Sink or Swim, You’re In The Deep End Now

November 29th, 2021

Welcome to a new 5-chapter series on being an international student in America, and the many (many) ups and downs this journey brings along with it. Even if you’re not an international student yourself, I encourage you to read these short posts. t At the risk of sounding self-important, I think you may find something to draw from them, whether it’s a fun anecdote or the incredulity that comes with reading about a human experience so different from your own. And if you do one day end up going abroad for your own experience, the tips woven into these chapters may just give you a helping hand.

If you’ve been reading my posts on making and maintaining friendships in college, you’ll probably notice a lot of parallels between that series and this one—after all, both have to do with reorienting yourself in a new environment, and both rely very heavily on metaphors. So why not start with one?

Whereas I had begun my last series with a metaphor that encouraged you to see yourself as the puzzle master in your own life, I think a more accurate image for international students is that of a vast ocean or body of water, one that many may also physically cross to arrive at their final destination. In this scenario, you, the international student, get to be your own self, staring out across the horizon and marveling at the scene before you. Many thoughts flit through your head, the principal one probably being a reflection on the immensity of the journey ahead of you if you were to take that first step. You see the waves, and you know that once you do make the plunge, there’s no going back, and that thought excites you just as much as it scares you. But in this moment, you choose to let the excitement take over; with both feet on land, you feel grounded enough to see your choice to take the plunge as a reasonable and even logical decision. Why shouldn’t you go in the water? It’ll be refreshing, a nice change of pace. An opportunity to do, see, and be more. When I think back to my own experience moving abroad for the first time, all I can remember is the excitement. I was around ten years old at the time, so naturally my imagination took off before I could even put a leash around it. No doubts, or very insignificant ones, crossed my mind.

“ocean” by Douglas A Lewis is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The next part of the metaphor sees you quite literally jumping into the water, and, before you know it, you find yourself in the middle of the ocean. The journey here is a blur; when did the water rise to your knees? To your waist? How are you just now realizing that you’re wading endlessly, with no sight of the land you know like the back of your hand? That’s usually when expectation meets reality, and the panic hits. You start to realize that all of a sudden, the responsibility is on you. You chose to step away from the familiar. What once seemed like an exciting, new adventure in a coming-of-age movie is starting to look more and more like a thriller where you get your hand bitten off by a shark because you hadn’t realized how far you’d gone on your own, and now you don’t know how to ask for help.

Well, rescue boat at your service here. The advice I have for this predicament may not be the advice you want to hear, or you may find the most helpful at first, but it’s the one that I’ve come to rely on in my own moments of irrational fear and “what the heck do I do now?” Here we go, are you ready? If you want to not only survive, but also enjoy the experience of being an international student, the first thing you have to do is accept the fact that the person who got you in the deep end is the same one that’s going to get you out. Like I said only a couple paragraphs ago, a large part of the excitement of going abroad is the self-drive it takes to say yes to dropping everything and going somewhere new. At that moment, in the short time it takes to take the plunge, you’re trusting yourself to live up to your commitment to not only survive, but thrive in that new place. In order to do that, you have to realize that the person you are during a  crisis and the person you are during a situation of comfort are the same person. Jumping in the water didn’t turn you into a fish, nor did it all of a sudden make you a dead weight; if you’ve made it this far, it means you already know how to swim far enough to make it where you find yourself now.

What you’re in now then is not a physical battle, but rather a mental one, in which your opponent takes the form of all the lies and insecurities you have about not being strong or capable enough to make it in this new environment, in this new state of stress. So start channeling those positive thoughts and telling yourself what, in the deep end of your mind, you already know, and start swimming, floating, and kicking your way out of that deep end now.

Main Takeaways:

·  Being an international student can make you feel like you’re in the middle of a vast ocean, with no land in sight. When that happens, take a moment to breathe and remember that you weren’t just dropped in the middle of this ocean; you swam here, and you’ll swim back out when you need to.

