Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Chapter 1: Sprawl

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

Chapter 1

The first week of school

My hotel room move-in week

Stress, stress, scurrying, and more stress. Those were the first disorienting days in New York City. Moving my suitcase from one place to another and lugging Ikea furniture boxes on and off subways. The first few weeks in NYC were like being on a Ferris wheel. Eventually, at some point, the low points subsided. My lab partner spilled vinegar on my jeans and offered to buy me coffee after class, which turned into a four-hour conversation. I wore an outfit that two separate girls complimented. I went to a cute cafe and managed to sit still the entire afternoon

and do my homework. This was the top, and I had a view of the city stretching out below. My lab partner would become my best friend, and I’d have cute outfits to wear every single day, and I’d be the most organized student in class. It was exhilarating. Until my lab partner dropped the class. Until I wore a sundress on a windy day and decided I would only ever dress practically from now on. Until I got a C on my first quiz of the year. So, once again, I was on my way to the bottom of the wheel.

Things were like this for a while, stuck on a pendulum of extremes. The city was suffocating at the lows, with too many sounds and noises and bodies pushing on me, to the point where I dreaded leaving the little box I called home. At the highs, I was overstimulated and overly optimistic. Out all day from one place to another and certain that success in every aspect of my life was going to fall from a highrise into my lap.

That is what it’s like when you first move to a city, when it is your first time being completely alone in a new place. Involuntarily you are dragged up and down because you don’t know how to separate yourself from the chaos surrounding you every day. That is the first stage, the porous stage, where you soak up too much of what is around you. The next stage is realizing that if you don’t want to passively let the world influence you, you must exert some sort of force back.

It starts off with very small things. I raised my hand in class voluntarily once, then I did it every class, and soon, I was comfortable enough chatting with my professor after class. During one conversation with Professor Rowland, I told him how I would obsessively organize my parent’s bookshelf growing up, and he offered to help me get a part-time job at the school library. My Monday and Tuesday nights became calmly spent sorting return books while sipping powdered hot chocolate from the break room. One day, I woke up at 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went for a walk. I realized it was nice walking without any destination, and I began walking every morning just for myself, not thinking about what I was going to do, or who I was going to see. On one of these walks, I ran into a girl from class. We were walking in the same direction, and I offered to walk with her for a bit. We agreed to work together after class. This random classmate became Jenna, and Jenna became a contact in my phone. Jenna eventually became my favorite person to run errands with on the weekends, and then she was the first real friend I’d made at school. On days when the traffic and lack of direct sunlight started to become too much again, I realized I could hop on the subway and ride up and up. Up until trees started to replace buildings, and apartment complexes and brownstones were replaced with spread-out houses and small cafes. Things got less extreme, more manageable- things got better.

It was on the way home from one of these expeditions that I happened to be at Grand Central at 5pm on a Wednesday. That was when I had the realization that the city was full of potential and especially full of young, attractive men.


Use this discount and treat yourself to the hair salon, Avenue B in West Village. Nothing relieves first week stress like having a good hair day.

Olivia Sully is a Junior studying English Literature at New York University. Olivia spends most of her school and professional life writing and reading, but she likes to decompress with her paintings. 


 For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering 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 ebooks, 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 2023.

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Chapter 2: Hi, I’m Mia! Please Be My Friend!

Monday, September 25th, 2023

Once I had officially decided to go to Pace University, the next step was to find friends and someone I feel comfortable to live with. Pace has a designated building where freshmen live, so I couldn’t live with my friend since they were two years older. Even if I could, though, I didn’t want to. I knew that if I chose to live with someone I already knew, I would be too scared to branch out on my own and I wanted the independence of finding my own friend.

Part of my Facebook post from the Pace Facebook group for incoming freshman

So for the first time in several months (maybe even years), I opened up Facebook and edited my profile before searching for Pace University Facebook groups. The groups are student-made as a way to find fellow incoming classmates and potential roommates. I found two groups, joined both, and began adding almost everyone I thought wasn’t intimidating on Snapchat. Honestly, it felt like a dating app. Sometimes I would hit it off with people, and other times we would say hi and then instantly stop talking.

By June I was getting nervous, because the deadline for finding a roommate was coming up and I still hadn’t really clicked with anyone. It was also important I felt comfortable in my own room and because it was 2020, I wanted to make sure I was living with someone who respected COVID guidelines.

