental clinic... I think your hours are good... don't worry about them. I don't think you need to shadow a private practice dentist... but if you want to you can start towards the end of the semester on thru summer... so it gives you more experience during the summer... that's wat i did.

    you still have time to get LOR's... i recommend asking professors (if you've had them in prior semesters) prolly within the first half of the semester (prolly feb or march) so that they have time to write your LOR and they'll have it ready by May 15 (when apps are up on aadsas). For prof's that you haven't had yet... ask after your first midterm (gives them time to get to kno you a bit) and tell them you'll need the LOR by May 15.

    For your DAT's take them at the end of spring break... use spring break to study for them. if you're too stressed with school then put off taking the DAT's til the end of june BUT this doesn't mean you can't submit your app on june 1st. you can still submit it cuz aadsas takes awhile to process everything and stuff. as long as you take your DAT's by the end of june/early july you should be fine and still early enough for first round interviews. :) and if you're planning on taking them lae june/early july... use the whole month of june to study for them (after finals of course). If you want to prep for the DAT's you can take the online Kaplan course to prepare yourself for the ochem n g chem n RC n QR portions of the DAT. I would recommend using maybe Destroyer or some other DAT prep to prep for bio cuz kaplan was no good for me... i didn't get a chance to try other stuff... My reasoning for suggesting you take the DAT's during spring break is that if you don't do too hot... you'll want to retake in 90 days and so if you took the DAT's in march you would be able to retake in june (still in time for first round interviews). but yea... maybe that's a lil bit too much planning. but yea... gl with the DAT's.

    As for your PS, if you're not taking the DAT's at the end of spring break you can work on your PS during spring break and use essay services liek EssayEdge n stuff to make the PS look better and more professional. good luck with next cycle!!!! you'll get in for sure!!! just remember shoot for 20+ in all sections and you should be good to go. :thumbup::thumbup:

    hopefully this helps you a bit... sorry ahead of time if it doesn't...
     
  3. Dentwannabe18

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    Hey Victoria... don't freak out. You still have the option to apply next cycle if you're willing to work for it. Focus mainly on your classes (most important. Keep up that GPA.), shadowing, and research this semester... and if you have any time left over, then take some time to study for or get familiar with the DAT (there may be no time, I know).

    I think you will learn an AMAZING amount as a chairside assistant for a D4. They can probably give you some great advice too. You will learn much more assisting than by just watching/shadowing another dentist. You can still take some time to shadow dentists if your schedule allows, but I really think it's great that you have the opportunity to assist. A lot of people don't get that opportunity before dental school... they only get to watch.

    As for the DAT, I would say take a couple months this summer and study full-time and try to take it between mid-July and mid-August. The earlier the better, AS LONG AS YOU ARE READY. You do not want to take it twice... so do not take it until you're ready. If you work in the summer, I would recommend working only part-time and studying full-time. If you're lucky enough not to need to work, I recommend focusing all your efforts on the DAT. I worked full-time while I was studying and ended up not being ready to take it until early September. I was still lucky enough to get a Dec. 1 acceptance, so it can happen if you take it a little late... but the earlier the better.

    O btw, you can still apply by June 1 if you haven't taken your DATs by then.

    So, worry mainly about your grades this semester, get as much experience as you can shadowing, and focus on your DATs this summer.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. beastmode

    2+ Year Member

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    you can def apply for next cycle...you will have plenty of exposure to dentistry to be competitive. In fact, your chair side assisting at a clinic is far better then shadowing at a private dentist so you are ahead of the game there. If you really want to feel comfortable, just shadow a private dentist over the summer for like 10 hours...set it up right as you are getting out of school for summer and then put it on your app even if you haven't done it yet b/c you cant make changes on that section once it has been submitted.

    Don't worry about your app until school is over, your grades are more important. Then as soon as your finals end dedicate yourself to finishing your app and your personal statement. Get it submitted right away in May, and then take your DAT in early august. That will give you plenty of time to study, and schools will get your scores by the end of august. By the time your transcripts are verified etc. etc. AADSAS wont have your application into schools by late June/early July as it is.