·  Making it abroad is almost entirely a mental battle; in those moments of stress, it’s important to remember that just because your feelings are constantly shifting, your abilities are not. You are just as capable as you were when you first set out, and you need to accept the fact that though comfort may at times be lacking, you have the ability to adapt to and get through any situation you put your mind to.


Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Coffee And A Show

November 2nd, 2021

In New York, adventure is often right around the corner, and you never know where the simplest outings may take you. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to grab a friend and embark on a short trip—even just for coffee—as it may result in unexpected outcomes. 

Over the summer, I moved into Barnard College for the first time, planning to take summer classes on campus. After meeting my suitemate for the first time, we soon made plans to grab a cup of coffee on a seemingly insignificant Wednesday morning. What was meant to be a short outing quickly turned into a few hours of bonding. 

That morning, we arrived at a coffee shop, eager to caffeinate ourselves and start the day off on a perky foot. We grabbed a cup by campus and sat down outside the shop, intending to chat there for a bit while sipping our drinks. We spent not five minutes seated outside before we noticed a group of people dressed in 1950s garb, coming out of a trailer. We had previously heard murmurings that Amazon Prime’s Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was filming in Morningside Heights, and, putting two and two together, we realized that these extras of the show may lead us to the filming site. As avid fans of the show, we had no choice but to follow them through Morningside.  

As we snuck behind them, keeping at a clear following distance, we eventually found ourselves in Riverside Park where there was an abundance of cameras and extras, with little children in 1950s play clothes. And, on a bench facing outwardly from the park, sat Mrs. Maisel herself. 

Scenes from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

A few spectators sat on benches nearby, watching the filming occurring, not actually close enough to hear, but close enough to watch. Other bodies walked by the set when allowed, clearly unaffected by the filming happening. My friend and I could not relate—we were absolutely ecstatic. 

We sat nearby, filming videos, chatting about our favorite scenes, and even making friends with a guard for the production. Even though I was born and raised in San Francisco, I had never experienced anything like this. The ability to simply go for a cup of coffee and run into the cast of an Emmy-award-winning TV show and watch them film, especially with a new friend, is almost unimaginable. Needless to say, my friend and I have never forgotten that day—it makes for a great story, and an irreconcilable bond between us. 

Main takeaways: 

  • Say yes! You never know where an outing may take you. 
  • Be open to new experiences. Whether you end up pleasantly surprised, or in a less than desirable situation, there will be stories you can share and tell your friends at a party someday when conversation lulls. That’s what I tell myself, anyway! 
  • Go out and explore new places with a friend—chances are your friendship will strengthen.

By Rania Borgani

Rania Borgani is a second-year student at Barnard College, majoring in the Economics Department with a focus on the political economy. She spends her time writing and editing for a campus news site. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, or walking aimlessly around the city with friends.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Re:Rapid Revival Restaurant Review Returns: Kyuramen

October 31st, 2021

I bet you’re expecting some sort of comedic quip from me as to why there’s been so much time between these reviews. Your expectations are correct: I was at the top of a mountain in a ancient monastery of restaurant reviewers, trying to unlock the secret art of objective taste. Unfortunately they kicked me out when I told them their food tasted like crap.

Kyuramen is a Japanese restaurant that really makes you feel like you live in a country with a declining birth rate due to overwork. In all seriousness the presentation is great, the restaurant is big and pretty and you can get your own private little room to eat in. Definitely the best layout of any place I’ve reviewed so far. The menu was really huge so I just asked them to give me whatever seemed best.

I started with the pork bun. They went to a load of effort to write something on it in Japanese, but I have no idea what it says. If it happened to translate as “this tastes amazing” they’d be right, though. It’s a little too spicy but the pork and bun are both perfect and the sauce complements it well.

The actual ramen I had was the Tokyo Tonkotsu Shoyu, which has pork, an egg, bamboo, and some other stuff. The egg was just okay but everything else was great, the soup and noodles were very tasty and paired perfectly while the pork was tender and delicious. I didn’t like all of the other stuff, but even then it was a very good example of that stuff.

