D1 Introduction - Mike Cai ('22)
When we just received our acceptances to UCLA SOD, it seemed like the time to matriculate was far ahead and a long way to go. Yet, with the blink of an eye, here we are already almost finished with our first quarter of dental school!
I remember hearing from my interviewer and Dean Krebsbach’s welcome video that the students who come here are the best and brightest. I wondered, what kind of climate would that entail? A savage one full of gunners? After all, UCLA is known to be a competitive school. However, after a week or two into the quarter I realized that this could not be farther from the truth. Everyone wishes for another to succeed and goes out of their way to help each other. It is clear that we all strive for a humanistic and compassionate environment.
There is a myriad of opportunities at the SOD like a “buffet” of options in Dr. Bibb’s words. I think we were all a bit overwhelmed at first with the classes creeping up and all the clubs and events that were available. They were all so enticing and we might have felt an urge to get a taste of all of them. Yet, I think we learned to prioritize and we gradually discovered where our passion lies. Despite some peeves like the reminiscence of formaldehyde in anatomy or the seemingly transient waxing contacts, we managed to get through the mountain heaps of information and develop our manual dexterity.
The value of diversity is evident in the class of 2022. We all have cultural and ethnic differences, different motivations and perspectives, different talents and personalities. It’s only through these differences where we can have the opportunity to learn from each other to become excellent dentists. We look to each other for inspiration and we inspire others in return. It is this mutual inspiration where we discover new ideas that help us grow and thrive. Everyone has such a unique story to share and I am grateful to have these incredible classmates to ride along my dental school journey.