3 Simple Ways to Begin Your 2018 Journey of Success

Many people might open this article assuming it will be the same as all the rest; promising unrealistic results in such a short amount of time. How to lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks!! How to kick-start your 2018 dieting program!! How to be happier in 1 day!! This article is NOT about that. It is about zeroing on yourself to see how you can set yourself up for ultimate success – no matter what branch of your life it may be in. Here are 3 great ways to start on this journey, no matter who you are or what walk of life you are in:

1. Reflect on 2017

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Before you launch into 2018, you need to take a moment to pause and reflect on 2017. What challenges did you face? What successes did you have? In what ways did you grow? In what ways did you get stuck? Think about prompts like this and brain-dump onto paper. Write it allllllll out. This can help you unlock some deep-rooted feelings and thoughts you might not even know about.

2. Visualize Your 2018


Once you have reflected on last year, you can begin to visualize this year. Imagine your best year yet…what does it look like? What do you want it to be like? How do you see yourself this year? What do you want to accomplish? What might hold you back that you want to overcome? Again, write it all out. Even if you’re not an avid journal-er, it can still make a big impact to see all that you hope for on paper.

3. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself


Yes, some people think New Years resolutions don’t last…and for them, they’re right with an attitude like that! If you want to accomplish something and you set your mind to it, you will succeed. It could be one goal, it could be 20! Just make sure they follow these general “SMART” guidelines:

-Specific: Instead of saying, I want to have more fun, make it more specific. A better alternative would be, I want to go sky-diving or I want to take a trip to Colorado.

-Measurable: For some goals, you wont need this, but for many you will. Make sure your goal can be measured in some way. For example, instead of saying, I want to run more, say, I want to run three 5ks this year because can measure the amount the races you run.

-Achievable: Make sure your goal is one that can be done by you. Sure, you may say, I want to complete a half-marathon, but you haven’t ran in a few years! For someone else who has been running consistently, this goal would make sense. But for you, start small and work from there. A more achievable goal would be, I want to finish a fun-run.

-Realistic: Don’t get this one too confused with achievable. The difference it what resources are available to you. Once you have decided if something is achievable or not, then move on to look at what you have in your life and/or community. Do you have somewhere you can work towards your goal? Do you have someone who can help you accomplish it?

-Timely: Set a time constraint for yourself to complete the goal. If you make it time-less, then you are less likely to finish it. So, instead of saying, I want to go on a trip, give yourself a deadline to do it, such as, I want to go on a trip over Spring Break.

And there you have it! Three easy ways to embark on your amazing year. I wish you all the best of luck for 2018!


Written by Hannah Garrett on 1/1/2018



What do I do now? A post-finals question we’re all wondering

YOU DID IT!! You worked so hard for so long and now you can finally sigh that breath of relief. Ahhhhhhhhhh. It feels like a piping hot kettle releasing all of its built-up steam. Instant gratification. You might look around for a second and smile, finally getting to relax. But then…this itchy, questionable feeling may spread through you saying…what the heck do I do now?! 

We go and go and go all semester long until we all reach our final destination of winter break, only to then be stumped on this irritable feeling of “too” much leisure time. Yes, that sounds ridiculous, of course college students LOVE our free time!! However, when you’re accustomed to doing so much for so long, you can start to feel antsy by the thought of three weeks of doing nothing. It feels “off”.

So…what do you do? Whether you’re going home for the holidays or clocking in a few extra work hours here and there, there are plenty of things you can accomplish over winter break. Here are some of my latest ideas for ultimate productivity:

reading winter

  • Read that Book
    • *cough*cough*, the one you’ve wanted to read for forever but haven’t given yourself any time to do so. May sound boring but will improve your ability to concentrate on something for an extended period of time.
  • Send Personalized Holiday Cards
    • Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just a simple Season’s Greetings, handwriting cards to those who are important to you during this time of the year can make a huge impact. Thank them for all they have done for you in 2017 and how much it means to you.