As a drink I had the Shirakabegura Tokubetsu Sake, which I have no idea if I spelled correctly. It was mild and fragrant, and felt very good going down even if I wasn’t a huge fan of the taste since I normally don’t like Sake.

Dessert was Matcha Pudding, which initially tasted like nothing until I added milk and then it tasted like sweet milk. It did have a great mouth-feel, though.

Verdict: 9.5/10 Kamen Riders

https://www.campusclipper.com/new/popup1.php?CUP_COD=4043


By: Alexander Rose

Alexander Rose studies satire at NYU Gallatin and wishes he was actually just Oscar Wilde. He is interested in writing, roleplaying games, and procrastination. Describing himself in the third person like this makes him feel weird.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.



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You Don’t Have to Like Everyone, But You Should Probably Love Them

October 30th, 2021

To close off this series of articles about making and maintaining friendships in college, I thought I’d talk about the elephant in the room: what to do when you see a friendship headed in the opposite direction of deepening a relationship. 

First off, I’d like to say that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that;there are 7 billion people on this planet, you’re most probably not going to click or get along great with everyone (in fact, it would be really weird if you did). That’s why I don’t think you need, nor are probably able, to like everyone you meet and become BFFs forever. What you should aim for, however, is loving them, and loving them well.

The way I like to think this (at times) conflicting diktat through is by following the traditional and well-known Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. I start by thinking about the way I must appear to others when I first get to know them (the very beginning of the friendship-making stage). Internally, I know that it’s at this point that I am my most people-pleasing self (who is far from being my true, authentic self). When I make a joke, I look anxiously around me to see who laughed. When I want to bring up a new topic of conversation, I awkwardly stumble my way through nonsensical sentences that take the long road to get to the point. Even in situations where I don’t expect a long-lasting friendship to form, I feel this intense need to “win over” the other person (or persons), almost to validate my socializing abilities. And even if outwardly I don’t appear as nervous as I think I am, the constant doubt and anxiety is keeping me from focusing on the true purpose of the interaction: forming a relationship with another individual. I mean, think about it—why do we want friends? What do we love most about our permanent friends (also known as family members)? It’s very likely that the qualities the people you’re closest to embody are something close to the following: loyalty, warmth, dependability, good-humor, and most importantly, unconditional love. 

“LOVE” by MoToMo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

To end this little “visualizing” exercise, think about how you act around people whom you’re trying to impress, people whose love you feel you have to “earn,” versus how you act around those whose love you know you’ve secured no matter what, because they love you just for existing. Those are probably two radically different people who go about deepening relationships in two radically different ways. The former probably gets stuck or overwhelmed with the pressure which they place on themselves to constantly be at “peak performance,” setting roadblocks which they don’t even realize they’re creating by trying to hide, or change, some essential and lovely parts of themselves. The latter, on the other hand, is likely lifted up and comforted by the love they know they’re being granted, and thus allow all of their inner being to shine through in different points of the relationship. The difference, therefore, is how much of a person you get or give away—and it’s always going to be easier and more meaningful to deepen a relationship with someone when you’re both willing to give it all to each other. So love everyone and love them well, because sometimes the only thing a person needs is a little love to break open their shell.

Main Takeaways: 

  • Although you don’t have to like everyone, it’s important that you learn to love them, and do so well. Loving others is a way of selflessly allowing them to be open with you, and can often lead, if not to stronger friendships, then at least to better and more open interactions with others. 
  • You don’t really lose anything from loving others—in fact, the more you give, the more you get! Don’t be afraid to take a chance and give others a chance to show you who they really are when they’re not tied down by the pressure of constantly trying to impress or win you over. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference a little honesty and a whole lot of love can make.

