Archive for the ‘onBeauty’ Category

Chapter Three: Exercise & Mental Health in the Big Picture

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

I have had a complicated relationship with exercise since I was a child. I began swimming when I was six years old at the behest of my mother. I am not a competitive person, and being forced to competitively swim through elementary, middle, and high school wore significantly on my mental health, past even the point of depression. My mother had no sympathy for me when I explained to her how horrible competitive swimming made me feel, and accused me of “laziness” among other things. I quit the day I turned 18 and now, at age 23, I still have not stepped in a pool since.

Seeing Simone Biles’ journey during the Tokyo 2021 Olympics has been incredibly validating because she respects the seriousness of mental health and recognizes how difficult it is to maintain as a serious athlete. Simone withdrew from part of it because of the physical danger her mental health posed toward her ability to complete her routine without becoming injured. When the (potential) injury is physical, it is often easier for others (not speaking for Piers Morgan) to understand the implications of poor mental health. When there are simply ambiguous ideas of depression or anxiety, one’s mother or coach can thoughtlessly reply: “Stop being so negative.” This gaslighting is incredibly infuriating, but mostly hurtful. 

These days, I crave a routine, when I used to detest it. The book Nausea by John Paul Sartre gave me the words to describe how I had previously felt in a creative writing piece: “I felt disgust and disappointment toward myself and toward everyone. Why can’t everyone just do what they want? Why must we play roles and condemn ourselves to routine? I need routine; my need for the right way to live is despicable.” 


My well-used and cherished copy of Nausea.

But now I’m not so weirdy resentful: routine helps me feel more in control of my daily life rather than suffocated by it. In your daily life, as long as you feel, and you are affected by the consequences of your own and others’ actions, everything you do matters. I love that notion because, while it used to make me anxious (since how I exercised was dictated by others), it now bolsters my individual agency. I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance. All I know is that only you know how you feel; even your therapist does not live in your mind. Neither do your parents, coaches, or teachers. Although ideally these figures should want to help you, sometimes they can’t because they don’t think the same way, and their lives have been informed by different circumstances. 

It’s okay to take your time and experiment with a routine. Mine still changes year to year. With COVID-19, it has been a particularly difficult year of coping, especially after my routine was entirely upended from one day to the next. I had been going to the gym for three days a week consistently over the prior year. I felt confident in my strength and endurance, and I was proud of myself. 


They usually draw a funny comic on the whiteboard at 404 (to get your workout started with a smile?): “Hey, dude, when I said ‘curls might help’ that’s not what I meant.”

Without a gym, I have no desire to exercise. During my year in isolation I lost all of the aforementioned progress and now have to start over. It’s okay, though: day by day. 

If you’re like me, and prefer to work out independently without instruction, colleges usually have a free gym you can attend as a student. My go-to gym at NYU is 404 Fitness, near which you can also find a Rumble boxing studio, and SoulCycle. If you want to be part of a club team in college, you can join intramural sports. If you want to do something more competitive you can look for sports within college divisions. If you don’t feel quite ready to take a class or go to the gym, or you just need a break from building your intensity, taking walks offers a more casual, but effective form of movement. 

 It’s okay to not “seamlessly” transition your lifestyle into going to the gym three times a week instead of none, or toward becoming a vegetarian, for example. Sometimes you will step outside of those goals simply because the world is not currently allowing for it, or you want to do something more, or maybe the transition doesn’t feel good anymore, which is okay. When you cannot control things, that is when it’s fun to simply be along for the ride (a passenger, as I like to say). In the big picture, your mental health should have a mutualistically symbiotic relationship with when and how you exercise. 

A brief summary of advice:

  • During college, take advantage of free gym memberships/ collegiate club sports
  • I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance; it occurs on a rolling basis throughout your life. 
    • Being a “passenger” is my way of describing my most reliable mode of self-preservation; you are not at fault for what you can’t control
  • Check out Jameela Jamil’s social media (Twitter/Instagram) and her podcast “iWeigh” through both of which she deeply and personally discusses a multitude of topics with individuals with personal experiences/experts regarding mental health, eating disorders, working out, feminism, etc. 
    • This has grown to largely inform a lot of my mindset regarding the language I use to discuss exercise, physicality, and nutrition


By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.


