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How to be the perfect 4.0, fit and healthy student!

Posted by aasalina on May 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

In this blog post I will give you the perfect cocktail, recipe, instrument, instructions on how to become the best 4.0 amazing student. Joke. I am graduating in a few days and I still don’t know what’s best for me or the best way to study. But I do know that I make sure to take care of myself and sometimes that produces the best outcome.

When I hear about students speech and instagram post about the “all nighters, dominos pizza, eating chocolate was all worth it.” I semi-cringe, because in honesty I believe in TRUE BALANCE.  No one’s gonna die or you’re not gonna save the world if you don’t reply to an eboard concern, class project or a professor’s email. I have classmates who studies the whole week and never picked up a weight, ate healthily or did something to take care of themselves besides netflix and chill. Note: I do think netflix days are important and prime but SELF-CARE is more important.

Here are some tips I have done during my time here at UB with all the included photos of the locations!


1) Mindfulness

I have multiple apps on my phone such as mindfulness when I need a breather from studying. Sometimes when I go to sleep, I play a mindfulness based meditation to let me breathe or even between studying. This allows me to think about the moment, not my current project or fear of failing nursing school!


2) Enjoying UB’s nature such as Baird Point

As paradoxically as people say about the cold winter at Buffalo, There are beautiful nature spots  here  at Buffalo that you can’t find in places like New York City (Which half of UB students are from) p.s: Don’t mind the geese!


3)Jogging at Ellicott Creek Trail

Every finals week, I tend to visit this place and enjoy the sunset. There were past moments that I felt like zen here as I jogged. When the sunset, birds chirping and the fresh air all synced in at once to me, I would feel infinite.


4)Working out (Running, Yoga, Stretches, Powerlifting, UB Workout Classes)

I do practice yoga and just youtube search “five minute yoga, stress relief yoga, study break yoga” Trust me the saving grace of five minutes of self-care will make a difference and can energize you to study 4 more hours with a proper mindset. Along with weightlifting, I enrolled in a High Intensity Interval Training class this semester which I also enjoyed so much.


5)Joining an organization,church etc

When school isn’t the best, a support system is great. UB has 150+ clubs and organization so see what best fits. Surround yourself with groups that promote positive vibes, who will push and motivate you!


6) Eat Healthy: Meal Prep!

Multiple research studies show that healthy eating produces good brain and memory benefits. During my weightloss journey of freshman year Edgy Veggies was my enemy especially finals week. My brain would always automatically think  “yes sizzles, yes elli, yess hamburger” But I started switching from hot chocolate or coffee in the morning to green tea or from pretzel snacks to the celery and carrots from the Capen Cafe or the new Whispers. Eventually the old habits of unhealthy eating dies with new healthy ways.  Keep trying!


7) BALANCE: You don’t have to say yes to everything but make sure to do what you love, take care of yourself and that will produce better grades and outcomes. Do what works for you but making sure you take care of yourself in the process.


108 Hours in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. I am a NURSE!

Posted by aasalina on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

At the end of my senior year nursing school students are placed  on their  final clinical rotation working  1 on 1 with a nurse. I was luckily picked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit  (MICU) at Erie County Medical Center. The MICU is regarded as higher level of acuity where patients are medically acute that without any medication they can die at that moment.

As a student at this floor, I was able to truly see the current Buffalo  Public Health issues that are epidemically rising. Opioid, Alcohol overdoses & withdrawal, Congestive Heart Failure Exacerbations, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Kidney Failure or Multi Organ Failure. It was so saddening to see but it was humbling to provide care for this population.  While I can’t provide what kind of scenarios I have experienced, this rotation has taught me about the importance of mental health issues, primary prevention of diet, smoking prevention. I have seen the worst in this rotation on what drug, alcohol, smoking or obesity abuse can cause to your body medically. It was also saddening to see that the system is so broken as we see some people enter the hospital, become medically stable but then come back a few days with the same or different issue. I believe that the root cause of everything is sometimes the family dynamics, mental health issue, homelessness etc that caused them to enter the hospital which should be fixed.

In terms of learning, I loved that in this unit pharmacy, social work, physician,  respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses are all on the same closed unit. I was able to learn so much from the different professions such as why would pharmacy recommend one medication over a different medication with the same action,  differential diagnoses from different physicians, nurses who are continuously titrating critical care saving medications to reach a medical goal for the patient.

Buffalo currently has critical pertaining health issues and epidemic. I am glad to be in the frontline as a future nurse and see this issues now in the clinical setting.


