How to Overcome Your Fear of Going to the Gym

The gym. It seems like a scary place. It’s filled with a lot of metal contraptions and machines that are supposed to help you work out, but in reality, you have no idea how to use them. There is also the potential of working out in front of people that you know, making yourself worry about judgmental glares 24/7. These are just some of the concerns that people like me had, making it impossible to make yourself actually go to the gym.

For a while now, I refused to go to the gym. I never bothered getting a gym membership back at home and I just chose to work out on my own. This mostly included going on runs around my neighborhood or attempting to get in 20 push ups and sit ups in one day. But neither of these exercises forced me “lift,”the deadly word that was associated with gym folk. It wasn’t until this year where I actually started to force myself to go. If I had to listen to my soccer coach complain to me again about how I wasn’t “strong enough” I was going to get severely pissed off.

But I knew I had to start going to the gym. It was only a matter of time before my fear became a reality. The biggest thing for me was that I didn’t know what to do once I got there. I saw a bunch of machines that I had no idea how to work and I saw weights that I didn’t know how to use. So on my first day entering the gym, I did what probably many people would do; I just resorted to the treadmill and called it a day. While using the treadmill was not a bad start to my gym journey, it was certainly not what I needed. I had to learn how to use weights and lift for once in my life, but I had no idea how to start.

The best way for me to begin was by following my friends every time they went. I felt less insecure when I was copying their exercises because I knew that they at least knew what they were doing. I started to understand the concept of working on certain muscle groups on certain days. They taught me how to go about extreme arm and leg days while sprinkling in ab workouts consistently. After a couple of weeks of this, I became more comfortable because I had a decent knowledge of new exercises, allowing me to form my own mental routine.

Before I could formulate a workout in my head, my friends introduced me to the amazing world of Pinterest exercises. These were extremely helpful because they included diagrams of the exercises instead of simply just stating them. They also included the number of repetitions you should do for each exercise. Using those images were a great starting off point for me, and I highly recommend them to anyone else who is just getting into the gym grind. (Click here for some Pinterest arm and leg exercises).

It’s important to remember that every gym is different. They each have different machines and different setups. Since the Emerson gym is the only gym that I have ever been to, I don’t have much to compare it to. However, from what I have heard, the Emerson gym has a very strange setup. When you take the elevator up to the gym, odds are you’re either going to the third or fourth floor. The third floor has your typical sets of treadmills and ellipticals, alongside some smaller arm, leg, shoulder, back and ab machines. The fourth floor is completely different, consisting of many weights, barbells, and bigger machines for people who really want to lift. (There’s that deadly word again). I have noticed that typically Emerson athletes like to work out on the fourth floor and Emerson students stay on the third floor. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY THIS!!

One of the worst things you can do for yourself is keep yourself from exploring both floors just because you’re scared to go up the stairs. I discovered this after my second day of going to the gym. Even though it may seem terrifying, it is definitely something that you just need to get over. It seems like everyone is judging you at the gym, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. NEWS FLASH! Everyone who goes to the gym is going to to make themselves better. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie lifting 5-pound weights or you’re a professional lifter squatting 250 pounds; no one will judge you. And if for some reason they do, odds are they aren’t properly working out themselves.

If you’re still lacking confidence, that’s perfectly fine. Next time you venture over to the gym, I suggest bringing headphones. Not only do they help block out all of the surrounding noise, but they also make you focus more on your task at hand. Also, if you aren’t sure what exercises are right for you, or you want to work out a specific part of the body, I suggest talking to the strength and conditioning trainer, Johnny. He is almost always on the fourth floor and will address any questions or concerns that you have. In fact, I recently created my own four-day workout plan with Johnny so that I can be working on specific things for my upcoming soccer season. He has definitely been one of the most helpful resources for me thus far.

Overall, going to the gym is a learning experience. Every day I am learning something new and trying out a different exercise. The most important thing to remember is to go consistently. If you are only going to the gym once every two weeks, then it’s like you’re not going to the gym at all. The more effort you put in, the more you will get out of it!


