Harvard University Health Services

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There are a lot of lies you’re told in life. Remember when you were told there are nine planets in the solar system? Well, there are actually eight planets now if you personally accept Pluto as a dwarf planet. Remember when you were told that after you memorize the symbols of the periodic table of elements, you’d get it over with and never have to do it again? Well, you’re going to need to do it three more times. Remember when you were told your teeth would fall out if you didn’t brush before bed? Well, the latter is actually true. But sometimes you want teeth to effortlessly fall out (like when your piggy bank feels a little empty). The weekend before Thanksgiving break was one of those times.

During the last few days of my previous summer vacation, I was informed that all four of my wisdom teeth needed to be removed as soon as possible. In an attempt to strategically plan an influx of parental pampering and special-sympathy treatment, I scheduled the surgery for winter break. As the development of my J-term plans incorporated international travel, however, I realized I would need to extract my wisdom teeth during the academic semester. In a fearful frenzy, I reached out to Harvard staff, proctors and residential advisers for referrals and was quickly comforted after speaking to Harvard University Health Services (UHS) which directed me to the Harvard Dental Center. The staff was SUPER friendly, polite, and patient! Not only did they answer my redundant questions, but they also referred me to local practices in addition to walking me through the procedure so I would know what to expect from a good oral surgeon. The pharmacy next to UHS also made sure I was equipped with pain killers going into the extraction as well as vaccines I needed for my J-term travel plans!! Talk about a full service.

After much planning and anxiety, my best friend graciously escorted me to the dentist the Monday before Thanksgiving. Within an hour and a half, I was back on campus with my precious roommates super willing to ice and hydrate me.


Within the next 48 hours, I had slept for 40 and spent my 8 conscious hours finishing a physics pset (problem set/homework), throwing up, and somewhat uneasily boarding a bus to New York City for Thanksgiving break. With an estimated negative caloric intake, I was feeble and just plain miserable.

Moral of the story: Get your wisdom teeth out before you go to college! There are literally 21 million things to think about and prep for before college. Not only can the application process be a nightmare, but you’re forced to mentally project your future and predict if a university can offer you happiness. Although you should prioritize focusing on academic concentrations and university curriculum, you can’t forget about logistics such as transferring to a more convenient bank…or getting your wisdom teeth out!!! Crush the boulders along your path to college into gravel by planning ahead, but don’t feel like you have to anticipate every challenge and circumstance because the university and its resources are definitely ready for your personal exploitation.

Also, the title of this blog entry wasn’t just another one of my cheesy attempts at a pun. A university-thought process drastically differs from that of (most American) high schools. In college, you’ll be trained to approach and resolve problems differently (more conceptually). That being said, don’t buy into the lie that high school is a waste of time. Without all my magical high school experiences and arsenal of knowledge, I can’t imagine ever grasping overarching concepts such as the cable theory and equation (in my class called Molecular and Cellular Biology 115 – Cellular Basis of Neuronal Function). Respecting high school is undeniably a fantastic way to prep for college.

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