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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Cultivating Your Community and Finding Your Peers

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

After the initial shock and scramble for a newfound identity has passed, New York City can become pretty lonely and alienating until one finds their own niche community. In the beginning of my time at The New School, I struggled with finding my peers because it felt like everyone already created established groups. Coupled with my social anxiety, the city landscape was a rough place to immediately make close friends. I found that at first, the city offered  a strange lack of intimacy disguised as comradeship in student life as I would find myself attending school organized activities with groups of people that I would no longer hear from after leaving the room. Keeping in contact has always been a difficult task for me, but I wanted to make close connections so I realized that I had to break out of the shell that I had created for myself. One thing I really had to learn for myself was that meaningful friendships exist in more than just group settings. In other words, it’s okay to feel like others may have more friends than you. Socializing should not feel like a competition! What really matters at the end of the day is that you have formed strong connections that are meaningful to you and the people you share them with. It took me a long time to realize that I don’t need an extremely large friend group that shares the exact same interests in order to be happy; after all, how is it possible to find people exactly the same? Such an occurrence is rare and can actually cause social disadvantages as you may never interact with people of different opinions than you. It is the equivalent of a friendship within a vacuum, which is the exact opposite lifestyle that New York City encourages. 

With my social anxiety it was, and still is, often difficult to convince myself to take risks and talk to new people but I found that my best friends have been made through breaking out of my comfort zone. During my sophomore year, a classmate invited me to a party at her apartment in the East Village and I felt the immediate creep of anxiety rolling through me. Despite this, I realized that I never really went out when I had the opportunity to do so, and I considered the notion that I was missing out by spending my free time only with my one best friend in the city. I loved the lower east side and I knew that I needed to love and experience it beyond the media I consumed about it. I needed to branch out in order to have more diverse experiences and the party was the perfect place to do so! This notion came hand in hand with the recognition that if I want something, in this case friendships, I must be willing to put myself out there and make the effort to get to know people rather than expect them to come to me. Manifesting can only go so far if one does not act! At the party, my friend and I ended up meeting a new student who was also looking to meet people. We fell into easy conversation and by 2 am we were eating Ihop on 14th Street! Exploring preexisting relationships helped alleviate some of my social anxiety and meet more people. Unforgettably, I met one of my best friends at this party that I was so anxious to attend!

Beyond the casual irregular party invitations, another way to meet your own people is to create your own clubs. Sure, your university may offer its own interesting clubs but if you notice that there is not a specific club for you, try forming your own! A few friends and I started a book club when we were sophomores, and though the club never fully got off the ground, I was introduced to various new novels and people who are just as bookish as myself. Be open with your interests, this is the one thing I wish I had acted more upon. At the end of the day, there is no one to impress or be afraid of because your interests are what make you unique. You will attract the right people if you are open about what kind of person you are! 

Enjoying Open Mic Night at The People’s Forum

Lastly, I also recommend volunteering in your community. One way to find people with a similar drive and passion to you is through volunteer work! I highly recommend The People’s Forum, which is located on W 37th Street in the Garment District of Manhattan. The People’s Forum uses their space to organize political activist events and host activities like open mics and movie showings. They also have volunteering opportunities that encourage conversations with like minded individuals and a chance to help out a cause that one believes in. I have been to a few of their open mic nights, which featured acts from original performances to poetry readings! Consider what you believe in and how you can make a difference in your community. This is a surefire way of making new connections that can last beyond the time that you volunteer for an organization!

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Overview

  • Dismiss the idea that your friend group must be large and identical in personality, doing so will make you happier in the long run. 
  • Hold your friends close; form meaningful relationships with people that you actually enjoy talking to rather than just aiming to impress.
  • Wear your interests on your sleeve! Don’t be afraid to showcase your interests. 
  • Volunteer with organizations to help out in your community! I recommend The People’s Forum.

_______________________________

Helisoa Randriamanana is an aspiring writer, academic, and recent Spring 2021 graduate of The New School with a BA in literary studies and a double minor in philosophy and religious studies. She is interested in jump starting a career in the world of book publishing and most of her work, both fiction and non-fiction, reflects the humanist philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas.

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 Two: So Much Food!

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Comedy is not my only comfort mechanism. When faced with the plethora of dining options in college, I wanted to make the most of the novelty of a new city’s foods and not deny myself options. I have always loved food, and turn(ed) to it out of a sense of anticipatory anxiety toward social situations– a not uncommon behavior. In sophomore year, I lived in the Greenwich Residence Hall, which meant I was walking daily through streets lined with shops for baked goods, donuts, cheese, wine, and everything else I love to indulge in. 


Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street

Amy’s Bakery on Bleecker Street (now permanently closed) was one of my favorite bakeries to visit. Every other Friday, I would go in and buy a soft and sweet loaf of challah bread, presented with a braided design. Of course, no one intends for a loaf of bread to be dinner, but nonetheless, that’s what it was to me on Friday night. While I enjoyed eating challah for dinner, I knew it wasn’t providing me with adequate nutrition. Since I was a college student who walked everywhere, I should have been more mindful of meeting my nutritional needs so that both my brain and body felt energized. 

