happy fall

For a metropolitan area, Minneapolis sure does do fall pretty well. It’s actually really beautiful this year, the trees are taking their sweet time changing colors and the leaves are gently falling off of the trees in an elegant manner. The view outside my window has finally started to change into a lovely shade of mustard yellow, and I have no complaints.

Here are some pictures from my recent adventures:

These pictures range from spots on campus, bookstores, Uptown, Ecco, and a few others.

I’m enjoying fall while it lasts. Today was 75 degrees! In Minnesota!! I’m anticipating the day where the temperature just drops and we all freeze to death, but for now, I am enjoying it.

Rich People Problems book review

So far, college has taught me that I can do hours of homework a day yet still have hours of free time on my hands. I spend a lot of those free hours exploring the city, but for the rest, I have spent them reading.

I just recently finished Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan, and I have to say that I was thoroughly satisfied when I finished the novel.

This novel highlights the troubles that a very dramatic and wealthy few Asian families have to deal with when a family member passes away and it is uncertain as to who the her money should go to.

At first, it is very difficult to keep up with who’s who because there’s just so many characters in this book, but by the end, I was slightly more familiar (there is a chart though in the beginning for those of us who can’t keep track and get confused).

What I think that I enjoyed most about this book was that it was about a bunch of rich people and all of their rich people problems, yet there was somehow a genuine story and lesson that came out of a bunch of rich people dramatically anticipating who was going to receive the fortune, and it was even pretty funny at times, too.

I also enjoyed that the story revolved around Asian families and not the typical rich white people that we normally read about. I felt like I got a good amount of cultural education as I read it, and if a book can make that fun, I’m in.

Overall, highly recommend this book for a lightly suspenseful, genuine, and appropriately funny read.


This post is only titled downtown because I’ve spent most of my free time going/exploring downtown, Minneapolis.

Today marks the end of three weeks of classes, and many of my professors are already talking about midterms which blows my mind because I still feel like I just got here, but on the other side feel like I’ve been here forever and am not a freshman.

I’ve gotten involved with another college online publication, have talked to about five different academic/career advisors, have planned out every class that I want to take while I’m here, and have talked about doing a semester abroad and still graduating a year early. Big ambitions, I know, but I think that I can get it done. I’m also happy that everyone I have talked to has congratulated me on already being so informed and productive. I’ve gone to office hours for math every day this week to retake a factoring quiz that I finally passed, and I even scheduled my own flu shot.

It has been extremely hot here for the past few days. It is 90 degrees. In Minnesota. On September 21st. I feel like I have been lied to. Cold weather, please come soon.

I do miss New York and my dogs. I definitely stick out, being from the east coast, which makes calling the University of Minnesota home a little bit harder, but this campus truly is incredible and beautiful and there are so many things always going on and there are so many opportunities on campus as well as off if you look for them.

With all of my train rides downtown, I have definitely become pretty familiar with the city, which I take pride in because all of my new friends find it amazing that I know where I’m going and I’m from so far away and they have lived here all of their lives but have no idea where they’re going.

I am also pretty happy that I have found a specific study spot in Wilson Library that is about as quiet as possible and impossible to not be able to focus at.

To conclude; here are some cool pictures.

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stone arch bridge adventure

Yesterday was “free ride day,” so I went with two girls on my floor on a bit of an adventure.

Our goal was to go to the Stone Arch Bridge, but we didn’t really know how to get there other than it was by the Gold Metal Flour building off in the distance of the MPLS skyline.

So, we got on the Metro and rode it to the Viking’s stadium, and then walked to the building and found the bridge.

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I really wanted to get a picture of the bridge where you can see the arches, but after about five miles of walking trying to find a place where you can see that with downtown in the background, we gave up. No worries, though, I have four years to find it.

Next, we walked around on some of the cool trails on our side of the bridge, which was cool because it felt like you were in a jungle, and no longer the city. Eventually, we ended up on this beautiful street which I believe is called “St. Anthony’s Main.”


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After a little more exploring, we circled back around to sit down at Aster Cafe, which had live swing music and dancing going on, making me feel like I was in Germany for a short while. I got a pretty good iced coffee, the only downside was that it was $4 and it was quite small. College!

Lastly, on the walk home, I took some other cool pictures and realized that the Stone Arch Bridge is actually really close to my dorm.

first week of “college”

Yes, it has been awhile, but “college” so far has been pretty busy for me, which is crazy because classes haven’t even started yet.

Classes start tomorrow, which is slightly terrifying, but I’m also partly glad because I need stuff to do. Our welcome week here started out extremely busy but has significantly slowed down the past two days, leaving us with an incredibly large amount of free time.

Upon arriving in Minneapolis, we just walked around campus a bit.

The next day, we called to move in early and I decorated my dorm.

I have made a few additions since last Monday, including a large mustard floor pillow and a cool darker mustard throw pillow for up on my bed, and the Vera Bradley duffle that matches with absolutely nothing has been thrown into the closet, too.  (Our closets are WAAAY bigger than I would’ve ever expected.)

Our first big event, other than learning all about campus and being forced into making artificial friendships was the first football game against Buffalo. The school spirit and hype is awesome, but I’m looking forward to a Big10 game against an actual opponent.

Next, we made the iconic M 2021.


It took forever, but in the end it turned out pretty cool.

Overall, this week has been pretty hectic, and I have learned that knowing absolutely nobody and having to start from scratch making friends is pretty hard. Oh, and that food is really expensive. Not fair.

