I was 17 when I left my family behind in the Philippines. I vividly remember tirelessly crying on the plane, only to wake up 14 hours later to the starry lights that lit up the San Francisco hills. By the time I got out of the terminal, it was 3 a.m. I anxiously waited for my ride, clutching onto the two bulky suitcases I packed my entire life into.
Dental school can be busy. Honestly, busy might be an understatement. How we survive that busyness, though — that’s the key. For me, that’s playing and teaching the sport I love: tennis.
“Start fast. Finish strong.” These are the words around which my college career revolved. My 5 a.m. alarm frequently came as a scare to me Monday through Friday. My nights were spent falling asleep while reviewing lecture notes from organic chemistry and physiology as well as our football team’s weekly game plan installed that week.
When most people hear my path to dentistry, they think that I’m a glutton for punishment, yet the truth is, I am actually just a normal girl who, like any 18-year-old at the time, didn’t quite know herself yet. The story starts with high-school Connie, who knew she was meant …
After returning home to New York from Philadelphia at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were acutely aware of the damage caused by this debilitating virus, given that New York was widely regarded as the “epicenter” of the American coronavirus outbreak.
Ever since I can remember, I have been following in my father’s footsteps. When I was younger, that looked like “helping” him wash cars on a Saturday or watching a NASCAR race together on a Sunday after church. After high school, I followed in his footsteps by attending Clemson University, his alma mater. And what other profession would I have decided to set as my dream career other than his: dentistry!
Those who say Kris Jenner is the hardest working mother in America haven’t met my mom. Throughout my childhood, she worked five nine-hour days a week while leading my parents’ practice, and her “boss lady” cap didn’t come off when she came through the door at home.