Me and Kathy after we both moved in

A few days into June I received a DM (direct message) from someone on Instagram. At first I was confused as to who this person was, but then I realized they found me from the Pace Facebook group, so I responded to her message. Instantly we clicked. We had all the same interests, were both nervous but willing to meet new people on campus, and were careful with COVID. Kathy (her name) and I ended up chatting everyday and eventually found the rest of our suitemates (the freshmen building had suites instead of just a classic two person or three person dorm).

With my suitemates and I texting each other every day, the idea of going to college seemed less intimidating now that I had more than just one friend. I was beginning to get excited as we all texted each other about what one person was packing, what movies we would watch on movie nights, and what clubs we were all interested in.

Me and a couple of my suitemates

If you’re an incoming freshman, I strongly recommend searching for any type of online group to meet new people. Having some form of established relationships will definitely help ease the anxiety of moving away from home. Even if you eventually find new friends or fall out with the old ones, you will always still have that bond with your freshman roommates. Nothing can take away that old nostalgic feeling of moving in for the first time and taking your first steps into the real world with these people. 

My suitemates and I would attend different events on campus, a lot of them virtual, some of them with social distancing, and together we all found friends. To this day, I’m still friends with my freshman year roommate and suitemate, and I’m forever grateful for them and the steps of courage we took together. We don’t live with each other anymore, but we still support each other and hang out together when we can.

However, I think my suitemates and I did have one unfair advantage that helped us grow close early on. Normal suitemates or roommates have a special bond because they are entering the real world together, but my suitemates and I actually didn’t get to take any steps outside because for two weeks we were all locked in our suite thanks to an increase in COVID cases. That’s right…in October, the entire freshman building got put into lockdown, forcing everyone to stay in their rooms for a whole two weeks.

To this day we still make jokes about how we were all trauma bonded because of this. We had to stay in our rooms, have crappy food delivered to our dorms, and watch movies almost every night to keep us from going insane. COVID may have made our freshman year difficult, but it also gave us a suitemate bond like no other.

I’d also like to mention the fact that, despite my suitemates and I helping each other out with meeting new people, my specific roommate Kathy was like a professional “friend maker.” Almost everyday she was introducing me to someone new. Thanks to Kathy, I met some of my best friends, one being my current roommate in my senior year!

My current roommate (middle), one of my best friends (on the right), and I on Halloween 2020. We all connected thanks to Kathy!

Another tip if you’re an introverted freshman like I was, make sure to meet someone who is very extroverted like Kathy is. This way, you’ll always be meeting someone new and each day will be exciting, and really that’s what every day of your freshman year should feel like. Even if you’re dealing with a global pandemic.

Summary:

  • Why Facebook groups are helpful before going to college
  • Go to events and clubs on campus! It’s the best way to meet friends!
  • Freshman year is all about excitement and meeting new people, don’t be afraid to try new things

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By Mia Ilie

Mia Ilie is a student at Pace University, graduating in May 2024 with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric and a focus on publishing. She grew up in Rockland, New York and is currently living in Westchester, New York where she attends school and works at a local bookstore. You can always find her with her nose in a book or screaming to Taylor Swift with her 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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Chapter 1: Where Do I Go Next?

Monday, September 18th, 2023

The date is October 4th, 2019. Just a few months before we’re forced to remain inside our homes and the only way we would talk to our friends would be through a screen.

I was a senior in high school and freaking out every day about where the hell I should go to college, what I would major in, or if I should even go to college because the idea of not living in the same vicinity as my dog was terrifying (note to self: after four years it is still very difficult not being with my dog everyday).


Me and my dog Coco graduating high school! (We have a co-dependent relationship)

I knew that the best decision would be to go to school because if I stayed back home while all my friends moved on, my already not great mental health would get even worse. So, with that in mind, I spent almost all of my free time researching different colleges, debating how far I should go, and deciding if I should actually listen to my mother when she said I would prefer a smaller campus compared to a big one. I was 17 so naturally that teenage angst told me that my mom didn’t know what she was talking about. Now at 21, I realize she knew exactly what she was talking about. Further proof that mother’s always know best, but that’s not the topic right now.

By the time application season rolled around, I had applied to about five or six schools with two schools on the top of my list. One was a school in Massachusetts that I visited once and thought was cute and despite being far from home, was still close to one of my brothers who lives in Massachusetts. The other school was Pace University, only thirty minutes from home with an alternate city campus if I wanted to go further.

