CPR & Supporting your Starbs addiction


If you are here to make some extra money click here.

If you are here to read about CPR class keep reading.

It’s been a while, but I haven’t forgotten about you guys. In my last post, I discussed cutting down on posts just due to my business and the fact that I want each post to actually help you. So if I don’t feel like I do not have any wisdom/motivation to impart I am not going to force a blog.

So what do I have that is so important today:


I pray I never actually have to use my skills on anyone but I know that in the event that someone needed CPR I could and would help. Also, being around kids as much as I am and working in the medical field it is a very practical skill to have. If you are interested in learning CPR…Go do it! You can check out the American Heart Association’s website for local listings for a classroom near you. The BLS, instructor led course was a requirement for my first year.

After taking the course and receiving my certification what I am about to say feels so silly, but I am still sharing in case any of you panic about EVERYTHING like I do. Before class I was freaking about:

DISCLAIMER: These suggestions are all based on my personal experience, classes at different locations with different instructors may vary but from what I have read online it’s usually pretty similar.

What do I wear: Anything goes. Wear comfortable clothing, you are likely to work up a sweat. There were 4 people in my class. I wore jeans and a t-shirt, someone came from work and wore scrubs, another girl wore workout clothes, and a guy wore a button up and khaki shorts. As far as I know it really doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t recommend wearing excessive jewelry just because you will be moving around and it’s unnecessary. I might suggest dressing in layers becuase I was cold when we were watching the video and sweaty when we were practicing skills…but it really doesn’t matter

Do I need to study extensively: Nah. This is a very important skill, so look over the ebook or workbook you get when you sign up before you go. You want to know the material because it’s life-saving material, but it’s not the DAT so you don’t need to stress about studying days in advance. You will probably learn everything you need to know from the video and your instructor. Just be prepared to pay attention in class.

What if I fail: In my experience, there were two parts of the course. 1) Skills Test and 2) Written Test. The skills test made sure you hit the key points, which you will be made aware of several times during the video and skills practice. Check your surroundings, check for responsiveness, pulse, breathing, call for help and start CPR. The written part was easy if you pay attention. They are not out to get you, they are there to help you help others.

What should I bring: I brought my laptop, pen, and small notebook….I did not use any of it. If you have questions about this you can call your location and find out what they will have for you/what you need to supply on your own. We were provided with pens, snacks, water, etc.

Here is their FAQ page if you have additonal questions. 

Wait, what does all this have to do with my Starbucks addiction?

I am not about to lecture you about caffeine and your heart or any of that. I told you it was “supporting”…

Actually I have found a few ways to make a little extra cash online/through apps. Its not much but I used some of the money I earned doing surveys and scanning my shopping receipts to get a $25 Starbucks gift card and put another $25 dollars in my paypal account to pay a large chunk of the price of my class.

Ways to Make Money Online:

Our financial aid advisor has already told us that scary story about how your $5 dollar Starbucks coffee bought with financial aid money turns into like a $100 dollar cup of coffee (or something like that) by the time you graduate. If you wanna feel less guilty check out these free easy ways to make a few bucks.

Ibotta:  So Ibotta is a free app that you can download on your phone. It gives you money for reporting your purchases from multiple retailers including Kroger, Amazon, Target, Walmart. They recently added Uber and Buffalo Wild Wings. All you have to do is click on the items from the store you shopped at, then scan the barcode of your items, and your receipt then BAM…money. I usually make a few bucks from my biweekly Kroger trips. Right now you get $10 bucks just for signing up. If you check it out use my referral link: https://ibotta.com/r/ywnvgym  or code: ywnvgym I recently cashed out 25 bucks. It was sent directly to my paypal almost immediately. Can’t beat that for stuff you had to buy anyway cause #adulting.

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Global Test Markey Surveys: I don’t have a referral link for this one because I would actually have to email it to you guys BUT this is how I got my $25 dollar Starbucks card. There are different e-gift cards and physical gift cards that you can redeem your points for (it doesn’t have to be Starbucks). To earn your points you take surveys. I am not going to lie, it gets pretty boring but sometimes I click through some surveys while watching Netflix or when I am up late with nothing to do. It doesn’t take very long for the points to add up.