As I continue to reminisce about what not to do, I recall that another one of my favorite ill-advised things to eat was what I called “waffle salad,” which was a waffle torn into pieces smothered by nutella in a bowl. I do still encourage you to try whatever you want, whether you are in the presence of company or not. Discovering foods you like and spending time with yourself can be a meditative experience, as it is for me. 


DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

Conversely, food is known to be a great way to bond with people. My aforementioned roommate, Anna, and I were roommates by choice in sophomore year and we would get food together, from cookie dough to nutella beignets (the latter being a more sophisticated version of my waffle salad). 


Nutella beignets at Cafe Marie

San Marzano, a cheap and delicious Italian restaurant near Washington Square Park, became the first go-to place that I often went to with girls I met on a staircase to Drag Bingo. This dinner cemented our relationship into a close friendship and we would frequently go back throughout the years. 


Bagel Belly near Union Square

Getting to know people over food can also help with awkwardness and avoiding hyper-awareness of the space your body is taking up. We’ve all heard the classic adage, “what do I do with my hands?!” 

One of my Drag Bingo best friends and I absolutely love Times Square, despite the perpetuated “stigma” of it being a tourist-infested “not really that cool” place to see if you consider yourself a true New Yorker. To that we say: we don’t care; we like it so we’re going. That’s the American way, after all. 

Just as mesmerized as I am by the sight of New York’s nighttime skyline from an airplane, I am in awe from the ground of Times Square at night (when you can’t see a lot of the grime, though the layers do add character). To go full tourist mode, my friend and I even got Cold Stone ice cream, which was delicious.


My friend and I enjoying Times Square 🙂

Whether it’s a basic touristy- moment you’re having in Times Square or a local specialty, food is a wonderful way to connect yourself to people and the community itself. Don’t be too afraid to go up to a pop-up food truck: you might just get to try pistachio ice cream with crickets on top at no cost! Because when else could you be convinced to try something like that? 


Cricket ice cream I got from a pop-up truck near Union Square.

While you traverse the world’s culinary options and discover new foods with the same jubilance as a toddler (ideally), remember that balance is important and to listen to what your body needs. I gained a lot of weight during my first year of college, which is fairly common, but it still wore on me psychologically. It took me a number of trials to find a routine that worked for me, and to identify how I can exert control over my life while indulging in the pleasures. I had to reach the point of wanting to have control in the first place, rather than continuing to do what felt like blindly throwing darts at a wall listing restaurants and going to all of them anyway regardless of where the darts landed. 

I stopped enjoying eating because it began to feel like a burden every time I did. Eventually, I realized I can take my time and not beeline like Pacman (or insert your more contemporary reference here) through all of the restaurants and food stands in New York. 

In order to make balanced dietary choices in college (which includes fun choices too!): 

  • Try novel foods!
  • Maybe even the waffle salad, just once?
  • Explore your local shops and become an infamous “regular” with a “usual”
  • You will change in college (and you can still make jokes about the “you’ve really changed in college, man” memes) — what you liked in Year One may no longer be the case in Year Two… don’t force yourself to be someone you don’t feel like anymore
  • If your comfort mechanisms change, that’s intimidating to confront (because what can you turn to now?) but you can always discover new activities. Always. 
  • You have to want to change your tendencies that you no longer enjoy.


By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.


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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Discovering Yourself: Realizing Your Interests Beyond the Crowd

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

Arguably one of the most difficult aspects of being new to New York City is discovering one’s true identity when having never lived alone before. Despite my close familial relationships, there has always been a feeling of involuntary performance while living under the watchful eyes of my parents, who have expectations about what kind of person I am and will always remain. Moving out was simultaneously one of the toughest and most relieving moments of my journey as a student in New York because the city offers its inhabitants complete anonymity and a chance to explore personal identity beyond the places they come from. It was terrifying to consider my own identity beyond what I became comfortable with because this was the first time that I had complete control over what kind of person I wanted to become; the only eyes I had on myself were my own because no one was yet familiar with the performance of a personality I had become merely comfortable with. 

Despite this anxiety, attending The New School opened my eyes to a diversity in ways of being that I had previously never thought of. Even from the first day, I could tell that people in the city were unapologetically themselves, whether it be loud through political activism or attention grabbing in fashion. This seemed to be the dividing factor between newly mint freshman and seasoned city students; some people knew themselves much better than others. Having not yet made true connections aside from my assigned roommates, I ventured to find other ways of connecting with people and discover my own identity beyond appearances.