I can’t say much more than that considering that classes haven’t even started yet, but so far I like being in a new city and place and the potential for the future, but I do miss my friends and family from home. And my dog.

Also, here’s the view from my dorm window and then right outside of my dorm. Pretty nice, huh?

we should all be more like dogs

This is an article that I’m writing for my internship at The Odyssey Online, which I typically keep separate from my blog, but I like this one and feel like it fits, so, here we go:

We Should All Be More Like Dogs

During times like these-times of uncertainty, turmoil, and stress-one of the simplest things that we as humans can do to make ourselves feel better is to look at pictures of, pet, or wish we were dogs. Dogs rarely let us down. Dogs are loyal, have unconditional love to give, don’t care about who you are, and don’t care about what’s going on in the world around them unless it’s people, other dogs, toys, and grass.

As a human, it is often hard to feel like you can trust other people around you, even your closest friends. True loyalty from person to person is something that is very hard to come by. With dogs, loyalty is a given. Your dog will never let you down (other than tearing valuable items apart and peeing on the floor), and if they did, they probably didn’t mean it. Dogs truly are “man’s best friend.” They look at you as if you are the most amazing person alive, and it will always feel so good.

Something else that dogs also rule in is their ability to love you no matter what. Granted that you’re not absolutely terrible to your dog, your dog will always greet you with that adorable excitement-as if you’ve been gone for years-every time that you walk through your door. Even if your relationship with your dog goes south, your dog will not give up on loving you until it absolutely has to. The simplicity of love is so easily demonstrated through the bond that a dog has with its owner.

Above all, dogs are as non-judgmental as it gets. Your dog doesn’t care who you are, what you look like, or how you live your life as long as you show them that you care about them. Dogs may judge each other based on size and aggressiveness but with people they just don’t judge.

Taking all of this, imagine if people could be more like dogs based on these simple traits.

What if we could all try to be more loyal to each other, especially the people we care about? I can’t say for sure, but I’m relatively sure that dogs don’t go around stabbing each other in the back over petty circumstances.

I understand that unconditional love is far more complex for humans to implement into their lives, but maybe we could all try to be a little less harsh towards each other. Maybe we could try and look at things from a perspective of love and not hate and try and make the world a more loving place.

Lastly, and my personal favorite, what if we could just try to be less judgmental towards each other? We could all try to look at other people from a dog’s perspective. If they’re nice, loving, and caring, it shouldn’t matter where they came from, what they look like, what they believe, etc. Dogs see us all as “just people,” and that’s exactly what each and every one of us are, “just people.”

In the end, if you’re having a rough day go find a dog to pet. And if you can’t find one, just look at some pictures of dogs. My favorite is @thedogist on Instagram.

also: whenever this posts on my Facebook, Emma Irwin, please go check it out because that gets me more views 🙂 

falling in love with a polaroid

Last week I traveled to a town just outside of D.C. to do a babysitting/au pair job for three days. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for, but I semi knew the parents and really knew the baby, considering the fact that I had just babysat him at his grandparent’s house every day for a month and felt like I couldn’t say no to going to his actual house to help out for a few days.

I had to take a train from Poughkeepsie to Penn Station, and then Penn to a stop right outside of D.C. on Amtrak. The first ride down I only got to watch the sunset as I traveled down the Hudson River to N.Y.C. and I saw the night lights of Philadelphia, arriving at my final destination at about 2 a.m.

My über dropped me off in this neighborhood full of townhouses, but don’t judge yet, because these townhouses were huge, and five floors high. 

I went to bed when I got there without really looking at the house, but when I woke up I got to really see just how beautiful this house was. Each floor had a relatively different style/theme to it, the main living area/master bedroom being a stylish and chic modern contemporary, like a picture right out of the RH Modern magazine, while other floors looked like they were straight out of IKEA, and others having a sweetly rustic “Target decor” kind of look. While none of these are really my personal interior style, it was all so beautiful and definitely “magazine picture” worthy.

Until the last day, I had managed to ignore the Fujifilm Instax mini on the counter. For so long I have wanted to own a polaroid camera and take thousands of pictures with it. I figured that one shot wouldn’t hurt, so I figured out how to turn it on and shoot and I took this adorable picture of the dog in the house.

I knew that I was sold the second that I pushed that button, the flash went, and the film started to roll out. I knew that it had to be somewhere dark so I lay it in the closet and waited.

The fact that I had felt so excited taking just one little shot and watching the magic of the picture appear inspired me to finally buy my own polaroid camera.

My “one shot won’t hurt” theory didn’t go over so well, because I ended up taking six pictures, a.k.a. using 3/4 of their film pack, which I genuinely feel guilty about but don’t regret at all. I cannot wait to use my cameras in Beacon this weekend and then in Minneapolis in 3 weeks. (3 weeks? I leave in 3 weeks? What?)

On my way home, I put together my amazon polaroid shopping cart, and watched the East Coast scenery go by. The sun was out for my entire ride back up to N.Y.C., so I got to see Wilmington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia in the light which was amazing because I’ve never seen any of them that closely before.

One of my favorite shows is “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” so seeing Philly for real was really cool (even though the show isn’t actually shot in Philly).

In the end, I fell in love with polaroids. I imagined myself explaining the meanings behind my six shots as if I were a professional, and can’t wait for mine to show up at my door today.