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Happy New Year! Dental school resolutions- what is yours?

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Get organized: Knowing your plans and goals for the year starts with getting organized. I like to use my planner on my phone, that way it is always accessible and easy to edit and create associated alarms or reminders. Having a whiteboard in your home can be a nice way to jot down reminders and stay on top of tasks that need to get accomplished. Make a to-do list. Finished with your patient early? Have a running list of little things you need to do, such as calling patients, running to the pharmacy, emailing a professor, ordering something online, or picking up a package, so that way you can use your time as efficiently as possible.

 

 

Find an outlet: What makes you happy? Having an alternative outlet to distress and foster your interests is key to self-awareness and happiness. Sports, music, dance, art, or even Netflix-nights can be essential in keeping your sanity while going thru high stress months of schooling. Don’t forget that it’s appropriate to make time for these activities. Socialize with friends at the gym, call your family, or write letters to your college roommates to keep grounded. By blocking out a bit of time each day, you can help balance your work life and your social/relaxation time which in the end will make you a much healthier and more effective student.

 

Make personal goals: What is life without dental school? Take a moment to realize that you are probably in your 20’s or 30’s and have a lot of life to live despite being in a full time professional school. Having goals outside of dental school helps keep you motivated and balanced. Remember that during your fall, spring, or winter breaks, you have a few weeks where you can travel, spend time with family, or try new things you never imagined you could while in school. Remember that there is never going to be an “ideal” time for some things in life, such as taking boards, traveling to a foreign country, getting engaged, or starting a family. These are all huge life events that can definitely happen while you’re in school. Share your personal goals with others.

 

Create a long-term vision: Where do you see yourself after dental school? Even though you may not be graduating this year, it’s important to have a sense of your longstanding goals. New years is a great reminder to keep in touch with our future goals. Do you see yourself in a residency program or going right to work? What location do you want to eventually live in? How will you continue to learn after you are out of dental school? Do you have a plan to pay back your loans? Perhaps making connections and getting answers now will help you make those steps later on. It’s never too early to have a post-dental school goal.