College

The Most Important College Lessons

The week before my freshman year I was in the Happiest Place on Earth reading an Odyssey Online article about the most Magical Place on Earth. Yes I was sitting in the Animal Kingdom Lodge looking at giraffes and reading an article about Springfield College that went viral, even among students who hadn’t had orientation yet. I still remember reading that article and being so excited, fast forward four years and I can confirm it is the other most Magical Place on Earth.

But I’m not here to tell you about why you should choose Springfield College. If you wanted that speech you should have come on one of my tours! Instead this is going to be what Springfield College taught me.

Spirit, Mind, and Body: Keep it balanced people

At Springfield College we are always throwing around upside down equilateral triangles. Why? Because all of those traits are equally important and if one outweighs the other, the triangle is just going to fall over.

But even at a school where everyone agrees finding balance is important, it doesn’t always happen. Some Sundays I felt like I had no time to go to church. We had one mass every Sunday at 4pm and some times I just felt like if I did go I would sit there for an hour and make mental checklists of everything I had done and everything I still needed to do. So instead I listened to my “If Not Me” playlist or I found some podcasts like Catholic Stuff you Should Know and The Christian Feminist Podcast.

That being said some semesters I was so on top on my faith. I even became a Eucharistic minister during my time at school. The priest at my school has been so supportive of us. He takes the time after mass to get to know us and he came to a number of my dance shows. He even showed up to baccalaureate with presents for the seniors!

As for the mind aspect, if any category got priority it would be mind. I mean it was college. Keep in mind that while you are in school, your grades are not the most important thing! Focus on learning what you need to but do not get caught up on being the best. Much easier said than done but two years from now, when I’m treating a patient they really aren’t going to ask me what grade I got on the third kinesiology exam.

And body, this one can get swept under the rug too. Between teaching yoga and dancing I am pretty active but I definitely did not hit the gym as much as I have when I wasn’t taking grad classes. But I have a few easy fixes for you.

First, read your notes on the bike. I’m not really into spin but sometimes reading on the bike was really nice. This also works for the elliptical but my eyes cannot focus on a piece of paper when on the elliptical. Another solution: record yourself reading the notes and then listening to them. One of my friends did this and shared her recordings with me and now I could study on the elliptical! Then I started making my own!

DISCLAIMER: In the spirit of keeping your triangle balanced, do not study at the gym unless it’s midterms/finals week! You deserve an hour to yourself!

Your People Will Find You

Senior Suite 406

One of the scariest things about starting at a new school is making new friends. I was in the unofficial Facebook group (that’s where Allison and I kinda met, kinda not, but that’s a story for another time) and Quad (an app for students to meet each other) and I was so worried about finding my people.

Lucky enough for me my best friends were all on my freshman year floor. The girls I lived with for the next three years mainly came from the third floor of Reed Hall. While we met a few more people throughout the year, our friendship started in the common room when we watched Disney movies every Friday or Saturday night.

When I gave tours at school one of the my most frequently asked questions was “What’s been my favorite memory so far?” This was definitely a tough one but I always had to explain that there’s not one thing, but it’s all the little things. One story I shared with people happened my junior year when I was with three of my roommates in our suite. One of our roommates had said, “Maya aren’t you making popcorn?” a little too late and as soon as Maya opened the microwave smoke came out. So the three of them were on top of our counters, opening windows, and fanning the smoke away from the detector because no one wants to be those people. You may be asking what was I doing? I was sitting on the couch, laughing, and filming the whole thing. It’s such a silly thing but in my opinion, those moments mean the most.

You are Your Own Biggest Advocate

Memories, my senior piece and the perfect ending to my time at Springfield College.
Photo is not mine, it was taken by our school’s photographer!

No one is going to look out for you like you can. And no one knows exactly what you need like you do. I’ve learned how to advocate for myself in a number of ways over my time in college.

The night before we graduated a few of us were sitting on the green. And someone was asking the greatest thing you did in the past four years. We went around the circle and when it was my turn I said my greatest accomplishment was taking my mental health seriously. To be completely honest, I’m not sure where that came from because I never really talk about the fact that I go to the counseling center unless someone else brings up that they go or it seems like someone should go and I tell them as a “hey there’s nothing wrong with going”. I’ve never had a problem with asking for help when it comes to getting a tutor so I don’t know why I had viewed counseling as any different. It all goes back to the previous lesson, keep your triangle balanced! If you need to talk to someone there’s no shame in that.

