Archive for February, 2013

Coffee as a Health Drink

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Know any coffee addicts? I never had a taste for coffee in high school, but long nights and early mornings in college seemed to push me towards it. I’m not hooked on the stuff (my roommate last year used to drink around four cups a day — yikes!), but I do enjoy a cup every so often (as in “Oh my gosh, this project is due tomorrow and I still haven’t started it” kind of often). And while this habit of mine may not be the healthiest in terms of sleep scheduling, early birds and night owls alike will be happy to learn of some research that’s been happening over the past few years assessing the possible health benefits of drinking coffee.

The ingredients in coffee are beneficial on a few fronts:

Life Expectancy— Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and compounds that ward off a number of diseases. According to the The New York Times’ Well blog, regular coffee-drinkers are 15% less likely to die of “diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, [and] infections.” This is based on a fourteen-year government study that included over 400,000 adult men and women. I was a little surprised to read this, since all that I’d ever heard about coffee was that it stunts your growth and makes your heart race.

Mood Elevation— This one’s specifically for women, although there have been studies that have found similar results in men. Evidently, the caffeine in coffee has a lifting effect on our moods that doesn’t occur in other sources of caffeine. In fact, this study shows that the risk of depression is 20% lower in women who drink coffee daily than in those who don’t, and the more of it they drink, the lower the risk drops. I knew lattes put me in a good mood . . .

Workout Endurance— You may already have heard that caffeine can boost our workout. Basically, it promotes the production of fatty acids in the blood, which your body burns in place of carbs for fast energy. This is true for endurance sports like running and swimming, but another article on the Wellblog talks about the ways in which it can also be beneficial to sports with short bursts of activity, like soccer and weightlifting. In this study, athletes

Image from

who were given caffeine before their workouts were able to exercise for longer without becoming exhausted, and they felt better and more energised afterwards. Coffee as a sports drink? I’ll take it.

Of course it’s never healthy to drink beverages that are full of sugar and cream, so keep this in mind when you make your morning cup. You don’t have to be a coffee addict like my old room mate to get excited about this research!

While you’re on your coffee-kick, here’s a free cup on us! Enjoy!


Laura DeFrancisci, Manhattan College. Check out my Blog!

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Open Season: The Job Hunt

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Sometimes jobs fall right into people’s laps, and in today’s economy we entry-level folk go to sleep at night hoping to wake up to a missed call and voicemail from an unknown phone number with a genial stranger—probably named Steve—asking us to come down for an interview that is really just a formality because he is dying to give us a job and full benefits and make sure we don’t fall behind on student loan payments.

When I wake up and check my phone, I find nothing of the sort, so I check my Facebook and Twitter and my email and decide to make some coffee. I decide that although my milk was “BEST BY” three days ago, I will drink it anyway because it will probably still be “WELL ABOVE AVERAGE BY” tomorrow. I pour it into my cereal and begin scrolling through Craigslist once again.

I check my email and Facebook and force myself back to Craigslist and Indeed and wish there was a filter for applications that require cover letters. I taste that the milk in my cereal is a little “off” and now I really begin looking for a job. I find four entry-level positions in my field and then learn that the “desired applicants” should have two years of previous experience. I find myself asking what “entry-level” means in 2013, and I linger and wonder if it is worth submitting my resume and writing another cover letter. I slurp down the milk left in the bowl, breathe in that sour smell, gag a little, take a deep breath and start writing that cover letter.

As someone who didn’t apply for jobs until after graduation, I regret not getting started sooner. If you’re still a student, do what you can to find an internship while you’re still in school! Yes, it will probably be an unpaid, thankless job, but it will be worth it in the end. You’ll have some of that mysterious, required “previous experience” by the time you graduate, which will help raise you above much of the competition. The connections you’ll make can only benefit you in the long run and you may even be hired as a paid employee after your internship has been fulfilled. You won’t be one of those college graduates stretching the truth about his/her “previous experience,” and you’ll have some legitimate references that aren’t your uncle or your roommate.

One way to think of your time as an intern.

The best thing to do is to get your name out there. Apply, apply, apply. Network. Send out your resume. Take the time to go to a Career Fair at your school and hand your resume out like you’re one of those comedy club promoters in Midtown. Take advantage of your school’s career center and its counselors. Ask the counselors to help you write and review your resume, ask them about career options relevant to your major, and attend workshops with interviewing tips from recruiters. Just get out there and profit from the resources your school created to help you.

...really, though: now what?