  • Try Out a New Recipe
    • We’ve all seen those delicious food videos plastering Facebook from time to time and tagging our friends in them…why not actually make the dang thing?! Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Holiday “thing”, you name it….just try one out!
  • Reflect on Your Year
    • How did 2017 go for you? What did you like about it? What could you have changed? How do you want 2018 to be different? Brain dump it all on paper and see what inspiration you can draw from there to create some new goals for yourself.


  • Volunteer Somewhere with an Old Friend
    • Sometimes we get in the habit of not meeting up with old friends over break., and if we do it can be dull conversation over coffee. Why not make your time with them meaningful by volunteering somewhere together? There are hundreds of ways to give back during the holidays, so here’s your chance!
  • “New Year” Cleaning
    • Take time to sort through all your “stuff”. What’s valuable to you? What is junk? What can get donated? What can get sold? Organize and divide things up to start the year off fresh and finally toss things that are taking up too much space in your life.

Dance Ur Ash Off

  • Try a New Workout Class
    • Okay, I’m a little biased here of course as a Group Fit instructor, but SERIOUSLY this can be so much fun! Practically everywhere you go there’s some sort of gym or fitness studio that offers new client deals like free first classes, free weeks, or discounted trials. You don’t need to commit yourself to a membership anywhere! Plus, if you drag along a family member or friend, it can turn out to be a really great way to bond.
  • Treat Yourself to Something
    • ANYTHING! What’s something you have wanted to do for forever but never had the opportunity or time to? Here’s your chance to indulge a little bit. It could be a massage, pedicure, haircut, shopping trip…whatever! You deserve some you-time.
  • *Lightly* Prepare for Next Semester
    • I do mean lightly when I say this. It’s not time to frantically stress over the next classes you have to take, it’s about organizing the things you need to get or accomplish before heading back to school. Slowly start to gather new pencils and stationary and decide where you’re going to get your books. Little things like this can help you start off next semester strong and less worried.

If this list doesn’t include at least one thing that interests you, make your own! Jot down some ideas that you think may fill up your time over break in a positive and productive manner. Everyone is different, so finding your own niche can help you thoroughly enjoy your time.

Again, happy end of Finals!!!


Written by Hannah Garrett on 12/16/2017



Motivation Monday: The Non-Guilty Way to Slow Down & Take a Breath

Happy Monday people! Has today been feeling like “a Monday” to you too? Cause…same!

It has become that point in the semester in which it is so incredibly easy to become stressed. Homework piles up, projects are due, and the amount of tests you are taking begin to feel questionably torturous. Sometimes, us college students can feel as this is too much of a “norm” and start forgetting what it feels like to not have so much to do. But hey – it’s time to pause that never-ending tape for a second! In order to confidently finish your semester without running out of steam, you need to give yourself a moment to relax each and every day. I know I say this a lot, but its TRUE! Everyone deserves a break, especially you. Here’s how to do it in a non-guilty way:

Meditate Before Bed

Whatever the word “meditate” means to you, do it for 10 minutes right before you go to bed. I would normally say, “Wake up 10 minutes early and do it!” but I know that can’t apply to everyone, as some of us (myself included) are literal sloths who want every ounce of sleep they can get. So basically, this is an excuse-free version. You can still do it before you get ready in the morning if that is what works best for you, but everyone can do it before climbing into bed (so do it one way or another). Here are some ideas for making the perfect 10-minute mediation session:

  • Dim the lighting so it’s soft and warm (candle-light, twinkly lights, or none at all)
  • Put on some soothing music (whatever helps you chill it, play it out loud or put some headphones in)
  • Begin to breathe as slowly as you can, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling softly out through your mouth. Imagine you are filling up a circle as wide as it possibly can go as you inhale, and shrink it down into a tiny dot as you exhale. If visualizing waves coming in and out of shore helps you breathe slower, do that instead!
  • Think about what makes you happy in your life. Start to picture all the things you are surrounded by that brings you positivity. Imagine your happy place, wherever that is for you.
  • Send appreciation out for 3 things and/or people in your life. This is especially important for being able to slow down your busy life and actually focus on “the big stuff”. Sometimes we get so frantic about the minute day-to-day details that we let our gratefulness for what we have in our lives go by the wayside.
  • Set a goal for yourself for the next day that is centered around self-care. What can you do to make yourself feel better? Can you make it a goal to go to bed earlier? Can you smile at a stranger? Can you give yourself a pedicure while listening to your favorite playlist?
  • End your meditation by focusing on nothing but your breath. Try to block out little extra noise (that’s why headphones are nice) and just breathe. Feel your chest expand and contract very slowly, letting your heart rate drop. This feels so awesome and will help you fall asleep faster as your body completely relaxes.
  • Don’t want to worry about all this ^ and just listen to someone tell you what to do? If you have Spotify, look up “Meditation Minis” and listen to any of them to help you get into your chill-out zone. Otherwise, YouTube has hundreds of free meditation videos ranging anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour. Find what YOU like and stick to it!