Laptop Stickers are the Windows to the Soul

When I sit in class, I can’t help but wonder what the meaning behind the colorful stickers plastered on my peer’s laptops. Laptop stickers are a means of self-expression and even art. At school, I have seen my fair share of fascinating and quirky laptop decorations. These stickers are often very funny and have even funnier meanings and stories behind them. I decided to hunt down some particular interesting laptops and decipher the meaning behind their decals!


Me! – Freshman WLP Major: I started collecting stickers for my laptop over the summer and going into college. Over the summer I took a trip out west to different national parks such as Yosemite and Death Valley National Park, where I began to collect stickers from each location I traveled to. Travel and the environment are two essential elements of my life that I wanted to be reminded of. I also have a sticker of a wolf which I think to be my spirit animal (I may or may not have taken five personality tests to decipher this as well). Lastly, I put my Yeti water bottle sticker on my laptop to remind myself of the importance of hydration in addition to putting shame on myself for spending so much on a water bottle.


Hind Bakkali – Freshman International Business Major: I found Hind typing away on her laptop at Explorateur while sipping on her latte. Her laptop grabbed my attention; particularly with the very “mainstream” sticker choices such as of Kim Kardashian and Brandy Melville… I wanted to know more. She told me that she was an international student at Harvard majoring in international business, but didn’t specify where she was from. She started collecting her stickers last year when she started college. She described the skull from Brandy Melville as her style, and she identifies with the “queen bitch” sticker because she sees herself as just that. She also had a SoulCycle sticker because she is a fan of this exercise group.


Sallie Bieterman – Senior Theatre Arts Major: Sallie shows her Jewish pride with a sticker with the Jewish phrase “Oy Vey!”, and her love of Scotland with a Scotland sticker. She describes this sticker as “constantly my mood.” Sallie also worked at the women’s march headquarters in Washington DC, (hence her women’s march sticker. One of her stickers actually brought in a fellow stagedoor manor theatre camp participant. The girl saw her sticker through the window at Bolocco and told Sallie that she was going to be attending the camp soon. Ever since then, Sallie has been mentoring this girl.


Eric Doente – Freshman WLP Major: Eric didn’t have much to reveal about his mysterious stickers besides his favorite sticker, the banana sticker. He got it an an Aminé concert which was one of his favorite things he has done in Boston this year. You might know the song “Caroline” from this band.


Cassandra Yany – Freshman Journalism major: Cassandra is from Rhode Island, which is where her anchor and PV Donuts is from. PV Donuts is a popular donut shop in Rhode Island where she usually frequents when at home. Cassandra has a New York City sticker because she wants to work in NYC in a magazine someday. Lastly, she has a “Rep” (Reputation) sticker to show her love and undying support of Taylor Swift.


Jillian Stalker – Freshman VMA major: Jillian’s laptop was definitely the most minimalistic. Jillian admitted that she was very into minimalism, and the googly eyes were representative of her eccentric, spontaneous, and unique personality. I think that the googly eyes are a great conversation starter and are a play on her last name: “Stalker.”

Gaining some insight behind the mysterious stickers that find themselves on every millennial’s laptop proved to be a very interesting project. I always thought that the majority of stickers were random, but actually every sticker seems to have some sort of hidden meaning. The next time you are checking out some of those laptop stickers or buying some of your own, try to decipher the meaning behind them!

My College Basketball Losing Curse

Now that the basketball season is over, I can openly admit that I might be the reason Emerson lost a few games… Okay, I get how silly it may sound but the curse has been proven. It all started in the game against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) when they lost by one point in a 74-73 game. After the first time, I did not think much of the loss. It was just unlucky, right? I continued going to games and they continued to lose. Some games by 5 points, some by 20 but it wasn’t until I visited Duke that I actually believed in my curse.