Talk to family members, family friends, friends, friends of friends, professors—the people who want to see you succeed. Sure, not everyone wants to give into some form nepotism, but beggars can’t be choosers. You will be the one making your way in this world, so why not let the people who care about you give you a hand?

You may find that the first jobs that are most attainable to you are jobs that are only appealing because of potential paychecks. These are the jobs that we are only half-interested in and are scared to step into in fear that we might get stuck. These are the cold coffee of the entry-level world: you need that little pick-me-up, but you have to force it down, and it may make you crash in the near future, but right now it is here when nothing else is. Deciding can be difficult, but why not take the job? You may really enjoy it once you get into the swing of things and there is no reason why you can’t continue your job-hunt on the side. If you’re still unsure, then try finding two part-time jobs in different fields you may be interested in and decide after a few weeks or months which career you’d like to pursue further. You have more time than you think to figure things out. It is common to not find a real career until a few years out of college.

Hopefully it never comes to this.

Patience and persistence are two traits you should embody as you begin your job hunt. It is tough out there right now, everyone knows it, but you can’t wait around for Steve the Genial Stranger to come looking for you with a salary job, some fresh milk and a hot coffee. You have to get out there and shake hands and answer questions and ask questions and write what seems like too many cover letters and then, hopefully, some genial stranger—probably named Steve—will call you with a job offer.


The Rules and Relationships in the 21st Century

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Have you ever heard of The Rules? It’s a book compiling a guide to “finding Mr. Right,” and if you think that’s hilarious then you’re definitely on my side. Relationships are tricky, but do we really need a book telling us exactly how to act? Still, judging a book by its cover, I opened it up and started reading. Twelve pages in, I sensed a huge flashback: “In a relationship the man must take charge.” Call me a feminist, because I am, but these so-called rules are so backwards it’s painful. In this day and age it’s ridiculous to think that a man has to be in control all the time. Where would the world be without powerful women taking charge for themselves?

Do you think Beyoncé gives all the power to Jay-Z? I think not.

A Rules girl is not to offer to pay, not to speak unless spoken to, and to basically avoid phone calls, and lie to anyone who asks about The Rules. You also have to be “a creature unlike any other,” but you can’t give too much of yourself away. Don’t even think about flirting and showing off your sparkling personality—he has to work for everything.

According to The Rules: “Put lipstick on even when you’re jogging” (21).  This is, of course, because you constantly have to impress a man, which is unnecessary. While you have to be impressive, it is all about him doing everything. He is the one to approach you, ask you out, and make the plans. He’s even the one who has to keep conversation going. If you do anything, you will lose the mystery and he’ll get bored. It’s all a game and you are the challenge that men are seeking.

It is still nice for a guy to do a little extra work.

These ideas just don’t work in the 21st century. Men and women are equal. It is perfectly okay for women to be in charge, and it is definitely okay for a woman to go up to a man and start conversation. I, personally, lost any chance I had with a certain man because I was never the one to initiate conversation. He told me it felt like I wasn’t interested, so he moved on. But, according to The Rules, starting conversation will take away a man’s power and he will never actually love you. I just don’t see how placing everything in the man’s hands is helpful for anyone. Relationships involve two people, so putting all the pressure of conversation and dates (and everything else) all on one person completely throws off any sense of balance—something that The Rules is seriously lacking.

Besides a decent amount of good advice, like: don’t stalk the guy you’re interested in, have a life of your own, and don’t make him a center of your life, there is also some really harmful advice. The focus that they place on body image is worrisome: “If you have a bad nose, get a nose job” (21), “overweight is not The Rules” (131), and other instances where weight or style choice is brought up. Many women today have to deal with a lot of stress about how they look, and for a book to promote harmful self-image rules, directed towards women, is dangerous. It should be about accepting who you are and finding a man who loves you for that—not about changing everything about yourself and hoping the dropped pounds will magically draw men to you. The best relationship advice is to love yourself before someone else can love you, but once again The Rules doesn’t see that.

If you’re looking to find help for relationships, don’t go to The Rules. Trust yourself, love yourself. Don’t over-think—sometimes it’s best to just see where it all goes. Life isn’t solely about being in a romantic relationship; it’s also about friends and family and developing yourself. So even around Valentine’s Day and other couple-specific times, don’t get discouraged. Grab a good friend and go see a Rom-Com and laugh about stupid dating advice. You’re too awesome to handle anyway!


Jen Orlando, Manhattan College. Check out my blog! Follow me on twitter!

