My freshman year was so much better than I could have ever hoped for. I learned a lot from all of the classes I took throughout the year, and while all of them were more challenging than I thought they would be, the challenge allowed me to set goals for myself in each of the classes. I think that this ultimately made my learning more productive and successful. Additionally, I was amazed at all of the opportunities that Ohio State had to offer, especially to freshmen. I had the opportunity to sit on so many professional and undergraduate student panels, and I loved every single one of them because I was able to get real, primary advice from students who have been through what I was going through, and the obstacles that I would inevitably encounter in the future. Health Sciences Scholars was my favorite group that I was involved in on campus, and allowed me to meet some of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure to know in my life. To be able to live in a community with like-minded individuals who had similar interests, goals, and ambitions allowed me to thrive and become the best version of myself this school year. I was able to get a lot of help from my peers and learn from all of them as well. Additionally, HSS offered me many opportunities that allowed me to network and become involved in other things on campus. I appreciated the weekly “HSS Digest” because that news article gave great information about various events on campus, a lot of which I went out of my comfort zone, took advantage of, and benefited greatly from. HSS was the common factor in all of the great things about my freshman year!
During this year I engaged in several different service opportunities that were available through Health Sciences Scholars or other organizations on campus. During the first semester, I participated in the first Service Sunday that was at the Martin Janis Community Center, and did other miscellaneous volunteering events such as a Blood Drive Event through Med-Life and volunteered as a timer at a swim meet that was a day long event. During second semester, I went on a Southeast Ohio Learning Trip through the College of Pharmacy. We had the opportunity to volunteer at several places around Athens including United Campus Ministries and the Southeast Ohio Foodbank.
At the beginning of April I went to the Student National Dental Association Impressions Day at the College of Dentistry at Ohio State. During this day I had the opportunity to talk to several dental students of various years and asked them all about dental school, the admissions process, preparing for dental school, etc. I received a lot of advice and insight from these students. A third year student mentioned the importance of things outside of school, such as volunteering or engaging in activities that are hobbies and make a person unique. He mentioned that everyone has great grades, and that everyone has an important position in some club on their campus, but that the thing that allowed him to be accepted into Ohio State’s Dental School was the involvement and passion that he had for a club that was completely unrelated to dentistry. Additionally, a second year student gave the advice to ensure to take the DAT (Dental Admissions Test) during junior year of college, and to specifically prepare for the vision portions of the DAT by practicing in practice testing books. The biggest thing that I took away from talking to these students is to ensure that I find something that I am passionate about and stick to it, even if it has nothing to do with academics or the medical field, and to make sure that I demonstrate that dedication and passion in the admissions process.