On October 4th, 2019 I went on a tour that I didn’t know then, but would ultimately be the tour that made my decision to go to this school.

It started off as a regular tour with the generic tour guide claiming this is the best school ever while walking backwards and constantly reassuring the parents that this is the safest campus in New York and your child will be taken care of. Needless to say, I was bored out of my mind waiting for the tour to end so the actual fun part would begin.

I had a family friend who always felt like a sibling to me at this school who would give me the actual realistic tour and let me hang out in their dorm while my mom went to watch the baseball game (coincidentally my stepbrother’s school was playing against Pace that day). Together my friend and I walked around campus, sat in the dining hall (I took a bite of the french fries, they weren’t great but there’s a McDonald’s down the street), hung out with some of their friends, and then went back to their dorm to watch stupid YouTube videos. You know, the routine of almost every college student.

On December 10th, 2019, I got the acceptance letter to Pace University. By January 2020 I had heard back from all the schools I applied to and got into both of my top picks. I had no idea how I was going to make this decision because I struggle just deciding what I’m going to eat for lunch, so figuring out the next four years felt impossible. But, thankfully, my mom told me we could visit both schools again just to get a feel for each. I was hoping I could get a more personal tour of my second school so I could compare it to the one I got from Pace. However, before I got a chance to do so, we were locked into our homes.

Being a class of 2020 student affected me more than I thought it would. If it wasn’t for COVID, I honestly couldn’t say I’d be in the same position I’m in currently. When decision day came in I reflected on both schools and knew that Pace was the place for me. I already had a distinguished relationship with someone I trusted and knew that would help me find the courage to break out of my shell in school.


Me and my friend Cayleigh this past summer in 2023

With this friend close by, I could contact them for any questions I had, felt encouraged to actually go out, and just genuinely have someone there for me when needed. I’m forever so grateful to this friend for all they have done for me and I hope one day I can return the big favor they’ve done for me. (Hey Cayleigh, if you’re reading this, let’s go get some drinks with our moms and I’ll tell you how much I love you again).

Positive relationships are so beneficial not just for your mental health, but physical health as well. Better Health Channel’s website has a blog about how relationships help lower one’s anxiety and depression, which was something I was worried would worsen when going to college. I had already struggled with my mental health for years beforehand and going into an unknown school not knowing anyone would definitely affect my anxiety. Thanks to this existing relationship, my overall mood was significantly better as was my confidence in getting to know people.


Me the day I moved into my dorm in August 2020

In August of 2020 I finally moved into my first dorm at Pace University after several facetimes and conversations with my roommate. By then I had two established relationships that ultimately made my first week at my new school exciting rather than terrifying.Having a connection with someone can make new challenges in your life more enjoyable which it ultimately did for me.

Summary:

  • I had been struggling for a while about what college I should go to but thanks to my friendship with a student at Pace it made my decision easier.
  • I was a senior in high school during 2020, so I was in lockdown when trying to figure out which college I should commit to
  • This friendship made my confidence about entering a new stage in my life much better and lead me to not being afraid to reach out to new people (Including my roommate I mentioned at the end)

Every college student needs to stay caffeinated! Enjoy a free iced coffee with the purchase of any sandwich! Make sure to bring coupon and student ID!

By Mia Ilie

Mia Ilie is a student at Pace University, graduating in May 2024 with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric and a focus on publishing. She grew up in Rockland, New York and is currently living in Westchester, New York where she attends school and works at a local bookstore. You can always find her with her nose in a book or screaming to Taylor Swift with her 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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on classroom camaraderie

Monday, July 11th, 2022

Let me set the scene: It’s 2018. I’m a freshman. I’m in a foundations class, the kind where we’d learn basic art student stuff- rudimentary color theory, composition, how to create a focal point. It’s mid-September. By now, a quarter of the class has distinguished themselves as Good Artists, a quarter’s revealed themselves as Artists So Bad We’re Wondering How They Got Here, and the other half of us are just… average. 

A few rows ahead of me sits this absolute whiz kid. Their work has style, it has voice. They use layers. They make digital art like it’s nothing, their Apple stylus sweeping over the current assignment they’ve started up in Procreate. Our professor, making laps around the classroom, takes a pit stop at their desk. “Great job,” he says, before going on to compliment their use of space. 

