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.

downtown

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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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.

2021.png

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 🙂 

searching for imperfections

It is currently 9:35 on a Friday night and after hours of cranking out some articles for my internship with The Odyssey, I somehow still have the inspiration and motivation to write this little post.

For whatever reason, I’ve really been noticing how much I point out the imperfections in not only other people, but myself, too, more than I should. What’s the point of being so negative? Everywhere that I go, everywhere that I see people, it’s as if my brain has been hardwired to only find flaws in what I see. “There is no such thing as perfect,” I say to myself, and when I do see something or someone who is pretty darn perfect, I then try even harder to find a flaw.

I’ve gotten pretty good at this “finding yourself” thing this past year after having completely lost who I was for almost two years because of one single person, and I can’t wait for the turns that this journey will take once I get to college, but even though I am happier in this sense and trying to really love who I aspire to be and the entire process of becoming that person, I still look for all of my imperfections. I blame society, whose cold, cold heart has taught us to seek perfection in other things and not ourselves. We know that this is a lie, too, because we can always find imperfections about other people and things thanks to society as well, but we are hardest on ourselves.

“These clothes look terrible, my arms are too fat, my thighs too big, my hair too thin and frizzy, my ankles too wide, my calves too big, my shoulders too broad, my face too round, my double chin always being present, my stomach too big waist too big hips too wide,” blah, blah, blah, the list goes on, you get the point.

These are all things that I say about myself on the daily, and while I know that I can never make them disappear completely, I have to wonder why they deserve all of this space in my brain. And when I see someone that I am either jealous of or think is really cool and being-my-friend worthy I always somehow find everything that I don’t like about them, as if I just cannot accept that they are uniquely beautiful.

We are all beautiful, and nothing is perfect. (There are some ugly people out there not because of how they look but what they do, I know, but it kills my thunder here). Why don’t we all try to find beauty in the imperfections since they take up so much of our thought space? Why don’t I try to think of my weirdly-shaped body that no one else seems to have and my ridiculously round face as things that make me unique? Things that make me different from others and beautiful as a human being. We are all beautiful whether we acknowledge it or not. We all only get one shot at life on Earth and we make ourselves miserable every single day trying to focus on making everything imperfect, when the real beauty is in the imperfections.

Search for imperfections, like we all so naturally do, and instead of searching for zealous negativity, search for the beauty, because the most beautiful things in life are found in the imperfections.

This was some truly motivational shiz. Very unlike myself. But take it as you will.

Emma

LUSH products review

For so long I have heard such great things about LUSH products. After finally deciding to try them out, I have to say that I am utterly disappointed. What happened? My expectations were so high, where did I go wrong??

I bought four products, those being the Maypole soap, the Avocado Co-Wash, the Big solid conditioner, and the Buffy body butter.

I’ll start with the best product that I bought, the Maypole soap.

maypole

For $7, this soap has done a good job. It has been about two or so months, and I still have more than half of the bar left. It smells lovely, although I was expecting a much stronger peppermint smell, not so much a candy cane smell. Would probably buy again.

Next, the Avocado Co-Wash.

avo

The one thing that I can give this thing is that it smells BEAUTIFUL. SO pretty, and it made my bathroom smell heavenly as well. But on to what really mattered, how well it worked. I don’t know if I was the problem because I didn’t know how to use a shampoo bar or what but this stuff was impossible to lather, didn’t stay together so it went really fast, and honestly made my hair look greasy and horrible because I could never wash all of it out. Really a bummer.

Next, the Buffy body butter.

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This body butter bar smells okay, but what I don’t understand is how so many reviews talked about how it went on so well yet whenever I tried to apply it to my skin a bunch of sand-like grains would come off and not melt into my skin. It felt horrible, like when your feet are wet and covered in sand at the same time. Why am I the only one who had this problem?? Just wondering.

Lastly, the Big solid conditioner.

big

This conditioner bar was equally as hard to apply to my hair and to get out, and it also smelled awful in my opinion. Like old lady or something. It says that it has sea salt, coconut oil, seaweed, lemon and lime, vanilla and jasmine, etc., but I literally could not stand the scent of it in my hair. Basically this just sucked.

In the end, I can definitely say that I will be sticking to shampoo and conditioner that is not in the bar form because this was so disappointing.

In fact, I had only bought the two bars (and yes I realize that they were not supposed to be used together because the Avocado one was shampoo and conditioner and no, I never used both of them together) because I was trying to be environmentally friendly. LUSH has this whole “naked” campaign where many of their products are not packaged in plastic, yet when I ordered the three products that were supposed to be “naked,” they definitely were not.

I don’t exactly know what I was expecting considering that my items had to be shipped, but I find the “naked” campaign misleading if it only applies to in-store products. I’m not sure if I can offer a better solution, but I have seen small cardboard containers that have an almost plastic-rubbery feeling lining that is definitely more recycable-friendly than a plastic wrapper.

I have not given up on lush, but DAMN am I disappointed.

Please leave some suggestions if you have any!!