Life

  • 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

  • The Boss Babe Quarantine Checklist

    Hey, pretty girl!

    If you’re looking for stuff to do during quarantine, I got you!

    With Love, Marin

  • Love Me Like a Girl

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Kelsea Ballerini’s new album, “Kelsea,” came out yesterday. As someone who’s been waiting for this album for months, I was incredibly excited that it came out during quarantine. It was definitely something to look forward to.

    While all the songs in this album are deep and relatable beyond belief, one song resonated with me during this time. Losing all my close girl friends this week was so very hard. Especially with the current women’s empowerment on Instagram, I believed this song was one to bring to everyone’s attention.

    After hearing the song “Love me Like a Girl,” I realized why it was so hard to leave my friends. Girls tend to form an incredibly deep bond with one another. While we all appreciate the males in our lives, sometimes we wish they would just be a little more like our gal pals 😉

    I copied the lyrics below and left my own thoughts on Kelsea’s words below them. The audio of this song is linked on the song title, as well.

    Love me Like a Girl Kelsea Ballerini

    Sometimes I don’t like what’s in the mirror
    Uncomfortable standin’ in my skin
    Yeah, sometimes I feel a little broken
    Doesn’t mean I need to be put together again

    So, when I’m cryin’
    Baby let me cry
    Don’t fix it
    Don’t try to make it right

    I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah, I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl

    I know, you don’t mean to be insensitive
    And I know, you’re never tryin’ to brush me off
    The truth is me and you, we’re wired different
    So it makes sense sometimes we get crossed

    So when I’m cryin’
    Baby pour some red
    When you want to kiss it better
    Listen instead

    I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah, I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl

    I love the way you make me feel like I’m safely
    In the palm of your hand
    And I love the way you hold me, in the dark, babe
    Yeah, just like a man

    But I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl

    We’ve all had those moments where we just hate how we look. It can be so frustrating to just look in the mirror and pick apart every small detail of yourself. Girl friends understand that. Even when you’re frustrated crying because your hair won’t function, they don’t downplay the situation. We are all wired to comfort each other and understand these insecurities.

    It can be hard for guys sometimes to understand this type of insecurity because they are just “wired different” than us. So if your man doesn’t get why you’re upset, don’t blame him. He can’t “get inside [your] head” and he doesn’t “mean to be instead.” It’s just something that us girls grasp, and sometimes we just wish our men would understand.

    Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our men. One thing our girl friends can’t do for us is give us that “in the palm of your hand” sort of feeling. So guys, try to love us like our friends do. Watch how they treat us. And that starts with “listen[ing] instead.” Let us cry when we need to. But don’t stop giving us that manly love either, we appreciate that too.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 5

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Important quote for y’all:

    “You’ll eventually reach a point in your life where you start to realize your own worth and you’ll find that you won’t take shit from anyone anymore because you’re strong enough to know that you straight-up deserve better.”

    That I do. You do too. We all deserve the best of the best. Don’t settle for less.

    I wrote this in my “Motivation for Your Monday: Episode 2” but I think it’s important to be repeated (with modifications in italics). Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person treat me how I’m absolutely not supposed to be treated. I deserve the world.

    Now guys, here’s a little one for you. Say it with me: I will treat women with respect. I will not utilize, manipulate or lie for my own benefit. I will treat women the way I would want my future daughter to be treated. I will act like a man, and not a boy, because this is 2020 and I live in a progressive society where women are not objects to be played with.

    So here’s to knowing what you deserve. Girl, you deserve the world. You deserve the upmost respect from any man in your life. If he doesn’t respect you, then he does not deserve you. Most importantly, don’t “let it slide.” Lying, cheating, manipulating or using you is INEXCUSABLE. There is zero way to come back from that!! There are a million guys who would and WILL treat you how you deserve. Don’t waste time on the ones who don’t.

    With Love, Marin

  • Let’s Share, Vent or Whatever Else you Need

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When I made this blog, I had created a vision of a safe space for people to share, come together and be themselves. I’ve had this idea for a little while but held off because I didn’t know how much interaction I’d actually get on it. Then I caught myself, why do I care??? If this posts helps out one single person, I’ll be more than happy.

    So what’s my idea? A lil’ sharing/venting circle – the online version.

    Here’s how it’s going to work. Scroll to the bottom of this post to “leave a reply.” Write WHATEVER is on your mind!! You got into your dream school?? Congrats girl, share it! You spilled your coffee on your way to class? Vent about it. If you’d like your post to be anonymous just type your name as anonymous and for email plug in my email “marinmaeblog@gmail.com”

    I plan on responding to all of y’all’s comments! And to get the ball rolling, I’ll start…

    I’ve listened to Written in the Sand by Old Dominion 30 times this morning. Country music always seems to speak to me. This song is my current mood. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll get what I mean….

    Now you go!!

