Ana Sulentic » Ana's Recent Posts

Ana's Recent Posts

 

Recent Posts

GO TEAM USA

I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely LOVE the Olympics! One of the many reasons is that I get to watch sports that I usually don't, and get to root on team USA! One of my favorite events is the snowboarding half pipe. Shaun White and Chloe Kim absolutely killed it! If you are a big fan of the Olympics make sure to get the olympic app which has the schedule of events as well as medal count. Currently the USA has 5 gold medals, and I'm sure there are many more to come. Today be sure to check out:
  • Men and Women's alpine skiing
  • Women's snowboarding
  • Ice hockey
  • The skeleton
  • Figure skating
  • Curling
Go Team USA and GO Mohawks as both basketball teams take on their first round of the tournament this Saturday! I hope everyone has a great four day weekend!

It is crazy to say that I signed this last week to officially play division 1 soccer in college! This has been a crazy journey and so many people have helped me along the way. I am hugely thankful for my family who has never stopped supporting and encouraging me to follow my dreams. I can’t wait to be at Saint Joseph’s next year and be a hawk!! Part of me will always be a Mohawk though:) thanks again to everyone who came to watch Aj, hannah, and I sign !!
Even though living in Middletown has given me glimpses of the homelessness and poverty people are dealing with I still feel as though most of us who are middle class forget or don't really know what poverty looks like. I was recently on NPR's website and came across an article about a man named Matt Black. He is a photojournalist who has spent the past four years capturing poverty in our own country. His project, The Geography of Poverty, is powerful, eye-opening, and quite frankly, sad. We hear all the time about poverty and see images of poverty around the world, but I think the poverty that is all around us gets hidden. This projects takes off the covers and shows the vulnerability of these people living in poverty. Poverty is an epidemic and I believe the only way it can be ended is by people like you and me stepping up to be active members in our community to give back to those less fortunate than us. I would really encourage you to visit http://www.geographyofpoverty.com and use this as motivation to see what you can do to help poverty in your own town.
 
"We rise by lifting others"
 
~Ana
Saturday, January 20th marked the 2nd annual Women's March. Although it may be coined as the "women's march" this rally is so much more than just that. It is using love, friendship, and unity to stand up for minorities that are pushed down all around us. Wether you support this movement or not I am proud to live in a country where people are able to come together, are not scared to voice their opinions, and are doing so in a peaceful and meaningful way. I attended the Women's March last year and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I have had. I felt like I had contributed to a cause that I support and the feeling that what you are doing matters is priceless. I encourage everyone to use their voice and actions to stand up for what they believe in. My fellow classmates and friends, we are not to young, in fact we are the future, so why not start now. One of my favorite quotes from America Ferrara, a speaker at the 2018 March is,"The president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America. And we are here to stay..." It doesn't matter if you like the President or congressmen because at the end of the day it's all of us "normal" people that make up this country. We the People have the power and if you want a change you have to be strong enough to be a part that change.
 
~Ana

Individuality & Community

Today, 10 minutes ago :), I submitted an essay for Saint Joe's Deans' Scholarship. The prompt, while easier to write about, was one that really got me thinking. It asked about both the role of someone within their community as well as how you act as an individual and a member of the larger community. I haven't spent much time until I had to write this essay thinking about how it really is a balancing act between staying true to yourself and supporting your community. Here are some excerpts from my essay:
 

~In today’s society, it is becoming increasingly acceptable to be “different”, to stand out, or to challenge one’s community. These changes are a step in the right direction for our culture, but many people’s actions show that they are focusing only on being an individual and are forgetting about being a part of a community. Being in a community allows individuality and shouldn’t preclude one or the other. Without a community how will anyone be able to discover what they agree and disagree with, the values they stand for, or even who they really are? The community serves as a path to finding out who we, as individuals, are. 

Individuals have a responsibility to serve their community, but a community should also come together to protect and support individuals if they encounter a time of need. Each person in a community has different skills and experiences and together, we as a whole, are more knowledgeable and skilled. As said by Mother Teresa, “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” This quote highlights the fact that alone we may have great ideas, but no one great ever did anything solely by themselves and without the involvement of others those ideas cannot be achieved.

