Kai Ta Huang, Alabama '20
I wanted to be a dentist because I love to interact with people. At the same time, I will be able to take care of their oral health.
The application process wasn’t too difficult. I was prepared months in advanced, and when the ADEA AADSAS opened on the first day I was ready to submit it. Be sure to talk to someone who has gone through the application process, and you will be able to get the insights in terms of question, format and requirement. Also request your letters of evaluation as early as possible.
The first week of dental school was VERY EXCITING! Although we were overwhelmed with the amount of information, it was such a great feeling to finally become a dental student. UAB School of Dentistry did a great job with creating the smooth transition and letting us ease into the infamous first year of dental school.
The biggest difference between undergrad and dental school is the pace. Dental school feels like flying a fighter jet, while undergrad was like riding a bicycle. Each week we have new materials and more exams coming at us. It is important not to fall behind, because it would just create the snowball effect.
My typical day in first year includes waking up bright and early with my coffee and breakfast, going to the preclinical lab in the morning for some drills and fills, then having homemade lunch and chatting about random stuff. If we have exams coming, I study while I eat. Then, we attend our afternoon lectures, and try to stay awake by drinking more coffee because of the lunch we just ate. Then, we take a short break after school and head to our second home, the library, for more studying. Finally, we get to go home and do it all again tomorrow.
I am most excited about the clinics. I really cannot wait to start seeing patients. I want to get to know my patients and build relationships. At the same time I want to provide them with the best care. Upperclassmen might say clinic is stressful; no doubt it is. But I am excited for that kind of stress, rather than for studying every day!
My advice for incoming first years is to enjoy your life while you can! Go do something your passionate about, or spend more quality time with your love ones before you move away for 4 years. For me, I had the best summer trip of my life, traveled to 4 different countries with my parents, and backpacked to Peru with my best friend.
ASDA has been a big part of my life, I am better and grew as a person because of ASDA. I’ve gained professionalism, expanded my network, and most importantly, I have developed mentorships and friendships that I know it is going to lead me somewhere in the future. Many leaders I’ve met all said they simply just wanted to give back because they were once in my shoes, this has truly inspired me to keep staying involved and hopefully one day I will have the ability to “give back”.
In my free time I enjoy watching TV, cleaning my apartment, cooking/meal-prepping for the week, and most importantly, planning my next vacation!