    That would be my advice. I was in the same situation is you. I did the majority of my shadowing last summer and took the DAT. Although, I was working too much so I procrastinated with my app and then actually didn't end up taking my DAT until late September. But, if you follow that general time line you will be golden. Good luck you can do it, I think you will find that your situation is similar to most other predents, just take it one step at at time.
     
  5. vlct0ria

    7+ Year Member

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    Thanks for all the advice so far! I am actually calming down a bit. You guys are AMAZING! :thumbup:
     
  6. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    Here's whats going on already:

    • 4 classes (in-class= 12 hrs/week + HW/studying time= ?) [2 of 4 are going to be tough upper-level bios!] 12 credits isn't bad at all, it just makes a full-time student.
    • research (in lab 6-8 hrs/week)
    • meetings (3-4 hrs/week)
    • assisting at dental clinic (4 hrs/week) 50-70hrs should be fine,aslong as you can get a dentist LOR.

    What I still need to do (ie. what is worrying me):

    • I can only do the dental clinic 4 hr/wk, so by app time I expect/hope to have anywhere between 50-70 hours. Problem is, I am only acting as a chair-side assistant (beginner stuff- handing over instruments, cleaning, etc)to some UF d4's. I fear that this isn't enough exposure to the dental field, and I am worried that I need to shadow a private practice dentist as well...only problem is WHEN?

    • I haven't taken the DAT..Take DAT by the end of June..I haven't started with my LORs..Ask in a few months. You have to wait until the cycle opens anyway. .I haven't started a PS.What are you waiting for? Just had a break! But really, 10-15 minutes here and there takes a PS far. And you will not get as fusterated. ..I don't know when to study for the DAT, when to take it. You can do some light studying throught the semester since you have a light course load and about 15 hours of other obligations.

    • I really want to submit my app June 1, so I am wondering when the latest is that I can take the DAT and still be part of the early round of interviews. As stated above, late June will give you first round. Plus, it'll give you some of May and June to study, which is all you need.

    I just have so much going on...and I am so worried about studying for the DAT, I just feel like I do not have time for any of it...which is why I keep telling myself I can put it off a year if I need to...You're stressing out. It's part of the process and you just need to overcome it. You have plenty of time to study. I had 22 credits, research and taught then took the DAT. It takes dedication. It's nothing compared to dental school.

    So sorry for the super-long post...I know I am probably just overreacting and being paranoid and psychotic, but I am hoping for some honest advice on where I stand and how to get it all done! You're in a good position, don't worry! Even if you studied 20-60 minutes each night from now to the end of June, you'd be prime for the DAT if you don't psych yourself out.

    Thanks!
    Victoria :)
     
  7. LuckiLeigh

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    You are in way better shape than I was this time last year and I got everything I wanted and more out of this cycle. So, you're right on track but it's stressful cuz there isn't someone to guide you through it all.

    So... I say sign up for a Kaplan course. I did mine during the semester but all I did for it was attend the classes. I saved all of the assignments to use to study later. My class was 2x a week in the evening starting mid March and going through April. That way may labs were winding down in my classes and the first 2 rounds of midterms were already finished. If this is not an option do the online one to get the resources because I found that to be the most helpful part. Practice Practice Practice!

    For your LORs get one from a dentist, two from core sciences and maybe one from someone else of your choice. That should cover your bases for most schools (check the websites of the schools you are interested in). I was able to set up an account at our career center so all the letters were sent there. Then when I applied AADSAS recieved one package from them so I entered it as a committee letter rather than individual letters on AADSAS. Give them as much advanced notice as possible and then keep on them b/c some get busy and forget about your deadline.

    I finished my semester, took a week vacation, shadowed for a week, turned 21.... Then I spent a week writing my personal statement and filling out my application. I checked over my PS twice with a career center editor who was specifically for health related applicants. This was about mid-May. As for shadowing... I only had 50 hours after I crammed some in during May. Dental assisting will look great on your app!

