Meet the Rockstars: Megan Sheppard

Written by Hannah Garrett on 7/22/2017


Meet the Rockstars: Savannah Nelles

Written by Hannah Garrett on 7/21/2017

Meet the Rockstars: Andrew Manoleff

1. Name: Andrew Manoleff

2. Hometown: Milaca MN

3. Major: Mechanical Engineering Minors: Mathematics, Communication
4. Year in School: Fifth-Year Senior
5. If money and practicality weren’t an issue, what mode of transportation would you use to get around town? Jet pack
6. Favorite place to eat in Duluth: New London Café
7. The thing to do before you die: Skydive


8. What I wish I would’ve known when I began UMD: Make sure you have time for yourself and don’t over do it with getting involved.
Written by Hannah Garrett on 7/20/2017

Meet the Rockstars: Kristin Larson

1. Name: Kristin Larson 
2. Hometown: Savage, MN
3. Major(s) and Minor(s): Major: Biochemistry Minor: Deaf studies 
4. Year in school: Senior 
5. If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be and why? A baby carrot because I’m really small
6. Your hands-down favorite place to eat in Duluth: I love Toasty’s but I’m a little obsessed with grilled cheese so that might be why!

7. One thing you absolutely need to do before you die: I need to go to Australia because I need to pet a koala bear!
8. What you wish you would’ve known when you began your first year at UMD: Shadow, shadow, shadow because as much as you think you might want to do a certain job you never know until you’re in the field!
Written by Hannah Garrett on 7/19/2017

Meet the Rockstars: Anna Schackmuth

1. Name: Anna Schackmuth

2. Hometown: Cottage Grove, Minnesota

3. Major(s) and Minor(s): Psychology major and Studio Art minor

4. Year in School: Senior

5. If you were a vegetable, which one would you be and why? Avocado! Technically a fruit, but I consider it to be a vegetable for sure. Favorite “vegetable” ever!

6. Your hands-down favorite place to eat in Duluth: Uncle Louis Café

7. One thing you absolutely need to do before you die: Being brought to a different country spontaneously, where I do not know where I am going until I step foot inside the country!

8. What you wish you would’ve known before you began your first year at UMD: One piece of advice I would give to incoming freshman is to be open to meeting new people and getting to know new cultures


Written by Hannah Garrett on 7/11/2017

Last Minute Finals Tips as Told by “Friends”

Ah, Wednesday. We are soooooo close to being done with Spring 2017 Finals Week! Maybe you’ve taken all of your final exams, maybe you’re stuck with the 2:00 Friday test time (cough, cough, ME!). Whoever you are, give yourself a great big pat on the back. You are only 2 days away from being officially done with being a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. Congratulations!!

BUT…in case you’re feeling like you’re in a bit of a slump on hump day, don’t fret. I am actually right there with you. Procrastinating studying for that last final? Yep, me too. Writing this blog post tonight is actually my way of doing so. I am trying my very hardest to avoid the thought of having two important tests back-to-back this Friday. So what can ya do to avert this mentality?

Get the Brain Juices Flowing!


Maybe you’re low on fuel, and your brain is responding by being quickly distracted by that phone *ping!* or to that person chewing loudly on the second floor of the library. Address your needs. Hungry? Feed yourself. Thirsty? Go chug some water. Feeling mentally fatigued? Perk up with a good cup of joe. Do SOMETHING to push your brain back onto the studying track rather than fibbing to yourself, “Just one more episode of this Netflix series…and then I’ll start.”

Isolate Yourself


Yes friends are awesome, but sometimes they can completely kill your study vibe. I bet you’re not actually working harder with a “study group” unless you absolutely do not understand something that your friend is trying to explain. You are much better off putting yourself in a distraction-free zone on the third or fourth floor of the library, or somewhere else you won’t be bothered. Turn the phone on silent and stow it away (Yes, I am a flight attendant). You will get NOTHING done with roommates or friends or Facebook chattering in your ear left and right.

