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Thursday
09/21/17

How Do You Decompress?

Posted by caaponte on September 21, 2017 in Fall Semester, Mental Health, Reflection, Senior Year

We get so focused on managing our “To-Do” list that we forget to do fun and simple things. I remember being asked, “what do you do for fun?” and I did not have an answer.

What do you mean?

“I have 3 homework assignments due this week, an exam tomorrow, a group project with a group that can never find a time to meet, my friend’s birthday is tomorrow, and I should probably go grocery shopping before I starve. So what exactly do you mean I need to make time for fun.”

With a little less sass, that was my response. But after reflecting on how living a life SO focused on my surroundings – I see that the end result is far from what I had anticipated. When I did not take time for myself to decompose and do things that I enjoyed doing on my own, my academics and personal life took a heavy toll.

There’s no perfect formula with how to manage your time. If you find one – let me know. You’ll probably make millions. But if there is any advice I can give underclassmen (or anyone for that matter), it is to find balance. Otherwise, you will wear yourself out.

Choose a monotonous activity that decompresses you. Our brains are not designed to work hard from the minute we wake up to the minute we go to sleep. So BE KIND to your hard-working, mental machine.

Monday
05/08/17

Getting into my Headspace

Posted by caaponte on May 8, 2017 in Mental Health, Reflection

I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews in regards to meditation. I tried this app “Headspace” to turn off my brain for the 10 minutes the app asks you. My thoughts?? I am horrible at it. I am having the worst time turning off my mind in order to concentrate on just the immediate world around me. I am just in one of those states where I am overwhelmed and looking for a way to close myself off from the outside world just to relax. Turning my phone on airplane mode doesn’t do the trick for me either. So for those who meditate on the regular, any advice? Maybe I’m not seeing the larger picture. Because I either 1. fall asleep or 2. think about all the other things I should/could/need to be doing. How exactly can I turn my brain off for those 10 minutes or longer/shorter?? I think I am just missing what the main goal at hand is. One of the many things I will be looking into once the semester ends (even though I should be utilizing its benefits beforehand).

Wednesday
05/03/17

Mental Health at the University Level

Posted by caaponte on May 3, 2017 in Chile, Going Abroad, Mental Health, Reflection

It’s difficult to find exactly what it is that a student may need in order to find their inner peace. With so much going on during the semester, students often overwhelm themselves and neglect doing what makes them happy.

I believe it takes reflection, support, and an open mind to find what makes you a successful student. For me, it was going out of my comfort zone and using what I knew to survive in a foreign country.

Thursday
03/30/17

Is it Summer Yet?

Posted by caaponte on March 30, 2017 in Futuristic Thinking, Junior Year, Mental Health

I find myself having a hard time focusing because I keep thinking about the glorious light at the end of the tunnel that is summer vacation. Three months to spend how I please. Now, I know I will not be able to enjoy it if I do not do well for the next 8 weeks BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t daydream of what life will be like when I can walk outside and see that thing called the sun.

I think it’s good to keep that light at the end of the tunnel in mind because it keeps you motivated and reminds you why you are in college in the first place. Always striving for a better life, a career that will allow you to fund your backpacking trips, and making your mom proud…right?

If you’re anything like me, you have a list of things you want to do as soon as you have more time. On June 1st, applications for dental school open and I plan to get mine out ASAP so that I can relax as I play the waiting game and wait, wait, wait to hear back from the schools I chose to apply to.

Life doesn’t ever necessarily get easier, even during summer vacation. But I think as humans we inherently look where we believe the grass is greener. For me, it’s a time when I’m not taking 22 credits and I am instead cooking with my mom while listening to Andrea Bocelli.

By now it’s evident that none of my thoughts are transitioning well. But what else can you expect from a college student midway through the semester? Don’t worry about me. I just had a nice cup of coffee. Focusing on what is important here – Study hard, enjoy it later.

Wednesday
03/08/17

Up All Night

Posted by caaponte on March 8, 2017 in Junior Year, Mental Health

We have all been in the situation where we have an exam coming up, feel completely unprepared, and then take it upon ourselves to pull an all-nighter. Are there any benefits to this? From personal experience, I see no benefit in terms of the grade you get on the exam you stayed up all night for.

Sleep scientists can agree that at night there are fewer distractions and students have an easier time controlling their environment. Well, except for the bell on South Campus that rings every hour. At least I think I heard it every hour..? Maybe I was too busy studying weeks worth of material in one night to notice.

According to researchers here at UB, people who sleep fewer than 6 hours a night are more likely to develop conditions that precede Types 2 diabetes than those who sleep for longer. A sleepless night can lead to short-term euphoria and impaired decision-making ability.

BUT IF YOU DO PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER

Research suggests doing some “sleep-banking” beforehand. The night of –  Be sure to drink caffeine routinely throughout the night, take a 90-100 minute nap after you complete your task, work in bright light, and be sure to get to bed early that night.

And now I sound like I’m preaching….

NOT my intention. I was just doing some research and figured I would also share it with you.

With that said, I am going to go to bed. Goodnight.