Student plans for life after graduation

To be completely honest, a few months ago I didn’t have a single idea of what I was going to do once I graduated high school. Granted, I still have another year to go, but I’m a planner. It’s what I do. When I don’t know what’s coming up next, I stress out to the max. It’s truly a problem. But once a conversation sparked with my dad about this, he reminded me of the dental branch and how I had been interested in it once.

Most people’s first reaction when I say I want to become a dental hygienist (not an assistant) is, “why?”. It’s not the first thing they think of when someone asks them what they want to be when they grow up. It’s not necessarily because I love going to the dentist, or because I’m obsessed with teeth. It’s because it doesn’t take a lot of schooling or work and pays well. When I say that, though, most say, “Don’t do a job for the pay,” but in all honesty, I believe I will enjoy it.

At the dental office I got to, at least, it is very homey. It is a very welcoming environment because it’s somewhat small. That is my plan, to work at a smaller office where I am close with all my coworkers and know my patients. Somewhere where I will somewhat enjoy going to work, which is rare nowadays. I will have holidays off, I won’t have to take my work home at all, and I won’t have to work everyday throughout the week.

To become a dental hygienist, it generally takes an associate or bachelor degree, and they make a little more than $75,000, according to There are only two colleges in Arkansas that offer a dental hygiene program. These are the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. My plan is to get my bachelor’s degree, which is what Arkansas requires, in dental hygiene.