If you aren’t familiar with Duke basketball, it is a HUGE deal. They are known for how many college players end up in the NBA, such as Kyrie Irving. To get tickets for these games, students legitimately camp outside of the basketball stadium for weeks. I thought that my friend was kidding about how intense they get, but then I got the chance to see it before my own eyes and actually got to participate in tenting.


On the day of the game, my friend and I woke up at 7 a.m. to go and wait for the 3 p.m. game. It was exhausting, to say the least. When I arrived at the area of the tents, I was absolutely shocked to see all the trouble they go through for some tickets (which I totally understand now). They would have random “tent checks” which consists of people scurrying from their tents to get ID checks. The trick to these checks is that 6 members must be present at all times. Some people made excel schedule sheets to schedule times to ensure 6 people are in the tent. I got to participate with my borrowed Duke ID (which looked nothing like me). With my friends’ group of friends, I was able to get front row seats at the game against the University of Virginia.


I was definitely excited about the game but by halftime, I was fully in the game. I even learned all of their cheers (but I was kind of forced to or else I would have looked like an idiot on TV). This game was a nail-biter and was back and forth the whole time. The game was predicted to be won by Duke, which gave fans even more anxiety about the closeness of the score. Duke is also known for their record-breaking wins in the Cameron Stadium. The day I attended the game, January 27, was also the first time since 1973 that Duke and UNC lost on their home court. It wasn’t until after that I opened a Snapchat from my friend back at Emerson that said, “you’re bad luck they shouldn’t have lost,” that I really considered being bad luck.

To test out to see if my curse really was true, I attended an Emerson basketball game against Clark. When I arrived it started off as a close half and then they started to fall behind to Clark. I felt increasingly guilty as the game continued so I decided to leave to see if they had a better chance. My roommate was keeping updated play by play and at the last second, the game went into overtime by a 3-point shot to tie the game. After they won in overtime, it was official: I was bad luck.

After my little experiment, I came to the conclusion that I have cursed college basketball teams. As silly as it may seem, I really am convinced that I caused them to lose. Maybe next year I can test out my bad luck theory again but as of now, I am keeping my distance from any and all basketball teams. Hopefully, my curse is only on college basketball teams, I have been too nervous to see if I’ll jinx NBA teams too…

Emerson 48 Hour Film Festival

Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be watching myself acting on an AMC movie theater screen eating a banana. Low and behold, it happened, and I’m only a second semester freshman. I guess that’s just the life of a film student.

My personal experience during the 48 Hour Film Festival could probably be summed up in two words: exciting and exhausting. You would think that making a three minute film in 48 hours was pretty simple, but it was far from it. Every group was assigned a different genre to work with, so the films all varied greatly in style, mood, and theme. Our team was given mockumentary as the genre, and luckily, our idea for the film came instantaneously. We created a mockumentary about “bro culture” explaining the life of typical frat boys in their natural habitats. It was designed to be an adaptation of the Planet Earth documentary, giving it a tribal atmosphere which was perfect for describing frat boys. Therefore, we named the film Planet Bro.

the flip

I decided I wanted to get involved any way that I could, so I acted. I’m not a good actress, but luckily the entire film had a voiceover in the background, so I didn’t need to worry about actually speaking. My acting experience began at 5:45 in the morning. Waking up super early was definitely not my idea of a fun, but after some coffee and a Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast croissant, I was ready to go.

It turned out that getting our outside shots at 7:30 in the morning was perfect because the lighting was impeccable. During this time, I made my first acting debut in two different shots. One included walking by the “bros” and giving them a judgemental glare while the other one was of me giving the middle finger to a bro. It was pretty easy to do, and hilarious to watch once it was edited together.

Once we got our outside shots done, we made our way over to our director’s house in Newton, MA. Our director, Jonah Kaplan, said that “one of the hardest parts about creating the film was getting a location that would give the film a real frat house appeal. This needed to be done in order to make the whole film aesthetically pleasing.” We ended up transforming his living room and his garage to create a fraternity like setting.

Everything had to be considered, including the lighting, the music, the time of day of certain shots, and the wardrobe. It was extremely important to make sure all of these things were perfect in order to make the whole film unified and coherent.

