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My future

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm a senior in high school and I'm going to be graduating and moving on to that next step in life called college. I would like to get into the field of dentistry. I was wondering if there were people here that could give some advice on how to get accepted into college, because I'm a little worried about that part, and what dentistry is like. I haven't really looked into how competitive it is or anything like that. Anyone willing to help me?
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #2 of 97
Yikes.

It's September 3-- around the time most colleges begin accepting applications. I would begin immediately by asking teachers that know you to write letters of recommendation. They'll usually need a few weeks minimum. In the meantime, apply early action if you can since most colleges have higher acceptance rates for those types of binding and non-binding early admissions.

Lots of universities have pre-dental programs.

(However, college life as a science major is not exactly good for your social life lol.)
post #3 of 97
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. Do I need to have them write to a specific college/university or are they going to just write a general letter? As of right now, I'm in the middle of applying on-line to Indiana University. Does anyone have anyother ideas of where I should apply for dentistry?
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #4 of 97
can you afford it monetarily to sit out a year? Nowadays it seems that schools are not just necessarily looking for the most academically qualified student. Evidenced by the decreasing role of the SAT, ACT and class rank in admissions. It is possible that if you put your time to good use in the intervening year (work in a dentist's office, research, volunteering), you might not just help your chances with college, but with dental school later.
post #5 of 97
I wish I wanted to be a dentist, would make my life a whole lot easier. But no, I want to be a game designer or fighter pilot!
post #6 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kishan

can you afford it monetarily to sit out a year? Nowadays it seems that schools are not just necessarily looking for the most academically qualified student. Evidenced by the decreasing role of the SAT, ACT and class rank in admissions. It is possible that if you put your time to good use in the intervening year (work in a dentist's office, research, volunteering), you might not just help your chances with college, but with dental school later.

That sounds like a good idea, but I have a question. What do you mean by "can I afford it monetarily to sit out a year"? To me it seems that if I don't go to college that I will be saving money. I would like to get a medical assistants license so that I can work in a dentists office (someone told me that they did this and it turned out great for them, they just took a class at a community college for a semester.). I think that would work well.

Placebo, I wanted to be a fighter pilot too, and an astronaut for that matter, but then my vision crapped out on me so both of those are out of the question.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #7 of 97
Maimevous...

When you're asking advice to get into college, that's a pretty large question. Lots of things go into it. GPA, SAT/ACT scores, money, the impactation of the school, blah blah blah blah blah...


Go here. http://www.colleges.com/

This is a great place to get started on just getting into college. Also, make sure you check at your local junior colleges. If you don't get into the college you want, many times your local JC has a program that will automatically get you in once you complete their 2 year BA program. Many high school graduates here in California don't have the grades to get into the UC system, so instead of going to a state college, they enroll in a JC for two years and go straight to the UC of their choice after two years. I had a buddy who had a 2.5 GPA in high school and ended up going to UCLA after doing his time at a JC for two years.

Shawn was right. Apps actually need to be turned in by December 31st. Which means your ACT and SAT scores need to be completed, as well as any essays or letters of recommendation you might have to submit to any colleges.

P.S. The dental industry is extremely competitive. Be aware that many of the people you'll be up against have extemely good grades and are at the top of their class. Be ready to bust your ass if or when you get in.

Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask any questions. There's plenty of people who are willing to help.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #8 of 97
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help. I have taken the SAT but I'm not satisfied with my score so I plan on taking it again in November. Here's where I'm a little torn. Should I just start applying now and then get my new scores out there afterwards, apply now and forget about taking the SAT's again, or wait to apply until after I have retaken the SAT's? My gpa isn't the best but it's not terrible. I would say it's mediocre. Until now I didn't really see the point in working hard in school. To me people are much more important than random busywork. Now I wish I had worked a bit harder.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #9 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

That sounds like a good idea, but I have a question. What do you mean by "can I afford it monetarily to sit out a year"? To me it seems that if I don't go to college that I will be saving money. I would like to get a medical assistants license so that I can work in a dentists office (someone told me that they did this and it turned out great for them, they just took a class at a community college for a semester.). I think that would work well

All I mean is that if you are going to spend any time in the intervening year doing stuff to buff your application, it might not pay particularly well. You may need to take the hit in terms of the money you have coming in to your pocket. Some people cannot easily make ends meet even though they are doing it as part of a bigger plan.