They are a Good Artist. 

I look down at my own paper filled with loose sketches. I think about Whiz Kid those few rows ahead of me. Their work is a Renaissance masterpiece and mine is incomprehensible. I feel the usual twinge of jealousy settle into my stomach and, in that moment, I can’t help but think, “I’ll never be on that level.”

a person watching a peer a few seats ahead.
Staring down the competition from afar…

Flash forward to 2022.

Whiz Kid is having a graduation party and I’m invited. When I show up, all the best students of the class are there, and we eat fondue and laugh and have a grand old time. It’s amazing. At one point, I say to them, not for the first time, “You know, freshman year, I thought you were so intimidatingly cool.”

They laugh. “Dude, I always thought you were so cool!”

The night goes on. We socialize, we party- we even do a few little drawing games (you can graduate art school, but you never stop being an art student). Someone brings up the idea of maybe starting a collective, doing big group projects, moving forward as a team.

As we celebrate the culmination of these four years, I find myself wondering: how did I let myself miss out on being close to such a cool group of people?

The answer is simple, clear, and ultimately unsurprising: academic competition. 

It sprouted in kindergarten, where I just had to be at the highest reading level for a five-year-old. It plagued me in high school, where an A- just wasn’t a good enough grade. So, of course, it followed me to college too. The thing is, it follows everyone. 

In a study done by Julie R. Posselt and Sarah Ketchen Lipson, the duo found that heightened academic stress and perceived competition had increased the rates of mental illness in college students (“Competition, Anxiety, and Depression..”). According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 25% of college students were diagnosed with or treated for a mental illness- and that’s just the ones who could afford to see a therapist. When you’re surrounded by a myriad of great minds, it’s easy to feel like the least capable among them. Imposter syndrome is a very real struggle, and once it sets in and tells you that you’re not good enough, anxiety is swift to follow, because what if everyone else thinks you’re a fraud, too?

When you’re in the throes of feeling like the worst, it’s easy to forget there’s other people who feel the same way about themselves, too. 

There’s no catch-all solution to imposter syndrome and the pressure of academic competition, but therapy and peer support are a great place to start. In an article from the Journal of Food Science Education, Shelly J. Schmidt hones in on how friendship actually boosts academic success at the college level (“The importance of friendships for academic success”). Students were “approximately 16 times more likely to become study partners with a friend than a nonfriend,” which indicates not a preference of social life over academics, but a preference to learn alongside people that provide an environment of encouragement. They were ready to engage with new material; it just helped to do it with friends.

a pair of friends studying from a comically-large book titled "textbooks 101."
It’s easier to get stuff done when working through it with a pal!

By bonding with peers and developing a sense of camaraderie, students were able to foster connections that made them better learners. Doing work alongside people you care about makes it feel way less like work- it turns it into an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s scary to befriend the competition, but you’ll feel way better once you start building each other up.

From an art student perspective, it’s so easy to envy different abilities. But no one’s going to do what you’re doing. Just because someone else develops work with an amazing voice, it doesn’t mean yours is inherently worse- it just means you and your peers are doing different things. Do you in a way no one else can, and be proud of your peers for doing the same. Who knows? Maybe if you get really close to them, you’ll get to go to a grad party with fondue.

two different styles of art with the subheading "good... aannd also good."
Skill has so many different looks.

tl;dr: different isn’t always better or worse- don’t let competition stop you from making friends!


Wanna create some interesting new art with the cool peers you just learned how to approach? Check out Blick Art Materials! 

By presenting your student ID and your Campus Clipper coupon, you’ll score 10% off your purchase. Check it out- they literally have everything, and it’s always so much fun to poke around and look for new mediums.


By Ness Curti

Ness Curti is a freshly-graduated illustrator from the Lesley College of Art and Design. A part-time bobarista and full-time New England adventurer, they hope to one day tell stories for a living, whether through art or words. They enjoy doodling, procrastinating, and saying hello to the dogs they pass on the sidewalk.


