Glimmer1991

5+ Year Member
May 5, 2012
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Dental Student
Hey, everyone!

I'm still adjusting to the workload of dental school--it has been a shock to my system, if I'm totally honest. Studying 4-6 hours every day, on top of getting home at 3:30-4:30, has been tough.

One of the worst things, though, is feeling like I could study all day and still not know everything--and also feeling like I should be studying all the time. Even when I'm not studying, I think about all the things I haven't learned yet, and it's like I have a black could over me all the time. It's hard to enjoy my "relaxing" time because my mind is still buzzing with stress.

So, I'm looking for advice. How did you get over feeling like you should be studying all the time? How did you get past that nagging feeling that there is so much more you could (and should) be learning? How much, on average, would you say you study?

I know there is an adjustment period for everyone, and I'll get there. I've been doing extremely well in all of my classes, but I'm worried it's not worth the toll it's taking on me mentally. I'm just looking for a happy medium... How did you all find it? :)
 
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syap

5+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2013
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I normally study less than 2 hours a night for now. I am a D1 but we started mid July. If I have a test the next day I might do 3-4 hours of studying. I have A's and B's and normally know as much as guys or girls that study 5 or more hours a night. At least 2 days a week I leave by 3. It's a rip roaring time. I would probably study less but I was sick 2 days and didn't study at all those days. Basically dental school is my b$*#$*
 
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Jul 20, 2013
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I personally miss class three mornings a week *oops* and still do just fine...we had 14 tests this month. Buttt...I prefer going over lectures on my own time. That works best for me. So I study about 3 hours a night probably. And then sunday is all for studying.

Skipping class is a great mental break. Sometimes you just need to sleep in...
 

syap

5+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2013
189
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Dental Student
I personally miss class three mornings a week *oops* and still do just fine...we had 14 tests this month. Buttt...I prefer going over lectures on my own time. That works best for me. So I study about 3 hours a night probably. And then sunday is all for studying.

Skipping class is a great mental break. Sometimes you just need to sleep in...
Oh yeah I slept in today, felt nice. Also Sunday=church and football and sleep and like an hour-two of studying. I always spend a while playing with my daughter. I don't really care about knowing everything as it pertains to ethics (which we have a lot of), histology, and cell bio...I know enough that I have a good foundation for boards (I hope). Pick and choose what you need to know. Oh and I guess I blow off a lot of class on ESPN and Facebook mentally checked out...
 

Ferneezy

I don't always Go Blue, but when I do...
5+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2009
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You study way too much.

And those classes you can skip without consequence? Do that. Now is the time for self-directed learning.
 
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Glimmer1991

Glimmer1991

5+ Year Member
May 5, 2012
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Yeah, I suppose I should just let the studying slide a little bit and see how things go.

For me, the most difficult class so far has been gross anatomy. At UNC, since we are essentially stealing the lab from the med students, they cram the ENTIRETY of gross anatomy into a month and a half. We're actually done in the lab next Wednesday. It has been incredibly intense. The first day of dental school, we covered the entire nervous system and the arm. Definitely initiation by fire...

I'm glad you all are doing so well!!! God, these didactic classes are tough here.
 

Bereno

Smoking Monkey
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Apr 15, 2011
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I did not go to a single class from the middle of my 1st year till the end of my second year. It was a waste of time for me to go. It is better for me to wake up when I wanted, listen to lectures double speed., pause and rewind when I needed to and move on. The thing that kept me from feeling overwhelmed my first year was making a study schedule and sticking to it. Once I covered what I needed to cover that day I was done. It worked well for me lol. :)
 
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LaughingGas

7+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
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I nap everyday. Good way to recharge after 3+hours of lectures w.o. break.
 
Aug 26, 2013
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Please, don't complain!! My anatomy class includes gross anatomy, histology and embryology together!! 7 credits...its crazy!! What I do to calm myself, its think that everything will be better on my third year....=) oh, yeah, and I am NOT getting an A in this class. Its SUPER hard...good luck everyone
 
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Glimmer1991

Glimmer1991

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May 5, 2012
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Please, don't complain!! My anatomy class includes gross anatomy, histology and embryology together!! 7 credits...its crazy!! What I do to calm myself, its think that everything will be better on my third year....=) oh, yeah, and I am NOT getting an A in this class. Its SUPER hard...good luck everyone
Not complaining... Just looking for some solid advice from people who have been where we've been and have made it through. :)

Good luck to you, too!
 

arlmay

5+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2013
277
139
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Resident [Any Field], Dentist
I'm trying to juggle my little guy with classes and I feel pretty good about it so far. Get home at 4 or 5 and stay up for a few hours and maybe look over things for quizzes the following day. If theres a test ill usually wake up early to study. For me this is the perfect balance between being too stressed attempting perfection and not getting good enough grades. Its gotten me mostly As and Bs so far, which is fine with me if it means 1\2 the stress of someone shooting for a 4.0
 

Bis-GMA111

7+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2010
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and now you know why it's funny to see almost all of your class wanting to specialize on day 1, to barely 10% by the end of the first year.
 
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syap

5+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2013
189
65
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Dental Student
Don't kill yourself. The student with the C's gets the same paper as the 4.0 student...Try to do well but don't stress. I'm guessing you might be a perfectionist/OCD lol
 

Liz Cecilia

Sampson, grab my coffee
Apr 22, 2013
88
12
Status
Dental Student
I hear ya, Glimmer!

The best thing I did for myself was to make a solid schedule, and STICK TO IT. We also have class 5 days a week from about 8-5, and let me tell you, it is super hard to get everything done and still find time for other things, but it's also very possible. My rule of thumb is to give myself 1 hour off everyday from the time I step into my apartment, and THEN focus on school. I also make sure I'm in bed by 11pm, and wake up at 6:30am to get more studying in before class. I try not to spend more than 4 hours a day- after that, I just feel like I'm going in circles and losing focus.

The biggest thing that helped me get over the nagging feeling was honestly getting to the gym- it's kind of hard to worry about school when all your muscles are burning and you're blasting Eminem! :)claps:#motivation) My school also offers yoga a couple of times a week- that also helped clear my mind.
 
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dieanotherday

Class of 2018. Yay... :)
Dec 19, 2013
432
148
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Dental Student
Found myself coming back here for some reason!

Like everyone says, it's easy to pass hard to get As.

I study as soon as I get home and put in the time to listen to lectures. I even read the book. But it's cause it interests me and i end up looking for more stuff on google about the topic cause I feel as if I can't get enough. If you like it, you will enjoy it and it won't feel like a chore :)
 

Springs01

7+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2012
105
13
Status
Dental Student
Anatomy is pretty tough! There's just too much information to learn in such a short time, especially when you have like 5 other classes to focus on as well.

What I do (or try to do) is, I briefly review before lab so I know the general ideas, and then I try to actually learn it during lab,and then i try to review immedaitly after lab before i forget the content. I feel like this helps me retain the information better. I only do this for anatomy though.
 

StrugglingDS

2+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2014
25
5
Status
Dentist
Time constraint is the biggest issue that stresses me out. I am used to 13-16 credits in a 16-week semester in undergrad and now I am all of a sudden thrown with 32 credits in 12-week trimester. Also, complexity of the materials is not a huge issue, it is the volume that makes them hard.

Studying with a group really helped me out because everyone in my study group complements each other. There are five different people in our group and each of us have different strengths (like I lead all microbiology and infection-control related classes, another one leads anatomy and neuroscience-based classes, and another one leads physiology and biochemistry-based classes). Two other people are good with sim-lab classes so they help us out there (this thing though I am still having a hard time because most of them are new to me)