I’ve also learned how to advocate for myself with professors. It may seem scary because they are in a position of power, but no one is going to double check the grading rubric to make sure everything was scored right. If it is that important to you, you need to address it because no one else is going to lose sleep over it. Even if nothing ends up changing, you can go to sleep knowing you did all that you could.

Now I’m not saying your teachers don’t care about you. I’ve been fortunate to have amazing teachers my whole life and teachers really do put their heart and soul into your education. What I am saying is that everyone makes mistakes and if you have questions ask them! There’s no such thing as a stupid question, remember?

Here’s one last story about staying true to yourself. Our dance club has feedback sessions for all of the pieces in the spring show. Hear me out, getting feedback is not bad, it can be a helpful process but in my experiences it can also change the piece in a way that wasn’t the original intention. This is because feedback comes in two forms subjective and objective.

Subjective feedback is personal. It’s the “I appreciated…”, “I wonder what would happen if…”, or “I thought…”. While objective feedback is “You guys weren’t together”, “Your toes weren’t pointed”, “Your legs weren’t straight”.

I personally hate subjective feedback. While I can appreciate hearing about the moments that stuck out to people or the moments that didn’t feel quite right, that doesn’t mean I should change what I have created because someone didn’t get it. The application of feedback is tricky because each person views dance through a different lens, so how can you ever appeal to everyone in the audience? You. Can’t.

At this point you may be asking yourself, “Okay what’s the point?” The point is do not let anyone’s opinion change you if it is not a positive change. If their opinion does not help you grow, let it go. You cannot appeal to everyone, and the only person you need approval from is yourself.

And that’s it! Not all of the lessons I learned at Springfield, I didn’t think you wanted to hear about the convex-concave rules for joint mobilizations, but these are some of the most important lessons. Springfield College has shaped me into the person I am today, and while I will have student loans for years to come, the lessons were priceless.

xox,

Marissa

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College, Style

A Very Lilly Graduation Weekend

Hey hey hey! It’s my first post as a college graduate! I wanted to share what I wore for some last minute ideas for anyone heading to a graduation in June.

Up first is Baccalaureate. At our school Baccalaureate is a senior run program and it’s a chance for students in our class to reflect on their experience at school. At first I didn’t even think I needed to pick out an outfit for Baccalaureate because I was going to be dancing in it.

Oh hey look it’s Allison from peoniesandpilates

As much as I loved the purple costumes, it didn’t look quite right hanging out of the bottom of our robes so I picked another purple dress.

All Lilly everything

I was actually about to put on a black dress and then I realized I had the unique opportunity of getting my grad cap to match my dress.

A grad cap decorating post is coming soon!

While my dress isn’t available on the Lilly website anymore, I have linked a similar style here. The Mila shift is a little more form fitting than the dress I wore but it has the bows on the side!

Embellished Amber Lynn Sandal

On to graduation!

For graduation I wore the same white Lilly I wore when I graduated high school. In high school our robes were white so we pretty much had to go with a white dress but I thought it was just such a perfect dress that I had to wear it again.

The only problem? I’ve only worn it a handful of times since then but it actually started to yellow a little bit. The only thing I could think of to fix it was OxiClean, I kept hearing Billy Mays telling me it was the only way to whiten my dress and he was right! After two washes it was back to white!

The Lilly shoes made another appearance

I have linked two different white Lillys here. The first is the Aliza Midi dress, and it has very similar lace. The Maya Shift dress is also lace and it has the nicest neckline.

Let me know what you are wearing to graduation in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

College Cooking, Uncategorized

Kung Pao Quinoa

I wanted to start sharing easy recipes on my blog because as a college girl on a budget cooking can be hard! Living in an apartment on campus is so much fun, you have your own space with your friends but it comes with a huge responsibility: you have to feed yourself. While you can chose to get a meal plan, you end up saving so much money by making your own food! When I go grocery shopping I tend to stick to a budget of $20 a week. This makes me get a smaller amount of food that I tend to actually use rather than forget about.


I typically do my grocery shopping at Walmart because I find better prices there than at Stop&Shop and Big Y. The day I picked up the ingredients for this that was all I ended up getting and it only cost me $11! The recipe above makes about three servings and I’m only 3/4 of the way through the quinoa box!