    You can submit AADSAS before your letters are all received and sent and before you take your DAT. So, submit AADSAS within days of it opening and immediately get your transcripts sent to AADSAS b/c it takes a while to recalculate all your GPAs. I actually sent my transcripts as soon as I was able to log on and print off the matching form. Don't apply to all your schools yet because you can always add schools after you know your DAT score. I wasted a lot of money b/c I didn't really think of it that way.

    So, now it is about May 20th. Start studying for the DAT like it is your job. I probably studied about 25 (maybe 30 if I was really motivated) hrs/wk for 4 weeks and then took my DAT on June 18th. The last week I took a practice test every day for 4 days and did nothing else. So the first 3 weeks I basically did all the Kaplan stuff I was supposed to do during the course. I read the book, did some online exercises, read over the flash cards and did the online subject tests. I also ordered 3 more practice tests from TopScore or something. While you are studying, check the status of your LORs and as soon as they are ready send them into AADSAS. My AADSAS app was actually sent to the schools before my letters were in but as soon as the letters arrived they were sent out.

    So take your DAT and if you want, add some schools to your app and everything will be good by June 19th... oh and go celebrate your hard work! Secondaries will be coming soon. With the process I just listed I started receiving interview invites the first week of August so it was definitely early enough.

    Good Luck and apply in 2010 - you should have a great chance if you get a 20 or above on the DAT.
     
  8. Mamona

    5+ Year Member

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    I don't have any extra to say, but just follow what everybody say in here. If you want to apply for 2010 do it, you definitely have everything to make it happen!!!!
     
  9. supraman

    supraman Boston Celtics
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    Cliff notes?

    j/k

    Very good replies in here, changed your avatar?
     
  10. bustedgrill

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    wow. I guess it's a Florida thing. I am in the same boat!
     
  11. DROCKINDAHOUSE

    DROCKINDAHOUSE UTHSCSA c/o 2013
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    Maybe get on some SSRIs or go on a drinking binge. If you choose the latter, I would suggest Patron, Jack Daniel's, or Grey Goose in any combination. Get loose, meet some new people, and have some fun.

    Either way you go the ultimate goal should be to chill out because it's only January. You have plenty of time to accomplish everything you need to do. A person with your stats shouldn't be worrying too much anyway.
     
  12. JamesOSU

    JamesOSU Ohio State 2013
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    Exactly ;D There's still plenty of people freaking out about this cycle. I agree with the DAT in late June, I think that will hopefully give you a couple weeks to devote to it, it is definately something that needs your complete attention.

    I taught the DAT for Kaplan the year between my two cycles (Yes I scored high on my DAT first time around and didn't get in... my fault for neglecting to correctly fill out EC form... ugh), and I know the material works IF YOU DO IT. I had so many students who didn't improve, but they weren't doing any work outside of class either. They didn't come prepared and didn't practice on their own then they asked why they're weren't getting any better! :eek:

    I had 3 students who really put their all into it, and guess what? All three will be my classmates next year ;-) and I got to interview with them, I was like a proud parent, haha
     
  13. playa2652

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    Victoria, you are freaking out way too much, calm down because you are thinking ahead and that's great. For me personally, I took six months to study for the DAT because I wanted to make sure that I gave it my all the first try (mind you, I did this while doing my six-month internship for school credit and studied after work everyday). It really depends on what kind of person you are and how you study. I'm really bad with standardized tests, so I studied longer for it. Your grades are really important because a lot of schools tend to cut off applicants if they don't achieve a certain gpa, at least for me some did. LORs can be done a few months from now, so no need to rush. For your PS, you have plenty of time to write it. I wrote my PS in two weeks, with editing and filling out the app. For the majority of my shadowing experience, I shadowed AEGD residents from a dental school clinic, which is similar to what you are doing. This experience is great because you can get advice from the d-school students on how to prepare for the DAT, how they like their dental school, and see different procedures (my suggestion would be to see if you can observe root canals, denture placement, etc). I only got to observe procedures for shadowing, so you are one step ahead there.
    Also, since you happen to be shadowing at a d-school, you should try asking if you can be a research assistant for a professor there. By doing so, your chances of that professor writing you a LOR are high and it increases your chances of acceptance to that dental school.
     

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