COVID-19 diaries with Mira Shah: Final Year - Cancelled

Latest COVID-19 diary is with Mira Shah, a final year dental student at Liverpool University...

Mira, final year dental student at Liverpool

Last two months of dental school - Cancelled
Year photo - Cancelled
Finals dinner - Cancelled
Graduation - Cancelled
Long summer before starting a non-student life - Cancelled

Like most final year students, I started lock down worried and anxious about what COVID-19 would mean for final exams, graduation and our DFT year. Initially it was very easy for me to focus on the negatives, and all that I felt I had lost due to the unprecedented global pandemic. I found that I as comparing myself to others on social media who all seemed to be remarkably productive and unaffected by the feeling that our lives had suddenly ground to a halt. However, gradually my mindset changed, and I began to appreciate that for all things that had been lost, what I had gained was time. I decided I would stop comparing myself to others and reminding myself of things I had lost. I would focus instead making the most of the time I now have. 

It has been eleven weeks since I saw my last patient, and university closed its door for the academic year. The first couple of weeks were stressful. There was confusion and panic amongst my cohort, and questions about exams, unfinished treatments and the run up to finals were all left unanswered. We felt disheartened and cheated that we no longer had the chance to properly celebrate the hard work we put in during dental school and say goodbye to the patients and tutors we had built relationships with over the last couple of years. Over the next few weeks, many of these questions and fears started to disappear. The format and dates of our final exams changed, and we were told we would not be returning back to university and that our patients had been contacted. I decided to use the time I now had to consolidate my dental knowledge and prepare myself for finals. I became engrossed in learning new concepts through dental webinars. This made me feel part of a community and provided me with comfort that others shared the same fears and doubts that I experienced. My anxieties and worries subsided and instead I started to feel inspired and excited to start my dental career. 

This time has also allowed me to take a break from dentistry, spend time with those close to me and be grateful for the support network I have around me. I have finally been able to complete my stack of unread books and take up new hobbies that I would not have made time for pre-COVID. Most importantly, I have had time to appreciate that despite all the things I felt I had lost, there are more that I have gained. 

Do you want to write a COVID-19 diary? Please get in touch! Whether you're a dental student, foundation dentist, dental core trainee, associate, dental nurse, therapist I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

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