This is such a great recipe because you can make the quinoa so many different ways, switch out the vegetables or the type of sauce you’re using and it’s a different meal entirely!

Step 1:

I would recommend to follow the directions on your box of quinoa to cook it but generally, if you are cooking 1 cup of quinoa you should boil 2 cups of water.

Step 2:

While the water is heating up start chopping your vegetables. I used 1 bell pepper and a handful of snow peas.

Step 3:

The quinoa should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook based on the type you get but once you have about 5 minutes left you can start sautéing the vegetables. I put a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of my pan and then I put the kung pao sauce in and dumped all of the vegetables in. You can keep frying them on medium heat until it looks like they’ve been grilled.

Step 4:

You can now take a little but of quinoa in a bowl and mix some vegetables in. If you want to add a little more kung pao sauce to the quinoa itself you can do that now as well.

Step 5:

Enjoy! You should have about two more servings of quinoa left for later!

Here’s the type of quinoa I use and a little bit of a progress picture. The sauce I bought way Kung Pao Stir Fry Sauce from Panda Express!

Huge pro tip: only fry the amount of vegetables you need! Take it from me, reheating the vegetables in the microwave is not your friend. They get super mushy and it’s like you never grilled them at all!

I’m looking forward to experimenting more with different quinoa recipes and I can’t wait to share my findings! If you have any great recipes let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

College, Friday Faves, Uncategorized

My Friday Faves: Vol. XI

Here is this week’s Friday Faves! This week is all about back to school! Let me know what your campus must haves are in the comments! Feel free to click on the link above which will take you to any of the things I mentioned!

Happy Friday!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

A Preppy Penny: Winter Staples

As much as I love searching through stores and picking out my favorite pieces to feature on Sunflowers and Seersucker I realized that’s just not me! In the new year I want to continue blogging and make sure what I put out is the most authentic me possible. That being said, I’m a college student so while I can dream about having a separate closet for all my shoes right now I’m finding the most versatile pieces at the best bargain.

So welcome to my newest fashion series: A Preppy Penny! This series is all about ballin’ on a budget and being fashionable frugal. One of my favorite ways to shop for clothes is by going to consignment stores, I’d like to thank my mom for introducing me to consignment stores because they’ve been a treasure hunt ever since. Since you never know what they are going to have, the trick to consignment stores is finding ones that take in your style. My favorite stores are on the Cape as you can always find Lilly there! For this series I’m going to be searching online for clothes I can share the best deals with you but I encourage you to start looking in consignment stores!

Without further ado… today’s outfit:

You’ve definitely seen this photo before but I love it! My jacket (Gap) and skirt (Loft) were from consignment stores but my sweater is from Banana Republic Factory.

I found a white sweater similar to mine from New York & Co. It’s on sale right now so it’s only $20!

While I couldn’t find a skirt exactly like mine J. Crew Factory had a similar grey and black plaid one for only $24.

Last but not least is the coat! My best suggestion for finding the best price would be to search black tweed coat on Poshmark. I found quite a few for as low as $25-30! I found a similar long coat from

. This is a little more expensive but in my opinion, but it’s important to invest in a good coat because you’ll wear it every day.

One last look at the final product!

Happy shopping! Let me know what good deals you find!

xox,

Marissa

College, Uncategorized

What You Need For Back To School

I can’t believe it’s that time of year already! This is one of the most exciting times of years for college kids, it’s almost time to reunite with your best friends for another year of fun! I wanted to write a post about my back to school necessities. Whether you are an incoming freshman or you’re like me coming back for year four, this post is for you!

