So who the hell decides to go into dentistry anyways? Well, I personally was interested since elementary school. You can call BS if you want, but I gain nothing by lying. There is also a difference between interest and commitment. I was not committed until my second semester of college.
I am what they call a "traditional applicant," meaning I attended four years of undergraduate coursework and immediately applied and matriculated following graduation. Yes, I haven't started dental school yet, but by the time I begin telling people about this blog, I probably will have..or at least be close to starting. It will be interesting to see if my "bright-eyed, bushy-tailed" demeanor changes once I get into the thick of things.
I am merely compiling all of the trials/frustrations so that I can get the application cycle all down before really getting into school itself. I also won't have much time to write once I start my last semester of undergrad so I may as well get going now.
First off, getting into dental school is not easy. It is a profession that is growing in popularity. You basically get to own your own business, set your own hours, work in a dynamic portion of healthcare, and make enough money to maintain a great standard of living. People are figuring this out and consequently, we are seeing dramatic increases in the applicant pool; and with all of the baby-boomer dentists ready to retire, the future is bright for the next generation. There are many ways to get into dental school, but I'm going to be talking strictly about the traditional track. You first want to get into a 4-year university, so don't completely slack off in high school. If you are really gung-ho, you can start job-shadowing local dentists or begin volunteering..but I wouldn't go overboard. What you do during your college years is far more relevant to most admissions boards.
Another debatable topic is whether undergrad reputation makes a difference. I personally don't think a 3.0 from Harvard is going to beat out the 4.0 from "blank State." It might factor in with certain schools or certain members of their respective committees..but in the long run, go where you will be most happy.
I went to a small liberal arts school that nobody has heard of and here I am. College is also about finding yourself, maturing as an individual, and simply having some fun. Don't waste it because once it's over, it's really over.