Quote:
Until now I didn't really see the point in working hard in school. To me people are much more important than random busywork. Now I wish I had worked a bit harder.

I read this and it reminded me of my own attitude towards school about 10 years ago when I started college. After four years, I didn't get into medical school because I had spent a lot of time in college "learning about myself". This basically amounted to switching jobs every 9 months, getting drunk with my friends and messing around with chicks. I did learn a lot about myself, the world, and how people work, but I sabotaged myself too. Still, two years later after picking up a second degree and working in a research lab, I got the chance to get the education I wanted. Now I am three months into my anesthesiology residency. What's my point? That hard work does generate rewards, that busywork is the price you pay to get to where you want to go, and nothing worth having ever comes easy.
post #10 of 97
Thread Starter 
Ok I understand. I'm not so sure that money would be much of a problem. There are plenty of jobs here and I could have free rent with family if I decide to stay where I am.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

Thanks for the advice. Do I need to have them write to a specific college/university or are they going to just write a general letter? As of right now, I'm in the middle of applying on-line to Indiana University. Does anyone have anyother ideas of where I should apply for dentistry?

I'm not sure really. I only applied to the two colleges I knew I would get full-tuition exemption at. I think they were general letters. But if there's really a school you want to go to-- I would recommend asking your teachers to write letters specifically addressed and tailored to that school. You'd have to talk to them to explain what it is about that school that you find appealing, though. If you really want to go to a certain school, definitely show interest by sitting in on classes, taking guided tours, talking to admissions counselors, and so on. Every time you contact the school or go on one of those events, your file is flagged (that's a good thing, unless you were rude or otherwise). Show interest and be unfailingly polite.
post #12 of 97
Thread Starter 
That's great advice. I really am planning on a college visit to IU I just need to find the time. I'm pretty sure I can pull of the "unfailingly polite" thing. How many letters of recommendation will I need? Is it a specific number or just a sweet spot that I have to guess at for each college?
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

That's great advice. I really am planning on a college visit to IU I just need to find the time. I'm pretty sure I can pull of the "unfailingly polite" thing. How many letters of recommendation will I need? Is it a specific number or just a sweet spot that I have to guess at for each college?

Check the requirements at each school, but I would guess around 2. Some won't accept more than 2-- some may accept more than 2. It varies.

IU is a good school. What's your high school GPA like?
post #14 of 97
Thread Starter 
My gpa is about 3.1 right now, I think. I failed pre-calc last year, so it might not be there now, but I'm retaking that class, so it will go up.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #15 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

My gpa is about 3.1 right now, I think. I failed pre-calc last year, so it might not be there now, but I'm retaking that class, so it will go up.

Well, you have a shot. A good SAT/ACT with a letter of recommendation should at least get them to notice. Are you trying to stay close to where you live now?

On a side note, Shawn, where do you go to law school? Just kind of curious...I'm takin' the good ol' LSAT in early fall.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #16 of 97
Thread Starter 
What would you deem as a good SAT score? I've been comparing myself to my friends and I think I did awful.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #17 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood

On a side note, Shawn, where do you go to law school? Just kind of curious...I'm takin' the good ol' LSAT in early fall.

Widener.

It's "4th-tier" but perfectly fine for first-year education since we cover pretty much the same courses as everyone else: contracts, property, civil procedure, legal methods and research, and torts. I'm a little worried about 2nd and 3rd year-- because I want a better variety of courses and a city with greater resources than the small state capital of Pennsylvania.

So over holiday break i'm preparing transfer applications for schools in boston, philly, and dc.

Yeah, btw, study your ass off for the LSAT. It's definitely a controlling factor in where you get accepted to.
post #18 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

What would you deem as a good SAT score? I've been comparing myself to my friends and I think I did awful.

I'm not sure...It's different now then when I took it. They have a essay now if I'm not mistaken. When the scores were based on a 1600 score, 1200 and above was considered a "good" score...

What is it out of now?
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #19 of 97
Thread Starter 
It's out of 2400. There's an essay and some writing skill multiple choice questions mixed in with the grammar stuff. I'll have to go dig up my combined math/english score because I don't remember off-hand, but I know I didn't get about 1200. I do know that colleges don't really care about the writing section yet. They still only ask for a combined math/english score.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #20 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Widener.