Survey Junkie: This one works pretty much the same way as the survey site above except its layout is a little more exciting and it shows you how much the surveys are worht and approximately how long they will take up front.

Welp, thats all I have for today! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions!



Quick Life Update!

Shew! It has been a hectic few weeks for me. Last week my car left my husband stranded for the last time (or last 4 times to be exact). I couldn’t go to work, I was spending tons of money I did not have to try to fix the dang thing, and on top of that…..our water heater broke.

Let me just tell you….cold showers suck (if you like them you might be insane)

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While these stressors were occurring, exciting things were/are too. I have started to be flooded with emails from dental school about what we need to get done prior to classes (it’s coming fast!!), schedules, financial aid, etc. etc.  Oh…and my husband I bought a new car (not advised the summer before dental school starts but when you need reliable transportation…you gotta do whatcha gotta do…) Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 7.01.00 PM.png

With all of these things happening, I missed Mondays blog! Then I started thinking…it is only going to get more hectic from here! I had planned on cutting down to once a week blogs later in the summer but I think it’s best for me to take this step now before I become overwhelmed!  I have decided to cut down to posting.

I hope you all can understand and will still find helpful or motivating info in the random blogs to come!

If you have an ideas, questions, requests…let me know!! I want this blog to help YOU!


I would really like to discuss my personal journey to dental school. All the ups and downs, what I did and didn’t do, the not so perfect scores, and so on. When I do this I want to highlight what is important to you/what you are concerned with! Below you will see a contact form. You can submit your comments COMPLETELY anonymously, you may also ask them on my Instagram, or tweet me @aerdnacooper



So you need letters of Recommendation?

Happy Friday!! I hope you all have exciting weekend plans. I have been getting so many emails about school starting at the end of next month and I am ECSTATIC…and nervous. It looks like we will be in classes from 8am-5pm every day!

Anywaysssss….today’s post focuses on getting Letters of Recommendation (aka Letters of Evaluation).  If it’s the 2017 application cycle and you are reading this, I hope you have already asked! However, if you haven’t you can still make it! When you read on you will see that I actually didn’t ask until June 27th (YIKES!)…through email. Maybe someday I will tell you all why I applied/got started on my application so late but for now, let’s just focus on the positive: IF I CAN DO IT SO CAN YOU! You are going to be a dentist, just persevere.

This is a lengthy post so here are some quick links:

Before You Ask | What to Bring When You AskAsking Through Email

Asking for Letters of Recommendation


First, you need to know WHO to ask.  Look at your top school’s admissions website and see what they require/recommend. I think it is pretty standard that you have 2 professors (preferably science) and 1 dentist. (CHECK WITH YOUR SCHOOLS) Then you will have a 4th option in which you can ask advisors or someone else you worked closely with. (No family! I hope that is obvious but just

Then you will have a 4th option in which you can ask advisors or someone else you worked closely with. (No family! I hope that is obvious but just incase..)

Once you know the requirements/recommendations start getting these people to get know you! This post is mostly about asking professors but you can probably figure out how these rules and tips apply to the dentist you are shadowing as well:

The whole process of getting a shining letter of recommendation really starts as soon as you walk into class, your advisor’s office,  or the dental clinic. From day 1 you are creating the writer’s idea of you. Are you hardworking? Are you dedicated? Are you passionate? You do not want your letter of recommendation (LORs) to reflect someone who is always running late and frazzled.

Each class, each professor is an opportunity to get them to know YOU; The passionate, driven, motivated student who really wants to be a dentist. It may be unrealistic to show up to every single class, to ace every exam, and to meet with every professor a fair amount of times…but the effort you do put in will not go unnoticed.

  1. Attend class(or shadowing): Both physically and mentally.
  2. Sit where the teacher can notice you
  3. Respond to and ask questions: (use your judgment here…if it is something that needs to be asked after class…wait until office hours, also don’t try to be the student that rushes to the answer every single time trying to beat everyone else.)
  4. Go to office hours: Even if you don’t really need to. You can discuss your exams, what to expect in the class, or just go introduce yourself!


