Do THIS the summer before you start dental school

Through: Savannah Craig

Congratulations on your admission to dental school! What an incredible achievement! You put in the time and effort and finally it paid off with a letter of offer from a dental school.

You’ve probably spent the past few years working on jobs, volunteering, and gaining new skills to make your dental school application stand out.

You did it! You’re probably counting down the days until orientation and you’ve asked yourself, “What should I do now?”

How do you spend the summer before dental school?

If you’ve reached this point, you’re probably a highly motivated individual and want to be as prepared as possible when you go to dental school in the fall. You are looking for tools to prepare your hand-eye coordination and learn human anatomy faster.

While I appreciate your efforts, I want to be the first to tell you that there is no way to prepare for starting dental school.

The best advice I can give you is to use this little bit of free time to celebrate your achievement and spend time with your loved ones. Take a break so you can start dental school with a full battery instead of a shortage.

Spend time with friends and family

Once school starts, your time will be determined by class schedules, exams and practical exams. You may not be able to attend every family gathering or cousin’s wedding during your four years, so spend some extra time with your family and friends before school starts.

I made a list of all the people I needed to see before I left and scheduled time with each of them. If you attend dental school, perhaps make a list of your favorite places and restaurants and make sure to visit them.


Many of my classmates and I took the time to travel for dental school during the summer. It’s not often in life that you get a large amount of unstructured time, and I wanted to take advantage of that.

I made a 10-day trip to Europe and visited Scotland, Hungary and France. Some of my classmates took road trips across the United States. Others took trips to the beach or amusement parks.

When you spend late nights in the prehospital lab learning how to prepare the crown, it was nice to have memories of faraway adventures to keep you sane!


Another great way to spend your summer for dental school is by volunteering. I volunteered for a week as a camp counselor for children with serious illnesses. Others find dental mission trips to continue.

These can be great opportunities to remember why you chose to start a healthcare career and having a greater amount of free time to volunteer can be very rewarding.

Earn some extra money

You can also find ways to earn money before entering dental school. You could work as a dental assistant, babysitter, or continue in a job you had before you were admitted to dental school.

It’s no secret that dental school is expensive, so having some extra cash is never a bad thing!

Take advantage of your freedom

However you choose to spend your summer in dental school, I encourage you to take advantage of your freedom before school starts. Over the next four years you will learn how to become a dentist and no one expects you to start with additional skills on day one.

Instead of worrying about what’s to come, find ways to rejuvenate your mind and body to prepare for these next four years of challenges.

Next one: You are more than just a dental student

photo by Nathan Cowley

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