Send a Card to Someone


We easily forget to do this in this day and age. People are so glued to their devices that they forget about putting pen to paper. Who in your life deserves a handwritten note? You should be able to find at least one person worth writing for. Take 10 minutes out of your day to zone out and just vent all the reasons why you love this person / are thanking them. Put it in an envelope, slap a stamp on it, and send it off. People love these kind of sentiments – they mean so much more than a text or social media post. It’ll help you feel more connected to someone who means a lot to you and to take a step back in your busy life.

Go for a Walk

Even if it is just 10 minutes around campus, put some headphones in, turn your phone on silent and just enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes all we need is some head space to reboot our boggled brains, and doing this can seriously help. Whether you’re studying for an exam or trying to cram in more “to-dos”, give yourself a break now and then to take some deep breaths outside and move around. Let your brain focus on nothing but the sky, the trees, the ground, the people passing by, and so on.

Spend 5 Extra Minutes in the Shower to Zone Out


I’m sure a lot of you have done this, but do it more if you’re starting to get stressed! Letting hot water run over you as your mind just blanks out is actually so refreshing (and we all know it). Stop thinking about your work scheduled, homework list, and whether Stacy’s text was passive aggressive or not. This is YOU time!

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back!

Smile at yourself in the mirror more. Tell yourself, “HEY! You’re awesome!” cause you need to hear it. Give yourself a confidence boost by thinking of a few things each day you strive at. Remind yourself you’re doing great things for yourself and reflect on how much you’ve grown since _________. Your opinion of yourself is the most important one!

Go ahead and try at least ONE of these tips this week (preferably each day) in order to restart your head. You need (and deserve!) it.


Written by Hannah Garrett on 11/13/2017



It’s the Most Germ-i-ful Time of The Year!

So if you’re like me, you probably know this already. Once the air starts to get cool and crisp, your body suddenly decides, “Hey, you know what I haven’t had in a while? A nasty cold!” and some sort of nasty, boogery illness creeps into your every particle. Grrrrrreat, right? I started off the school year battling one cold for a few weeks, only to recently be bombarded with another one. I tell ya, my immune system is probably ticked at me for not doing a better job at cold prevention. 

So, what can you do to avoid being sick during school this fall, or at least, get sick less often? Here are some of the top ways to kick the cold to the curb:

Get Your Annual Flu Shot


You may have missed UMD’s free flu shots last week, but a ton of places in Duluth offer free or low-cost flu shots depending on your health insurance. Why should you get a flu shot though?! According to the CDC, “Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.”

Some places you can check out for your annual flu shot include any Walgreens, St. Luke Clinics, Essentia Health, CVS Minute Clinics, and many more. Also, St. Louis County public health nurses will be giving out free flu shots to people who are either uninsured or under insured, and are at least 6 months old. Dates and locations include:

  • Nov. 9, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at CHUM, 120 W. Second St.
  • Nov. 15, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the New San Marco Apartments, 230 W. Third St.
  • Nov. 16, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Damiano Center, 206 W. Fourth St.

Wash Your Hands & Use Hand Sanitizer Often


This seems like a no-brainer, but we actually don’t wash our hands enough. Think about all the surfaces and people you come in contact throughout the day; it’s a LOT! And with all that contact with other things, you are touching all the germs they carry. Then, you likely will end up touching your face in some way or another, which is how you usually become sick. Not all germs are “bad” and you are likely resistant to the majority of them, but with cold season, you should especially give your hands a good washing here and there for at least 20 seconds in warm, soapy water. Carry around a small tube of hand sanitizer (which you can find at the school store) in your bag to use during or between classes. 