The worst they can say is no. Heck! You may not even have to deal with the rejection, they may not even reply (lol! it happened to me!). Not to sound harsh, but if they do say no or don’t respond..you didn’t want their letter anyway. There are a few reasons a professor might say no:

1.) They don’t really know you

2.) They are really, really busy

3.) They just don’t do letters of recommendation

If you find yourself in this situation, keep in mind the purpose of a LOR. When the admissions board reads these letters they do not want to know about Dr. Awesome, they want to know about the undergrad student who worked dilligently, came to every class, and would make a great addition to their incoming class. If a professor doesn’t know that about you…the letter will not serve its purpose. If the professor is too busy to take the time to write a LOR that is personal and specific to you…the letter will not serve its purpose. If the professor doesn’t do LORs…well that one is self-explanatory.

I know it can be scary and intimidating, but not asking just means you are DEFINITELY not getting a letter from them, and the longer you wait the less time they have to really think about what they want to say OR the less time you have to ask someone else.

So..how do you go about asking:


I feel that a face-to-face meeting is always best.

“Attending shows mutual acknowledgement, respect, and action”


You may use email to set up the meeting (or talk to them after class). Just say something like:

“Hi Dr.Awesome (except using their name), I am applying to dental school this summer and would love to talk to you about it. Is there a time that works best for you?”

They will see that you respect them enough to take time out of your busy schedule to meet with them and they will see that you are putting extra time and effort into your application process (not just emailing each professor you had with your fingers crossed..by the way absolutely DO NOT DO THAT…professors talk!)

It may be a good idea to prepare for the meeting before you even ask.

Professors are busy people and you are adding another thing to their to-do list. So here are some tips for you to make their life a little easier:

1) Prepare to ask ATLEAST a month before you want them to submit

2) Prepare a personal statement (it can be a very rough draft)

3) Update your resume (work experience, volunteering, awards)

4) Give them a list of the classes you took with them & your final grade (if multiple)

If you give them something to work with (even if they know you really really well), they are more likely to be able to really personalize your LOR. The LOR is almost like an essay and these items are great resources for them! They will be appreciative. Plus, you are going to need your personal statement for the application anyway..you might as well start working on it.



There are times when asking them face-to-face just isn’t possible. If you are in that situation it is OK. Professors are very familiar with LORs, some of them even have a template ready to go. They understand how challenging all of this can be, so if you need to send and email…do it! Just make sure that you are very polite and understanding. If they do want to meet up…you may have to make time for this. It’ll be worth it. I had to email one of my professors about this and he was incredibly sweet about it. Actually, he was the first to submit the letter. Also, I had only met with him once during office hours (not ideal, but you do not have to be 100% perfect to get into dental school no matter what you have heard) Here is my email:Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 11.41.24 PM.png

I also emailed another professor. However, she had written me a personal statement for the DAT/MCAT review program I was attending, and when I met with her face-to-face to discuss that one we also discussed writing one for the actual application if I decided to apply. Here is what the conversation looked like:

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In your email be sure to include the list of resources I mentioned above as attachments, explain how the process works, let them know you are excited to have their support!

3.) Send Thank-you notes

Once your professors submit their letters (AADSAS will send you a notification), you should send them a hand-written thank you note. Go to Walmart, grab a pack of thank-you cards and use them! They will come in handy in the future.

Some of my friends gave their professors little thank you gifts such as coffee mugs. This is absolutely not required, and a personal choice. If you do decide to gift them, keep it small. Any large item would be unprofessional.


Good luck future dentist!



So you want to be healthy….

I would say that the large majority of pre-professional students and student doctors are concerned about their physical health/fitness. So hopefully, this blog isn’t too off topic.

During the semester we are loaded down with classes, homework, study sessions, and just STRESS in general. Do we really have time to add in a workout routine or prep healthy meals? The short answer is yes.

Your health is an investmentNot an expense.png

Think of it this way….working out releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy and energized. This means you will be more awake and attentive for your lecture, study sesh, etc. Not to mention, if you give your brain the nutrients it wants it will give you the function YOU want!

Just so we are clear before we get started…I am NOT fit, I am NOT a nutritionist, and I am NOT qualified to tell you anything more about fitness than my experience.