It can be hard to keep one’s individual identity within a community where the majority has very similar beliefs and opinions... I believe a community should never stifle or try to hide a minority or uncommon opinion. Instead, it is a great opportunity to become more knowledgeable about a topic, which may reaffirm or modify opinions or show a different line of thinking that leads to the ability to compromise and find middle ground. As Pope Francis perfectly states, “The future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us.’ We all need each other.”~

~Ana 

Although I have known since junior year I would be continuing my athletic and academic career at the D1 Saint Joseph's University, I was officially accepted a couple weeks ago! Getting my #redenvelope in the mail made everything seem so much more real. It really sunk in that I am going to college in 6 months! In 6 short months I will be 8 1/2 hours away from my friends, family, and everything familiar to me. This part of my life is going to be full of change and surprises and I know it won't all be easy, but I am ready to accept the challenges as I face them. For all my fellow seniors, this is a time in our lives when we get to try new things, have more responsibility, and work towards the the adult we want to be in the future. 
 
I also wanted to share that I received the highest academic scholarship Saint Joe's offers, the Presidential scholarship! I am receiving athletic money to play soccer, but the academic money is far greater. So, to all aspiring young athletes that have the dream to play in college, keep in mind that your skill may allow to get the opportunity to achieve that dream, but your performance in school will be the ultimate factor that decides wether you will actually be accepted into or be able to pay for college. Every sport is different, but most college athletes do not get enough money from athletics alone to cover college tuition. Just a friendly reminder that school is still important even if you are banking on athletics to go to college :)

As I am continuously reflecting on my childhood and dreaming about want college will be like, I find this quote helps me focus on the new opportunities rather than all that I may be leaving,
 
"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" ~C.S.Lewis
 
~Ana

New Year, Better Me

As 2017 is quickly coming to an end I am reminiscing about all the wonderful and fun memories I have had over the past year. I have tried new things, met new people, got a job, taken chances, but there are still things I'd like to improve on! This is why I am a big believer in using that New Year's motivation to not have a "new me" but instead a "better me". Each year our goal should be to keep building on our work from the previous year. Although a year seems like a long time in reality it flies by and it is crazy to think about, but we may spend our whole life working on only a few things to ultimately be a better, happier, more generous and loving person. 
 
Since the new year is fresh start for many people it typically brings a lot of early motivation. That is why I really think resolutions are awesome! They force you to  self reflect on your actions and what you can improve upon and writing them down as well as sharing them with close friends or family keeps you accountable. Many times we make way too many resolutions or ones that may be to hard to reach. Please check out Emily's latest blog for the best info on how to make and keep your resolutions :) To summarize, the best way to actually follow through with your goals is to pick a small number of things that are import to you and that you truly have a passion for reaching. When making a list I find that writing down why you want to achieve this goal/resolution keeps you motivated when looking back on them throughout the year. Of course, there will be times we feel like we have failed, but remember we are only human so, "don't be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try"
 
I am going to share my 2018 New Year's resolutions with you and hope to use my blog throughout the coming months to update you on how I'm doing!
  • Be Fit and Exercise Regularly 
    • This is a big goal for me as I want to go into college soccer in the best possible fitness level in order to play to the best of my abilities as an athlete.
  • Consistently Eat Healthy
    • Overall I am a relatively healthy eater, but (I'm sure this is relatable), I eat super well for a week then slowly slide down hill. I don't want to completely cut out desserts and snack foods, but by eating balanced meals regularly and cutting out many processed foods the occasionally treat is okay! Moderations is key :)
  •  Strengthen Relationships
    • For the people that I love and cherish in my life, mostly my family, I want to be better about using kinder words and not fighting or making a big deal about the little things especially since I will be leaving for college soon and want to leave with strong relationships so we will stay in touch even when far apart. 
  • Make New Relationships
    • Although many people think I am a very outgoing person, I never used to be, I am still shy in unfamiliar settings and I want broaden my horizons and make new friends with different interests and passions.
  • Focus/Find the Positives 
    • It is very easy to only think about the negatives when your life goes over a bumpy road, but there are positives, and there will always be positives if you remember to look for them.
  • Be Genuine
    • There are many different ways to be a genuine person. I want to be better at showing that I care about what someone is saying, showing genuine interest for someone's feelings, and being a person that people know they can rely on.
  • Radiate and Spread Happiness
    • One of the greatest compliments I have ever been given was "Your kindness is loud. It shouts in your face and your smile illuminates the room and brightens everyone's day" I truly think a simple smile can change someones day and I love being a person that can improve someone's mood. When the people around you are happy so are you. Happiness is really the purpose of life, so I want to try and spread it wherever I can.
I wish you all a fun, happy, healthy, and safe New Year! 
 