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Alone, But Not Lonely

October 24th, 2021

College is full of contradictions. On the one hand, it feels like you are never alone; your roommate is constantly in your room, the libraries are always full, and the dining hall line seems never-ending. It’s impossible to walk down a street in New York and not move past herds of people sipping iced lattes, chatting with their friends on the phone. Not to mention, the subways are always crowded, filled with commuters and business people on their way to work. And it seems like the lines for coffee shops are becoming increasingly longer…and pricier. 

And, yet, life can still feel so isolating. You’re away from your family—maybe for the first time—and it feels like everyone has rushed into meeting people, feeling the need to replicate the high school friendships of times past; late nights are spent studying in the library for a class filled with students from all over the world, none of whom you know; and you move through the dining hall, interacting only with those who serve your food and eat it at a bench outside. Sometimes, the subway cars are empty, leaving you alone with your thoughts and little distractions; a walk in the park can feel lonesome, your only company being the nearby birds and ducks. Overall, the feeling of the city is new and unknown. 

“Save my love for loneliness” by Aftab Uzzaman is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

It can be difficult as a new student to reckon with these two extremes of constant companionship and lasting loneliness. Doing both is healthy, but spending time in one state can be mentally (and physically) exhausting for you, especially as you are finding your way in college. Therefore, it is necessary to find a happy medium where you’re content with meeting people and spending time socializing, but also learn how to take time for yourself. 

That’s why, when I am alone doing an activity typically done with others, I think of myself as alone…but not lonely. I have learned throughout my time in college so far, how to take time for myself and go out in the city by myself. I am content with doing activities alone because I don’t necessarily have to be lonely! Throughout the next chapters of my book, I will share activities I have done both alone, and with a friend, demonstrating how every day as a college student in New York can be an adventure—but an adventure that is okay to take on by yourself when needed. 

Main Reminders:

  • College can be extremely exciting and fast-paced, but also isolating. Don’t be shy to take time for yourself and recharge when needed!

By Rania Borgani

Rania Borgani is a second-year student at Barnard College, majoring in the Economics Department with a focus on the political economy. She spends her time writing and editing for a campus news site. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, or walking aimlessly around the city with friends


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Be Wary of Placing Limits and Expiration Dates on Friendships

October 13th, 2021

The idea for this chapter came to mind as I was talking to one of my good college friends, who happens to be two years older than me, about her experience with friendship “expiration dates.” That was the very first time I had heard anyone describe the all-too-familiar way in which we inadvertently place people and potential friends into very defined and limited categories, steering away from what we see as “expired” (or soon to be expired) relationships. I thought back to all the people I’d met in the last few weeks of middle or high school whom I’d given up on before even getting to know, all because it was simply “too late” (spoiler alert: it really wasn’t). I remembered how I’d labeled people as too cool, too old or too young, or, quite simply, too different to approach.

My friend, whom we’ll call Abby, had come into her freshman year of college with a very similar attitude; that is, until she realized there were only a few weeks left in her first year, and she hadn’t figured out her place in college yet. When she turned to her fellow first-years, they seemed to be in a very similar boat, which is when she realized she needed to change course, and quickly. With graduation looming not so far ahead, these wise, older students would soon fall in the “expired” category. Abby decided that she’d meet each senior student once, if only just to touch base and extract whatever they had to say about their own college experience, and then leave her coffee appointments smarter, wiser and all the better for it. This impromptu, speed-friend-dating escapade of hers, however, would bear very different fruits than she could’ve possibly imagined. It was during what was meant to be nothing more than a one-hour coffee break, Abby told me, that she’d met one of the girls whom she now considered one of her best friends. To this day, they take the time to speak (or text or call) almost every week, keeping themselves in the other’s life via simple but frequent updates. Although the nature of their friendship has made it so that they’re rarely in the same place at the same time, Abby and her friend have learned how to make space for their friendship in their respective lives. And if that isn’t a sign of true friendship, I don’t know what is.  