It's "4th-tier" but perfectly fine for first-year education since we cover pretty much the same courses as everyone else: contracts, property, civil procedure, legal methods and research, and torts. I'm a little worried about 2nd and 3rd year-- because I want a better variety of courses and a city with greater resources than the small state capital of Pennsylvania.

So over holiday break i'm preparing transfer applications for schools in boston, philly, and dc.

Yeah, btw, study your ass off for the LSAT. It's definitely a controlling factor in where you get accepted to.

I have a couple buddies that are doing the same thing you are. Except they went to the smaller schools because they got wait-listed to the ones they wanted at first.

I'm pretty confident that I'll do well on the LSAT. I've been destroying the Kaplan tests. That's not a sure-bet, but it does tell me I'm a hell-of-a-lot more ready than most of the people in my damn prep classes.

Are you applying to any big boys?
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood

I have a couple buddies that are doing the same thing you are. Except they went to the smaller schools because they got wait-listed to the ones they wanted at first.

I'm pretty confident that I'll do well on the LSAT. I've been destroying the Kaplan tests. That's not a sure-bet, but it does tell me I'm a hell-of-a-lot more ready than most of the people in my damn prep classes.

Are you applying to any big boys?

Awesome!

Yeah, Georgetown because they offer transfer acceptance based on first semester grades if you choose. Maybe Boston College and Boston University. UConn and Northeastern too. I might give Penn a shot. But I think I have to be more realistic with my choices because honestly I don't have a grand to fart away. Some of these apps cost $100 each when you get done with lsac report fees and everything.
post #22 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Awesome!

Yeah, Georgetown because they offer transfer acceptance based on first semester grades if you choose. Maybe Boston College and Boston University. UConn and Northeastern too. I might give Penn a shot. But I think I have to be more realistic with my choices because honestly I don't have a grand to fart away. Some of these apps cost $100 each when you get done with lsac report fees and everything.

Yeah, I hear you. I'm only applying to three. USC and Berkeley are my high end ones with McGeorge being my third choice. I went to a state college for 4 years instead of a UC, and I'm afraid they won't take my school seriously. I'll be pissed if some Korean kid from UCLA gets the nod over me if we had the same GPA, LSAT, etc...
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Awesome!

Yeah, Georgetown because they offer transfer acceptance based on first semester grades if you choose. Maybe Boston College and Boston University. UConn and Northeastern too. I might give Penn a shot. But I think I have to be more realistic with my choices because honestly I don't have a grand to fart away. Some of these apps cost $100 each when you get done with lsac report fees and everything.

Yeah, I hear you. I'm only applying to three. USC and Berkeley are my high end ones with McGeorge being my third choice. I went to a state college for 4 years instead of a UC, and I'm afraid they won't take my school seriously. I'll be pissed if some Korean kid from UCLA gets the nod over me if we had the same GPA, LSAT, etc...
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #24 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

Well, I'm a senior in high school and I'm going to be graduating and moving on to that next step in life called college. I would like to get into the field of dentistry. I was wondering if there were people here that could give some advice on how to get accepted into college, because I'm a little worried about that part, and what dentistry is like. I haven't really looked into how competitive it is or anything like that. Anyone willing to help me?

1) Get the highest score you can on the ACT/SAT. Make sure you have it send your scores around to schools.

2) Start inquiring about the application process NOW. Get your packets in order. Get your letters in order.

3) Go to school somewhere. Go to the best school you can that gives you money. Major in Biology, but put off declaring as long as you can. Take classes that sound interesting. Have a lot of fun. Make friends. Eat food. Be a college student.

Where you go depends on where you live, how much money you have, have much you're willing to travel, whether you have a car, whether you'll be able to afford certain places, whether you don't like certain areas.
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post #25 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

1) Get the highest score you can on the ACT/SAT. Make sure you have it send your scores around to schools.

2) Start inquiring about the application process NOW. Get your packets in order. Get your letters in order.

3) Go to school somewhere. Go to the best school you can that gives you money. Major in Biology, but put off declaring as long as you can. Take classes that sound interesting. Have a lot of fun. Make friends. Eat food. Be a college student.