Make a Rough Study Plan


Yeah, you probably know what you need to do, but are you actually doing it? Put your pen to paper and be specific. Write down every detail about what you need to do tonight in order to feel successful going into tomorrow and Friday. What parts of chapters do you need to read? What do you need to put on a Quizlet? What do you need to review on Moodle? Whatever it may be, think about it proactively and slowly start checking it off throughout the night. That’ll keep you motivated to try to finish as many things as you need to.

Take a Break When You Need It


You may be feeling pretty slumped because you’ve been working too hard. But, you might still have a million things on your plate and unsure how to complete them all in one sitting. You don’t have to! Get up every 30 minutes to an hour to stretch, walk around, use the bathroom, and wake up your brain. Plus, studies have shown that it is actually beneficial to take small breaks during studying to allow information to really sink in. Be like Ross and take a break! (Too soon?)

Hopefully this helps you out during your last few days of finals. Good luck and study hard everyone!


Written by Hannah Garrett on 5/3/2017


Why It’s Okay to Be Overinvolved (& How to Do It Right)

Hello everyone! I hope you are out enjoying the slightly chilly but absolutely beautiful weather we are having in Duluth on this wonderful Tuesday.

So, today’s post is about something I feel like is important to talk about when you’re finding your way through college and all of the opportunities it can give you. Recently, I was just elected as the Secretary of Attitudes Dance Association and the President of UMD Yoga Club. On top of that, I am the Scribe for Phi Sigma Sigma, I work two on-campus jobs, I was just certified as a NETA Group Fitness instructor, and not to mention I am an Exercise Science major striving for Physical Therapy school (which has requirements such as 100+ hours of PT shadowing). Talk about busy, right?

I am not alone though, and I know that for a fact because EVERYONE in my life right now is always insanely busy! I’m not the only nut cramming every last ounce of time in my color-coded planner to all of the things I’m involved in (Thank God).

So…is this a good or a bad thing?

The other day I was thinking this exact question to myself. Have I found myself to be a better person overall by being overly involved? I contemplated it for a moment, and I drew three big conclusions:

            a) I have always been someone who has a fear of missing out (FOMO) when it comes to opportunities. I have always been someone doing everything and anything, ever since I was little. So this just comes naturally to me.

b) By being so busy, I have to re-prioritize my time to be able to handle it all. And since I want to do it all, I have to make it work with what I’ve got. Otherwise, I have to cut my losses (i.e., what do I need to cut out that I don’t really want or need in order to have time for the ones I do?)

c) Being busy always trumps being not busy for me, as I feel extremely motivated by needing to complete certain tasks because of a time limitation or due date. If I do not have anything to do or time to spend lolly-gagging, I feel like I am absolutely unproductive and lazy.

When you read these two statements, do they apply to you? Whatever your answer may be, there’s one thing I want to explain. Being involved in a ton of activities and obligations does not mean you have no time, and it does not mean you can’t successfully “do it all” – you absolutely can.

Right now, maybe you’ve been stuck in a rut and feeling like you can’t handle all of the commitments you’ve made it college. Maybe you’ve been so close to being on top of everything, but you can’t quite play catch-up. Maybe you’re reading this and like “WTF I could NEVER be able to handle all that!” and thinking about exiting out of the screen. Whichever one you may be, LISTEN TO ME! I have some extremely helpful tips on how you can truly be successful with trying to handle it all.


Real time photo of my week last week; color coded and everything!
You seriously can’t remember everything. I don’t care if you think you have a photographic memory – ya don’t! Get a snazzy planner, use your google calendar, open your iPhone calendar, and WRITE IT ALL DOWN! Important dates, reminders, whatever your heart desires so that you know well in advance and don’t play the, “Oh crap, I didn’t know!” later on. You’re an adult now, start behaving like one who’s got it all together!

Cut Out The “Crap” that Doesn’t Bring Joy to Your Life

If it doesn’t make you happy, why the heck are you doing it?! (*Disclaimer, sorry, you can’t consider school as an example for this, we are all in H-E-double hockey sticks too with that one and it’s the one exception to this rule). If you are working at a job you absolutely loathe, GO GET A NEW ONE! If you are in one too many organizations and one of them just doesn’t seem to be fitting you anymore, SEE YA! If you are wasting all of your time and energy on someone who sucks the living soul out of you, straight up tell them BYE FELISHA! You get the picture. If you want to handle it all, you need to stop spending your precious time on things that really don’t matter.