Everyone played an equally important role in the pre-production, production, and post production of the film. One of the best roles in my opinion was played by played by Jonah Kaplan’s father. He played the Brofessor of Sociology, and became the leader of all the bros in the room. My favorite part was getting to see him walk in with smoke coming out from behind him and induct one of the bros into the fraternity. It was so exaggerated, but yet so perfect at the same time. His willingness to even act the part was incredible as well.

I played the role of the entire female population. This was inevitable because I was one of the few girls that was available to act. So as you watch the film, make sure to spot me giving the middle finger, smoking a cigarette, and eating a banana! Why do I keep bringing up the banana? Bananas were the required object that every group had to incorporate into their production. Every group also had to include the word alcove in their dialogue. After seeing all the films in the AMC theater, I was pretty tired of having to see bananas and having to hear the word alcove.

When it came time to watching all the films on the big screen, I had no idea how our film would compare to everyone else’s, or even if we had a shot of getting any award. There were about 40 groups that competed against one another, each team being allowed a minimum of three and a maximum of six members. Even though we had a max of six people already signed up to work on the film, there were about six other people helping out as well. For us, it didn’t matter who would get the prize in the end if we won, it was just about being a part of the experience.

Others who worked on the film agreed with me. Johnathan Gabert, the main bro of the film said, “Acting in this film made me understand everyone’s skill sets and how one could not have been done without the other. In the end, it allowed for us to create something great.” Jonah added, “Seeing our work become a reality on the big screen in such a short amount of time was definitely my favorite part creating the film.”



Many films got awards like “Most Comedic”, “Best Cinematography”, and “Best Acting”. After hearing all of those awards called and then hearing that our group came in first place overall was a shocking but incredible honor. We couldn’t have been more thrilled about the results. Coming in first place overall, especially as an all freshman group, was not an easy thing to do. No person could had made it possible without the other.

Even though my main role of the film was just an actress, I felt just as involved as everybody else. I had the chance to work with some very talented people and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I highly recommend participating in the 48 Hour Film Festival next semester if you haven’t already. I will definitely be getting more involved in the upcoming semesters!

Wag: Tinder for Dogs

The hardest thing for me about moving to college was not leaving my friends, family, own room, or even free food… It was leaving my dog. Sophie was everything to me, and still is. She was, in internet terms, a perfect floofer that I had the liberty of cuddling with when I was having a bad day, or when I just wanted some lovin’. My first week of Boston, I had somes serious pupper withdrawals; symptoms include: waking up in the middle of the night petting your pillow, having every background picture on your devices a picture of your pupper, and calling home and asking to speak with said pupper.

I knew this could not continue, so when I heard about doggo Tinder, (Wag), I signed up immediately. The sign-up process and background check took about two weeks, and after that I was in! I began to get notifications from ever floofer, woofer, and pupper in a 2 mile radius. I could not believe my eyes as countless pictures flooded my phone of dogs who wanted to be walked by me, me! I accepted the first walk that was two miles away in South Boston, (mistake). It took me an hour to get there and I crossed two bridges, a major highway, and traversed through questionable neighborhoods. Nevertheless, I was thrilled about my first walk and was overjoyed to meet Sam, a pitbull mix. I continued to do Wag walks for the next few months, sometimes three times a day.

Wag is easy to sign up for, and it pays pretty well. Wag takes a little under half of what they charge, but it is not bad because you still make $12-$14 for 30 minute walks and $16-$18 for 60 minute walks. Wag also gives you more money if you are walking more than one dog for the owner, and you get to keep all your tips. I get tips 80% of the time, usually $4 or more! One owner always tipped me $4.20. Every. Time. The only drawback of Wag is that the app sucks all the life out of your phone battery, so I got into the habit of bringing a backup battery when I take longer walks. Also, the Wag support line is always busy, so it is hard to get in contact with them if you need help or need to cancel a walk. I would just make sure that when you accept a walk, you are committing to that walk 100% to avoid any miscommunication.