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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Songwriting and Publishing: Chorus Crisis

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Chorus Crisis

Personally, the most challenging part about writing a song is figuring out the chorus. It strikes me as difficult because it’s the climax of the song. Remember the plot diagrams that teachers used to show us in our English classes growing up? I’ve come to realize a song is somewhat like that. The rising and falling actions reflect the verses and bridge, and the climax is the chorus. There’s always a build-up to the chorus which is why there is so much pressure to make it catchy or unique because it’s what some listeners resonate with the most. I find a chorus hard to write or even compose because it needs a wow factor to stick in the audience’s brain. When writing this song’s chorus, I tried so many chord progressions, but I feel like I’ve hit a wall lyrically and melodically. With frustration at my fingertips, I try to not give into that energy and force myself to remold that into inspiration, so I turn to the artists that have influenced me most. 

My favorite Taylor Swift song is “Clean” from her fifth studio album, 1989. I absolutely love that song because, to me, it represents hope and the ability to rebuild yourself from a tumultuously toxic relationship or experience. The chorus is a breakthrough and feels like you are about to “punch a hole in the roof” as she says in the second verse of the song. When the chorus hits, it feels almost like a release of your emotions and the lyrics surround you like a warm hug to let the listener know that they made it past these strenuous endeavors. The lyrics, “Rain came pouring down/ When I was drowning, that’s/ when I could finally breathe/ And by morning/ Gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean” not only are melodically sound but allows those to dig deep inside themselves and relate this song to any life struggle. It talks about the loss of a relationship, but it could also be about addiction, depression, or the loss of someone. What I love about interpreting this chorus, is that there are no limits as to what this means to the listener. 

When writing my chorus, I keep these things in mind but also try not to allow the pressure of trying to achieve any kind of musical perfection, because that simply does not exist. With that weight off my shoulders, I begin to strum and sing what comes to mind. I finally reach what I think is going to be my chorus: “I found you/ in the corner of my eye/ hidden in plain sight/ where were you all this time/ so hard to find/ it’s too good to be true/ but I found you/ and you found me too”. I thought, yes Taylor Swift’s chorus is jam-packed with meaning and beautifully written metaphors that have all different kinds of interpretations, but there’s also a beauty to simplicity. I didn’t want my chorus to be too much or too copy-cat-esque, but I wanted to be my own style with that hint of her inspiration. 

I run into the problem of self-doubt a lot when it comes to writing music and writing in general. I always ask myself, is this too cheesy? Or is this too cliche? But what I’ve realized is that a majority of tropes that surround music are so cheesy and so cliché, but that’s because they’re universal experiences and feelings. I’m not saying that everyone needs to write a corny Top 100 pop song to be successful, but those themes are so common that it’s a matter of turning them into something that is unique to yourself. It is important to write something that will receive an emotional response, not only from listeners but from the person singing it. When I write, sing, or play an instrument, it’s something that I have to feel in my body and mind, or else the execution or performance is set up to be a disaster from the get-go. 


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By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.


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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Songwriting and Publishing: A Verse of Poetry

Monday, June 20th, 2022

A Verse of Poetry

When it comes to writing a song, there is no proper way to go about it. If I sat here and tried to figure out how to write the perfect song, I’d be sitting here for hours. One of my biggest inspirations when it comes to songwriting is Taylor Swift. I admire the way she creates a story through her lyrics and her experiences. Her songwriting takes the form of poetry and that is something I definitely try to emulate with my own songwriting. But what am I even going to write about? The first thing I do whenever I’m writing anything is grab a notebook and a pen and get to brainstorming. With my guitar laid across my lap, I start playing chord progressions till I find something that feels right. Along with playing melodies, I simply start singing whatever comes to mind because without thought I can truly figure out what I feel. By not having any predetermined outline, I can let my words flow freely and have them come naturally, instead of writing something first. 

Concentrated and ready to write!

The first thing that comes to mind is love. Love is a universal feeling that everyone has experienced at one time or another. We love our parents, friends, and significant others, so there is a lot of room to play here. With a brush of my thumb, I start singing from an outsider looking in at my own relationships. The first lyric for the first verse starts with: “my friends see how well you treat me, never heard that one before” to reflect on how sometimes we don’t realize how well things are going till we take a step back. “They tell me, how much you need me, never needed you more” follows to show an appreciation for that person in my life. As I continue, I realize what I want to write: a love letter. As much as I love writing, I am admittedly bad with words in the sense that I never openly tell people how lucky I am to have come across them in my life, so this is a way to express my love through music. When writing, I often stop and come back to my guitar to hear what I write with a clear mind and a new perspective. 

I saw some swans on my walk on the Esplanade after my coffee!

