Learn to love it. I find it much more concise than using the Eloquent that helpers and Query Builder that have been provided. Eloquent is definitely great and easy to use but I feel I don't need another syntax I need to follow as SQL queries are much more familiar to me. Additionally (I'm not aware of the full details) Eloquent is slower. So if you're planning to scale your app it's better to stick with raw queries plus they're not that hard!
To use raw queries within your Model
$myQueryResult = DB::select(DB::raw("SELECT *
WHERE appointments.aptdate = '2017-03-03'));
You'll also want to include the DB Facade at the top of your file
Though I'm successful without the full path in my projects