Archive for October, 2021

Alone, But Not Lonely

Sunday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Wednesday, 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)

Tuesday, 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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