You have no time, but you have to make time to eat right? So making small changes to your diet isn’t really going to take away that much time from your physio studying….Study at the kitchen table while everything is cooking! If anything, prepping for the week will save you time in the long run (no standing in long lines or fighting with the vending machine). Here are some fast, easy preps I like to do:

Taco bowls: 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup black beans, chicken, salsa. Done.

You can boil all the rice you need while the chicken is in the oven or the crock pot. Then measure out these portions into your containers, throw them in the fridge.

Energy Bites: These are my GO TO breakfast, snack, healthy sweet. I have linked to the recipe on “Bless this mess” so you can see the different versions. They are so good!

Kale Salad: This one is a salad, so feel free to put whatever you want in it. But I usually cram slice strawberries, kale, and blue cheese (or goat cheese) crumbles in my container and take a baggie with shredded chicken so I can heat it up separately. I also use poppy seed dressing..yum

Boiled Eggs:  You can have these boiling on a separate burner of yours stove while your brown rice is boiling for your taco bowls. These are a quick anytime snack or breakfast. Good source of protein.

Protein Shake: So I really like the vanilla chai protein from Fitmiss. I usually put one of those wine bags to keep wine chilled in the freezer over night then put a shaker bottle with almond milk in it the next day. I just take my protein powder in a plastic baggie and pour it in when I am ready.

Chicken and Broccoli:  Ok, this one is boring but also an easy prep. I buy the frozen broccoli florets from Kroger, heat them up and through about a cup of them in my container with chicken I made in the crockpot (frozen chicken in crock pot on high for about 4 hours with some random seasonings thrown in). Sometimes when I am tired of this meal (I eat it a lot) I will drizzle bbq on top of it.

Smoothies:   Need to get some greens in your system fast…smoothies are the way to go. There are a million recipes on Pinterest that you can play with. One of my favorites at the moment is just throwing in a half of a banana, about a cup or so of kale or spinach, frozen fruits of your choice and some almond milk. Simple.

Step 2: Get Active

I recently got married and I was forcing myself in the gym for about an hour and a half at least 5xs a week. I have a really awesome friend that would come up with workouts for us and we would do a mix of cardio and lifting and let me tell you…it worked! However, that isn’t very realistic during finals week and I quickly dropped the habit. Try to start simple. Can you make it three days a week for 30-45mins a day? If you are honest with yourself, you probably can. Schedule it in. My plan for the upcoming school year is to go to the gym on Saturday, Sunday, and Mondays for lifting and then do light cardio such as walking my dogs or a jog around the neighborhood & yoga when I get the chance on the other days. You do not have to get caught up in the “I DONT HAVE TWO HOURS FOR THE GYM, I BARELY HAVE TIME TO WASH MY HAIR” excuse. Just get active. Take the stairs. Relax.

Try to start simple. Can you make it three days a week for 30-45mins a day? If you are honest with yourself, you probably can. Schedule it in. My plan for the upcoming school year is to go to the gym on Saturday, Sunday, and Mondays for lifting and then do light cardio such as walking my dogs or a jog around the neighborhood & yoga when I get the chance on the other days. You do not have to get caught up in the “I DONT HAVE TWO HOURS FOR THE GYM, I BARELY HAVE TIME TO WASH MY HAIR” excuse. Just get active. Take the stairs. Relax.

I follow a lot of fitness bloggers for inspiration, I have listed some of my favs:

Katy Hearn

Whitney Simmons

Anna Victoria

Suzie B

all of these girls sell really awesome plans if you are interested.

Step 3: Don’t Give Up

I am writing this blog in the summer because I think NOW is a great time to get started, get into a routine, make a plan (it can be adjusted if need be) but once you get into fitness and start to feel the benefits both mentally and physically you won’t want to stop!

You should start each month with a set of goals (specific to selfcare). Today, I am sharing mine and would LOVE for you to tell me yours. Join me in some of my goals, tag me in your insta posts, etc.

Speaking of joining me, Anna Victoria is currently offering a free #jumpstartjune challenge! It’s only 10 mins a day… we have 10 mins a day!




