I’ve spent most of my years as a student not knowing what I would do with my life, or what I would study in college. I believed that I would figure it out with time. I also believed that my interests would guide my choice of education. Without interest, education is useless, simply because one rarely succeeds in something in which one has no interest. Contrarily, interest alone is not enough. Intelligence and ability are necessary to be able to do well in a field. Personally, I always work harder to better myself when I am interested in something. Talent and skill can be developed and honed.
Fortunately, I have always been an above average student, and am the kind who can become good at something if I really want it. This is why finally deciding what I want to do in college was difficult. In contemplating my future, I realized that I have always been drawn to biology and have long had an interest in dentistry. I spoke to my teachers and guidance counselor, who recommended that I speak to various professionals in the field. After doing so, it became clear that dental hygiene would be the perfect career choice for me.
I will be the first in family to have a career in dentistry; although my grandmother says she always dreamed of being a dental hygienist and my mother says she would choose dentistry over law if given the chance to ‘do it all again.’ My interest in dental hygiene is simple: I want to help people. I know that every day I spend working in this career will positively impact each patient. I will immediately witness the results of my efforts when they smile. I know that I will enjoy meeting people from all walks of life. I envision being able to calm the fears of scared patients by treating them with empathy and care and creating a foundation of trust. Lastly, I have come to learn that a career in dental hygiene will allow me to enjoy a flexible work schedule and earn a competitive salary. This career checks all the boxes for my future.
Louisiana is a population in need of oral health care, according to the Louisiana Dental Hygienists’ Association, particularly for nursing home residents. A resident’s oral hygiene care is not the focal point for the caregivers in these facilities. My great-grandmother lives in a nursing home and I have witnessed, first-hand, her struggles with her teeth and how it has negatively impacted her quality of life. This further propels me to enter this field and help those in need. Attending LSU for my undergraduate degree will put me on the right track for gaining admission to the LSU dental hygiene school in New Orleans, which will allow me to more easily invest my education and skills back into the Louisiana communities I so love.