I have gotten to meet the cutest dogs through Wag, and I got to explore parts of Boston that I would have never explored without the draw of a cute fluffer. I needed a place to share the cuteness of these doggos, so I created an Instagram called @emma.walks.dogs, where I post funny pictures and videos of all their furry faces. One memorable pupper I walked was called Savash, who I walked probably 15 times in a period of two months. Savash is a Siberian husky puppy who you bet got ALL the pets from passersby. I once walked two dogs with my boyfriend; a German shepherd mixed with a husky and a purebred husky. These wolfers looked like they were Dire wolves right out of Game of Thrones. I would not have been able to walk them by myself, as they were as tall as my belly button and weighed around 70-80 pounds! Needless to say, Wag is the best experience and definitely something to get involved in if you miss your pupper from home or just want some furry cuddles from a friendly face.

Wag is definitely worth it, especially if your want to make some extra cash by hanging with adorable puppies… What isn’t there to love?

Being The Change

The events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia last week are nothing short of appalling. Watching the news has made me feel so incredibly sick. I’m upset, angry, and looking to make a change. As a young adult in the world today I am in an important place of power. I have the power to control the future of our nation by speaking up about important issues. I encourage you to do the same because every voice is valuable!

Take an inside look into what happened in Charlottesville by checking out this documentary created by VICE. The footage gives great insight into the minds of some of the individuals involved with the rally and how their actions affected those around them.

I hope this film made you just as upset as it made me. Getting enraged is what will spark the fire to make a change. I wish I could show this film to every single person my age to create a reaction. It is one thing to read a tweet about what happened in Charlottesville, but taking the time to put yourself in the shoes of those who were there when it happened creates a whole differe

This past Saturday there was a free speech rally in the Boston common, and I have never been more proud of my city. Hate was met by an outpouring of love. The counter protest consisted of at least 30,000 individuals marching to fight bigotry and hate. The rally was for the most part peaceful and no extreme acts of violence were reported by the Boston police. There is just as much room for love in this world as there is for hate.

Boston “Free Speech” Counter Protest – Aug. 19, 2017

I was feeling down and upset last week but after Saturday I felt my body fill up with hope. Boston proved that love can overcome hate.

As far as what you can do, reach out to Republican state reps and speak up about the change you wish to see in our government. Every voice is important and speaking up is the best thing you can do at this time. We must bring these issues to the attention of local officials who have the power to invoke greater change. Every individual can impact a bigger change.

Check out this link for more information:

Resist, resist, resist. Combat hate with love. Persevere. There are things going on everyday that inspire me to take action and I hope that more young people will educate themselves and get involved because we are the change.

What I’ve Learned In 20 Years

Yesterday I turned 20 and I have had time to reflect on a lot of things. The greater part of the last 20 years has been filled with laughter, love, and adventure. Just the way I like it. I decided to create a list of lessons I’ve learned thus far to analyze how I’ve grown over the past 2 decades.

Failure is a Necessity

Recently I have been faced with a fair amount of failure and rejection but it’s only made me stronger. I hope for the best but have learned that I cannot control everything and failure is good for me. I have learned to appreciate the philosophy that everything happens for a reason. I can choose to focus on all of the negativity, but I’ve learned to move past it and continue working for what I want.  A lot of rejection in a row can take a toll on a person but rising up through the pain is such a rewarding feeling. There is hope out there, but only if you keep trying no matter how many people tell you no. Keep persevering and keep telling yourself you are worth it. I’ve spent hours creating cover letters for internships that never even got back to me. I applied to jobs where the interview went really well and still never got the position. I’ve come to realize that I’m not what everyone is looking for. There is someone out there coveting your personality and skill set, keep looking for it.