People always ask me, “Hannah!! Why didn’t you open my snapchat from THREE hours ago yet?!” or “HANNAH!! You didn’t text me back within 10 minutes!”. Well guess what, friends? I am currently BUSY juggling all of my priorities, and the very last thing on that list is checking my phone every two seconds. If you honestly think you can handle everything you want to have in your life AND be on your phone 24/7, I don’t think you sleep. Ever. Cause that’s insane. Un-glue yourself from that tiny electronic and get s&%! done! Why waste your time scrolling through Facebook when you can be completing 5 assignments in one sitting and then have time later to screw around?

I could go on and on and on about how to be successful with multiple commitments and an abundance of priorities. But, those are the staple influential factors that help me “do it all” that I think anyone could apply to their current lives. So what are you waiting for? GO GET TO WORK!


Written by Hannah Garrett on 4/11/2017


College Cold & Flu Season: Newsflash-You’re Not Dying

So I am absolutely sure this is not the first blog post I’ve written about being sick while also being sick myself. It feels like in the past few weeks, there’s been a nasty bout of illness going around campus – heck, maybe even the entire state of Minnesota. Who knows. I have been sick for what feels like a month, with recurring episodes of waking up with a headache, struggling to get out of bed, blowing my nose incessantly, and trying to figure out how to talk without sounding like a Gremlin.

Being sick in college is tough! There’s no mom or dad to bring you some soup and tuck you into a warm bed. There’s no, “I’ll call you in sick today at school” or mental thought of, “It’s okay, I won’t miss much anyways.” NO. There’s only a big fat smack in the face of sinus pressure when you wake up and the alarm blaring at you saying, “Yeah, um, you need to school right now because you have 17 tests, 49 quizzes and 23 group projects due today…oh and don’t forget you have to work your 12 hour shift tonight at work cause your boss is this close to snapping at you and making you clean toilets.”

Even though that is a ridiculous and over-dramatic scenario, it sometimes can feel that way when we are bombarded with a virus that has us feeling like we’re on the verge of calling up friends and saying, “Just so you know, don’t let Tiffany come to my funeral.” It’s very easy assume your life is crumbling to pieces because your nose is leaking some strange-colored mucus 24/7.

Newsflash – you’re not dying.

As a college adult – which, YOU are – you are going through a critical transition period of your life from dependent teenager to sorta-kind of-maybe-independent undergraduate. You’re not about to jump into the lifestyle of a 25-year-old, but you’re also out of the house and need to be a little more on your own. That means that when it comes to being sick, you should put on your big boy/girl/etc. underwear and take care of yourself. Cause…well…sorry to break it to you but nobody else is. SO, where do you go from here?

1. Stop Stressing Yourself Out


I could say this a million times and I’m sure you’ve heard it even more. STOP. STRESSING. OUT. YOU’RE GONNA BE OKAY. Whatever it may be about, find healthy ways to minimize or stop it all together. Stress takes a toll on the immune system and if you’re getting sick all the time, you may need to take a step back and take a breather.

2. Don’t Stay Up Late on Your Phone


Go. To. Bed. Dude. You will never fully recover if you’re staring at your own Snapchat story over and over and over (it’s okay I’m guilty of it too) instead of getting a good night’s rest. Sleep is the time where your brain and body will take over and start to take care of you. Why would you want to inhibit that just to *like* another cat video?!

3. Eat Right, Drink Right & Move Right


Don’t eat garbage, don’t guzzle pop, and don’t lay around moaning in your bed all day like an injured wildebeest. You’re only prolonging your sickness OR letting one fester for the future. Eating healthy, whole foods will help properly fuel and heal your body. Drinking enough plain water and moving enough throughout the day will do the same.

If you can focus on those three things while you’re feeling gross like I am right now, then you’re on the right track. If not, you’re in for a long recovery process that will feel like FOREVER. But again, you’re NOT dying. You’ll be okay.

