College

  • To the Freshman

    Wow.

    The last week has been insane.

    In the last week, I’ve said goodbye to the dorm room I made my home, my best friends and the life I created for myself. And I know a lot of you have too. So this one goes out to the college freshman, class of ’23 (I broke it up into sections and shared some of my freshman year mems so I don’t forget them).

    We don’t have it as bad as the seniors in high school or college, but I get that this is hard. We braved an entirely new part of our lives – living without our parents, making all our own decisions, meeting tons of new people – just to be uprooted once we were settling in. The only way to explain this entire thing is that … it sucks.

    But it WILL be okay.

    We have more years living without our parents, more years to make all our own decisions and more years hanging out with all those new people that we turned into our own version of family. This was just the beginning and we will have more time than just this year.

    We took on welcome week (let’s talk about how annoying the great tommie get together was tho).

    Memories: Big “thrill” factory (it was not big or a thrill lemme tell ya), walking to the cliffs at midnight to find David (just for him to be leaving once we got there smh), Roller-Skating (tyler and joey you two owe your friendship to this), five girls one can (really Ireland?? You can do better), the chapman’s (need I say more?), and Quinn and I ditching midway through Tyler’s party for some reason.

    We braved our first semester of college classes and got involved.

    Memories: My very first college class was Macroeconomics with Professor Wu and it lasted exactly 10 minutes (we love how chill the econ department is), I met some of my best friends through student government (Sophia and Haison I love y’all, we will always have the freshman semi formal in our hearts), and the honors retreat (if you were in the sauna I will have a permanent bond with all of y’all).

    We explored the city that was now our home.

    Memories: Even if that meant hopping on the shuttle (running to Greg’s added to the experience, if you took an uber there you are WEAK), Black Coffee & Waffle Bar and Bark slap (sorry for the Olivia verbage), and walking to the river at 2 am to look at your city gives you a completely new perspective on the city (sorry Nolan that we had to interrupt your sleep for girl time).

    We created relationships and bonds.

    Memories: I can say that, without a doubt, I met the people that I never EVER want to leave my life.I can’t even name all of the people that made my freshman year such an incredible experience. If I gave you more than an hour of my time per week, just know you mean something to me. I love y’all more than you even know. UST wouldn’t be home with all of you.

    I, personally, left high school never feeling more satisfied with myself. I really truly didn’t think I could go up from there. I thought high school would be my peak. I was incredibly wrong. UST in seven months created more memorable moments for me than four years at Eagan.

    And I believe that’s something important to acknowledge. We may think that when one chapter ends, the next won’t be as good. It won’t be the same, that’s for sure, but that doesn’t mean it won’t meet or exceed your expectations. So next year I might not be living in Dowling 546, I might not have brunch every weekend at the View, I might not be able to run over to Brady hall whenever I need attention…but it could be even better that that.

    So here’s to having no regrets (well except that first week of school when Olivia and I didn’t run through the fountain. Olivia, we are doing that the first day we get back). Freshman year may be over, but we have so very much to look forward to.

    Class of ’23, we got this.

    With Love, Marin

  • How to Get a 4.0 in College

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Disclaimer : These are things that have worked for me. I am giving my best advice and the strategies that I’ve implemented to help me achieve my goal GPA. Sidenote – a 4.0 is not necessary!

    Also because some of y’all might not believe my GPA, here is a little proof

    Going into college, I made a promise to myself: reduce my overall stress level. Senior year had me frail and broken. While I was motivated in previous years, it seemed to heighten with the added stress of only needing to maintain my GPA for one more year to graduate valedictorian. During my senior year I had lost unnecessary weight and was consumed by anxiety.

    While I decided to keep my same method of studying (typing my notes into question and answer format to study off of), I decided to change the amount of time I would study. Instead of burning myself out studying for 7 hours straight, like I would in high school, I would take a break whenever I could tell I wasn’t able to 100% concentrate. I would return to working on my homework when I was able to.

    5 Quick Tips for a Perfect GPA

    1. Break up your homework and study sessions w/free time!
    2. Create study guides (please please please don’t just reread your notes to study!!)
    3. Ask questions you don’t understand and answer the ones you do in class.
    4. Go talk to professors about your essay when you’re in the process of writing – they might grade it a little easier.
    5. Go into every quiz, test and exam knowing that the final result is now out of your control so you can relax!

    Detailed Look at How I Study

    Example Study Plan

    Example Study Guide

    Another important thing that I’ve learned about myself in college, skipping meals and sleep to study is NEVER okay and causes MAJOR HARM to your mental health. Please eat and sleep. Your GPA won’t matter if your health is failing.

    With Love, Marin

  • Takeaways from a Semester in College

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Phew, finals are over. I am prepared beyond belief for six weeks without school! First semester of college has taught me a lot. These last four months have been chaotic and I wouldn’t know where to begin…so I compiled some of the life lessons I’ve picked up on.

