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So I'm kind of behind on extracurriculars/volunteering...

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by two thirty, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. two thirty

    5+ Year Member

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    I'm about to be a junior and it hit me this past week how I wasted a lot of valuable time this summer. I got biochem out of the way(which is supposed to be the hardest class for bio majors) and got a little shadowing done, but I really didn't utilize my spare time to get more involved/volunteer.

    I really haven't done any volunteer work since starting college. I worked without pay for a month at a Christian camp in the summer between senior year of high school and college, but I don't know if that will count for anything.

    Also, I haven't been too involved with EC's either. I'm a member of a social fraternity here, but haven't held any real positions of power in it. I've heard it's almost better to leave GLO's off your application anyway. I'm a member on another group on campus that helps kids with AIDs, but that was because I paid the $20 joining fee and haven't really done anything since that day. I'm also the member of some honor society that had a ~$50 fee and a one time initiation ceremony. They only have a few events a year and I haven't done a thing with them since.

    The good news is that I'm on track for shadowing, have a strong GPA, and standardized testing is a strength of mine. I know if I dedicate myself to the DAT, I shouldn't have problems doing well.

    Anyway, any idea/suggestions on some more things to get involved in? I don't really have time to hold a major position in my fraternity, although I could hold a minor position like academic chair or community service chair or something. I know a lot of people join for the pre-dental club, but I feel like it's a pretty tiny commitment and it's way too common.

    Also, how many volunteer hours is typical or stands out?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. AwesomeTeeth

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    You don't have to hold a position in anything. Just go volunteer somewhere, ANYWHERE. Preferably at a community dental clinic or something like that. But if you can't find one of those, then go do Habitat for Humanity, help out at an elementary school, volunteer at a library, deliver flowers at a hospital, etc. It doesn't have to be anything mind blowing. You honestly don't need that much volunteer work. I'd say around 100 hours total of 3-4 things and you should be good. It's more of a GPA+DAT game more then anything. And don't forget to shadow a dentist.
     
  4. BobLoblawDDS

    BobLoblawDDS Lost and confused
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    I have to ask, why didn't you volunteer while in undergrad? It's not difficult to commit 4-8 hours a week to one or two things consistently. It's not even as many hours as it may require to take another class (since classes normally require far more hours of studying & etc.). Plus you make friends, develop your personality, etc. It's fun.

    Being an executive member on a campus club is often not as much of a commitment as it seems. Usually it just involves a lot of emails, Facebooking and meetings at the library, etc. ... the only real time commitment comes when you organise events, which can be seldom (for academic clubs) to often (for more socially-oriented clubs). It's not difficult to juggle.

    I know that if I didn't do ANYTHING besides school for the past 4 years, I would've had way too much free time on my hands; I'd be bored.

    But don't worry, you're only 2 years in. You've got plenty of time left. Just make sure what you're doing is a) enjoyable and b) consistent and you'll be fine. It's nice to be in a position where you get to know someone of authority well as well (ie. volunteering in a hospital or dental clinic, volunteering for a professor in a lab, or a group where you interact often with a supervisor) because they can be sources of recommendations or letters later on for various things (not just school apps).

    Good luck!
     
  5. two thirty

    5+ Year Member

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    I don't know, I've enjoyed my free time. :p

    Thanks for the advice, I'll gonna start looking for places to volunteer in the fall. I have a few other pre-med/pre-dent friends in a similar situation, so I'm sure we can find something fun to do together.

    PS, I didn't directly ask it in the OP, but could I list the month of service I did during the summer before freshman year? That's over 200 hours right there, but I could see adcoms frowning upon that, especially since I didn't do much the next couple of years.
     
  6. jeffity

    7+ Year Member

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    Go with your gut on the pre-freshman thing. Some like to throw the "anything before college doesn't count" thing out there and I've heard a couple admissions people address that issue with that same generic guideline. But there's no set rule. Some people did some pretty legit stuff early in life that shouldn't be discounted because they weren't sitting in ENG101 yet.

    Do something you like and will enjoying doing in this role. Commit to it for the long-term. Avoid just signing up on a list to volunteer because you see hours. In fact, I would encourage being proactive and identifying where your individual strengths and passions can fill a void in the community. Don't be afraid to organize and set up your own opportunities.
     
  7. tayloreve

    5+ Year Member

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    I'm in the same situation as you x_x...I plan on being more active this year as a sophomore....

    Does your school send you emails on your school email account about all the stuff that's going on? Take advantage of that if they do... I know mine sends a bunch of stuff out during the year about all the big stuff that's going on and you can sign up to help etc.


    Good luckkkkkk:thumbup::thumbup:
     

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