Lauren, how are you really?
my name’s Lauren and I’m a second-year dental student here at the U. Like most of us, the last year has proved to be quite challenging for me professionally and personally.
I'm now two-thirds of the way through my second year of dental school. Here at the U, the second year is known to be one of the tougher of the four years, which means that I spent one of the hardest years of my education learning from home over Zoom. Through this experience, I truly saw the value of my community. My classmates and I banded together and created study guides, shared memes over GroupMe to lighten the mood, and just generally supported each other. They showed me the meaning of, “it takes a village,” and helped me get through this last year.
In addition to taking on the tough didactic classes, I also entered the clinic this year as a student dental provider. Although this was super exciting for me, I experienced my share of trepidation. I became one of the most high-risk providers, literally working in the mouths of potentially COVID-positive patients. The dental school did an awesome job putting preventative measures into place. Practices like regular patient and provider testing, and wearing multiple masks helped me feel much more at ease.
Through this experience, I truly saw the value of my community. My classmates and I banded together..They showed me the meaning of, “it takes a village,” and helped me get through this last year.
For me, the highlight of the last year was getting the notification that I was eligible for the vaccine. This felt like a light at the end of the tunnel. From a personal standpoint, I was privileged to make it through most of the year without having anyone close to me receive a positive COVID diagnosis. That is until about a couple of months ago, when I got the news that someone in my immediate family back in Minnesota had tested positive. Trying to support someone as best as I could from states away, all while preparing for finals and working in the clinic, was a terrifying feeling for me.
Although none of us knows what the future holds, I'm looking forward to brighter days ahead. For me, that includes getting to go home and hug my family, who I haven't seen in over a year now, and doing dental treatments without wearing an N95 mask or a face shield. I know those days are right around the corner.