Campus Celebrity: Marilena ‘16
Hometown: Heidelberg, Germany
Marilena has many characteristics that make her unique. Having grown up in Germany, Japan and the United States, she also speaks German, Japanese and English. A successful model, she was recently chosen as the runner up in the Tokyo Girls Collection’s Miss TGC Contest — an impressive feat. While continuing with her modeling work, she has kept up with school and can often be seen in class actively participating in discussions. Some may be overwhelmed with the life of balancing two different roles, but Marilena is up to the task. I was fortunate enough to ask her about retaining this balance, along with many other questions.
HC: The Campus Celebrity section of Her Campus highlights hardworking people who are actively following their passions. What is something that you are passionate about?
Marilena: While there isn’t one thing in particular, I think I am passionate about accomplishing something that I can only do in Japan during my university years since I’m not sure if I will live here after I graduate. It seems like a lot of people end up looking back on their time at university and get upset about how they didn’t do a lot of things that they wanted to while they were there. I just don’t want the time to pass and look back on it with regrets. I also like working on many of the things that I do outside of university, like being on TV and doing recordings. University is fun, but I think there are more things that people can do outside of school as well. Besides that, I really like drawing. So that’s something I’m passionate about, too.
HC: Many people find it difficult to balance their schoolwork and their other activities. How do you balance your life as a student and a model, since it seems that you’re doing well in both fields right now?
Marilena: It is hard to be successful at both, and I think you always have to sacrifice on each end if you want to do both. I can never do 100 percent modeling or 100 percent university, so there is a sacrifice there. I actually do miss a lot of hours at school, but I’m always trying to do well with my courses and making sure that I don’t miss too many classes. Choosing the right kind of classes is also important as well.
HC: So it has a lot to do with scheduling.
Marilena: Yeah. Also with modeling, I have to choose the jobs that I do because it isn’t possible to do everything. If it’s a good job and I really want to do it, I will choose to work. I think with university, if you want to just pass, that’s probably easy, but I also want to be good at school, so sometimes it’s hard to choose.
HC: You are also an avid kickboxer. How did you get involved in it, and what are some of its benefits?
Marilena: My friend runs a gym, and they have a kickboxing course, so that’s how I tried it. I think the good thing about kickboxing is that it’s easy — even for beginners. Especially for women, kickboxing is good for your body because even though it seems that you’re only moving your arms and legs, the next day your whole body will be sore. It also helps you to train your abs, so I think it’s a great way to combine a lot of exercises in one and work your whole body. It’s also a lot of fun!
HC: Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?
Marilena: It’s a hard question because there isn’t one specific person. I think for me, the most inspirational people around me are my family and friends. Rather than having one superstar that I look up to, it’s more about the people that surround me.
HC: Is there a specific reason why you admire them?
Marilena: Well, it’s always the small things I see in my friends and my grandma, for example. I think to myself, “these parts I can improve on, and these parts I feel like they are better at than I am,” so I want to try to aim myself towards that. I guess if you are around them, you see their qualities for yourself and because they are much closer to you, they are easier to relate to.
Watch out for part II of our interview with Marilena in the next Campus Celebrities article!