A flyer found on a TNS bulletin board advertising philosophy workshops

I have found that a key way of understanding my likes and dislikes is to try everything available. This means indulging in courses that I would have otherwise never considered prior to becoming a university student when I had always considered myself too shy or antisocial. I discovered that I wanted to minor in philosophy because I decided to take an introductory philosophy course that met at 10 o’clock in the morning! Before this, I was always passionate about literature but never interested in understanding the technicalities of thinking; in these introductory courses, I discovered the many ways of thought that influence the ways people navigate the world, thus opening up my perspective to the worldview of others. I would even argue that I have become more empathetic because I am open to listening to different schools of thought that influence lives. A notion that helped me to excel in these seminar style discussions that were held in class was to remind myself that no one there knew me but myself, thus I held the power to recreate myself into the person that I wanted to be and to be as vocal as I wanted despite my initial shyness that I believed I was obligated to bring with me from high school. This mentality liberated me from mere compliance and helped me grow into myself.

Flyer advertising a conference at TNS

The advice to try everything extends beyond school. Take a look at the bulletin boards hanging up around campus: does anything catch your eye? Universities often hold mixers for specific demographics and special interests, even if the event may look intimidating at first, always remember that you are not obligated to stay for the whole duration of the event! This mentality helped me attend many school organized events on my own; there is often an unwritten rule that students should stick with their initial friend group during the first few weeks at their new university, but remember that this is not mandatory and that you are free to do whatever you want! Take the time to consider what you want to do rather than moving aimlessly within a crowd. Most events are more fun when you go alone because you have the freedom to dictate your own actions without any one else’s influence. I particularly like going to open mics, concerts, and other more crowded events on my own because I am the only person I have to look out for while I am there. This also gives me the opportunity to mingle with people that I would have otherwise not spoken to if I were in a group. I find that it is often difficult to dislodge myself from a group that I enter an event with, coming alone lets me find new people to socialize with. Most of the time if you find yourself at an event you willingly participate in, you will be surrounded by like minded individuals! So put yourself out there and focus on what you like before settling just because everyone else likes something.

Last but not least, another resource beyond bulletins and school mixers that can help new students in the city discover their own identity is to read, read, read! It is incredible how vast the libraries are in liberal arts colleges; I know that I was completely floored by the titles available at The New School the first time I set foot in the library. Growing up immersed in books, I have developed an infatuation with life that stems from romanticization of the real world. Realizing this has been surprisingly uplifting because it helps me see the positive possibilities in life beyond my immediate scope. Even beyond fiction, though, reading about other people’s experiences and perspectives on life has opened my eyes to aspects of myself that I was never particularly in tune with. When you have the free time, consider browsing the shelves of your university library and reading up on subjects that interest you. Databases like Jstor and ProQuest are also available right at your fingertips and can lead you to similar subjects that you may find just as interesting.

  And remember that at the end of the day, you are the only one who has true say in your interests and how you decide to live your life. Allow yourself to step out of the comfortable box that you have become familiar with prior to becoming a university student! 

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Overview

  • Try everything! Take classes that you think you may be interested in even if you do not think that you will initially “fit in.” 
  • Break out of the mentality that you must remain the same person forever!
  • Search school bulletins and event calendars for interesting student led events.
  • Attend events on your own – learn about yourself beyond attachment to groups.
  • Read, read, read! Remember that your school probably has affiliated university libraries that you can also get into! (ex. TNS students have access to NYU libraries!)

This is just a handful of advice for incoming New York City students looking to find themselves and thus eventually find where they fit in. Be the key person who knows your own likes and dislikes, try not to follow a crowd, and remember to always be yourself even if it may seem frightening at first. Everyone has struggled with the notion of identity at some point and it should not be a race to find like minded people to be friends with! Never settle!

____________________________________________________________________

Helisoa Randriamanana is an aspiring writer, academic, and recent Spring 2021 graduate of The New School with a BA in literary studies and a double minor in philosophy and religious studies. She is interested in jump starting a career in the world of book publishing and most of her work, both fiction and non-fiction, reflects the humanist philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas.