Wipe Down Your Phone

On the same note of avoiding germs, your phone tends to carry a ton! You are constantly touching it with your hands (that have been practically everywhere) and then putting it close or up to your face. Grab a sani-wipe of some sort and give a good cleaning once a week. Careful not to get it wet however!

Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day


Instead of constantly sucking down pop, juice, or some fru-fru coffee drink, try to drink more WATER! We are almost chronically dehydrated in this day and age, and that is not a good thing for your immune system. Drinking more water everyone knows is important in feeling better, but we don’t think about it enough as a preventative measure for the common cold. Try to drink at least one big glass of water with each meal, and 2-3 big glasses or bottles between them.

Stay Away From Your Sick Friends


This also seems like a “duh” moment, but I am guilty of this myself. You can still be empathetic and comforting to your sick family members and friends, BUT, know that it’s okay to keep your distance. You don’t need to isolate them like a germ prisoner, but just be aware the further you are, the better!

Incorporate Leafy Greens & Fresh Fruits Into Your Diet

When you eat well, you feel well! Avoiding crappy junk food with too much salt or sugar and eating more fresh produce is a fantastic preventative measure against colds. These foods are full of nutrients, antioxidants and minerals that are extremely beneficial to your immune system. On the flip side, junk food is not good for it. Try to eat at least one serving of each a vegetable and fruit with each meal. They also make for yummy, filling snacks!

Wash Your Sheets Regularly

Also something we put by the wayside besides our health; our BED SHEETS! Especially if you are sick or have been sick, wash your sheets! Sheets soak up all of the “stuff” your body sloughs off during sleep, such as dandruff, old skin, makeup, sweat, etc (won’t continue into gross detail). Nothing makes you feel a little bit healthier than a fresh, clean pair of covers when you go to bed at night. 

When To See A Doctor


In case you do get a nasty bug of some sort, know when you should go to the doctor by identifying one or multiple of the following symptoms:

  • a temperature higher than 100.4° F
  • symptoms that last more than 10 days
  • symptoms that are severe or unusual

Do your best to avoid those icky micro-bugs and STAY HEALTHY FOLKS!

Written by Hannah Garrett on 10/17/2017


Countdown to Bulldog Welcome Week 2017: 5 DAYS LEFT!!!

Woohoo!! Only FIVE days are left until Bulldog Welcome Week 2017 begins! Are you ready? Are you excited? Are you nervous? Whatever you’re feeling, just know that you are about to enter into a week of fun-filled activities that you (hopefully) will gain something awesome from.

Day 10 of the countdown series talked about how to stay organized for the week, such as what to wear, what to bring, and to download the mobile app. Today, for day 5 of the countdown, we’re going to talk about how to make the best connections with these complete strangers you’ll have as your “Rock Group”:

Make an Effort to Remember Everyone’s Names


You’ll likely do a “name game” anyways to try to get to know everyone else in your Rock Group, but really try to remember them all. You may not befriend everyone in your group, but you may recognize one of them later on in one of your classes and become study buddies. Maybe you and another Rockie join the same club! Even if you just see them occasionally in the hallway, it’s nice to be able to say “Hi!” to someone during you first few weeks at UMD.

Actively Listen to One Another


You’re going to have plenty of opportunities to talk about random things throughout the week, but try to pay attention if you’re talking more than you’re listening. Listening to others, especially strangers, is critical in order to make a solid connection. You will learn more about someone else by listening closely to what they are saying. Also, showing non-verbal cues such as nodding is an important indicator that you are paying attention to them. So basically, don’t be glued to your phone when someone else is speaking. (RUDE!) You’d want someone else to do the same for you!



This seems obvious, but every now and then we may catch ourselves not paying attention to this phrase. Sometimes when we meet new people, we try to match our behavior and conversation to what we think they would like in another person. If you want a truly good connection with another person though, you have to drop the façade and just be whoever you already are. There’s no harm in being polite to strangers, but remember to stay true to YOU!