School Supplies

  • Flashcards: my lifesaver! I would not be where I am today without flashcards. While I do still use physical flashcards make sure you check out Quizlet! It’s an online flashcard website where you can make your own cards or use another user’s. My favorite thing about Quizlet is the learn feature, it really helped me out in my Healthcare Language class as well as some of my summer classes.
  • Colored pens: I never thought I would be a colored pen person. While I do like keeping my agenda as organized and thorough as can be, I never liked the idea that I could be writing notes, accidentally use the wrong color, and then have to start all over again! Over the summer I bought some just to try and they ended up being so helpful! I personally find them the most beneficial when I’m comparing things or writing out pros and cons because I can associate different topics with different colors.
  • Sticky notes: the perfect little reminders! I have sticky notes of all shapes and sizes to make myself to do lists. You can fins these all over my agenda, laptop, desk…
  • A small stapler: Toto we’re not in high school anymore! There are no longer staplers in every room, I’ve learned this the heard way as I’ve made my way to the Rehab&Disabilities Studies office multiple times when I need to staple before I turn a paper in. By getting a smaller stapler you can throw it in your backpack so that if you reprint your essay/case report/lab report last minute you can staple it!
  • Packets of tissues: huge shoutout to my roommate Christine on this one! I never remember to buy the travel packs of tissues but she always has some on hand for when my nose will not stop running.
  • An agenda: an absolute must. I could not survive without my Lilly agenda. I’ve been using agendas since the fourth grade when our school handed them out and I have never looked back. I would be running around like crazy if I did not have all of my assignments and meetings written down.
  • A white board: another must. My summer roommates and I had a whiteboard in our living room that served as a weekly to do list where we could reading assignments, tests, and any special activities we had that week. Then we would each place a check mark next to whatever we had finished and once there were four check marks we could erase it! This whiteboard also served as an additional study tool when we would have people over, One person would “lead” the group and write down important information from a slide set. Because our summer semester was short I used my own white board to write a checklist of all the things we had due over the course of 8 weeks. While this only worked because it was such a short semester, you could modify it to be one month!

Crossing off that Foundations Exam 3 had to be the most satisfying thing!

Dorm Decor

The most exciting part of moving in to college! Getting to decorate your room!

  • Fun pillows: this is my favorite part as I absolutely love pillows!

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  • Fairy lights: you will find this in practically every college girl’s room! There is nothing better than relaxing at the end of the day with the main light off and the fairy lights in full effect. It’s the perfect atmosphere to curl up with a book or binge on some Netflix.
  • Decorative boxes: I personally need all the storage I can get and I found the cutest ones at Michael’s last year! I label each box with sticky notes (see, they are a necessity!) and I store extra office supplies, medicine, winter hats/gloves, and my pay stubs in them!

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  • Photos: your dorm is your home and you need to make it feel that way! Every year I buy a new strand of lights with paper clips, print out some of my favorite photos from the previous year, and hand them around my room. Here is the one I bought from Nordstrom Rack!
  • Seasonal decorations: again your dorm is your home! Whether it’s a Halloween door decorating contest (I won that my freshman year!) or a Christmas tree made of lights, there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit.

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While our apartment did not have a real Christmas tree I loved our little light tree and I’m hoping we do that again this year!

I hope this was helpful in making your packing list! Let me know what you cannot leave at home in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

 

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Ab’asanas

IMG_9769
It’s been awhile since I shared a Wellness Wednesday post and I wanted to update you guys on one of my favorite workout routines: Ab’asanas.

Ab’asanas was created by Morgan, formerly known as The Southern Yogi, one of my absolute favorite Instagram yogis. It’s a series of exercises that incorporate yoga into your core workout. Some of you may be thinking, well yoga isn’t that hard but I promise you will sweat. 

I have only done her first book (the expanded version) but since I am on the quest for a handstand I will be trying her second book soon! Her first book is a great introduction to yoga, if you’ve never tried yoga this is where you should start. Although I had been doing yoga for a year or so before I dove into Ab’asanas I still wanted to start with the first book because I was intimidated that some of the poses in book two, which is more geared toward prepping for inversions, would be too advanced for me. After getting the first book I was very happy with my decision because there were some moves that I struggled with. I felt so discouraged at first but as I kept working at it they came easier to me.

The thing I love the most about Ab’asanas however is that it’s adaptable. Being in class until 5 some days only gives me an hour at the gym (oh summer hours…) so I need to use my time wisely. I use the examples in the back as a template and typically do 5 exercises as a set and then depending on the time I have I will do anywhere from 3-5 sets.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress with book 2, once I get there!

If you’re looking for cute outfits to wear to the yoga studio check out my Pinterest board!

xox,

Marissa

Travel, Uncategorized

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A few weeks ago (before I sold my soul to PT school), I took the train to Boston to enjoy one of my last days of freedom. I had never been there before but I had seen a photo of the courtyard on Pinterest and it was so beautiful! I have been to Boston sooo many times I found it hard to believe I had never been there before.