Love Gets You Through

No matter how many bad days I have, the people I love are always there to make me feel better. Keeping steady relationships with family, friends, a significant other — I believe those are the foundation of a good life. The people I trust are everything to me and having a solid support system has allowed me to learn more about myself than I ever thought possible. These people have taught me about what I need in a relationship and what I am expected to give back to maintain mutual trust and respect. If you give love, you will get love. Whether it’s with your friends, your family, or your significant other. There is always room to invite love into your life and I have learned to welcome the love with open arms. In a way I believe that love is at the center of human existence because it gives us a deeper purpose and validation in the world. There are most definitely times of heartbreak and loneliness, but no matter where those feelings fall they can be replaced with love. Friendship love is one of the most beautiful kinds because you pick your friends. When you score with someone who truly cares and understands you, it is quite an amazing feeling.

You Can’t Be Friends With Everyone

Work has taught me about this most. I worked in a restaurant for about two years and I most definitely did not like everyone I worked with. I had some great friends, but people who didn’t carry their own weight always got on my nerves. I learned how to take a deep breath, focus on myself and give my best personal performance. I did my job and I did it well, which is all that I can ask of myself. I’m not going to like everyone and not everyone is going to like me. That’s just the way life is and it took me a long time to realize that. In grade school you are, for the most part, surrounded by the same people who you’ve grown up with since kindergarten. When you enter the real world after high school there are people you’ve never met before that have no reason to dislike you, but will. I learned this lesson going into college and I have accepted the fact that that’s how life goes. I am myself and simply because of that people won’t like me…and it’s okay. This is a big one for me. In high school it was difficult for me to get caught involved with petty friend issues and problems with my family. Looking back on how I’ve matured since then is really a rewarding feeling because I’ve learned to brush things off a lot easier. I won’t deny that I’m a sensitive person, but I try to reason with my emotions to not take things too personally. When I’m faced with a problem I think about where the other person is coming from and how I can use that information to gauge the situation. This mental process helps me let things go a lot easier and in return lowers my stress levels. I used to take it so personally when a customer wouldn’t be friendly to me, but now I think about how I am doing my best and if they’re having a bad day I can’t change that and I hope they feel better. The more I think about letting things go and filling my life with peace, the more it takes form and happens.

Me Time

I am a busy bee all the time. If you aren’t busy 24/7 do you even go to Emerson? I balance my life equally between academics, work, friends, and myself. There have been many times when I forget to care for myself and I feel overworked very quickly. By age 20, two years into college, I have found a a way to prioritize myself as well. Taking nights off to drink tea and do absolutely nothing. The thought sounds disgusting… doing nothing.

However, I need to do nothing sometimes. Alone time is sacred to me. Just to unwind, yoga breath, and have everything be still for a little while. Boston is a fast paced city anyways so it can be difficult to take a step back. Find your happy place and soak in the solitude. This lesson might be the most important thing I’ve learned over the past 20 years. It has led to more happiness for myself and those around me. It allows me time to think about everything going on and evaluate if I am truly happy or not. I cut out any negativity and focus on all of the great things going on in my life. There is no better feeling than when you feel content with the decisions you’ve made for yourself. Don’t be afraid to be selfish!!!

I’m excited to be 20 and break into a new decade filled with new challenges, adventures, and life lessons. Expect another article in 10 years about what I’ve learned by 30…hopefully some of the lessons listed above will still ring true with me.

Being Present


Credit: Pinterest

Last week I came across the above quote and it really spoke to me. Being physically present and being mentally present have two completely different definitions. Lately I have been feeling the absence of deep, meaningful conversations in my life and I yearn for that void to be filled.

I cannot remember the last time a phone wasn’t pulled out at some point during a conversation. When hanging out with a group of friends all it takes is one person to pick up their phone and everyone feels obligated to check theirs too. We have grown accustomed to the presence of technology and it is getting harder and harder to be fully present in day to day life. The truth about technology is saddening because no one my age knows how to entertain themselves without a screen. Someone whip out Yahtzee or Pictionary, PLEASE.

It may seem ridiculous to live without technology but pulling back from constant screen use is a great way to slow down your brain. Lock your phone and instead pass some time by reading, journaling or drawing…unleash the creativity! Once enough time is focused in a more constructive place than the depths of someone’s Instagram page a feeling of relaxation arises. There will always be time to be engrossed in social media but I hope more than anything that young people can learn to stay present in the more simple joys of life.