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow" -Albert Einstein
 
~Ana
 
 

Hey Mohawks! It is crazy to think that we are almost half way done with the school year. Unfortunately, that means we have final exams. Finals don't stress me out like the used too, mainly because I have figured out what works for me. I would really encourage you to do the same. Finding out what helps you study and sticking to that is a great idea. Some of the things that I always make sure to do/don't are:
  • DO: Start looking through material now and refreshing your memory by reading through notes
  • DON'T: Wait until the night before to look over material
  • DO: Set a specific time to study, but make sure to take breaks every 45 minutes or so to keep your mind focused
  • DON'T: let yourself be on your phone, talk to other people, or have other distractions
  • DO: keep all your material organized so you know what to study 
  • DON'T: take home every paper you have every done in a class, this will just stress you out
  • DO: make sure you go to sleep a little early or around your normal bed time
  • DON'T: stay up super late trying to cram information in, you will be tired and probably won't remember the info
Remember, stressing out just makes things worse! Everyone has to go through finals and even though they are 10% of your grade they aren't usually the factor that will make or break your semester grade. Good luck!
 
-Ana

The Season of Giving

Hey Mohawks! Can you believe how much snow we got yesterday?! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... hopefully this year we will actually have a White Christmas! I don't know about you guys, but Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Maybe it's because I love all the lights, trees, decorations, peppermint, and hot chocolate:) but I think it is also because people really do seem more jolly! They say this is the season of giving and while we should be giving and thoughtful all year around, it is nice to see people spreading extra kindness. For me, I like to make sure I give people a gift that is thoughtful and that I believe they would genuinely like or use and sometimes that can be a struggle. When making a list of all the people I need to get gifts for it can become quite stressful, but I heard a tip on the radio the other day that I want to share with all of you:
Most people are happiest when they get a gift of something they actually want or asked for.
Meaning, yeah that really expensive purse is awesome, but if they asked for a pair of shoes chances are they will be way more thankful and excited if you get them shoes. Don't worry about surprising someone or trying to be extra creative, many times, throughout life, the simple solutions are the best! Try either asking loved ones what they want or need, or pay attention to things they say/do that could hint at the perfect gift! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and stay on the Nice List !! 

REDO Day

Yesterday I got the opportunity to volunteer with some of my fellow senior classmates and friends at our school's REDO Day. REDO Day is a one day event for Freshman that focuses on getting to know each other better and thinking about how we treat each other. Through sharing in small groups about your life, listening to speakers about their own struggles and battles while growing up, and doing many activities showed that EVERYONE is going through something and everyone has a story. I loved volunteering because it was a great reminder for me that what you say and do can really make an impact on someone. The most eye opening activity for me personally was the "cross the line if..." where the leaders would finish the sentence and if it applied to you, you would walk to the other side of the line. Topics included an illness in the family, a parent's death, bullying, being compared to a sibling, being abused, battling depression, and many more. This was powerful because I know I gained more compassion and empathy for many people when I got the chance to see all the terrible things they are going through. Ultimately, this is the type of thing that you can choose to forget as soon as the day ends or it can be a little reminder that pops into your head every time you may want to make a joke or make a rude comeback. We are all human and do mess up, but I hope REDO Day showed the Freshman that they are not alone and they are worthy and hopefully will use the feelings experienced yesterday to be a kinder person. Remember, even something as simple as a smile could make a positive impact in someone's day:) 