“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” by katerha is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As Abby shared this with me, I felt like my mind was going a thousand miles a minute. Over the course of my own freshman year, I had experienced first-hand what it felt like to get caught-up in a bunch of “surface” friendships, to be constantly surrounded by people and still feel stranded on my own personal island of loneliness. It was by talking to Abby, however, and after realizing that I had been able to make genuine and long-lasting connections near the end of the year, that I began to see how that feeling had been partially my own fault. From the very beginning, I had come into college with the idea that my first-year friends were something temporary, people that would only last for a certain phase of my life, relationships that I had to form because I hated being alone, and as a result of that, I hadn’t truly given each friend a chance. Because of my fears (of being left behind, of failing to assimilate), I had been in a sort of friendship paralysis, where I focused on making “realistic” friends, and placed people into attainable vs. unattainable categories. In short, I forgot about the fact that behind each friend, there’s a very real and unique human being, who has very real and unique things to bring to my life, even if it’s not always in a way that I’m familiar or already comfortable with. And that’s what made me realize that it’s kind of ridiculous to put an expiration date on people, because no amount of distance, time differences, or personal differences can spoil the type of connection that forms between two people who are dedicated to letting friendship bloom between them.

Main Takeaways (If this chapter evoked something in you that says “Oh yeah, I do that,” or if you’re currently experiencing that weird “not-alone but lonely” stage of life (we’ve all been there), I’d encourage you to do one of two things): 

  • Reach out to that person you’ve been hesitant to hang out with, whether it’s because you think you’re too different, or you don’t see the chance of a long-lasting friendship; you never actually know what can happen unless you try, and worst-case scenario they say no (and you’re right back where you started).
  • Take steps to deepen one of your current relationships by being more intentional with each other; set the standard for a deeper friendship, whether it’s by being more open in communication or changing the usual setting of your relationship. 

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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The Curtain Opens

October 6th, 2021

In the past three semesters, I have considered no less than twelve separate majors. It is mind-boggling how many programs universities offer, how simple it is to change your entire career trajectory, and how I’ve somehow begun to find this incredible freedom absolutely paralyzing. There is no mystical “sorting hat” of any kind to point you towards your affinities, no warning that you may not be cut out for physics but might excel in something you’ve never even tried. Instead, I am left to sort through the 270+ majors my college offers and decide for myself which will define my entry into adulthood.

My “major of the month,” as my friends call it, happens to be English—something I enjoyed in high school and found easy to fall back on. My Shakespeare class is a breath of fresh air, a room in which I can return to a time when my impending career choice was not quite as impending. In my absence, however, I had foolishly forgotten how human the world of literature is. Reading requires intense self-examination. It forces you to ask questions like: do I agree with this message? Why do I empathize with this character? What about myself do I recognize in these pages, and why do I feel the need to return to this piece again and again and again?

The piece that brought me crashing and burning back to reality, that pried open my eyes and told me to look, no really, look at the state of my paralysis was Hamlet. While the tragedy of the Prince of Denmark had been a somewhat enjoyable read in high school, it was not a piece I had thought of very often in the months since. In fact, I had found its titular character decently aggravating at the time. It was frustrating to watch Hamlet dedicate his time to moaning about how difficult decision-making is instead of actually making decisions. To find myself utterly obsessed with the play only a few months later was a bizarre experience, to say the least, but it forced me to consider what exactly had changed. I found that what struck me most upon my reread was the horrible realization that I knew exactly how the play would end; I knew the clock was ticking down scene by scene, word by word, and that Hamlet’s indecision was, in the end, his choice. Every moment spent deliberating is a decision for the status quo. There is no stopping the clock. 

A busy month of reading for me!

As I enter into adulthood, constantly deliberating which major, which job, which club, which internship, my sympathy for Hamlet increases more and more. Every day I’ve spent idly floating through my classes, contemplating the various paths in front of me, is another step down the path I’m already on. If every morning I wake up and decide to pursue English, why does it feel so much more daunting to wake up the next day and decide on something new?