Where you go depends on where you live, how much money you have, have much you're willing to travel, whether you have a car, whether you'll be able to afford certain places, whether you don't like certain areas.

When you say "put off declaring" does that mean that I should not let them know that I am interested in dentistry?
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #26 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

When you say "put off declaring" does that mean that I should not let them know that I am interested in dentistry?

Yikes-- absolutely do not put off declaring if you're a science major. Oftentimes your department has some fairly rigid requirements on what you have to take and when. Farting around could get you behind or force you to overload some semesters-- and with labs and the difficulty of your major-- it's probably not a good thing.
post #27 of 97
Thread Starter 
Ok ShawnJ, but that still doesn't answer my question. What does declaring mean?
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post #28 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

When you say "put off declaring" does that mean that I should not let them know that I am interested in dentistry?

Put off declaring a major, which, in this case, would be some kind of sciency thing. Shawn is correct that the sciences often have requirements that need to get taken care of, but unless you are really just farting around and enrolling in courses with the toss of a dart, you'll have a sense of what you're supposed to take.

I despise the major system, and you need to understand that each department (Biology, Chemistry, English, etc) wants you to declare a major with them because that means $$$. But the major locks you into a specific track and fills up your schedule pretty quickly. It's essentially a kind of job training: here's what you need to do if you want to be a ________ist. If you have any doubts about what you want to do with your life (and you're 17 or 18. Surely you know what it is you want to spend the rest of your life doing! ), the major will lock you in. I encourage students to explore. Take a bunch of classes. Take a modern dance class. Take a fencing class. Take whatever interests you. Look through the university catalog, which will be your bible for 4 years. Look at the requirements for the various majors and schedule your classes with an eye toward whatever you think you might go into.

And pardon me for saying this, but your posts suggest that you are under the impression that you can go to college and learn how to be a dentist. While this is true for dental hygiene, to become a dentist you'll need to go to dental school, which is med school.

If it's dental hygiene you want, you may not even need a 4-year school.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #29 of 97
My friend took fencing!
post #30 of 97
Thread Starter 
Ok so I have been a bit confused. I mixed up dentistry with dental hygiene. Since I will be needing to go to med school what do I need to do before then? By the way, I would love to take fencing.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

Ok so I have been a bit confused. I mixed up dentistry with dental hygiene. Since I will be needing to go to med school what do I need to do before then? By the way, I would love to take fencing.

You need to major in some kind of sciencebiology or chemistry.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #32 of 97
As far as I know, in order to go to med school you can major in anything, you just need to take certain classes.
Cat: the other white meat
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post #33 of 97
Yes. But it makes more sense to try biology or chemistry first to see if this is actually what he (?) wants to do.
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post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

Yes. But it makes more sense to try biology or chemistry first to see if this is actually what he (?) wants to do.

You can major in anything and get into a medical school. The utility of taking these courses is in becoming exposed to scientific concepts and methods of thinking so that when a person goes to their medical biochemistry course on their first day of medical school, they can understand what is being taught.
post #35 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

My friend took fencing!

I took fencing for a quarter. It's damn fun.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #36 of 97
Thread Starter 
Yes I am in fact a "he", midwinter. I would like to major in biology very much. It is my favorite science. I took an AP Biology course last year and did well on the AP test. Right now I am taking AP Chemistry, but I'm not doing as great. I don't really like chemistry. So what it sounds like is I should take classes to major in biology but not declare that as my major until I'm positively sure that's what I want to do for the rest of my life. I think today I am going to schedule a lunch meeting with my dentist friend so I can ask him some of these questions. Can you guys think of anything I should ask him?
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

Placebo, I wanted to be a fighter pilot too, and an astronaut for that matter, but then my vision crapped out on me so both of those are out of the question.

You can get a PRK waiver if you're dedicated enough.
post #38 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Placebo

You can get a PRK waiver if you're dedicated enough.

Is that what you are planning on doing? I'm not near dedicated enough. I still would like to eventually acquire a pilots license though.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #39 of 97
Eh, I've been toying with the idea for a while but I don't think I'll have the balls to go through with it.
post #40 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Placebo

Eh, I've been toying with the idea for a while but I don't think I'll have the balls to go through with it.

You should totally do it. I think it would be amazing. What is your plan for you future? You're about the same age as me right?
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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