That’s all for today folks! Stay tuned for one more countdown series to BWW 2017 in a few days.


Written by Hannah Garrett on 8/16/2017






3 Easy Back-to-College Tips

Happy August everyone!

That’s right, I said AUGUST. It’s here now, which means the chaos of “back to school” is too. Unfortunately, next you feel like strolling around Target looking at things you didn’t go there to buy, you’ll start encountering everything marking the end of summer (*tears*).

Although you probably don’t want to be thinking about it at all right now, I have a few ideas for you to slowly prepare ahead of time for going back to school…specifically, back to college. Sure, you could wait ’til the last minute to get on top of things, but why when you have all of the time in the world right now? Soon, your schedule will feel overwhelmed again with full-time class, extra-curricular activities, and maybe even a few part-time jobs if you’re like me. Nothing feels better than going into your first day of class fully prepared to take on the semester, so consider the following to help you stay on a successful path:

Start Planning Out Your Semester


Investing in a nice, organized planner is seriously worth it if you always have a lot going on, or have a horrible memory like me. Giving yourself an easily accessed visual representation of what is coming up in your life keeps you focused and attentive to what you need to be preparing for.

If you already have dates for family events, get them in your planner. If you already know about what times and days of the week you’ll be busy or have class, write them all down.

You’ll feel more productive and less flustered at the start of the school year (which is 27 days from now, eek!) when crunch time starts to kick in. Also, take a look at UMD’s academic calendar to help you note important dates throughout the fall.

Do Some “Fall Cleaning


I’m not referring to cleaning your house here. I’m talking about purging your closet and junk drawers of all of the “stuff” you’ve been collecting but not using. Start with one category at a time (clothes, shoes, old books, school stuff, random items) and make three piles: Sell, Donate and Throw.

Some things you’ve been hanging on to could still turn you a profit via a consignment store, garage sale, or a Facebook marketplace post. It may not be much, but having some extra cash for when school rolls around is always a perk.

Other items you have you may not necessarily be able to sell, but you don’t want to throw them in the trash either. Donate them to your local shelter or Goodwill so that they can actually be used by someone else.

Last but not least, throw away some of the stuff that is just down-right gross. Pair of dirty sneakers you haven’t worn in a few years? Toss. Half-eaten bag of stale Cheetos you find under your bed? Garbage. That pile of coffee-stained papers from your 10th grade writing class? Throw it away! (Well, actually you should recycle it if it is paper but…you get the point). Stop using up your precious space with things that hold no value anymore.

Organize Your Backpack


Your backpack may look exactly how it did on your last day of spring semester classes, and you probably don’t want that for this fall. Go through it, organize your supplies, and toss the stuff leftover you really don’t need.

Buy a few things from the store for classes. You’ll want to make sure your backpack is stocked with at least one pencil so you’re not that person asking to borrow one on the first day of school. Have a couple of notebooks, and your handy-dandy planner.

Also, it might not be a bad idea to throw together a small “emergency” pack to keep in your bag. This can include all the stuff you wish you had with you during school in a pinch, like different medicines, a mini-umbrella, facial tissues, a pair of extra socks, back-up headphones and non-perishable snacks.


Hopefully these ideas come in hand when thinking about what you need to do before school starts. And whatever else you think may help you prepare for this fall semester, do it! You’ll thank yourself later.


Written by Hannah Garrett on 8/01/2017




UMD Transfer Students

Hey everyone!

This will be a very quick post letting you know more about the ah-MAZING transfer student experience you can and will have at UMD. On the university’s main website, you can read updates and news related to what us Bulldogs are up to. One of the most recent articles, which you can read here, talks about how one transfer student not only adjusted to the UMD atmosphere, but thrived in it.

