Huron Smiles August 2018

August 2018

HuronSmiles Simple and Stress Free What Dentistry Should Be

530 Iowa Ave. SE #102, Huron, SD 57350



My Grad How Is Law School Like Dental School?

Though it’s been quite a while since I stepped into a classroom myself, August is still back-to-school season for me. For years, my husband and I have been preparing our sons to start the new school year in the fall. This year is extra special because my oldest son, David, is starting law school! After a lot of hard work, he was accepted into Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, and we couldn’t be more excited. Law school and dental school are two very different experiences, but in the last year I’ve discovered that preparing for them is remarkably similar. Going through this process with my son brought back a lot of memories. He had to take the LSAT before applying to law school, and I remembered all the time I spent studying for the DAT, which is the dental school equivalent. These challenging tests are only the beginning. Even if you score high enough, you still need to interview at the school you want, and you’re competing against all the top graduates from undergrad schools across the United States. The whole experience gets even more stressful because you can’t help but wonder if you are making the right choice. Deciding to go into grad school means putting your “real life” on hold for a little longer. All of your friends are starting their careers and making a living while you are taking more tests and accumulating more debt. It’s scary to hold off. I remember how hard it was for me when I was going to dental school. But it was well-worth it in the end, and I believe it will be worth it for David too. David visited a number of law schools before choosing Drake University — and believe it or not, his reasons have nothing to do with my last name! To start, the school is very hands-on in their teaching methods. There’s only so much you can learn from a textbook. My dental school was very hands-on, and trust me, that kind of training is worth its weight in gold.

The other reason David liked Drake so much was because of

how welcoming everyone at the school was when we visited earlier this year. The people we met — from the teachers and students to

the other applicants — were so nice and all about helping others. Law schools have a reputation of being cutthroat places where students sabotage each other to get ahead. But I’ve always said a rising tide raises all ships. When people help each other, they help themselves as a whole. I was so proud to be part of this experience with my son. Seeing your child challenge themselves to grow as a person and aim to accomplish something great makes you feel good as a parent. As my son prepares to go away for his first year at law school, the best piece of advice I can give him is this: Try not to worry so much. Just do your very best. This sounds like a very “mom” thing to say, but having gone through grad school myself, I know worrying really doesn’t help at all. It just takes up energy you could be using on something else — like studying for that test that will make or break your class next semester. Here’s to all those students out there. Whether you are starting kindergarten or going into your last year of grad school, I hope this year exceeds your expectations and you learn something awesome.

–Dr. Valerie Drake

Huron Smiles • 605-352-8753 • 1

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