Hi, my name is Sierra Kelly-Hardin. I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. I have one little boy that is six years old. I go to Oakland Community College for dental hygiene. I am a second-year student and I have one more semester left to go.
A lot of people always ask how hygiene school is going. I want to tell them it is great, and this program is the easiest program I ever attended, but let’s be honest, nothing about hygiene school is easy.
“Students enter dental hygiene school and do not know what to expect. “
A lot of people drop out of hygiene school because it can be very overwhelming and stressful. Take it from me, a mother who is raising her child while in hygiene school, you can do it. What I want to say to all the new dental hygiene students that are in their first semester or applying to hygiene school is, don’t forget to take mental breaks for yourself.
Don’t lose yourself; It is hard sometimes to put the books down and walk away, but sometimes you must because hygiene school can mess with you mentally sometimes. It is okay to feel frustrated or want to scream sometimes and it’s normal to ask yourself, Why I am doing this? Why is this so hard? Am I going to make it to graduation?
“It’s okay to not understand why you failed an exam that you studied for so hard and not understand why you are just not getting the information. “
Trust me, I failed some exams and just could not understand how. It is okay to compare yourself to others and wonder why they passed their exams, and you did not. I know exactly how you felt because I felt these same feelings. It is okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed. It is okay to feel guilty when you can’t attend certain things or spend time with your family. Just remember that this all will be worth it in the end.
It was hard attending dental hygiene school over the computer because of covid. Trying to pay attention in class and listen to my lectures. All while my son was online listening to his lecture. Trust me, if anybody knows the struggle it would be me. Hygiene school has its ups and downs, believe me, but as you pass each semester it’s a reward like no other. I promise if every day you keep pushing forward and thriving to finish you will feel like part of you is being completed. Just remember that you can do it, and how you feel inside is normal, and if you got a child, you could still do it. Just always remember there are people around you that feel the same
“Those people are your classmates, your classmate is your family for the next two years.”
They are going to be there to pick you up when you’re down. They’re going to be there to wipe your tears. I recommended making a what’s app so you guys can communicate with each other. Because that app saves me multiple times when I was having a mental breakdown. I appreciate every one of them. They are more than my classmates, they are my family, and they are 80 % percent of the reason why I made it this far. If I can do it, anybody can do it too!
I want to shout out the teachers at my school Oakland Community College: Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Spencer, and Mrs. Walby; these women are outstanding, and words cannot explain what they mean to me. Really, all the staff at Oakland Community College deserves a big thank you.
“I cannot wait to graduate, walk across the stage, and see the new adventures that I have ahead of me.”
I am going to thrive to be the best hygienist I can be. The best reward will be walking across the stage and getting those three letters behind my name, Sierra RDH. I would also be changing the percentage of how many African Americans become hygienists- only 2.8% of African Americans are hygienists and I will be adding to that percentage. Woohoo!!!
“I want to say thank you student RDH for giving hygiene students a voice.”
This is one of the reasons why I wrote for student RDH, they are so helpful. Claire answers your emails even if you have a random question. I am forever grateful for that, thank you.
Sierra Kelly-Hardin – Oakland Community College
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