Jul 28, 2016
Hey guys! I'm very new to this site so sorry In advance if this has already been addressed.

I'm currently 17 almost 18, with my freshman year of undergrad under my belt. I currently take all of my classes at FGCU on campus through a program so that when I graduate with my senior class I'll have my sophomore year of college done as well.

Back to my question(s).

Is there anything I can be doing right now (sophomore year of undergrad) that you would have done if you had the chance to make your transcript look better to potential dental schools?

I'm doing community service but are there certain types of it that would look better on a application?

I've heard of shadowing or being a dental assistant but know nothing more than just the name. Any advice on how to get into it would be amazingly helpful.

I know it's early and most of you will just shrug it off but I really have my heart set on this and was wondering if there is anything I can do now, or soon, to start making my application to dental school looking better.
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Start with community service. Find things that interest you and commit to them. You'll have several hundred hours by the time you apply if you start now. Stuff you did in HS won't count.

Shadowing is just observing a dentist. Generally around 100 hours seems to be the ideal amount posted on SDN. Make sure you shadow a general dentist for at least part of that. If you live by your general dentist, they are a good place to start. They know that predental students need shadowing hours and will be hopefully willing to help. Assisting is actually working a dental assistant. I'm pretty sure FL requires a course or something more than some other states. I can't remember why, but I know I wasn't able to work as an assistant in FL.

Start establishing good relationships with professors. It'll lead to strong letters of recommendation or maybe even research if you're into that.

Study hard. You don't want to have to deal with GPA repair. If you need motivation to study, read through some of the threads on here where people talk about the time and money it cost to repair their GPA.

Enjoy yourself. College is fun. Join silly clubs on campus, make friends with everyone, go on a study abroad trip, cheer at a sports game, go through rush, or whatever suits your interests. I've been graduated for a few years now and went back to my undergrad today to just walk around. It was such a blast going into the buildings with my friends and reminiscing on all of our fun times.
Aug 9, 2015
The one thing I wish I would have done is to buy the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools ASAP—read that front to back. In particular, look at the course requirements for all the different schools—you will then know exactly what prereqs to take. Wrote them down and take them to your undergrad advisor when scheduling classes.

I would also join every pre dental club you can manage.

Good luck!

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