A Day in the Life: First Year Dental Student Edition

UPDATED: The following article was published once prior to the instagram event and edited after it so you can have the run down of what went on.  Updates are in PINK 

First published:  Sept. 19th, 2017

Hey Everyone!! I am excited to announce that I will be doing a “day in the life” video via my Instagram story.

I am so glad that I got the chance to share my day with you. Unfortunately, I grossly underestimated how busy our day would be. Hopefully, you will join me for another “day in the life” soon!  Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see! 

I am choosing to do it this Friday, September 22nd!! I chose Friday because I think it gives you a good sample of everything we have been doing this year. If I get positive feedback I will be sure to make more. I will update this post with the details this weekend but for now here is what the plan looks like (until then, be sure to FOLLOW ME so you don’t miss out on any of the action)


Friday 22nd 2017:

7:00am: Study / Review

My husband just started a new job that he has to be at by 7:30 am, so I get dropped off a little early. It works out for me because we normally have class 8am-5pm and I am too exhausted to study at night so I use the extra on-campus to my advantage.

I ran into some friends studying at starbs! I love when you are with a group where each of you can particpate in a BENEFICIAL review…this is not always the case. Be mindful of yourself, your anxiety, your study habbits and the way you learn. Sometimes it is more beneficial to sit and stare at the wall with your earphones blasting good music so you don’t get all wrapped up in all the buzzing. 

Also during this time…spilled my PSL. 😦


9:00am: PERIO EXAM!

Exams, exams, exams. Get used to cramming! Dental school is full of exams.

OUCH! This exam required more than cramming, obvs cramming should never be your first choice but don’t be too hard on yourself if it happens occasionally. Myself and the majority of my classmates struggled with this one. There were a lot of questions that read as a paragraph and the answer choices were like:

a) Sentences 1,2,5 are flase

b) Sentences 1 and 5 are false

c.) all sentences are true

d)sentences 1, 3, 5 are true

etc….. It was tough! You had to know like 5x the material for each question! 

10:00am: Biochem Lecture

Yep, you still have basic science courses after undergrad….

We have an AWESOME professor for biochem currently. She even gave us a break because she saw that many of us were so brain dead from the exam. Some poor interviewees walked through our class to see what it was like and we all just stared at them (oops!) I wish they could have seen my true feelings (I REALLY love dental school) but in reality not every second of every day is your best moment. 

Also…side note on biochem…we talked a little about Van der wall’s forces and some of the chemical and amino acids when discussing caries in our cariology course. Dental school is awesome because you get to start putting all of your knowledge together to see the big picture and how it will help you help your patients some day!


Hopefully, I will get to show off the cafeteria because honestly, lunchtime with my BFF’s is pretty much my favorite time of the day.

Yep! Fav part of the day. My best friends and I always eat here, even when we pack our own lunch (which is a good idea btw because $$$) I ate some sushi (brain food! lol) and we just talked about how excited we were for white coat. Some students had their families meet them for lunch so I enjoyed meeting everyone. Lunch is a great time to decompress, even when you have a million things to study its good to socialize and take a break.

1:00-4:00 Dental Anatomy Lecture and Sim-Lab

I’ll show off my waxing skills…lol jk…I kinda struggle with waxing but you can still see what I am up to. I will probably get to work with my articulator and mounting my cast which will be fun!

Okay, so I know I did not post anything about lab because…honestly it was a rough day for me. My mind was elsewhere, I was behind on my assignments, my classmates were leaving early because they had moved on and were going to get all dolled up. I was frustrated and teary eyed when my instructor finally said I could be dismissed for the day. It happens but it gets better…I got to get caught up Monday (see pics below)

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5:00 Getting Ready

I am going to a friend’s house (who lives close to campus) to get all dolled up for white coat!!

We were RUSHING! But it was fun to giggle and choose earrings for each other.


I am so excited to take you with me! I have been dreaming about this day for yearrrsss..