Hours later when I’ve had a coffee and taken a walk around the neighborhood, I go back to writing. I pick up my guitar and try plucking a progression instead of strumming, which I find to like better to create an airy, whimsical feel. Picking up where I left off, I start blissfully singing a few lines to create the first verse. After trial and error, I solidify my words and clean up the rough edges and come up with: 

My friends see how well you treat me, never heard that one before

They tell me, how much you need me, never needed you more

And you don’t judge me for my dirty laundry, 

You’re the only place in this world I feel safe 

And for the first time in my whole life,

I never felt the need to try and change.

2 hours later…

After coming up with a verse, I play it over and over again until my fingers get blisters from plucking the same four strings for what feels like days. I then record myself singing what I wrote to hear it from outside my body and to double-check if it sounds angelic or like a cat clawing at a chalkboard. I also play it in several keys to see what sound I like better for the song as a whole. Although this feels like I’m creating a finished product, to me, it is never finished. I have too many ideas and changes throughout the songwriting process that I feel like I could always add more or do it completely differently, but I like to save that for the end. This verse is “done” but there are moments where I completely hate it or love it or want to start all over, but I know if I just keep going, it’ll all turn out the way it’s supposed to. 


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By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.


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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Songwriting and Publishing: I Sing the Body Electric

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

I Sing the Body Electric

Growing up in Manhattan music was such an influential part of my life, so much so that as I got older, I began questioning whether I should pursue it professionally. At the beginning of high school, I was young, naive, and full of dreams, but so were half the kids in New York City. This city is the hubbub of talented children who are born and bred to perform and make it big loans-cash.net. I was soon hit with the reality that everyone is after the same dream, but only a few will make it. Pursuing music was just a fantasy of mine. After every failed audition and constantly putting myself out there, I figured out quickly that the foundation of this particular industry is rejection, competition, connections, and struggle to the highest degree. This would mean a life of uncertainty and financial instability which didn’t sound too appealing to me. I admire those who fight for the dream I wished to achieve, but as my high school career came to a close, I discovered that music would be just a hobby for me. I decided to focus on and put my energy into the next best thing: writing. 

This is my hometown with a gorgeous view.

Emerson College was a school that found me. I applied blindly without even taking a tour of the school before attending. Now, it’s my Junior year and I couldn’t be happier. I remember during my first few days exploring the little corner of Boston, seeing so much creativity ooze from the one city block. It has the eccentricity of the movie Fame where the kids are talented, imaginative, and motivated to achieve their goals in all kinds of fields of work. Similar to Fame, Emerson is filled with comedy majors, film majors, theatre majors, and kids that fill in all the in-betweens. I loved that movie so much because it showed kids my age fighting to find their passions while becoming so versatile in different fields.

Still having music in the back of my mind, I decided to find something that satisfied that itch for the artistic approach. I found myself majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, and for the first two years at Emerson, I focused on discovering the ins and outs of my major. Although I love to write and believe it is the foundation of this major, I surprisingly fell head over heels for publishing and soon decided to begin a concentration in that. All aspects of publishing intrigued me; from copyediting, proofreading, and magazine printing, to simply helping other writers attain a polished piece, I was all of a sudden invested in the world of publishing. 

This is my campus, aka The Boston Public Gardens

As my first two years of college progressed, music was still prevalent. I would play guitar and sing in the privacy of my dorm room almost every day, and still do. Although I still ponder the thought of how I could’ve made it big, a part of me feels as though if I had pursued music as a career, I wouldn’t love it the same. With publishing, I finally found a professional field that satisfies the craving for creativity. Through this book, I hope to combine my love of music with publishing. The first thing that came to mind was songwriting. Songwriting has always been a passion of mine because it unites the two things I admire the most in this world: music and writing. In a way, it also has a likeness to publishing; it creates a finished product and freely gives it back to the world as its own. Similar to publishing a book, there are multiple steps to creating a song. Follow me on this personal journey of uncovering the musicality of words through the ins and outs of songwriting in hopes to electrify both as one.   


A great place I like to go to in Boston is Pavement Coffee to grab an iced vanilla latte to clear my head in the heat of summer. Use this $5 discount to refresh your summer days in Boston.

By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.