For more information about the transfer student process at UMD, please go to: http://www.d.umn.edu/students-transition/transfer-students


Written by Hannah Garrett on 7/30/2017

Meet the Rockstars: Dalton Klein


  1. Name: Dalton Klein 
  2. Hometown: Layton, UT & Hudson, WI
  3. Major(s) and Minor(s): BBA- Finance Minor- Philosophy
  4. Year in school: Senior
  5. If money and practicality weren’t an issue, what would be the most interesting way for you to get around town? I would inch around like an inchworm.
  6. Your hands-down favorite place to eat in Duluth: West Taphouse
  7. One thing you absolutely need to do before you die: Wingsuit down a mountain
  8. What you wish you would’ve known when you began your first year at UMD?Getting really involved and staying busy is the best way to open up your future and stay on top of things. Also Kirby student center jobs are nice.



Written by Hannah Garrett on 7/6/2017

5 Things You Can Do Before 8AM to Have a Better Day

As I was laying in bed at 5am this morning, rubbing my barely open eyes, I listened to the birds and the occasional car go by. I was so tired. Every cell in my body was telling me, “Go back to sleep! Please!” Since I have one of the most comfy beds imaginable, I badly wanted to listen to that inner, sleepy voice. Despite the bright sunshine already leaking into my room, I felt like I could sleep for another 10 hours. What a chore, I thought to myself, wishing I could wrap back up into my blanket-burrito. I always dread getting up that early for work.

It got me thinking though. Whenever I have to wake up this early, whether it’s for work or class (or maybe a fitness class if I’m feeling that motivated), I get a lot done. Yeah, I may be extremely tired, but usually my body perks right up after a hot cup of coffee and a list of to-dos I need to accomplish. But, I could be doing a lot better. I usually hit snooze over and over until I absolutely need to get up and rush around to get ready.

I don’t ever have much time between scrambling out of bed and flying out the door. It’s a bad habit that lets me get every last millisecond of sleep I can. Noticing there’s a lot of great articles and books out there about a so-called, “Miracle Morning” or ways to make the most out of that early sunrise time, I decided to brainstorm. What are the top 5 things I could do before 8am to make my days much easier, more productive, and overall, just better?

1. Prep the Night Before

It’s easy to want to just immediately crash once you get home from work, school, the gym, or whatever other crazy schedule you may have (like me). All you want to do is rest, maybe watch some TV or read, and go to bed. The last thing on your mind is likely laying out everything for the next morning. Trust me though, it makes all the difference. Here are some things you can prepare the night before to make your morning so much easier and less frantic racing against the clock:

  • Lay out your clothes you’re going to wear
  • Pack your lunch in its bag
  • Prepare your breakfast ingredients
    • Pre-cook/chop/slice/dice anything you need to make cooking/eating faster
  • Organize your coffee materials
    • Put K-cup in slot or grounds in filter, place mug next to machine, preset the brew timer
  • Pack your gym bag, your backpack, and your day bag/purse
  • Fill up your water bottle and stick it in the fridge

2. Jump Out of Bed to Your Favorite Playlist

One thing that always helps me get out of bed with more pep in my step is by quickly hitting both of my feet to the floor, jumping up out of bed, and blasting my favorite and most energizing tunes. If playing your music out loud isn’t an option, you can still pop in some headphones to get your mind buzzing and your heart pounding. Trying to facilitate more energetic movement into your body and listening to some upbeat songs can help you start your day less grumpy and more positive.


3. Mentally Prepare Yourself for the Day

This is by far one of my favorite things to do right away in the morning. Whether you do it before or after your mini-music session, it doesn’t really matter. Take five minutes to sit cross-legged on your bed or the floor, lay in child’s pose, or sit up straight in a chair and just breathe. Focus on inhaling and exhaling, and re-center your thoughts on how you want your day to go. Visualizing what you want to do can spark immense motivation to stay productive all day long.

4. Write Down Your Top 3 Priorities

Sometimes it’s easy to get on a productive cycle and want to do absolutely everything you ever have needed to get done. “WOW I’M SO MOTIVATED!” you may think to yourself, “I’M GONNA SEE THE DOCTOR, GET MY HAIR DONE, READ TWO BOOKS AND FINALLY BUILD THAT TREE HOUSE!” Woah, woah, woah…take it easy champ. Don’t drain all of your motivation and excitement to get things done by taking on too much. Pick three things you need to do and make them your priorities for the day. Once you’ve completed them, then you can move on to more. You’ll feel much more accomplished this way!