Hey Mohawks! I hope everyone had a great break and Thanksgiving! We should all tell our loved ones we appreciate hem more than just on Thanksgiving, but it is a great holiday because it makes people realize how many things we should be thankful for ( and plus all that good food!!). I am thankful for so many things, but my family, friends, and amazing community are definitely at the top of that list. I actually came home from visiting my relatives early so I could go to our playoff game because this team means so much to me! I think the support that the boys got throughout the whole season was incredible and really shows why it is amazing to be a member of the Madison Community. They say all good things must come to an end and although we are all disappointed for the boys that the game didn't go our way, no one is anything but proud of them. When we look back we have to remember how far this team came. No one had even heard of Madison and our boys made the name known. It was an awesome season to get to be a part of for my senior year. I have a lot of bittersweet feelings knowing that I most likely will never get to watch the Mohawks play another game, but I'll always be a fan, even if it is from 8 1/2 hours away. It will always be #goodtobeamohawk !!

My Top TED Talk

Hey all! I'm assuming most people are familiar with or have at least heard of TED Talks, but if you haven't this organization allows people of all ages, careers, and lifestyles to give talks/presentations on a topic important to them. I love TED Talks because they are always inspirational, make me think and reflect, and portray topics in a new and exciting light. I think it is really important to take some time out of your day to learn something new or get to hear a new perspective on something. We should all strive to be constantly learning and TED talks are a source of fun, interesting, and funny stories I always find entertaining. I wanted to share my favorite TED Talk that I got the opportunity of first seeing in Middle School, and still love to this day. Enjoy!
 
 

We have all encountered someone wether at school, work, or on a team that always has a bad reputation, but they have never done anything to you personally. I can think of dozens of people who I love and would love to be friends with, but for some reason others choose to only focus on the negatives about that person. Everyone does, has done, and continues to do hurtful and wrong things, because guess what, we are HUMAN. We all make mistakes, but the single factor in judging a person's character shouldn't be all the bad things someone has done. Instead, ask is this person trying to be a better version of themselves? Are they trying to mend old relationships and take responsibility for their actions? In the end, if you choose to hate all the people who may have done you wrong you will be left with no one. As a society we learn by trial and error and sometimes that includes people's feelings. So, if someone who previously hurt you is trying to be kind and genuine, let them. Don't punish them for changing, be a forgiving person, you will be much happier. 
 
I recently spent some time with someone who made me think about what I just shared with you and who also gave me the quote, "Be kind to unkind people, they need it the most." I 100% believe in this as you never know someone's story. We interact with people all day and if we don't know them very well we automatically judge them based on their appearance and attitude, but most times if you take the time to talk to them you will find they have a reason to be upset. So I dare all of you to take the time to be nice. Everyone has a story and sometimes smiling at someone could be the best thing about their whole day. 
 
Have a great week Mohawks!
-Ana :)
Hey Mohawks! I don't know about you, but I am still recovering from our AMAZING win Friday night. That has to be the best football game I have gotten to go to and being a part of that night was such a special experience. I want to thank our entire community for coming together to support the boys. I talked to a few of them after the game and they said that it was the loudest group of fans they have ever gotten to play for and that it really made a positive impact on the game. I know I personally lost my voice because our student section was cheering the whole game! I couldn't think of a better football season for my senior year and I cannot wait to go to Lakota East this Friday to support the team again. Even if you aren't in high school or don't have any connections to football coming this Friday is about being a Mohawk and supporting a team who continues to make history, so make sure you buy your ticket at the high school this week :) 

5 Things You Should Learn Before You Turn 18

As my eighteenth birthday came and went this week I have thought a lot about both my life next year and reflected on previous years and memories. Although I don't feel any different, I know that being eighteen is just a small hint of the years to come. Here is a small list of things I think everyone should learn before they turn eighteen:
 
1. Do what makes you happy, even if it isn't what is easy or expected.
2. You really only need one true friend, but make as many friends as possible.
3. No one or anything can replace your family.
4. You never know what is going on in someone else's life and a smile can go a long way.
5. We all have dreams and you never actually fail until you stop trying to chase them.
 
Life is short, it goes by quickly. So don't let the little things in life turn into the big things. If there is anything I have realized so far senior year it is that this is my last real year with my family, friends, and a relatively care-free life. While that makes me sad sometimes I have also learned that next year is just going to be the start of a new adventure. There will always be new friends to make and new things to try. No matter what stage of life you are in, make the most out of today and everyday. As they say, "You've never lived this day before and you never will again."