Hamlet is not only a college student in name but an enduring figure of the dilemma of the student. He’s also a guy you definitely don’t want to be, seeing as his indecision leaves him pretty miserable. Hamlet teaches students a lot of things, like iambic pentameter and the difference between thee, thou, and you, but the most important thing a student can take away from this four-hundred-year-old play is that sometimes you just have to take the leap. Maybe it’ll go perfectly, maybe it’ll crash and burn, but that’s a risk you’re already running no matter what you decide. Or, to put it in the simplest possible terms: decisions are rarely as big of a deal as you think they are. College is a world of exploration and opportunity—don’t let the paralysis of choice limit your horizons.

Here’s the Sparknotes:

  • Don’t waste three years agonizing over changing your major because, by the fourth year, you’ll be walking out with whatever degree made you want a change in the first place.
  • Don’t fear change! College is all about trying new things to see where you fit, and you can’t do that without challenging the status quo.
  • Go apply to that club or that internship you’ve been too nervous to try. Yes, right now. As they say, “If you never try, you’ll never know.”

By Evelyn Ogier

Evelyn Ogier is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is studying English with a minor in Game Design. She is currently applying for co-op jobs in editing, archiving, and game writing for the spring semester. In her free time, Evelyn enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and figuring out creative ways to layer in the Boston cold.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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You Can’t Live in the Honeymoon Phase (And You Probably Don’t Want To)

October 5th, 2021

You’ve probably heard of the Honeymoon Phase, a term generally used to refer to that special moment right after you meet someone where it all just feels so new and exciting that you’re willing to overlook any annoyances or red flags. It’s likely you’ve experienced this feeling yourself, as well as the staunch disappointment that comes with the (at times) harsh transition out of this phase — it’s important to remember, however, that the Honeymoon phase is, by its very nature, not made to last and that is actually very good news.

Here’s the thing about making friends, especially in college; not every friendship is created equal, and you have to learn very quickly to prioritize. Every week, day, and hour, you’re meeting someone new who lives within a 5-mile radius of where you live, and with whom you are likely to have at least one thing in common, even if that is only that you both go to the same school. The possibilities of friendship are endless, which, although exciting, can very quickly lead to social burnout or the accumulation of a whole lot of what I like to call “surface friends.” These are acquaintances who have moved into the “friends” category by default, without any true intentionality from either party. These types of friendships, while serving their purpose (and doing it well) in certain situations, cannot be the core of what you consider friendship to be. A true friend is someone who, as in every other relationship in your life, you are willing to invest time and effort into. They’re people whom you can trust with a secret, those who you can spam with messages without worrying about how that will change their perception of you by making you seem too needy, too careless, too attached…

This brings us back to the topic at hand—the honeymoon phase. At this point, I find it helpful to think of the types of friendships you’re looking to form in college as extensions, or at the very least close replicas, of the relationships you have with close family members, such as siblings, cousins or even parents. If you can truly say you never fight with these people in your life, I suggest you think of writing a book on the matter (and please send me an advance copy). More likely, however, you are no stranger to the daily, at times hourly, tussles or disagreements that come with close cohabitation or relationship with people—and the type of conflict negotiation that comes when abandoning the relationship is not even an option that crosses your mind. That is what you’re looking to replicate when forming friendships in college — at least the core, close ones. When you think about it, your friends become your new family: your home away from home. I’m not suggesting they can replace your family (my mother would kill me), but you do need to see them as the new nucleus to your life at college. And, as you do not shy away from conflict or disagreement in your related family, you should not do so in your new, “adopted” family.

