Are You Bobsledding in a Freestyle World?
Succeeding in dental school is a lot like succeeding as a bobsledder. Just as a sledder travels a precisely laid out course, as a dental student you followed a pre-determined track—a set curriculum, with established timelines—and learned to excel within those carefully-defined parameters.
It takes skill and commitment to master the process, but whether you’re a bobsledder or a dental student, negotiating the track is largely a matter of finessing the details. It’s about learning how to react and make precise adjustments to optimize your progress as gravity pulls you through.
Success outside of school, on the other hand, requires skills that are more common to a freestyle skier. The ultimate destination is known, but now you decide how you’ll get there. The parameters are much wider, allowing you to create your own path and succeed—or fail—on the strength of the decisions you make. It can be a liberating feeling (most senior dental students are eager to finally start making their own decisions about their futures) but if you take too many “bobsledding” habits into a “freestyle” world, you’ll end up coasting right off the course.
Look for the worn grooves in the tracks of your life—the routines and comfort zones that could be indications that you have settled in for a ride instead of taking charge of the route.