    With Love, Marin

  • Gifts to get your S.O. for Valentine’s Day

    Hey, pretty girl! (and guys tuning in trying to figure out what they should buy)

    For Her

    1. Barefoot Dreams Blanket
    2. Scrunchie Apple Watch Band
    3. Heart Initial Necklace
    4. Starbucks Reusable Cup
    5. Rose that lasts for a Year
    6. Heart Shaped Sunglasses (Use my link for referral)
    7. Pearl Headband
    8. Jewelry Box
    9. Pink Handbag
    10. Anything cute & cheesy (chocolates, flowers, stuffed animal…)

    For Him

    1. Custom Leather Airpods Case
    2. Temp Control Smart Mug
    3. Wool Running Shoes
    4. Winc Subscription
    5. Something cute & cheesy (guys like to be spoiled sometimes too)

    With Love, Marin

  • St. Paul Travel Guide

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Welcome to St. Paul!! My new city!! While I haven’t had a second to do all the touristy things that St. Paul has to offer since starting college… here’s my bucket list (also including some things that I’ve done since I’ve grown up close by)!

    #9 – @seniorsbysarahchacos

    1. Black Coffee and Waffle Bar

    2. Minnehaha Regional Park

    3. Exploring Grand Avenue

    4. Saint Paul Farmer’s Market

    5. Wabasha Street Caves

    6. Como Park Conservatory

    7. Hi-Lo Diner

    8. Fitzgerald Theater / Ordway Center for Performing Arts

    9. St. Paul Cathedral

    10. Izzy’s Ice Cream Shop

    With Love, Marin

  • Madden’s Travel Guide

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I don’t know if it’s just a Minne-girl thang but there is nothing I love more than trips to the lake. Due to a legal convention, I’ve had the joy of lake life for a few days every August. Three years ago, the convention was moved to Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake – and let me tell y’all – I get more excited for these trips than large vacations!

    Our Room

    This is the upstairs area where I stayed with my sister @photosbyjannajo

    Steamboat Bay Sunrise Villa

    • 2 Queen Beds on the main level
    • 2 Twin Beds on the upper/loft level (the best view of the sunrise)
    • 2 Bathrooms (1 on each level)
    • Kitchenette
    • Balcony w/Lake Views

    On-Resort : Things to Do

    • Waterskiing
    • Paddle-boarding
    • Swimming (Lake/Pool)
    • Fishing (Boat Rentals Available!)
    • Outdoor Waterpark
    • Visit the Tennis/Croquet Club
    • Golf
    • Do a Photoshoot (explore the resort to find a gorgeous flower patch)

    Around Town : Things to Do

    • Shopping at Westgate Mall & Fun Sisters Boutique
    • Horseback Riding w/Outback Stables
    • Zip-lining at Mount Ski Gull
    • Cuyuna Mountain Biking
    • Northland Kart Kountry Family Fun Park

    On-Resort : Where to Eat

    Quick Service:

    • Parfecto Pizza
    • Madden Bros’ Market (strawberry-banana smoothie is SO good)
    • Chrissy’s Ice Cream Parlor

    Classic Dining:

    • Fairways
    • The Lobby Cafe

    Fancy Dining:

    • Mission Point
    • The Classic Grill

    Around Town : Where to Eat

    • Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill
    • Ernie’s on Gull
    • El Tequila Mexican Restaurant (tacos are THE best food ever created)
    • The Boulder Tap House
    • Rafferty’s Pizza

    With Love, Marin

  • Nashville Travel Guide: In 10’s

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When you step off the plane and into Nashville International Airport, you immediately know you’re in music city. With Nashville becoming a booming metropolis for all music, tech and bridal parties – Nashville is the place to visit right now!

    @photosbyjannajo

    Where to Stay:

    When my family was in Nashville for spring break, we opted to stay in an Airbnb. With bigger groups (aka over 4 people) it can be hard to find a hotel room. While I wished we stayed closer to the inner-city, this was a quieter area and was only an uber ride away to many top visiting locations!

    1) This specific Airbnb that we stayed in had the cutest Nashville decor and made you feel right at home. Other great extras things included board games, record player and lighted mirrors.

    2) Hilton Nashville Downtown

    3) Airbnb Nashville Cottage

    4) Sheraton Music City Hotel

    5) Airbnb Contemporary Apartment

    6) Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center

    7) Airbnb Townhome with Outdoor Space

    8) Dream Nashville Hotel

    9) Airbnb Apartment on Broadway

    10) Onmi Nashville Hotel

    What to Do:

    1) Grand Ole Opry Tour & Show

    2) Madame Tussauds

    3) Tour of the Ryman Auditorium

    4) Nashville Zoo (you can pet Kangaroos!!)

    5) Explore the Opryland Hotel (this is where I purchased my cowgirl boots)

    6) Johnny Cash Museum

    7) Belle Meade Plantation Tour

    8) Shopping in the Gulch (this is where the angel-wing mural is wink wink)

    9) Country Music Hall of Fame

    10) The Parthenon

    Where to Eat:

    1) Milk & Honey (grab morning coffee before shopping in the Gulch)

    2) Corner Bakery Cafe

    3) Aquarium Restaurant

    4) Hard Rock Cafe

    5) Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse (a lil on the pricey side but so worth it)

    6) Corner Pub Downtown

    7) Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery

    8) Sam’s Place (if you go anywhere on this list, GO HERE AND ORDER THE HAND-BREADED CHICKEN STRIPS – you will thank me later)

    9) Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

    10) Goo-Goo Shop

    With Love, Marin