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Don’t Rely on the Comfort of Dorm Rooms

Friday, February 15th, 2013

The move to college doesn’t just represent a change in atmosphere, it also introduces a new group of people to live and get along with. Sure, everyone has had to deal with family members hogging the bathroom or waking you up with their annoying habits, but now you have new roommates: people your own age placed into a tiny room with you where you all have to learn to get along. These are your peers, and since you’ve just moved to college, you probably feel the need to make as many friends as possible.

Roommates are often a college student’s first introduction to college life, which is why many people cling to their first roommates. While being friends with roommates is a great thing and can ease the transition, it is necessary not to limit yourself to the people you live with. Though you will spending a lot of time together, having friends outside of your room will help you to stay your own person. Living as a college student, especially in New York, offers a huge amount of space (literally and figuratively) for you to grow and find yourself. Limiting yourself to the confines of your room takes away from all the greatness that is offered around you.

Go out! See a show! Don’t just stay in the room watching Lifetime movies because your roommates are lazy. Get rush tickets and hit up the TKTS Booth in Times Square for cheap seats!

If it turns out that your roommate is not that friendly, don’t get discouraged! As my mother likes to say, “It’s their loss.” You’re living together, and as long as you get along within the room, that’s often good enough.

If there are issues between you, then it is necessary to take care of these things before they escalate.

Don't let things get too out of hand. It may not be an ideal room, but at least keep it pleasant!

Many people find it helpful to create roommate agreements. These can include anything from schedules for cleaning the bathroom to rules for overnight guests (an important one if either of you find yourself with a clingy significant other always lying around). While the drafting and discussion of agreements for living together sound ridiculous, it is a very good idea for the establishment of good roommate relations. The agreement puts everything on the table and opens up an avenue for discourse if any problems arise.


one of the most common horror stories of college life

US News has great advice for roommate situations, and the most important is to communicate. Living together means you have to be able to talk to one another and understand each other. Even if you aren’t friends, you should still be able to talk and feel comfortable in your new home. If you don’t, make sure to confront your roommate personally and air any grievances. Do not go around them and move out without them knowing. It is best in roommate situations to eliminate any sort of animosity that could arise.

Just be yourself and find your own niche in your dorm room. College life is meant to be an exploration of culture and life — not four years of cinder block walls with people who limit you.


Jen Orlando, Manhattan College. Check out my blog! Follow me on twitter!

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Breathe, Repeat.

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Being a college student is all about new experiences: new people, new classes, new living situations – the list can often seem daunting and never-ending.  In the process of creating this exciting new life, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, and even easier to lose track of the person who matters most when it comes to the state of our happiness – ourselves.

Friends, significant others, co-workers, parents, or any combination of the above are always competing for our attention.  Everyone wants a piece of us – who wouldn’t, right? We’re twenty-something and fabulous! – but there’s not always enough of us to go around, so the only solution can often seem to be spreading ourselves thin enough to reach a little bit of everyone.  However, bending over backwards, sideways and every other which way trying to please everybody else is exhausting, and it more often than not leaves us in a contorted mess while the rest of the world continues to breeze by us with their morning coffee.

If one day you wake up and suddenly realize that you have in fact become guilty of this crime, never fear!  It happens to the best of us from time to time.  According to a study entitled “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010,” out of 200,000 freshman students who were currently enrolled full-time at a four-year college, only 52 percent of them classified their mental health state as “above average” – a number that has fallen considerably from 64 percent in 1985.  Many factors contributed to this decline, including the economy, rising tuition prices, job prospects, and constant self-comparison to peers.

Luckily, there are lots of easy ways to combat these pesky stresses of everyday life.  Professionals at the Mayo Clinic encourage the practice of relaxation techniques to help rid your life of stress so you are always feeling at the top of your game.  Whether it’s yoga, visualization methods, or T’ai Chi, find something that works for you and keep at it!  These techniques are just like any other skill-set; they will take work and repetition, but eventually will pay off.

Whenever I am feeling bogged down by relationship drama, school, or life in general, I try to consciously remind myself to breathe – just breathe – for maybe 10 or 15 seconds at a time.  And then I do it again.  It may seem simple or trivial, but it works.  Get outside, take a walk through SoHo for some window shopping, sit in Washington Square Park and watch all of the tourists fawning over the pigeons, get coffee on the Upper West Side and walk around pretending like you’re part of the Gossip Girl crew – the specifics don’t matter as long as you are continuously reminding yourself to breathe.