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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Defining the Next Step

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

I am officially in my last month of college. As the weather warms and Union Square fills up with people who yearn for sunlight, I’ve come to reflect on the last four years of my life. While I have spent many hours thinking about my college experience this semester, the frequency of these thoughts has multiplied tenfold. At 23 years old, it feels as though something in my life is coming to an end. 

I’m trying to think of it less as something concrete and harsh and instead as something fresh and challenging… A new chapter, so to say. But that doesn’t feel quite accurate. We spend a large amount of our lives in academia; from when we first step out of our parent’s arms and onto the playground to when we walk across a grand stage to receive our diploma, we are in a state of learning. What comes after, if you don’t pursue grad school, is a different kind of life. I feel, to some unnerving degree, overwhelmed by the concept of a “career”… I am scared by the idea of taking my first few steps into an industry I’ve dreamt about since I was a child. 

Steps in the snow that caught my eye!

In past chapters, I’ve written about how intimidating it is to have a passion. This applies to having dreams as well. When you grow up dreaming of something, of working towards it, it can feel as though the moment you can start working in that dream will never come. Suddenly though, as you’re filling out graduation forms and job applications, it hits you. You realise that you’re done building your tools… Now, you have to use them. A lifetime of mounting pressure becomes real and you understand that you’re standing at the starting line of a career you’ve always wanted to pursue. 

This has, unfortunately, various detrimental effects on the psyche. It roots up points of uncertainty and self-doubt, preying on questions that grind at your mentality. It begins to make you wonder if this is what you want to do– if you’ve dedicated the last four years of your life to the right thing. 

What helps with this kind of wobbly footing? I’ve found myself searching through my own archives for solutions, for as often as these questions crop up, so do reminders of my love for literature. What I’ve come to realise is that I am not beholden to one single path. Just as I’ve explored and expanded my interests in school, I can do this again with my work. I’ve realised that this starting line isn’t for any kind of linear race; rather, it is simply a point of departure for a new adventure. It opens up my world to new opportunities, experiences, questions, ideas, and interests. Whatever I choose to do next is not something I am stuck with; instead, it is something I can learn from as I move through the world. 

Something else I’ve accepted is that this is not the end of my academic life– at least, not if I actively fight against it. I want to keep learning. Four years is not enough for me to feel adequately fulfilled by academia… But I realise that I don’t necessarily have to pursue grad school right away to continue my education. We are all humans who can choose to continue learning every day. We have an endless universe of knowledge right at our fingertips, not just via the internet but by the conversations we can cultivate in our lives. We can read novels, articles, and blogs. We can attend talks and plays and social events. We can meet people at book clubs or sign up for a class in something we’ve never tried before. The possibilities are endless… And so are our connections with other people. 

As we move through the world, pages of our individual stories get turned. What feels like the end is the start of something else. By expanding our view and access to the world, we expand our knowledge. Each step we take is a step toward a new experience… And perhaps new passions and dreams as well! 


By: Ehani Schneiderman

Ehani Schneiderman is a senior studying literature and anthropology at The New School. She hopes to connect with others through writing, poetry, and cultural exchange. When she isn’t nose deep in a book or word document, you can find her paddle boarding in a bay or scuba diving out at sea.


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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Who You Are in the Books You Read

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

What does it mean to see yourself in a book?

As a gay South Asian woman, this is a very important question to me. As a writer, this question is, in a way, a central focus of my life. Representation is vital; as someone who grew up with limited representation, I want to help facilitate a different future for the children growing up today. As we take each step into an unknown future, we should at least know that we are trying to positively change things for the next generation. 

There have been various books that have touched me, but there are three that truly impacted me in my adult life. Ada Limon’s The Carrying, Danez Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead, and Kabi Nagato’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness all shaped my early college years. When I read each of these books, there was a certain point that I would have to set it down because my tears would be overflowing. It is through the words etched onto off-white pages that I felt seen by someone. These writers didn’t know who I was but had nonetheless found a way to reach out and remind me that I exist– that I’m alive with my own stories to tell the world. 

Cover of The Carrying by Ada Limon

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what it was that was in those books that jolted my emotions so vividly. Was there something notable about the vocabulary? Was there particularly elegant use of punctuation or cadence? Was the imagery intensely vibrant?