5. Ease Your Body Into Light Movement

If you ever have worked out early in the morning or attended a 6am yoga class, you know what I’m talking about. Doing some light movement and stretching before you start your day can seriously help you feel a thousand times better. Getting your blood pumping through all points in your body can help you wake up, become more alert and feel just great. Nobody likes it when they feel stiff and sore all day sitting slouched over a chair. I guarantee you that you’ll feel much more active and productive throughout your day by simply moving more. Whether it’s going for a run, doing some pushups, or practicing some yoga, whatever makes you feel good you should stick to it. Here’s a link to a quick, 5 minute sequence you can do right when you wake up.

Maybe not all of these suggestions work for you, but I’m sure at least one of them does. Pick the ones you like and slowly apply them to your morning routine. Work them in gradually, one at a time each week, and you’ll adjust to this new-found habit of getting more done before 8am. It’s not perfect for everyone, but it definitely is a step in the right direction.

Have a great day everyone!


Written by Hannah Garrett on 6/15/2017


Why It’s Perfectly OK to Retake That Class

I woke up this morning bleary-eyed and tired, despite getting plenty of sleep. The sun was shining bright (for once!) through my blinds and I slowly but surely got out of my bed to make some coffee. If you know me personally, you know I have quite the obsession with a hot cup of joe to perk me up. So I made my coffee, ate my breakfast, grabbed my backpack, and hopped in my car to go to class

Yes, I do know that it’s summer, and I did just say go to class.

This summer I am retaking not just one, but two classes; General Chemistry I and II. I am going into my junior year at UMD this fall and I am retaking two freshman year courses. Why? Because I barely passed them. I didn’t have my head set on straight freshman year with Chemistry. I didn’t ask for help when I needed it, I didn’t study enough, I got frustrated easily by confusing concepts, and I didn’t put my 110% into it like I did with my other classes at the time. So here I am today, retaking them.


Another reason why I am retaking them is because of my unbelievably strong goal of being accepted into Physical Therapy school next school year. Chemistry courses are one of the most important pre-requisites for graduate programs such as Physical Therapy, despite its not-so-related subject area. It is a hard class, period. And graduate programs know this. They want their future students to be people who can step up to the plate when faced with a challenge. Some of the schools I am hoping to apply to require these courses to have a minimum grade in order to even be considered for admissions. Let’s just say I did not meet those minimum standards for both of these classes.

So yeah, I didn’t do so hot. And now I’m retaking them. Big whoop! Besides feeling mad at myself for having to shell out more loan money to pay for them (which I am responsible for paying back later on), it isn’t as bad as you’d think. Here’s the little secret about retaking classes…

…a TON of people do.

Depressed businessman sitting under trouble thought boxes

If you think you need to retake a class, don’t discourage yourself. Don’t say, “I’m stupid,” or “How could I get that grade? I’m a failure” and feel bad about your academic progress seeming to move backwards. Instead, say to yourself, “It’s okay, it happens,” and “I have learned something extremely valuable from this”.

And you have! Relating this back to “the real world” is important. You will fail and that’s just a fact. One day, you might get fired. You might invest in a lousy stock. You might lose a competition you trained months for. You might completely mess up a project at work. Who knows what it may be, but the fact is that failure is inevitable.

It is about what you do after the fact that matters the most. Will you pick yourself back up? Will you try again and again and again until you get it right? Will you put more time and effort into your goal? Will you gain insight about yourself and change your habits for the better? What will you do when you fail?


Retaking a class shouldn’t be as scary as it sounds. Maybe you get a much better professor who can articulate the content to you in a more understandable way. Maybe you take a summer class – like me – and realize you can have a more one-on-one relationship with your professor due to the small class size. Maybe this time around, it’ll be easier for you now that you know what’s coming in the course (the fear of “the unknown” has been completely abolished at this point).

What you should take away from this is the plain fact that when life hands you lemons and a poor grade in a class, squeeze up some fresh lemonade and retake the class. You’ll gain much more than you thought.


Written by Hannah Garrett on 5/24/2017