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Wear Your Stretchy Pants to the Dinner Table

Posted by caaponte on November 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

Let’s talk about the pros and cons about Fall semester. We all arrive back to Buffalo after over 3 months apart and can testify to the fact that Buffalo DOES have its sunny days. However, we are victims to a semester that gives us one day off between the beginning of the semester and Thanksgiving break.

As a freshman, it felt like a lifetime waiting for a taste of my grandmother’s Puerto Rican rice. As a sophomore, I broke my phone right before break and was actually relieved to how much more time I had without so many distractions.

As a junior, I can’t say I’m hoping my phone will break again but I can say that I try to enjoy the little things as I push through what is known to be the more difficult year of the college career. Like when your favorite song comes on Spotify and you didn’t even have to buy Premium in order to choose it. Or when you pop into the Honors College lounge and find yourself a blueberry scone. Nothing like a quick sip of tea paired with a scone from the Honors College Elevenses to serve as a pick-me-up.

I can’t say I hope to break my phone again in order to force myself to sit down and study (…should I?). I am more focused on how to get the most out of the 3 days we are given for Thanksgiving break.

We go home for an extended weekend and all of a sudden you have family asking how you’ve been, friends from high school trying to find a day to catch up, hair that is screaming for a haircut, sleep that needs catching up, and a Thanksgiving turkey that you have been thinking about for months (or since last year if you’re anything like me).

So, how do you decide what to do with your newfound free time? Don’t lie to yourself and act like finals aren’t just around the corner. Any college student knows that if you are unprepared, finals will slap you in the face and remind you who is boss. With this in mind, that does not mean I will ignore my family and friends, lock myself in my room, and study all break. Nor should you. You will find me working all weekend in order to afford the time off next week. My sister recently moved to Charlotte, NC and if I had to choose between spending time with her or diving into my Clinical Immunology textbook, the answer will always be my sister. Life is too unpredictable to not put aside time for family and friends.

Take away message: Be prepared to laugh at all of Uncle Dan’s jokes.


We Are More Than What is on the Syllabus

Posted by Marketing & Communications on November 2, 2016 in University Life

After spending a summer in Santiago, Chile, I learned of the value of what can be found 5,000 km above sea level. I cannot pinpoint exactly what it was about overlooking Santiago that sparked something inside of me, but I did not return to the States with the same outlook on what I wanted from my time at UB and beyond.

I returned from Chile not just surprised with the current standing of the presidential election but also with the realization that education doesn’t (and quite frankly, shouldn’t) have to be as linear as it is often portrayed.

For example, I want to become a dentist. Okay, great. Now that that is decided…how do I get there? I am aware that I must complete my obligatory years in undergrad and then complete my four years of dental school, but what will I do during that time to grow in the way that is best for me… Or rather, is going straight through those 8 years of schooling the best fit for how I may grow to be the best I can be in my profession?

The idea of creating a more custom education for ourselves is not limited to dentistry. I think that at this time in the semester, when we find ourselves reaching for more coffee than usual, looking at the big picture will often alleviate stress. Bringing what we learn inside of the classroom to outside places is what helps us grow and what keeps life interesting. If it takes flying over the Andes mountains while 5,300 miles away from home for you to realize it, so be it. Although, hopefully there is a cheaper alternative available that doesn’t involve a trip to practically the opposite side of the world.


Nevertheless, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn how refreshing it feels to know your education and what you make of university life is entirely up to you. Not just what is on the syllabus.