While these books do indeed have something special to them (to be a writer who can weave words is a talent), I found the answer to my wonder elsewhere. These writers wrote unequivocally, unapologetically, as themselves. They wrote from their experiences, their lived emotions, feelings, and truths, without leaving a shadow of insincerity. Their works are raw; they touch on difficult topics and experiences. They recount the beautiful, the dirty, the painful, the joyous, and the hopeful. This hope is something personal; from the ways they were treated in the world, these creators write collections that plants seeds for the future.

I want to write as myself. I want to write for myself. I want to write for others… But I don’t want to write for others’ approval. 

I want to be the kind of writer who can be unapologetically me in my work; I want to record the macabre, the mundane, and the hope that ebbs and flows through my life. It was bits and pieces of Limon’s, Smith’s, and Nagato’s work that stuck with me; none of their life stories align completely with mine, but there were moments that fit in with moments from my own life. We are all made up of a myriad of identities, memories, and experiences. Even if we are not all the same, there are reminders, pockets of glimmering light, that can remind us that we are not alone… That there are others out there that have been through similar things and have felt similar emotions. I hope that from the various puzzle pieces of my own life, my future readers may find some kind of solace. To achieve this though, I’ve learned that I have to be free enough to put myself into what I write. In doing so, writers create stories that capture the realities of existing in this ever-changing world.


By: Ehani Schneiderman

Ehani Schneiderman is a senior studying literature and anthropology at The New School. She hopes to connect with others through writing, poetry, and cultural exchange. When she isn’t nose deep in a book or word document, you can find her paddle boarding in a bay or scuba diving out at sea.


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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Passion in a Rocky Boat

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

I’ve written about how I’ve had my dream—my dream of being a writer—since I was a child. Words have always flowed through my mind, my veins, and my heart… They’re what I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to. When someone has allotted so much time and energy to something they love, one might believe that they have all the confidence in the world. In reality, this isn’t quite true. If anything, loving something with all your heart can create uncountable pockets of self-doubt. A bitter feeling creeps up through unseen cracks, planting little seeds that sprout before you even begin to notice them. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I’m good enough, talented enough, or worthy enough to wield a pen. When something is important to you, there is a kind of ever-present mounting pressure to do it right—to do it perfectly

So, how does one deal with this? I can’t say I precisely have the answers, but my years in college have taught me a simple lesson: be kind to yourself. Looking back, I realise now that I wasn’t helping myself by being harsh on my own work. If anything, I held myself back; by feeding my own uncertainty, I kept myself from doing what I loved. I worried myself into a kind of lull, a complacency, that kept me stagnant. It was here that I lay in a pool of self-made dread. I was waiting every day for a sign to keep writing– a sign that I should keep writing. I wanted to—an ache in my bones made me feel like I needed to—but I kept this desire dormant because of my lack of confidence. It didn’t matter that I got positive feedback on my work. It didn’t matter that I was encouraged to keep going. I simply kept telling myself that it wasn’t true and that I needed to prove something more.

What I didn’t need was an external sign. I didn’t need to hear someone else’s validation. What I needed, simply, was kindness for myself. I needed to believe in my abilities and explore my writing freely. Discovering how to be gentle with yourself and your aspirations allows you to breathe. It allows you to be yourself. 

It is easy to say things such as “just do it.” We can think that, but sometimes we just don’t feel it. That’s alright; even though I am still harsh on my work, I hold onto the kernel of love—of passion—that inspired me to start writing in the first place. I remember what drove me to dedicate myself to my craft and grasp it with all my strength. When I remember these roots, they become a shining light… A beacon of sorts. They guide me back to my childish wonder, back to a time when I didn’t worry about the judgement of others (or the judgement of myself). Instead, I remember being held by the hands of characters who were my friends and realise that I want to create stories for little girls that want to see themselves in the books they read. And suddenly, when I am snapped back into my adult body, I rest easier in my bones. I let out a sigh, pick up a pen, and try to scribble a little something just for myself. Not for the world—just me and my own passions. 

It is here that I emphasise the importance of creating for yourself. As we grow older, our passions become subject to more and more eyes. This wears down on you, makes you self-conscious, and makes you wonder what your place in the world is. But in returning to yourself, to who you are to you, you can find solace and inspiration once again.


By: Ehani Schneiderman

Ehani Schneiderman is a senior studying literature and anthropology at The New School. She hopes to connect with others through writing, poetry, and cultural exchange. When she isn’t nose deep in a book or word document, you can find her paddle boarding in a bay or scuba diving out at sea.


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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