“Honeymoon Sunset…” by douea is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In my own experience, I’ve found that approaching certain friendships with a renewed sense of commitment (one which I communicated with them) despite not always “clicking” with people on every level, has led to incredible growth in my personal as well as professional life. It’s normal at the beginning to focus on the quantity of friends – life moves fast on a college campus, and freshman year especially feels like a race for stability. Something I found useful was to, after the first couple of weeks, choose which group/club/activity I was willing and wanting to dedicate more of my time to. There, I got to know a small group of people very well, and began looking for ways to see them in different settings and situations during the week. Instead of seeing them only in large group meetings, I reached out to individual people (or they did me) and asked them to grab coffee, lunch, study together or go on a walk to that place on campus everyone had been talking about.

This was truly a turning point for my college experience – it not only taught me more about commitment and responsibility to others, but gave me enough faith in my ability to form deep, true friendships that I became more open and confident even in my “surface friendships.” True, committed friendships are life giving, because they do not focus on using each other for convenience—rather, they are a balance of give-and-take, in which you learn to grow and experience life as independent adults together.

Main Takeaways: 

  • The “Honeymoon Phase” is great for making new friends and should be taken fully advantage of when you’re in it, but you shouldn’t be afraid of moving past it to get to the core, real and honest side of friendship.
  • Forming a nucleus of close friends is an important part of finding stability in college, and teaches you important values such as acceptance, accountability and conflict resolution.

By: Chiara Jurczak

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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You’re Not a Mind Reader, and Neither Are Your Friends (Probably)

September 28th, 2021

In my last chapter, I talked about metaphors—now, I’d like to address the irony that lies in many of the processes tied to friendship-building. The greatest, and probably most obvious one is what I’ll call the “You Should Know That” phenomenon. This refers to the all-too-familiar thought process that we all have a tendency to fall into at some point during the friendship-making process, where we start to believe (and expect) that our friends are mind readers, who have the ability to deduce, without being told, everything we need and require of them.

In the early stages of friendship, we are not at risk of falling into this trap. In one of my Communication Studies courses this year, we went over “Uncertainty Reduction Theory”; the idea that at this point in the friendship formation process, the uncertainty in your relationship is at its peak height, and that the focus of all communication efforts is therefore placed on uncertainty reduction. You realize that you have to be explicit and clear about what you mean and need, and you never seem to run out of questions or anecdotes that may draw some piece of information or knowledge out of them that would help you get a better picture of who they are. 

Slowly (but surely), you get more comfortable around your friend, and start to (at times mistakenly) believe that there really isn’t that much you don’t know. Instead of asking them about every single detail of their life, you’re more focused on finding “natural flow”, and start to fill in the gaps of your knowledge about them with assumptions. These assumptions, whether positive or negative, will have a pretty big impact on the way in which your friendship evolved from there. 

In my own personal experience, assumptions such as these led to the deterioration of a friendship which might have otherwise survived. After a couple of weeks of meeting this friend, I had a whole list of assumptions, ready to soothe whatever uncertainties blatantly existed in our relationship; I assumed that when they didn’t respond to my greetings, they were probably listening to music very loud and didn’t want to be disturbed. I assumed that when they stopped telling me everything about their day and weekends, it meant they just needed a little space. I assumed that we were fine, doing good, and that they could see that I was just eager to get to know them better and all I needed was an indication from them that they wanted the same…and I was wrong. This whole time, I had been assuming that they knew what I was thinking, and that I had stopped approaching them as much because I had noticed (or perceived) a slight withdrawal, and taken that to mean that they wanted space. All the while, they had seen my sudden lack of questions and interest in their life as a form of judgement, of disdain and disinterest.

“[ C ] Francis Hyman Criss – Mind reader” by Cea. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The hard-to-swallow truth is, you (probably) aren’t as good at “reading minds” as you think you are—even your friends’. It’s only natural to start letting assumptions rule your view of others, and it’s true that with a certain amount of time and friendship formation, some things can become more implicit than they previously were. However, it’s also important to remember that no matter how well or how long we get to know someone, we are never truly capable of seeing and understanding how they are feeling, at the very least not without communicating directly with them.