Happy Hump Day!


Written by Hannah Garrett on 3/1/2017

Why You Should Apply to be a UMD RockStar!!!

If you haven’t heard of the UMD RockStars, you don’t go here. Plain and simple, EVERYONE knows who they are! They are the amazing student leaders that help new and transfer students settle into the college life during Bulldog Welcome Week. If you’re a student here, you probably remember when you were assigned to a circle of new people who you never met, called your “Rock Group”, during the week before fall semester. RockStars lead this group of new students and show them the ropes of UMD. They foster friendships and facilitate great conversations regarding academics, social activities and Duluth’s opportunities.

Being able to lead these groups of new students is not only a phenomenal experience to list on your resume, but also a rewarding and life-long memory that had an impact on those around you. RockStars learn so much about how to communicate and connect with all people around them. Being a RockStar fulfills the deep desire to help others and change the world (even if it’s only a tiny bit).


You can apply for being a RockStar starting this Wednesday, February 1st through February 13th. You can find the applications by following this link. A note about the application – make sure you meet these guidelines:

  • Have attended UMD for at least one full year (two semesters) OR if you are a transfer student, one full semester
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student for the fall of 2017
  • Have a UMD GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Campus involvement through clubs, organizations, leadership experience, etc.
  • Be in good standing with the University
  • MUST be available for these dates:
    • Sunday April 2nd, 10am-8pm (RockStar Training)
    • Regular access to Moodle over the summer to participate in online discussions
    • Sunday August 20th, 6-9pm & Monday August 21st, 9am-6pm (Training Sessions)
    • Bulldog Welcome Week: Tuesday August 22nd-Saturday August 26th (variable hours each day, typically around 7am-11pm)


If you think YOU are cut out for making an impact as a RockStar, apply!! The Office of Students in Transition is looking forward to meeting you.

Happy Tuesday!

Written by Hannah Garrett on 1/31/2017

Snapshot Sunday: Duluth Coffee Company

Welcome back to a new year of Snapshot Sundays from Kate and I!! We are excited to show you all more of what we got. This semester, we have decided to focus on surrounding Duluth businesses and places to go nearby that offer secret study spots or a get-away from school. If you have any recommendations of places to do a Snapshot Sunday post on, please shoot us an email by clicking on the contact tab on the blog. We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions!

Today, we are visiting Duluth Coffee Company, a well known coffee shop in the downtown area. Kate took some amazing photos and has a quick snippet about it for you all to digest:

Destination: Duluth Coffee Company, 105 E Superior Street

Everyone loves a good cup of coffee, whether it be in the morning, middle of the day, or late at night. I myself am an avid coffee drinker and love finding hole-in-the wall coffee shops every chance I get. Being a barista, I have high expectations for a good latte, cold press or plain dark roast (of course cut with a little cream and sugar).

Not everyone is a coffee drinker and most go through a slight panic when walking into a coffee shop having endless options on what to pick. For those of you who aren’t coffee drinkers, don’t worry, they offer a great selection of herbal teas and some pretty amazing Duluth Coffee Company merchandise.  So when you decide to visit the Duluth Coffee Company, down on Superior Street, here is what to expect.


Duluth Coffee Company started their wholesale bean roasting in 2011, and added the coffee boutique in 2012. Eric Faust, the owner and roaster of the coffee company, has worked hard in providing the greatest quality coffee by hand-selecting certain types of beans. He has traveled around the world visiting select roasteries that meet his vision of quality coffee. The Duluth Coffee states, “Coffee is our passion and roasting our craft. We strive to provide our wholesale customers and clients with the best quality product possible”.


So whether you want to stop into the site location for a business meeting, friendly get together, or to hunker down for some exams, Duluth Coffee Company is your place. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is what makes this place a 10/10. If you don’t have time to enjoy a cup of coffee at the site location ,you can always stop in quick and grab some beans to grind and brew at home. The Coffee Company is open daily from 6:30AM-7:00PM, so don’t hesitate on stopping by.

-Kate Shelley (AKA coffee fanatic) 

Continue reading Snapshot Sunday: Duluth Coffee Company