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Tuesday
03/27/18

I am the Bahama Mama

Posted by caaponte on March 27, 2018 in Reflection, Senior Year, Uncategorized

My favorite thing in the world is watching the sunrise and the sunset with people close to me.

Be quick about it – just like Robert Frost said, “Nothing gold can stay.” The majestic nature of both the sunrise and the sunset are so beautiful that it is impossible for them to last longer than a few minutes. The small portion of the day that they reveal themselves is what makes them so special.

Tuesday
03/27/18

Love for Squad

Posted by caaponte on March 27, 2018 in Buffalo, Family, Reflection, Senior Year

SPRING BREAK AM I RIGHT!?

I was lucky enough to go on a cruise with 30+ of my friends where we sailed off to Port Carnaval and the Bahamas. Upon returning, everyone asked how it was but WHERE do I even begin?

I can tell you we didn’t get a full group picture and that everyone on the ship knew the Buffalo group VERY well. We’re a group of charismatic people…what can I say.

I can tell you we tried new foods..and lots of it. From duck to grouper to steak to cakes and pastries and back again.

I can tell you we had no service and were all pleasantly surprised with how good it felt to step away from social media.

I can tell you to wear sunscreen and to expect sand to take days to completely come out of your hair (and suitcase).

I can tell you that the Bahamas sunrise is worth waking up early. The water is as crystal clear as it appears on Google. No one Michael Jackson himself spent $100,000+ to spend a mere four nights in Atlantis (more than once I might add). Oh, and add watching the sunset with your best friends to your bucket list.

I can tell you that it was incredible to be surrounded by people in such a great mood. The positive spirit was contagious and I can’t wait to make more memories with these amazing people.

Specifically, I can’t reveal much more. Why?

1. Because there is not enough space in this blog and 2. Because some things stay between my friends and myself.

But….I can tell you that time is the one thing we can never get back. No matter how much money you make or how successful you are, you can never go back in time.

So thank you Squad 🙂 For understanding that I’m still adjusting to my new sense of self, for understanding my limitations, for being a shoulder to lean on when I needed it most (shoutout to Jesse, Shannon, and Christina), for missing my corny jokes (shoutout to Keesh), for welcoming us all in your home (shoutout to Ebron) and for reminding me that I’m still me (shoutout to you all). I love you more than I can express in this blog post.

 

Tuesday
03/13/18

I miss you, Kate

Posted by caaponte on March 13, 2018 in Family, Reflection

Going to school means sacrificing time spent with family and friends with the hope that upon graduation, you can return to your respective home and finally catch up to those you’ve neglected during the semester. You trust that everyone will still be there. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case.

I lost a very good friend of mine this past week, 23 years young. I have trouble concentrating when my mind is already busy reminiscing. It’s hard to expect that over the duration of four years – nothing traumatic could possibly occur that may interrupt your studies. Kate wouldn’t want to distract me, in fact she’d want the very opposite. She was always adamant that I stay focused and encouraged me to finish my last semester at UB strong.

I’ve been going through old letters she had written me and I cannot believe how much time has passed. They say there is no time like the present and that’s because you can never guarantee that time will stop while you’re busy working in another direction.

She would want me to be happy and do well in my last semester. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to work harder than ever to make her proud.

Tuesday
03/13/18

Graduating? Who..me!?

Posted by caaponte on March 13, 2018 in Futuristic Thinking, Reflection, Senior Year

I have completely ignored the notices to pick up my cap and gown until now. It wasn’t really the money…it was more about facing the fact that I am graduating in just a couple weeks and I do not want to face it.

No more spontaneous trips to Buffalo’s many places to eat

No more going downstairs to find my housemates

…no more stealing my housemates’ food

No more texting our GroupMe to meet up every night of the week

No more stressing over exams (yes, I am going to miss that)

There is something so incredible in stressing over the same things with a large group of people. We are not all certain about where we are headed to upon graduation. But, that’s okay. Whether we are in Buffalo or some other city, I know we are all confidently moving to the next step.

 

Now for that cap and gown…..

Wednesday
11/22/17

It’s a Wrap

Posted by caaponte on November 22, 2017 in Fall Semester, Reflection, Senior Year

After physical testing, academic review, interviewing, and a boat load of paperwork. I am finally finished with my application to the Health Professions Scholarship Program through the United States Navy. If I’m one of the lucky few, the fingerprints I took this morning will lead to serving our military personnel as a General Dentist.

 

Are you tough enough for this?

Are you ready to wake up at 4am to workout?

Are you aware you may be at sea?

Are you able to assert yourself in a group full of veterans?

 

For me, it is a crucial portion of my ultimate goal. The combination of serving my country and traveling while utilizing the skillset I will have acquired in dental school….I cannot think of anything better.

In the next few months, so much is about to be uncovered. I have never been in a position where I won’t know where I’ll be in the next year. But in less than 20 days…. I will know where I stand for the rest of my life. This career offers so much growth and I cannot wait to begin the next chapter of my journey.

Tuesday
10/10/17

AmeriCorps Here She Comes

Posted by caaponte on October 10, 2017 in Reflection, Senior Year

Amidst the semester, it is so important to have a support group. While you’re finding your own path, it’s a beautiful thing to have someone working alongside you while they find theirs.

That being said – today my best friend is leaving for a year to work with AmeriCorps. She is older than I am and is ready to take the next step in helping others the best way she can. Her work to assist in emergency relief will bring smiles to many and her charisma will certainly lift a burden off of those who need it the most. To recognize how blessed you are and how much you have to give – is one of the most admirable qualities a person can have. And I call her my best friend.

Selfishly, I would love to have her here with me in Buffalo. But I know that I should look at the big picture. What is the big picture? People are placed strategically in our lives – at least that is what I believe – and she was here when I needed her and now its time for her to be there for others that need her.

Take a long, hard look at your friend circle. You pick out a social worker named Emily, a future Physical Trainer named Mardi, a future engineer named Zack, a future doctor named Shawn, and a future dentist in yourself. At some point we will all take a turn that we feel is best for our personal and professional development. It is the most bittersweet thing I’ve ever known. Our time here at UB has a time limit but the memories we have made here do not have to.

Moral of the story – Good luck Emily! Buffalo will miss you so much. We cannot wait to hear about the difference you have made.

Tuesday
09/26/17

90 in September

Posted by caaponte on September 26, 2017 in Fall Semester, Reflection, Senior Year

I will not be complaining about this one. It’s incredible and extremely relaxing that it is so beautiful out in Buffalo. Not a cloud in the sky and I even got myself some tan lines. I’m not the girl that gets excited for fall festivities by any means so I am absorbing every bit of sunshine that I can.

Homework outside, games outside, Bills tailgates in the blazing sun, running outside…I am not ready to give it up.

It brings about a completely different element when you can actually get work done while enjoying the sunshine. The sun makes people happy and you can see it everywhere on campus.

Wherever I end up next year and whether there are more cloudy days than sunny days – Buffalo has taught me to appreciate the little things and take advantage of the sunshine when I can.

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.