SUNY Chancellor’s Award Post Thoughts

Posted by aasalina on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

This past April , I visited Albany for the SUNY Chancellor’s Award. 250 students with proud family members as each name were called. Personally,  it meant more than an award,  it was a ceremony that inspired and verified all of the hard work that I and other students have worked for. There are currently 250,000 SUNY students and 250 students were chosen to be there that day estimating as Nancy Zimpher mentioned “You are the  0.6 %”

As a Filipino immigrant here in the United States,  and coming from a highschool that didn’t really encourage students to attend a SUNY school. It was more than an award, it was a motivation and verification from the past years of serving and working hard as a student. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher mentioned along the lines of “You are  the leaders of tomorrow, you will be the changes  of the world and you are considered the best of the best, your peers will count on you.” When I heard this, I almost wanted to tear (lol). It is because of all the hardships and days that sometimes I became frustrated of all the commitments I took as an undergraduate or when my leadership or service didn’t go as planned as I would have liked it.

That day felt like I made it and I have really made my parents proud. Immigrating here to America about 8 years ago from a rural farm in the Philippines is not easy. I would have never imagined I would be standing that day especially in New York.  I saw from my parents expression how proud they are as they have traveled three hours away and off work just to see me receive an award. I look back and realize how much  of what my parents have sacrificed to have this  kind of great education.

It inspires me to continue making a difference or keep striving for goodness. If you really love what you do, the awards wouldn’t start to matter but it is about the impact you make to the people around you. Thank you SUNY! #SUNYSTANDS


For one night I was given the chance to become a bird (International Fiesta 2nd Place)

Posted by aasalina on April 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

I thought I was making my life a  social joke when I signed up to dance and compete again for International Fiesta, but ironically I found our dance practices to be stress- relieving. I found it to be an escape to all the multiple commitments I have as a student. It allowed me to breathe and explore another aspect of student life not many people have the opportunity to experience. The past years as part of the Filipino American Student Association, I am very lucky to end it on a positive note winning a trophy. The month of January and February were probably one of the most stressful weeks of my undergraduate career. In one week I had to make it to my job, wake up early for my clinicals dealing with patients who have poor medical diagnoses and outcomes, organizing my club, attending  nursing classes, research intervention on saturday afternoon, an exam a day after rehearsals while trying to balance eating healthy and working out.  Was it worth it?

EVERY Second was WORTH IT. Becoming a part of Filipino American Student Association has allowed me to understand my potential as a leader. My past positions as cultural chair and secretary have taught me to be resilient in strenuous times. It has allowed me to find myself, challenge my stress levels and become resilient.Joining  a club at UB really grounds you to have a sense of community. Participating in their events such as International Fiesta creates a stronger bond and connection with the members of the club. The feeling of 7 minutes on the stage just fades away quickly.  I have to admit I made a minimal mistake during the real performance but pouring out your love for the team and culture is what matters

Each club worked very hard. The north campus classrooms and hallways became a dance studio at night that ends until 2 AM or even 3 AM sometimes..Carrying benches, putting props in my car, breaking fake wings and sacrificing sleep. It’s always going to be worth it. I’ve had the opportunity to become closer to many people and have seen so many people grow from this experience. I got to drive freshman students back to south campus at night reminiscing the times when I was a freshman and upperclassmen would drive me to my dorm. College is only once, so don’t’ focus on your academics too much. Because those are not the memories you will remember but the other times you did something else besides studying. I am not going to lie that I did cry when they announced our club name.

International Fiesta  is one event that makes me proud how much University at Buffalo promotes and appreciates
diversity. Multiple cultural clubs from different ethnicities, backgrounds.Noting that  more than half of our performers is not  Filipino (inclusivity).  To any students that is considering of performing for International Fiesta, don’t be afraid and just do it!


Makatod Filipino Dance



Are you from TENessee? Because the 1st KFC is there

Posted by aasalina on March 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Took a trip to Tennessee few weeks ago to volunteer with Remote Area Medical Trip funded by honors college! (Thank you!)

The community  camped out with their families maybe even a day before sleeping on their cars. The weather was I believe 15-20 degrees so it is a true dedication that they wanted to be in that area. A total of more than 1800+ people were served and offered free healthcare this day.

   A medical volunteer  program  through U.S Remote Area Medical Trip (RAM)  at Tennessee with the collaboration of UB School of Dentistry, School of Nursing & University of Tennessee School of  Nursing to flip a whole playground into a remote health care area.  Most of the community members did not have health insurance or dental coverage. I met a patient who had >200 blood pressure (this is alarming) who mentioned that he usually has chest pains (more alarming) but seldmly takes his medications. This man then mentions the last time he was at the doctor was two years ago because he takes his medicinal herbs. My nurse mode acted on it and I semi-freaked out. I had to educate my patient that while his herbs are important to him, it is also just as important to take his medications to prevent further damages to his body. The problem with hypertension (high blood pressure) is that it is a silent killer especially in the United States. People feel fine, walk fine, dance, laugh, sing while physiologically the body is self-damaging.   I ran to a registered nurse and helped the patient right away get to medical consultation.

