I have finally graduated from what feels like a lifetime undergraduate degree of dental surgery. I found out my results two weeks ago now, soon after the spoken exams which were the most difficult, terrifying and important exams I have ever had to do in the whole 5 years of Dental school. I am just relieved that they are over now. The past five years of so have been so challenging, with many lows and highs. Sometimes I look back and think was it all worth it for this piece of paper, this title? It really took a toll on me. But then I catch myself when I think that, and instead I try to change my thinking – after all it was my choice to continue studying Dentistry – to finish the course, like I said I would. No one put a gun to my head and made me do it. I could of walked away from it if I wanted to. But the point is, I continued to choose to do it. I stuck to my word.
Ironically it is not so much the Dentistry aspect of it I hated, but more so the stresses of Dental school, the hoops we had to jump through, the difficult supervisors we had to work with, which all contributed to my loathing of Dentistry. I actually enjoy the technical aspect of Dentistry to some extent and the state of pure concentration- flow if you like, that it allows me to experience, and the social interaction with patients. It’s not something I love and would do if money were no object but it’s not so bad.
Next year I will be working as an actual, paid dentist in my foundation training year in a dental practice in a new city, which seems incomprehensible to me right now because everything feels the same, being back home. But things will be very different for the next year. Although I have no expectations for next year – good or bad, my position is neutral, I do intend to make the most of next year, to enjoy living in a new city, experience new things, to save up to travel the following year, to make the most of it and have a positive experience.
Dentistry has been a considerable part of my life, and it would be stupid to deny that. I have invested a lot of time, energy and money into it (just looking at all my notes from the five years today before throwing them all out, overwhelmed me and made me realise this). So instead of berating it and feeling bitter that I have wasted five years of my life doing something I don’t prefer and could of spent those years doing something else, I really do have to make myself see the positives, and think about what I can get from the next year, want I actually want and see it as a stepping stone, along the path I do want to take whatever that may be.