I had learned about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in high school because there was a book (“The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft” by Ulrich Boser) on one of my summer reading lists. While I had picked a different book, every once in awhile I would try to remember the name of the museum that had paintings stolen that had never been recovered (more to come on that later). Then three years later I accidentally stumbled in when I found out college students can get in for $5.

Without further adieu here are some of the highlights of my trip

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Had to stop for Blackbird Doughnuts before I headed over! This time I tried the java berry donut, 10/10 would recommend.

After wandering through some of the Emerald Necklace parks I started heading toward the museum.

 

 

Following the death of her husband, Isabella Stewart Gardner opened a museum to showcase her extensive collection of art. She lived up on the fourth floor of this museum and in my opinion it looks like a regular building, so when I was looking around to figure out where I was supposed to going I completely missed it the first time.

 

 

After looking at a collection in the New Wing, I was confronted with the view I had come to see. Gardner’s “Inside Out” Venetian palazzo. I spent plenty of time just taking in that view as well as watching some people restoring a piece of the collection.

Pictured below is a piece of the woman herself. This picture was actually pretty controversial when it first appeared in the museum. IMG_9549

Two of the themes that I was fascinated by, and it appeared that Gardner was also fascinated by were the dancers and the Christian pieces. I forget if this was a Degas painting but there were a few of Degas’s dancers scattered throughout the museum. They also had quite a few religious pieces and the stain glass absolutely mesmerized me.

 

 

The science lover in me really appreciated this one…IMG_9543

Then, I spent sometime in the garden outside reading. (Go take a look at my review of Summer at Tiffany)

 

 

Here’s the showstopper…

IMG_9551This is one of the thirteen empty frames in the museum. Once a piece entered Gardner’s collection it stayed there. Keeping with her tradition of collecting art, the museum keeps the frames as placeholders.

And just one more picture of the courtyard!
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If you are ever in Boston and looking for something to do, I would definitely head here! It’s such a beautiful place and it’s easy to spend hours wandering through the rooms. I want to keep some element of surprise so I didn’t talk about the layout of the museum but it’s very intriguing!

xox,

Marissa

P. S. If you want to check out my Pinterest, you can find it here!

 

College, Uncategorized

Life Update: PT School

IMG_9813So if you read my post about having to wear professional clothing to class (you can read it here if you missed it!), you know that I am now in physical therapy school!

I have just finished my first week as a doctoral student (so crazy that I can call myself that!) so I wanted to share some things that I have learned from this week as well as orientation. While I wrote these from my experience geared to my program, I believe they can be applied to any college (or high school experience).

  1. First up is find your people. Now I have an advantage because my program is 3+3 so I already knew most of my cohort but this is something I am still actively doing. This is a journey you can’t do alone, this is a whole new world and your tests are more than just recall (more to come on this a little later) so you need to find your study groups. Then you need to find the group that you can live with. You also need to find the people you can have fun with. Now since I have been in school for a week and a half now I can’t speak on this personally but advice I’ve gotten from upperclassmen says that these do not have to be the same people. In fact, they suggest that the people you live with are people you study with and are not your best friends. You will be in class with these people all day every day, and sometimes tensions rise when you spend that much time with people.
  2. The classes are harder: the teachers no longer change the slides to lay terminology, the content is challenging, the books can be dense and dry, and last but not least you actually have to do the readings. While you may not have to do all the readings you will have to read more than you did in undergrad, I think I’ve already read 5 articles and it has been a week.
  3. The stakes are higher. In my program, and most programs at the graduate level, I am allowed to get two grades of a B- or lower. That’s right, only two. This is not just to make your life painful, it is to make sure you know what you are supposed to know. When I graduate I am supposed to be able to evaluate patients and treat them based on what I believe the problem is. While I’m sure I will make a few mistakes, I can’t be making wrong decisions on everyone I see.
  4. Have fun! The counseling center came to speak to us during orientation and one of the things they told us was to make sure to take time for ourselves. My friends the year above me told me make sure I schedule sometime for Netflix every once in a while and to make sure I get to the gym. In February I went to Boston for a dance conference and I met a physical therapist who was a dancer and now works with dancers and when I asked her how to survive PT school she told me make sure to save time for dance. Can you guess why this is a common theme? You would go crazy if school was your only focus! While this is my biggest priority at the moment, it cannot be my whole life or I would go insane. Make sure to save time for what you love!

I hope you found this post useful and can apply it to wherever you are in your academic career!

xox,

Marissa, SPT