1st KFC is called SAUNDERS CAFE!

I was also a semi-dental hygienist that day helping UB Dental with some of their first procedures independently. I was so excited for them

Little mini clinics!

One thing that I learned from this experience is truly the importance of understanding where  a person is coming from. I kept telling this patient we need to check your glucose, we need to check your glucose mam before having any dental procedure. Then she finally said “Whats a glucose?”In that moment it hit me, I felt so embarrassed. This patient has been diabetic for years but she knows the terminology of blood sugar instead of the medical term glucose. I apologized to her. These little things do matter. Health literacy is low in the United States and there are cases where patients signed surgeries but they weren’t sure what the procedure was for but too afraid to ask or be thought of  stupid.  What a great learning experience from this trip.

Woke up at 5 AM but everyone else were there 2 days ago camped out in the cold. But this brings up the topic that THERE IS STILL SO MUCH WE NEED TO IMPROVE in the AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Think about how much this volunteer driven based organization has saved? More than $60,000  in the Healthcare system.

Some little updates I will blog about: We placed 2nd for International Fiesta and I received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award last week.



International Fiesta: Celebration of Cultures

Posted by aasalina on February 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

I thought Senioritis was only in senior year of high school, but it seems like I am starting to have that habit over again. With this senioritis feeling to my classes, I  still took the leap to enter International Fiesta again one more time before I graduate. Besides the ever crazy college student schedule, I thought this would be great thing to participate again for the Filipino American Student Association. I truly appreciate UB’s Diversity and the program it offers.

During practices outside Knox Lecture hall at 8:30 PM or a full dance run through at random places on a Saturday afternoon until night time. Practices may be draining but  I think it is truly worth it. I may be studying in between my practices or doing homework, but I would never trade this experience for anything else. . Last year my club won and it was also my first time sitting as an audience and had the itch to do it again even with nursing school.

International Fiesta March 4, 2017 Saturday   5:00 PM UB Center For the Arts

When I got accepted nursing school, I felt like all the activities  I used to do for fun weren’t my priority anymore. I came out of a heavy exam this week where our professor threw multiple concepts of critical care (patients who are at end of dying) including medications that have one million side effects and interactions. I honestly thought I wouldn’t do well because I had dance practice Saturday and Sunday or had clinical Wednesday and Thursday from 7 am-3 PM or 11 am-7 PM (how tiring)  However,  I luckily did well. I used to do miserably on my exams  in the beginning so I changed my study habits & focused more on practicing questions than the material itself. I think it’s also because I started to realize that it’s not how much you study but it’s how you balance yourself. In the beginning I quit so much of the fun things I used to do & it just made me feel burnt out. I would skip church to study or not go to a club event so I could stay in. But those excuses hurt me more than helped. Sometimes we push ourselves to the limit we really forget that we come first before a test grade . Before the exam everyone was stressing out, going over conceps so I tapped my headphones and listened to classical nature music for good ten minutes & it worked!

My takeaway from here is COME TO INTERNATIONAL FIESTA! But also in college, take all the opportunities you can not just ACADEMICS. You will see that the most successful and happy people are not the one’s who bombard themselves in academics but who tries to achieve a happy holistic life.

I will send another update if my club ever wins! Oh yeah I got the J Scott Fleming Scholarship this week! Thanks UB!



I went back where I came from… Philippines

Posted by aasalina on February 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

About 8 years ago my  whole family left the Philippines. We took the leap of moving to America all together to chase the cliche immigrant “American Dream”

Knowing your roots is important. Knowing your history, your upbringing makes you the person who you are today.  After 8 long years of adjusting to American living. I finally came back to the Philippines. It was such a long needed and refreshing experience.

I only had 7 days so I made each day more than worth it. Here are some of my wonderful experiences.

I experienced my first free fall superman where your whole body gets dropped in the air! So many people backed out but your fee will still be charged so I did not want to waste my money

New Year in the Philippines is lively. You play fireworks outside and there are common  myths and sayings of the elderly. Some are to jump so that you grow up an inch, wear polka dots means good luck, buy  circular fruits at your dinner table for wealth.

Lastly, I met up with my childhood friends and had a mini reunion! We used to just play carelessly with fake paper guns and colored chalks on the blackboard. Now I am proud to say my grade school friends are current and future doctors, chefs, pharmacists, medical technologists, nurses, engineers, lawyer and more!

