The second year of Dental School has begun!

Hey Everyone,

So dental school has finally started, and it's been very hectic keeping up with lectures, even from this first week! We've already had loads of lectures covering topics like human disease, immunology, pathology, and also a few on periodontology before we go on clinics! Even after just 1 week into second year, I'm already seeing a lot of the focus of our learning shifting towards patient-relevant content, on top of just learning the science.

Here are just a few things I've picked up on so far that are going to happen this year:

  • We're going to be seeing patients as early as term 2, which to be honest is pretty terrifying (imposter syndrome making a comeback!)

  • I'm going to be on clinics pretty much every week, starting this Tuesday, so I'll update you guys about that.

  • We have loads more exams this year, including essay exams, but I did expect that the workload would be a step up this year so no real issue there; I just have to grind this year out.

Something I've been reflecting on recently is how starting my Instagram page has affected me, and one thing that came to mind is that I'll now speak my mind a lot more often, without caring so much what other people think, not in the crude sense, but in the sense that I care less about being judged. I do think timing had a huge role in me actually starting it since I did it in the middle of the pandemic last year, where I essentially had no social contact and that gave me the chance to basically do whatever I wanted without getting any kind of input from anyone at school or my friends.

✍️ Applicant Tip of the Week

So this week, my tip for the applicants reading this is to do with your personal statements. After seeing and reviewing a bunch of statements this year, I realised that a lot of people don't put in the effort to make their PS about themselves, but they focus too much on research that they have done and given too many unnecessary details about it. The point of the personal statement is to sell yourself, so everything you write should add some sort of value towards doing just that. This means that if you've read a book about medical ethics, for example, the admissions tutors aren't going to care if you list and explain the pillars of medical ethics because that's not telling them anything about you, your skills and experience, or why you're a good fit for dentistry! So yeah, that's my tip this week; make it personal and make sure everything you're writing adds value to you as an applicant!

And speaking of books, over the last couple of weeks I've been reading a fantastic book, which I am almost finished with (I'll probably finish it today) but I figured since I'm almost done I'll review it for you guys now:

⛰ Mistborn: The Final Empire - 10/10

This book is essentially about flipping the idea that the good guy always wins, and is set in a time 1000 years after the villain, now called The Lord Ruler, has won and has control over an empire. In this world, people are split into the nobility and the skaa (their word for slaves). In this world, there is also a magic system, where certain metals give you certain abilities. Only a few people could do this with one type of metal (called Mistings), while even fewer could do it with all the metals (called Mistborn). I think this concept is pretty cool as there are actual laws (almost scientific laws) that need to be followed when using this magic, with real consequences for the characters if they broke them. This meant that the magic was never conveniently there when the plot needed it or where the author could make up the rules as he went along, like in the Harry Potter books, for example.

The story itself follows a skaa girl called Vin who happens to be a Mistborn, though she doesn't know it yet, and a thieving crew leader called Kelsier, who is a fully trained Mistborn, and is revered by the skaa people. Essentially Kelsier takes Vin under his wing and trains her while planning to rebel against the Lord Ruler, who is thought to be immortal. Vin begins to play a key part in this plan, and we see her grow, from someone who's very mistrusting and cautious to slowly trust her new crew and feel like she belongs. The crew she's a part of are phenomenal, with great interactions and dynamics between them - my favorite of whom was called Breeze. Aside from this crew, we see a lot about the life of the nobility compared to the skaa, and there is a nice political aspect that the author explores within the nobility, which is apparently more prominent in the next book in the series.

I genuinely really loved this book, everything from the world to the action was so immersive from start to finish, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy or adventure stories. It is part of a trilogy, and I'm really excited to read the second book next month!

My next read is going to be To Kill a Mockingbird, which just arrived today (Amazon Prime is the GOAT!). It's a really popular book (I'm sure most of you have read it), which was recommended to me by a friend and I'm going to start that one as soon as I finish Mistborn.

Anyways, that's all for this first week of the second year, next week will have a lot fewer lectures (thank God) and my first clinical session so you don't want to miss next week's entry of my journey! As always, hope you guys have a great week starting tomorrow, and I'll catch up with you again next Sunday!

Omar Tabaqchali :)