    25 Things I’ve Learned during First-Semester

    1. I should’ve appreciated welcome week and not having classes more. Like a lot more.
    2. Having a randomly assigned roommate was the best decision I ever made – luv u so much Olivia.
    3. College can turn even the most organized person into a procrastinator.
    4. The dining hall loses its pizazz after like week two, but eating is important so don’t skip meals.
    5. Don’t stay friends with just your high school friends. It is so much fun to have two different friend groups that can come together.
    6. Waking up before 7 am is now impossible.
    7. Take advantage of the on-campus/off-campus activities. You pay for those with student activity fee money!!
    8. Frat parties are not like the movies but still fun??? (idk yet I’m debating on that one).
    9. Communal bathrooms are not that bad. Except when you have to squat in the shower or someone threw up or a girl flushed their shirt down the toilet…ok yeah…it’s not good either.
    10. Getting involved on campus can connect you with some pretty awesome people who you wouldn’t be friends with otherwise (freshman class cohort > everything).
    11. Going home is weird and my bed is more comfortable at my dorm.
    12. Don’t download dating apps.
    13. On second thought…do download them (you’ll have some good stories).
    14. On a related note, public first dates!!! I cannot emphasize that enough.
    15. Repeating number 1 because it’s important – I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF WELCOME WEEK.
    16. After fall break time just moves quicker. No, I do not know why.
    17. Coffee either occurs all day for a week straight or you forget what it tastes like – there is no in between.
    18. The CASINO on a Monday night – that’s all I got on that one.
    19. Going to the gym is no longer to get fit. It is purely to avoid other responsibilities.
    20. I shouldn’t have wasted so much money on uber and uber eats….
    21. The entire boy’s dorm building has a weird smell…
    22. Roll Toms sounds better on the tongue than Ski U Mah.
    23. Yeah, counseling is “available.” But like…your crippling mental health can wait until spring semester though! We will put you on the wait list!!
    24. Finals week has no rules. PJ’s to class? Acceptable. Running on pure coffee? Not just acceptable, but you’re THRIVING.
    25. End the semester the way you started it. Even if that’s chaotically walking to the Mississippi River at 1 am to look at stars.

    With Love, Marin

  • Halloweekend Episode 1 : TV/Movie Character Costumes

    Riverdale

    If you’re looking for couples costumes, trendy costumes or something that generally fits your overall style – Riverdale is your best bet. These costumes can range from classy to sassy to flashy.

    Veronica Lodge : Simple black dress, pearl necklace, black heels, dark eye makeup, curled hair.

    Betty Cooper : Sweater, jeans, flats/booties/sneakers, soft makeup, pony tail.

    Cheryl Blossom : Red dress, choker, red lipstick, curled hair.

    Jughead Jones : Black tee, black jeans, flannel for waist, jean jacket, beanie.

    Archie Andrews : White tee, jeans, letterman jacket.

    Gossip Girl

    With the reboot recently announced a few months ago, this is a perfect throwback costume to reminisce our old favorite characters and celebrate the new ones to come.

    Blair Waldorf : White dress top, black skirt, high socks, flats, headband

    Chuck Bass : Full suit, dress shoes.

    Dan Humphrey : Kackis, dress shirt/casual polo, jacket over the top.

    Clueless

    Currently there is a major throwback to 90’s clothing. This is the perfect way to incorporate trendy clothing with a costume.

    Cher : Plaid Dress or Skirt/Blazer Set (Check Forever 21 and Target)

    Mean Girls

    This movie is basically a classic, and is perfect if you want a group costume for you and your new college besties! There are two ways you can use this movie for costumes.

    Talent Show Costume : Need a group of 4 for this one. Y’all all know the costume. To simplify it : red dress, knee high black boots, black ribbon for belt, black gloves.

    On Wednesdays We Wear Pink : Need a group of 3 (or 4) for this one. Decorate yourself a burn book and mix-match different color pinks with whites.

    With Love, Marin

  • Takeaways from a Month in College

    Hey, pretty girl!

    After a month of living at UST, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve begun to settle into college life. While some expectations I had for college were true, others were completely and totally inaccurate.

    Dorm Life

    First of all, don’t even try to schedule a bedtime. It won’t happen. Literally never. However, you will not regret the 4 hours of sleep because it was probably for a good reason. The dorms are socializing central, leaving you meeting so many new people. I was terrified of communal bathrooms coming in, but truly they are a lot better than you think AND you meet new people at the same time. Roommates are awesome (just be respectful to each other) and turn the space into your own mini home.

    Schoolwork

    There is a lot of reading and outside of classwork. College isn’t harder than high school, it’s just more. DO NOT procrastinate (I say as I write this blog post while procrastinating my two papers)! But seriously, don’t. You’ll regret it. Professors are also there to help you, so participate by raising your hand and get them to know you! You will thank yourself later.

    Meeting New People

    I was terrified of meeting new people in college. I was worried I would not be able to make any friends, or I had forgotten how to make friends. However, a month into college I have a well-established friend group with people who support me! While it’s not always that easy to make friends, it pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you grow as a person. If your school offers small dorm communities with people of similar interests, I 100% recommend it. The Aquinas Scholars Honors Living Learning Community was the best decision I ever made!

    With Love, Marin