When having a conversation, I try to remind myself to continuously look someone in the eye and ask questions about what they are saying. That is the best way to show your true interest in another person. It is just too easy to get lost behind a screen when the world is going by around us. We walk around engrossed in the latest Tasty video or Snapchat story, completely oblivious to the beauty passing by with every step.

 phones GIF

It may seem impossible to go a full day without your phone but the experience will allow you to see the world a little differently. You don’t need that perfectly staged Snapchat video or Instagram story to show that you are having fun with your friends. There is definitely pressure in our world today about posting constantly to ensure that your followers know you are maintaining an interesting life. Your friends that you are hanging out with already know how much fun you are. Pictures and videos are great, but soaking in the memories with your eyes and ears is more organic and fulfilling.

It is always great to snap some pics of a new place or some cool food, but save the editing and posting until after in order to enjoy the rest of the day. People always seemed surprised when I say I left my phone at home for the day or night; it’s like a security blanket that is thought to be a necessity when I can function just as well without it.

Right now you are looking at a screen, as are billions of people around the world. Try taking a breather from all the screens and pay attention to the beautiful details all around you because the world is a lot more interesting than the Instagram popular page.

I snapped this pic before embarking on a beautiful walk down the beach a few weeks ago. Left my phone in the car (:


Taking Advantage of Boston’s Art Scene

Whether you are an art connoisseur or not, Boston’s art museums are a must see. Beautiful exhibitions are scattered all throughout the city and admission is free or discounted for all of them if you are an Emerson student! Here is a quick look at some of the great things these museums have to offer:

Museum of Fine Arts

Admission: Free with your Emerson ID

Must see: Egyptian Art Exhibit

One piece of advice: Plan to spend an entire day at the MFA…maybe even two. The MFA is the most classic museum experience on this list, showcasing a wide variety of artistic styles and classic paintings from different time periods. This museum offers art collections from all across the world to really put into perspective the vast array of artistic styles that exist. There are also photography exhibits, prints, drawings, musical instruments, and jewelry scattered throughout the museum.

It can be overwhelming how much content is inside the MFA, but each room deserves as much attention as the last.

Pottery at the MFA. Credit:

For all sports fans looking for something interesting…there is an exhibition all about David Ortiz that is open from now until September 4th. Tickets must be bought to view this gallery, but anything is worth it for Big Papi, right? Ortiz’s 2013 World Series MVP ring will also be on display, so get a close look while you can!

A rainy day is best spent at the Museum of Fine Arts, or multiple rainy days in a row!


ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art

Admission: Student discount with ID

Must See: Nari Ward: Sun Splashed

The ICA is a great place for college students to explore. The exhibits are fun, modern, and sometimes interactive. Each exhibit is important to view, many often presenting social and political issues in unique mediums.

This museum really makes you think about what you are seeing and how it can be interpreted to convey a bigger message. There is also a new exhibit by Dana Schutz being put up right now, set to open July 26th…even more new art to check out!!

ICA at night. Credit:

The large glass building overlooking Boston Harbor could not be more picturesque if it tried, and you could easily spend a whole day enjoying the incredible views. Aside from the amazing art, the ICA also holds outdoor concerts every Friday in July and August. These fun outdoor events feature new DJ’s every week and certain themed events to keep things new and interesting. The ICA always keeps me guessing, and I cannot wait to see what fun thing comes out next.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Admission: Student discount with ID (or free if your name is Isabella!)

Must See: Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is like something out of a movie. The minute you step inside the museum it feels like you are taken back in time, admiring all of the beautiful paintings and scenery. The inner courtyard is breathtaking, and visible from every angle of the museum.

What makes this museum unique is that Isabella Stewart Gardner actually used to reside in the building before it turned into a museum, and still resembles a home in many ways. The tall ceilings and wooden floors add a homey feel to the artwork which is something you do not see everyday.