So what can you do? I guess the Golden Rule comes in handy here: treat others the way you want to be treated. It is important to learn to ask for what you need, and to make it clear to your friends that they can do the same with you. If you’re to build a long-lasting and fulfilling friendship, you both need to feel comfortable enough to tell each other how you really feel; you can do that by setting a standard for open and honest communication early in the relationship. Otherwise, you might be missing out on several friendships which you may assume failed out of an incompatibility between the two of you, and not the real, root cause:misunderstandings tied to a lack of clear, direct, and honest communication. 

Main Takeaways: 

  • As we get more comfortable around our friends, we stop relying on verbal communication as much and let our messages become more implicit—this can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and tense moments. 
  • It’s important to remember that feelings don’t always reflect reality;it’s important to talk to your friends about your feelings and learn to ask for the affirmation and confirmation you need from them. This will help you grow in your relationship and set the standard for an honest and long-lasting friendship.

By: Chiara Jurczak

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Friendships, A Puzzling Affair

September 21st, 2021

If you’re anything like me, you like to use metaphors to try and make sense of the world around you. And if you’re nothing like me, all the better; sometimes, metaphors are most appreciated by those standing outside their wily bounds, looking on with a critical and unconvinced eye.

Without further ado, I’d like to present to you the Friendship Metaphor (FM)(I hope you’ll excuse this unimaginative title, but too much creativity can be a bad thing). As indicated by the title of this chapter, this metaphor revolves entirely around one of the most controversial pastimes known to man: puzzles. Some people love them, some people hate them (yours truly), but I think that generally, most people derive a certain satisfaction from the process of finding pieces which only moments before being joined into a seamless design were little more than individual units floating in a sea of possibilities and wrong roads.

      There are two ways to go about the metaphor from here. First, you can think of yourself as one of the puzzle pieces; this option is not entirely appealing to me. Firstly, it assumes that you are some unchangeable, fixed piece, and we all know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Think back to the person you were ten, five or even one year ago. You probably don’t approach life (and therefore friendships) in the same way as you did then. Secondly, this view of the metaphor assumes that you can only be connected to the pieces right next to you, those that resemble you the most. I think you can see why that might be an unrealistic visualization.

      We arrive, therefore, at the place I believe the FM maximizes its full metaphorical potential for helping us understand friendship formation: rather than seeing yourself as the puzzle piece, view yourself as the master, and the pieces as the various relationships and connections you are building. Here, you are the one putting the pieces together, taking different approaches to how you build friendships and relationships in every area of your life. Just like when assembling a puzzle, you are motivated at the start–the possibilities are endless, and you’re confident in your ability to complete this puzzle. Then, frustration–you realize finding matching pieces is not as easy as you’d thought, and that the pieces and approaches you’d counted on are failing you. In desperation, you may put the puzzle aside for a while and tell yourself that this “hobby” isn’t for you after all, only to pick it up again,letting the entire cycle restart.


“Puzzle” by INTVGene is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As a college student, as you move away from home and feel lost in a sea of new people, keep this in mind: you’re not restarting the puzzle at every friendship you forge, just working on a different section. In a way, you’ve been assembling the puzzle your whole life. When you were little, maybe a loved one helped you out with the hard parts. Now, they’re giving you space to figure it out.

So, if the Friendship Metaphor can help you approach friendships in college in any way, I hope it’s by reminding you how capable you are of completing this puzzle, your puzzle. I’m not saying it will be easy, nor will it always be pleasant. But what I can guarantee is that if you let the fear of failure stop you, your unfinished puzzle will just become an annoying reminder of all the friendships you could’ve forged and that are just waiting for you to accept them into your life.

Main takeaways:

  • Forging friendships is like putting together a puzzle, where you’re the assembler and the pieces are all the connections and relationships you are forging.
  • It’s normal to be overwhelmed or even frustrated when assembling a puzzle – and it’s no different with friendships. In those cases, it can be helpful to remind yourself that you’re not necessarily starting over, just working on a different part of the puzzle (and your life).

By: Chiara Jurczak

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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