Balance of Athletics and Pre-Dental Life

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deleted1050822

Hi, everyone! I hope all is well. I am a pre-dent and am planning on applying in next summer's cycle. I feel like I am on the right path with everything as far as DAT prep, shadowing, research, academics, and EC's, but something that I am worried about is my volunteering experience. As of right now, I have little to no volunteering hours to my name, but I had a few great opportunities lined up for the summer. Unfortunately, the CoVID-19 pandemic put a wrench in my schedule (as I am sure the same is true for everyone else).

This worries me because during the past few school years I have had athletics year-around, which took up nearly all of my time outside of academics. The only real volunteering opportunities I have had have been through my athletic team events (fundraisers, Team IMPACT, free soccer clinics for local youth). Outside of this, I have had very little volunteering experience, which is why I was excited to finally have a chance to volunteer this summer! Opportunities will arise here and there, I am sure, but I feel like I will not have as many hours of volunteering as I had hoped or needed to make myself as strong of an applicant as possible.

I guess my question is, do adcoms take into consideration the difficulties of scheduling volunteering hours for students with time consuming EC's, such as being an athlete? I will certainly do the best I can do get as many as possible before I apply in next year's cycle, but I would just like some insight on how they may look at this situation from an admissions stand point. If there are people who experienced/ are experiencing similar problems who would like to give some insight/ share their experiences, that would be great, too!
 

S_Diamond_DDS

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If asked in an interview about it just explain your situation. And definitely list the volunteer hours you do have through sports. Most adcoms will likely view your extracurriculars in a positive light, despite not having extensive volunteer commitments. There are some schools that expect a lot of volunteer service, such as the AT Still’s, however this does not seem to be a deal breaker for most other schools. I only had 20 hours total for community service because I was working while in school and got 8 interviews, so there you go.
 
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RYost234

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I talked about playing baseball in my PS and it got brought up often in interviews. I had a bunch of volunteering and leadership roles tho, i don't think being an athlete will give you a free pass without ecs

Edit: spelling - if you lack ec's I'd recommend gap year
 
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S_Diamond_DDS

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What would be a good number of hours to shoot for in a year? 100?
Do what you can. 100 is a nice round number but if you can do more go for it. Be sure to add the hours you accumulated at the academic updates (there’s 2) to show the schools you’re applying to that you’re working to improve this part of your app.
 
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0Mik3cho

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Do what you can. 100 is a nice round number but if you can do more go for it. Be sure to add the hours you accumulated at the academic updates (there’s 2) to show the schools you’re applying to that you’re working to improve this part of your app.
Is there any reason to email updates to the schools rather than provide this information during the academic update period? I know some schools explicitly say you can email them academic updates.
 

S_Diamond_DDS

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Is there any reason to email updates to the schools rather than provide this information during the academic update period? I know some schools explicitly say you can email them academic updates.
If the school says to email them the academic updates, then do so. Admissions at different dental schools each have their own preference. For the ones that don’t specify, it’s your choice. I was told that, in general, admissions look at the academic update of their applicants on aadsas, but if you wanted to bring attention to your academic update just in case they don’t, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to send an email alongside the update.
 
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