I highly recommend reading up on the Gardner heist before visiting, as it adds excitement and a bit of spookiness to your visit.

A great addition to the museum is the modern wing, which is the only part of the museum with changing exhibits. Set aside from the original building, this modern room showcases beautiful artwork and sculptures to add a modern twist. Next to the modern room is also the Gardner Museum’s incredible concert hall, which must be seen in person to truly admire. Isabella Stewart Gardner had a passion for music and this hall keeps her spirit alive in a beautiful space. The concert schedule and ticket options can be found on the museum’s website.


The Museum of Bad Art

Admission: Free museum passes can be requested.

Must See: “Dog” By: Unknown

After you have admired all of the famous pieces in the previously listed places…why not lighten the mood with this fun museum?? The MOBA gallery in Somerville is a private institution that is committed to celebrating bad art. Located in the basement of a theater, it is not the most glamorous of exhibits. That being said, it is definitely a memorable experience. It is a one of a kind museum visit and every piece of art is sure to make you chuckle.

Can’t get enough of the bad art? Have no fear, there is now a book available for purchase, “The Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks,” that showcases the worst of the worst, bottom of the barrel pieces of artwork.

Some pieces imitate famous works like the Mona Lisa, and with others it can be hard to decipher what is going on at all…

Quirky and humorous, the MOBA is Boston museum fun for all ages and a great way to lighten the mood after viewing maybe one too many gorey war depictions.

I hope this master list of Boston museum’s inspires you to view some new places and some very cool art.

The Problem with Emerson Attendance Policy

We’ve all been there. You open your eyes at 9:20 am, knowing full well you have your elective at 10. But you also know that your head is pounding, your throat is drier than the Sahara, your nose is running faster than your legs ever could and you feel like ten bricks were just chucked at your body. Nope, you’re not hungover; you’re sick. But you also know you only have one unexcused absence left and…there are two months left of the semester. Groaning, aching and melting in your own skin, you reluctantly roll your limbs out of bed and begin your routine.

Emerson’s attendance policy is, needless to say, strict. It’s said that most professors assign a policy of 3 unexcused absences and unlimited excused absences. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve had professors only allow 2, 1, or even no unexcused absences for the entirety of the semester. And when the pool of reasons from which excused absences can be drawn is so small, it becomes increasingly difficult for Emerson students to maintain a good grade in class while still tending to their physical and mental needs.

I have never before experienced such a hard-working, dedicated environment of students who will go to class through so much. I myself have sat through classes even with treacherous stomach bugs and eye infections. The scary part to me is that it seems the school would prefer we come to class with our contagious illnesses than stay home and rest. It’s clear the quality of our work in class is greatly diminished during these instances, and yet, we still push through.

I find it absurd the inconsistency between professors’ policies. I’ve had professors who have excused people for public transportation issues, colds and picking up extra shifts at work, as well as professors who have refused to grant excused absences for family deaths, funerals and weddings. As adults between the ages of 18 and 22, students should be given enough responsibility and respect to come to class on their own terms. With such strict attendance policies, it feels like the college doesn’t trust us to manage our own educations. And it’s saddening that professors will often assume dishonesty or laziness, no matter the excuse a student gives.

When a professor once addressed my class on the first day with “You will be given no excused absences. You are adults, and if you want to come to class, you will,” it was unbelievable to me. Being absent from class is so much more than merely not wanting to come. We as adults understand the economic toll our education has on our lives, and we know to take it very seriously. Yes, there are days when we are tired, bored or hungry and don’t feel like going to class, but professors need to start taking our health more seriously. Nothing, no not even your hour-and-45-minute-long seminar, matters more than our health.

At the end of the day, students are in control of their education. They will take as much, or as little, from it as they desire. It is not a professor’s job to force students into their classroom; if a professor is being respectful and fair, then students will naturally want to come to class. It’s as simple as that. Health is wealth, and us Emerson students are going to be needing some major wealth if we dream of funding our expensive undergraduate educations.