I spoke to a young dental student recently and asked him if he would give me his take on dealing with some of the difficulties of Dental School.
Let’s face it: dental school is had. The hours are long, the hours of studying feel even longer, and your days of coasting through classes are over the moment you enter dental school for the first time. Some feelings of exhaustion are normal, but if you’re not careful, these feelings can turn into dental school burnout. Once you’re burned out, almost everything can fall apart.
You need to have a lot of energy and motivation in order to get through dental school. When you’re officially burned out, it doesn’t matter how smart you are: your grades are going to suffer one way or another. Your work is going to suffer just as surely. Getting through dental school is going to be even more difficult for you than it would be otherwise, and you may not even make it if you’re really that burned out. Fortunately, burnout issues are avoidable.
For one thing, you need to be able to treat yourself even when you’re in dental school. You need to set aside some leisure time and some time to complete the things that really make you happy. Each time you sacrifice things like time with friends or time with a book that isn’t about teeth, you have to repress some negative emotions. Those negative emotions will build up, and that’s part of where burnout comes from in the first place.
A lot of people can avoid these feelings by avoiding procrastination, in fact. Procrastinating tends to eat up your time, ironically enough. Putting something off doesn’t help you relieve stress. The moments leading up to your deadline are going to be more stressful than the completion process in some cases. Dental students that conquer procrastination can conquer feelings of burnout just as surely in many cases. They’ll save time because they aren’t wasting any time procrastinating. They’ll also alleviate some stress by avoiding a process that is inherently stressful.
When you put something off until the last minute and then finish it, you’ll usually have to recover. That recovery time is just setting you back further, and it’s just creating a vicious cycle that eats up your time and your emotional reserves. Dental students can solve two problems at once when they try to address problems with procrastination. When dental students work relaxation and fun into their schedules and kick their procrastination habits, they’ll find that dental school instantly becomes a little bit easier and it stays that way.
Check out the post on abscessed teeth.