WOW! Our class looks GOOD outside of scrubs and messy buns! 😉 We had a great time, and I had the chance to thank my friends parents for raising the most wonderful human beings I know.  My mom, husband, grandma and aunt were all able to attend and they kept commenting on how “fancy” I was. They were so proud and it felt so good to show off all my hardwork to this point. The white coat symbolized becoming a professional, a role model, a leader, a healthcare provider. With this new self comes a lot of new responsibility and honestly, it gave me the motivation to push through the hard days and remember why I am here and how I got hereScreen Shot 2017-09-26 at 8.32.36 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-09-26 at 8.32.28 PM.png

8:30 Let’s PARtyyyy

We are finishing up our first round of exams and are in some serious need of fun and celebration. So, most of the class is planning on going out and blowing off a little steam. Dental school is not ALL work and no play.

After dinner with the family a few from our class met up down town for a few drinks and celebration. My husband went with and it was great to just forget about school for a little while and remember we have a life.


Let me know if you would like to see anything specific (next time) and I will make sure to fit it in.

Happy Fall guys,

I hope you are looking forward to hanging out with me Friday again!





Resources for Staying Positive

I had a few of you reach out to me about how hard it is to stay motivated, positive while in or trying to get into dental school/medical school, etc. We all know it isn’t easy. I am sitting on that struggle bus right beside you!

First off I would recommend a healthy diet, exercise routine, and counseling to anyone and everyone. For additional resources, I have included some links and will continue to add to the list as I come across them. Please share your own tips, links, suggestions, etc!


Read the book: “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero

Try meditation:

The science of meditation

Insight Timer (free app)

Headspace (free app)

Check out these sites


Yoga (good for you mentally and physically):

Yoga with Adrienne

Bad Yogi 

I am enough

I am a first generation college student. Noone in my family graduated college, no one in my family has pursued a career in medicine.

I am from Appalachia. You know, that weird region in the mountains that you learn about in class and everyone giggles about cousins marrying cousins and how they rot out their teeth with meth and “pop”. (RUDE and not true, BTW..)

I am a wife. My husband and I support ourselves and our three dogs. We don’t have a ton of money to blow.

I am tired. Most days when I get home I take a nap on the couch with my dogs, I don’t go over my histology or biochem notes like I should. And…I should. I am not one of those people who get it the first or sometimes the 50th time I read, listen, or see something.


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I am getting real personal with you all because I feel that during interview season, the beginning of the new semester, etc. there are some of you feeling the same way. Lately, I have been really down in the dumps, just feeling sad. Feeling like I don’t belong. At first, I started blaming myself for being so negative all the time and just being a terrible person when other people have much bigger problems than I do. I bet you can guess how much that helped. PSA: it doesn’t. It was a better plan to take action. It’s very natural to find your self in a negative state from time to time, especially when your stress levels are high! However, its extremely dangerous to stay there. After some self-reflection, I realized it was simple. I was feeling as if I wasn’t enough. As soon as I was able to slap that label on these negative thoughts I realized it was time to use that super corny, overused “I am enough” affirmation and rewire my subconscious.  (Here are some great tips on using affirmations and staying positive).

One of the best tips for any incoming student is: DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO YOUR CLASSMATES…. I heard this from every upperclassman during orientation and I laughed because I just KNEW I would not fall victim to that sort of negativity. I don’t think that even lasted one day before I started looking around wondering who I could sit with in lecture, who would accept me.

A few weeks in and all I could think about is how embarrassing it would be to be ranked, 65/65 students. My mind has been consumed with who was hanging out and how much, who was studying and how much. Who was paying attention in class while I was freaking out because I had no clue what was going on?


It’s not about everyone else, it’s about you and you are freakin’ golden. 

You were fearfully and wonderfully made

Psalm 139:14

Each and every one of us has had to overcome heartbreak, struggle, and change to get where you are now. Whether you are sitting in a classroom, sitting on your couch waiting for that interview email, whatever. YOU have fought to get where you are, be proud of that.

Y o u   a r e   a w e s o m e

Just because the person next to you is awesome too, does not mean you are any less awesome. Take some time today to think of how far you have come, how awesome, beautiful, smart you are. Be proud of yourself and please…do not compare yourself to others.

Shake it off 😉



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