Reaching Halfway on BDS
in Student life
A student`s perspective
Ajay Mehta is currently a BDS3 student at King`s College London. He felt passionate about sharing his experiences of the course on reaching halfway and how he has tried to take up every opportunity worth taking at university to help character building.
Fresh faced young and eager I entered university with this quote in mind.
I genuinely cannot believe how quickly the time has gone from me being an eighteen-year-old fresher, who was relatively naïve about Dentistry, to reaching halfway through the BDS course! Studying Dentistry at King`s College London has opened up a host of possibilities for me and I seek to make the most of the remaining time I have at university.
How I began
It`s funny how we always tend to remember the first of big things quite vividly - be that your first day at a new job, your first love or your first day at university. I recall walking in on a blustery September morning through the revolving doors, my head full of nervous questions: ‘Why do revolving doors even exist?’ and more importantly ‘Have I made the right decision to come here and study Dentistry?’ I remember picking up the famous red King`s College London bag (which did seem slightly heavy with coursebooks!) from a fellow student and so my journey into the world of Dentistry began!
A few years, some hard work and many late nights later…
Throughout the course so far, my confidence in Dentistry has grown massively and I can now wholeheartedly say that I absolutely made the right decision. Admission staff around the country are fed with many eloquent (and quite frankly, rehearsed) answers about why students want to study Dentistry. My reason is simple: after experiencing what it is to be a dentist, I can’t see myself doing another job I would enjoy as much - cheesy but honest! I have enjoyed my time immensely at King`s so far and have taken up opportunities I never knew were available to me.
Initially, I found the step up from school to university tough but then started to enjoy the flexibility of it: university is where you become an adult. Year one required learning a lot of theory and I remember being awake, mindlessly cramming until 4am and wondering where the future will take me. Year 2 was much the same only a lot harder! However, once we started working on phantom heads, I really started to feel like a dentist and felt more familiar with the BDS course.
I would say the fun really began in Year 3 when I started to see patients. I still remember my first patient andknew as soon as we started talking that I would enjoy doing this as a 9-5 job. My friends say I could talk to a wall! Thankfully, communication is an immensely important skill in dentistry and something I feel comes naturally to me. In order to make a patient feel comfortable in the dreaded dental chair and confident with your abilities as a dental student, building a rapport with them is essential. A comparison between dental school and apprenticeships could definitely be madeas you work on the job and learn these key skills at the same time.
Outside of my degree (yes I do have a life!), I have experienced university fully by taking up every opportunity offered to me,I am a football captain, coach and sports rep for the inter-university league. I have also joined several committees and helped plan big student events; developing skills in teamwork, communication and leadership - all qualities I can take forward in my career.
Also, with no dancing experience, I took the plunge and decided to dance in our annual Charity Diwali Show at the famous Novello Theatre. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I only saw presenting itself at university: although I don’t hope to drastically change career paths and become a cast member of Mamma Mia!
Recently, I have become a champion and student REP for 'Heart Your Smile': having raised over £450.00 for a charity talk I hosted with Solomon Akhtar (one of the final five from 'The Apprentice')
I believe that self-reflectionhelps shape your future. I hope the future holds many diverse career paths in many different countries and I look forward to exploring this next summer on my elective. I have always wanted to run a business having being brought up in a family business and I hope to combine my passion of dentistry with this and deliver high quality patient care. With regards to time remaining to finish my BDS course at dental school, I still have a few more things to tick off my ‘Things to do at university’ bucket list!
To those budding dentists and new students - four words will see you enjoying the course as much as I am: Work hard, Play hard.
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