As you’re walking and breathing, think about all of the things in your life that make you happy.  Then think about the things in your life that don’t make you happy.  Now make a promise to yourself that you will do more of those things that make you happy, and vow to do less of the things that don’t.  This is the time to take that kickboxing class you’ve wanted to take but just somehow haven’t found the time.  Or maybe make plans to put on some lipstick and that favorite dress that you never get to wear and go out with your friends for a night of feeling pretty and good about yourself.

After all, we live in New York City! Get out there and make use of the urban playground that is waiting right outside your door.  Just don’t forget to take a few seconds every day to remember who you are and what makes you happy, and, whatever you do during this time, don’t forget to breathe.


Lesley Hennen, New York University. Check out my Twitter!

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In the Spotlight: Fresh & Co.

Friday, February 1st, 2013

This restaurant gets my honest-to-goodness best rating, and that’s not just because I’m a vegetarian. I’m very used to going out and ordering entrée salads and fru-fru veggie dishes as meager “sorry you don’t eat meat” alternatives to more appealing items on the menu. And that’s to be expected, really; it’s hard to get a salad that makes you go, “Whoa, you gotta try this.”

The restaurant has very clean look.

But here’s a place that really goes out of its way to make itself an exception to that rule. Last Wednesday I had lunch at Fresh & Co. on Broadway and Waverly, right by NYU. It’s a salad and sandwich place that caters to meat-lovers, vegans, health-nuts and indifferent people who just want to grab some quick good eats. Here’s how it works:

The counter is divided into stations that you line up for depending on what you feel like trying. There’s a Sandwich Station(they also do panini melts; the girl across from me had a grilled

Salad bar. Order a chef designed salad or create your own original one

steak panini and I’m telling you it smelled amazing), a Salad Station (these are not ho-hum salads; you can load ’em up with whatever toppings you want— artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, jumbo shrimp, or even jalapeños), and a Quinoa Bowl Station (this is good, trust me on this one). You order your meal and watch them prepare it right in front of you, which is actually a lot of fun. They hand you your food, then you pay at the register and dig in. Quick and easy, even when there’s a crowd. If you’re looking for something for grab-and-go, there are ready-made soups, salads and snacks, as well as organic coffee. Check out their menu.

I got the Smoked Tofu Edamame Quinoa Bowl (or as some call it, the “number six”). It’s not that I thought it was gonna be bad or anything, but it’s like I said— I’m used to being bored by my food. No joke, I was so surprised by how good this stuff was, by any standard: quinoa, kale, brussel sprouts and other fresh ingredients coated in sweet chili sauce and served up hot. Yum. It knocked my socks off and I really can’t wait to go back. For less than the cost of an entrée salad at one of those sit-down chain restaurants, this is a lunch that kept me full for the rest of the day and made me want to lick the bowl clean. I am officially a fan.

My lunch, about to be gobbled.

Are you a health-nut? Come for the all-natural ingredients and the huge variety of fresh options. Everything you order is prepared right in front of you so that you know just what you’re eating. There’s even an online nutrition calculator. This food may be fast, but it’s definitely healthy stuff.

Are you an eco-enthusiast? Come for the sustainable food sources and environmental conscientiousness. The poultry comes from small companies that treat their bird humanely. Read about them on their “philosophy of food” page. Every week, Fresh & Co. has what it calls “Farm Fresh Friday” when all the food is obtained from local farmers’ markets in NYC. Sometimes this even means getting produce from the rooftop garden of PS 41, a public school only blocks away. This is a green restaurant; even the salad bowls are made from recycled plastic.

Do you honestly not really give a damn what’s in your food or where it comes from as long as it tastes good? Then come for the taste! Come because you want to know what “Thai Turkey Bolognese” is and why it’s so good with soy ginger sauce. Or because Super Bowl season has buffalo chicken on your mind and a panini melt sounds like the perfect lunchtime medium for it. Or because these pictures have been making your mouth water just a little bit onto your computer’s keyboard. If you don’t think you’re really into “health food places,” then just think of think of this as an “awesome lunch place” and give it a shot. I promise you won’t be sorry.


It turns out that health food doesn’t have to be bland. In fact, it can be tangy, sweet and delicious. The proof is in the pudding . . . and in the quinoa, and in the sandwiches, and in the salads . . .

Give them a try! College students get 10% off with this Campus Clipper coupon:



Laura DeFrancisci, Manhattan College. Check out my Blog!

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!