So it’s time to write your Personal Statement!

Tomorrow is June 1st…which means APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN!

If you are a pre-dental student you have probably been stressing about this date and working on your application. If you are a pre-dental student like me, who decided last minute she actually WAS ready to apply then you are stressing even more about this date….first tip: Breathe. It’s totally ok not to submit on June 1st. While most dental schools encourage applicants to submit their applications early, you have time. I think I submitted mine mid-July and I still got in! As always, just do your best, try to submit as early as possible and RELAX.

SO, for a lot of pre-professional students, the personal statement is the most dreaded part of the application. A lot of applicants put it off until last minute (which I do not advise). So today I am going to try to encourage you and give you some tips! (bonus free download).

The Do’s and Dont’s of writing your Personal Statement:

  • Don’t Freak Out: If you find yourself doing everything BUT your personal statement…you might be freaking out. It’s ok. This is the first time you get to tell your favorite schools who YOU are. This isn’t about numbers, scores, and classes this is about ____(your name here)_______.

DO: Get started! (download my free personal statement worksheet here.) The longer you procrastinate the less time you have to write the most perfect personal statement that shows you, your personality, and your passion.

  • Don’t worship someone else: Sometimes students get caught up in writing about this really awesome dentist who inspired them, or their really awesomoe mom, or their really awesome dog….but this isn’t a statement about them, this is a statement about YOU.

DO: You can BRIEFLY mention the people who inspire and motivate you, but really limit this info. Make sure that you are the star.

  • Don’t TELL them how great you are: Refrain from using sentences such as “I am a very hardworking and dedicated individual”. This may be true, but this  doesn’t really tell them HOW you are hardworking and dedicated. Honestly, any ol’ Joe who slept through all of his gen chem classes could write this statement…there’s just no proof.

DO: SHOW THEM how great you are. If you use an adjective such as the ones above immediately follow up it with examples. Or, ditch the adjectives completely and let them figure these traits out for themselves. For example, in the following sentence I hope you might infer that this person is hard working: 

“Motivated for my sophomore year, I worked diligently in classes, worked as a server in a campus diner and cashier at Lowe’s Home improvement” 

Notice that this sentence should not stand alone, it is part of a story and a transition in that story but you get the idea….

  • Don’t be cliché: “For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a dentist.”  Nope! Don’t freakin’ do it! Clichés, especially in the opening, are a great reason for those reviewing your paper to hit NEXT.

DO: Revise, revise, revise.  You may not even realize you are being cliché at first. After your first draft, print your paper out and pretend like you are a grumpy resident who has read far too many personal statements. Highlight every sentence or phrase that could have (and probably has been) written by someone else. 

  • Don’t Lie: This should be a no-brainer, but some people still do it. Anything in your personal statement, application, etc. is going to be under a microscope. They can ask you about ANYTHING…so do not lie, do not embellish, and do not add creative little details that actually didn’t happen. If they don’t see through it in the essay (which they probably will), it will come up in your interview.

DO:  Be yourself! It may take a little while for you to realize it, but if you have made it this far: YOU ARE AWESOME. Talk about that. Talk about the things that make you, you. Have you overcome some challenges? Work experience? You can get a little personal, it is your PERSONAL statement after all (haha! had to…sorry)

  • Don’t forget the spell check!: Another no brainer, but so very important. A lady who reads personal statements for a dental school I applied to told me that they pull each personal statement up on the mega board and read it together. I can guarantee that someone in that room will see that grammar error, spelling error, or typo that your brain overlooked because it knew what you were trying to say. 

DO: REVISE (some more). Take advantage of your resources. Ask multiple people to review your personal statement, run it through Grammarly, spell check, etc. Also, asking multiple people to read over your personal statement (their unique opinions will give you a sample of the various opinions of the committee board…use them to create the feel you want


BONUS: Personal Statement Worksheet


Ok guys, that’s all I can think of for now! I encourage you to google examples, talk to people who have experience on admissions boards if you can and seriously…BE YOURSELF.

If you have any questions or comments let me know! I will try to get back with you ASAP since I know that this is a very urgent and important time of year! Sending so much love and good luck your way!