Sometimes I wonder what my life could have been if I stayed in the Philippines. Would I be happier while my family worried about finances everyday? or here in New York where most of your relatives are in distance and your career is the sole focused. Both way of living are different but I can conclude that SIMPLICITY WINS

As to where I am standing now I am very lucky, #blessed, fortunate that we got out of  median income poverty. Back then we used to share one piece of chicken, dried fish. Anything in the table we ate to survive.  But I think the image of American Dream to me is gone now. As I came back I  treasured the value of family,  happiness and simplicity of living.

I suggest anyone to travel especially in third world countries. Its in these places where you will realize that MONEY cannot BUY HAPPINESS. 

Philippines I will come back soon for you and I promise I will give back.



Student Capabilities: UBSchoolfOfNursing Mannequin Challenge

Posted by aasalina on December 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

As a student, we really do have the power to bring  our ideas into actions; if we work hard and persevere. As a president of my club (multicultural nursing sa), I thought of multiple events that I found could be helpful for my student body. I asked one of my summer nursing internship supervisors to speak to nursing students about internships and applying for a  new job as a nurse. It was the first time it was ever held in my school and I am so proud that something I envisioned this summer actually happened and benefitted multiple students!

After this workshop, I helped organize my school’s mannequin challenge which had more than 700 likes. This was just a funny idea during lunchtime that actually came into reality

I hope this inspires you to bring your ideas into concrete reality as it is never too late!

We couldn’t have the music due to copyright issues. The facebook link should be in school of nursing page






I am thankful for Canada

Posted by aasalina on December 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

Mental Health Exam

This week, I had a very unconventional thanksgiving. I needed to get away after a treacherous exam.  I took a leap and rented a low rate airbnb and spent it in Toronto Canada. UB is only about two hours away so I told myself why not? Instead of screaming gobble gobble, and eating dried turkey. I ate banh mi (a famous vietnamese sandwich), lava cake made at a korean shop & soup dumplings at a shanghainese restaurant. How diverse isn’t it?

It was my first airbnb, for audience that might not know it. Its owners of houses who rent their place for a day or so to tourist and guests with a cheaper option than hotel/motel. I was honestly nervous. The directions I got from the airbnb host was “come to the backdoor and put this code *** then you enter to room #5” I had no idea if this was going to be a reliable option but it turned out to be the best and cheap! I stayed at the vicinity of Chinatown Toronto which are close to University of Toronto & Nightlife toronto.


Soup Dumplings!

In Buffalo I am so used to the mediocre pace of people just casually walking, but in Toronto it feels like flashbacks from New York City. You are walking fast, driving crazily and at the end find parking nowhere. Hobos asking for money and people you think are hobos but actually just have crazy hairdo-s.

I think it’s a great idea for things to be unplanned, to arrive in places where we feel uncomfortable and  to experience the unknown. This trip was definitely a learning experience. Next time however I will definitely spend my thanksgiving with my family. Thank you Canada.



I was at the Emergency Department today..

Posted by aasalina on November 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

Because… that is where my clinical placement for the day was. Have you ever watched Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, Trauma shows? Where Dr. Shepard & Dr. Bailey screams” I need a BOLUS STAT. We need blood now!!”  Well.. it is nothing like that but I am glad. The tasks and roles are very random and it is something that requires a lot of flexibility. I honestly didn;t dOn Wednesdays & Thursdays I have to wake up by 5:10 AM to get ready for my clinical shift, power through with some green juice to wake me up. Is it worth it? I think it actually is.

My nurse wasn’t here Wednesday so my professor sent me to the emergency room for the day oh was it an experience. It is definitely a different kind of nursing but fun!  I like that the whole healthcare team are all in one place communicating.. I am still adjusting to this clinical placement because ECMC usually have patients with multiple commorbidites . A mix of medical and psychological conditions so someone could be laughing at me, then the next time I enter the room a patient is trying to shoo me away, yelling at me . I jogged all the stress of the same day and passed by this in the Ellicott Area.


Besides being shooed away, I got inducted to Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. Hard work can pay off but I truly learned it’s not about yourgrades but it’s how you can apply your knowledge and skills especially in my field.  


Too many events going on this weekend my club is running a food and hygiene drive which I highly suggest for anyone interested to donate. I also rolled about.. 200 Spring rolls or they are also called Lumpia! It is this ground chicken mixed with seasonings and spices such as pepper, fish sauce, hoisin, grinded carrots, green onions, Special seasoning can’t mention… MSG (?) Because in less than two weeks it is Filipino American Student Association Barrio Fiesta play. This club is near and dear to me and always felt like home.It was my first UB Club that I joined . I still can’t fathom that after this year I won’t be able to enjoy the fun monday meetings but will be working as a professional instead.


We just rolled 200 spring rolls

I am trying to enjoy as much of my college as I can. A recent UB grad mentioned to me that  college is the only time where opportunities socially, academically and professionally everything is thrown and offered at you. Take advantage of it while it lasts!! Time to leave capen!