Quarantined: Unexpected finale, Part 3

DH2 Melanie Patterson is not OK with loss of senior revelry and delayed licensing
March 30th, 2020

DH2 Melanie Patterson

Editor’s note: When we reached out to our students to see how they were doing, some were already embracing their #QuarantineAndChill. Others let us know that they had run out of chill, and rightfully so. This was especially true for those set to graduate this year.

Just when dental school life was supposed to be ramping up and winding down—spring break, board exams, celebrations, graduation—the coronavirus crisis changed everything. “Stay home, stay safe” became the quarantine mantra.

In this series of firsthand accounts, Texas A&M College of Dentistry students share how their vacation plans went south, how they’re staying sane and how they strive to find silver linings. Through humor and even frustration, they offer sympathies for our graduating class, as well as best wishes to those who will return next year.

Melanie Patterson with son William

DH2 Melanie Patterson

Most of us DH2s, probably like the D4s, are not okay. Yes, we have some extra time to relax right now, but this was also supposed to be the time for wrapping up our senior year, taking our licensing exams, and then enjoying senior dinners, our faculty appreciation luncheon—which includes the faculty roast video that we’ve been planning—and our graduation ceremony.

I only had plans to relax during spring break. My son’s spring break was the week before mine, so we couldn’t plan any trips. Most of my classmates were planning to study and take their written board exam on March 23.

That particular written licensing exam has been canceled for the time being. The WREB exam, previously scheduled for April 24-27, has been postponed to a later date TBD as well. This delays us getting our licenses until possibly later this summer. Spring graduation ceremonies have also been postponed to July or August.

Some of us have family members who are now unemployed, and we have not been working during school. This could mean having to take out more student loans to help get us through this time.

We no longer get to enjoy the fun events that were planned for this spring. That is disheartening. It’s been hard to stay positive during this time of uncertainty.

On the bright side, we have this time to enjoy with our families that we usually don’t have during the school year. Thankfully, most of our didactic courses have already ended, and we are wrapping up our final projects. It is an adjustment to not see the classmates’ faces I’ve grown accustomed to seeing every day. We will make it through this and be together as a group, hopefully soon…but not too soon.

My parting advice for the DH1s:

Really soak in all of the events during your senior year and appreciate your faculty. Don’t take anything for granted, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

—DH2 Melanie Patterson

Quarantined: Unexpected finale, Part 1

Quarantined: Unexpected finale, Part 2

Quarantined: Unexpected finale, Part 4

— Kathleen Green Pothier