There are a myriad of things to be taken care of prior to the start of Dental School. Getting the necessary things done can save a lot of time, headache, and stress that can invariably be avoided.
First things first: It's Summer! A lot of students feel the need to start studying the summer prior to the start of dental school, I may also be guilty of this. However, as many medical and dental students have told me, "It's a big waste of time." Basically, the time you will spend self-studying during the summer, you will probably cover during one lecture. Hence, some may argue that it is simply pointless. What they suggest is that you spend your summer relaxing, as for a long time it will be the only time you will have for yourself.
Most students going off to Dental School are leaving home. One of the most important things to do when moving to a new city is to scope the place out. Make sure you know where your school is (of course). You should know how to get to school from where you'll be living. If you'll be using public transportation, ensure you know what buses and/ or trains to take and know the schedule. Most train and bus stations will have a pamphlet with the schedule that you can keep with you. If you have a car and will be driving, scope out at least one route that will take you to school (the shortest, maybe). You can depend on your GPS (if you have one) but, they do mistakes too and often times give you the longest route (I've proven that time and time again). You should also take care of parking on campus, get the required permits and space. You do not want to be fighting for parking on your first day. Scoping out your city will also give an idea of where the local coffee shops, books stores, libraries, restaurants, grocery stores and hang out spots are.
Go Shopping!! This is by far the part that's most fun. For most, we're starting a new life and that means new things. The different things we need to shop for are, of course apartments. Make sure this is to your liking and that it is some place that you feel you'll be most comfortable living. This also means that you should stay within your budget. Skip the luxury for now, that will come later - unless you find one close enough for reasonable enough. You may also need to shop for furniture. You have a chance to be yourself, decorate how you want to but be mindful not to go overboard. Try shopping at places where you get these for reasonable, like IKEA. They have some really nice things for really low costs. Check their site for inspiration. Other things you may need to shop for are household items. You'll need pots, pans, utensils and what-not. You'll also need to shop for school supplies and stationery.
Another thing you'd want to do is, make living arrangements; get a room mate that you can put up with, but most importantly one you can live with (if going that route). Decorate your place! make it home, make it comfortable, and don't forget to stock your cupboards! Once school starts you will literally need to start studying from day one. You need to be comfortable, you do not want to have to split your time between studying and unpacking boxes. Neither do you want to be living off Ramen noodles (yuck!) Get these squared away for a seamless start.
Get your finances in order. Most students will be living on financial aid. Make sure tuition and fees are taken care of first, then plan a budget for your living expenses. Live within your means, live within your means, live within your means. I can't stress that anymore.
Doing all these things prior to the start of school will save you a lot of time and headache. You want your first day to be as hassle free and as stress free as possible. Arrive to school light, pleasant and ready to soak up all the new information that will be thrown at you.
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