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Staying Sane in NYC: Tips for De-Stressing Beyond Your Apartment

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

When I first moved to New York City in the Summer of 2017, wide eyed and ready to take on the world, I was ill equipped for the stressful, constant movement and the expectations that the city enforces upon its youth. A freshman with an intense romantic passion for literature, philosophy, and religious studies at The New School, I immersed myself in as much school reading and classwork that I could; after all, I had never had such resources available to me before. The stimulating content on one shelf alone in the List Center library was overwhelming; who knew there could be so many books under Queer New York Literature? Even though I had visited the city often and had lived with my family in nearby New Jersey, the city always thrilled me to no end both on paper and in the real world. As a bibliophilic child, I had grown into a romanticist who wanted nothing more than to experience the streets that Patti Smith had called her stomping grounds, that Joan Didion had marked a perishable dream, and that James Baldwin had portrayed time and time again. Even Percy Jackson had fought his most gruesome battles in the city streets! I needed to make the city my own now. Meanwhile, an idealistic mentality drove me to further excel in my classes because I understood that my time in such an institution and location was a privilege and something I wanted to be proud of when I reflected back on my time spent there. Located just on the border of the East and West Village, The New School gave me the opportunity to walk around the neighborhoods I had once merely read about, to experience the freedom that I did not realize I craved so badly. And best of all, to create my own legacy beyond the pages I had already read.

And then came the burnout from classes. By the time midterm season rolled around, I was exhausted from spending time in the library hunching over my laptop to write papers. I could not blame anyone but myself, for my hunger for literary excellence forced me into perfectionism and my drive to experience everything all at once left me terribly overstimulated. I needed a break from the rush of student life in New York. It did not help that once I stepped out of the University Center on 13th and fifth ave, I was hit with the scramble of New Yorkers moving on with their own lives. How could I deal with this mad rush without being holed up in my freshman shoebox dorm room? It was midterm season and there was no time to revel in this so-called “self-care” that I heard whispered around by students and faculty alike. Or was there?

This was the year that I discovered the quieter side of New York; the lush green of city parks, new neighborhoods, and the realization that I could step back and still feel like a participant of city life. 

Washington Square Amidst a Protest

Taking Advantage of Green Spaces

The Pond

One of my favorite relaxing after class activities was to visit the dog park in Washington Square, just a few much-needed steps away from the jumping atmosphere of the main square. As the sun began to set following a tiresome day in the library or a particularly heated debate in the classroom, I would find myself tucked into the back right of Washington Square watching the dogs frolic in their own designated space. As a student, it is almost impossible to have a dog in a shoebox apartment or communal dorm and as a dog person, this space is the next best thing! One of my close friends would often text me after she got out of class on a particularly anxious day to meet her at the dog park so that we could sit together and watch the puppies for a while while we cleared our heads. Afterwards, try having a late lunch or hot drink at the famous Cafe Reggio, home of the original cappuccino and just steps away on MacDougal Street or getting ice cream on that same street at Van Leeuwen.

Harlem Meer

My favorite park to relax solo in has always been Central Park. Relaxing alone is important for my self care regime, as it allows me to sit with my thoughts before I journal my feelings in order to relieve stress. Never ignore your feelings, this can lead to a build up of anxiety that will be difficult to relieve all at once later on. When you are overworked from school, it is okay to admit when you are at your limit and need a break or some alone time! The key to finding the perfect secluded location to enjoy my own company is proximity to water. Wildlife like ducks and remarkable birds are more likely to inhabit areas that are not oversaturated with people and that have natural resources like streams and lakes. If you forgot your blanket, don’t worry! The best location for sitting and enjoying your book on a bench would be The Pond, which is just a short walk away from the Fifth ave and E. 59th street Central Park entrance, right across from the famous Plaza Hotel. The Plaza Hotel also has a food court in the basement, which is open to the public! Even on cool afternoons, this location is ideal because it is not too secluded so as to feel lonely, nor is it overpopulated. There is also a tiny bridge that you can take photos from with the New York city skyline behind you! I have spent many afternoons reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt here to clear my mind after a busy school week. 

If you would rather sprawl out on a blanket and are located further uptown, I recommend the Harlem Meer, which is located just off of the 2 and 3 train 110th street subway stop. There is both a perfect mix of bench seating and grass that surrounds the peaceful lake. Here you can even find turtles swimming in the water! I loved to run through the park starting in this location because it affords me the fulfilling view of a calm landscape that eases me into my daily jog. When you want to sit and relax, there are wonderful, well maintained spots to sit in the grass and enjoy the day!

City Walks

New York city is also the perfect location for people watchers! Whether it be to gain writing inspiration or even just to wind down, people watching is a fantastic pastime for me in the city. Try walking around a new neighborhood to see different things; soon you will be able to tell the different communities that are present all across the city. While I was living on the upper east side as a student from my sophomore to junior year, I loved walking down Madison Avenue to people watch and window shop. This allowed for socialization as I was still immersed in city life while not necessarily forcing myself into social situations. As someone who creates best in their alone time, city walks like this have been particularly healing to me on stressful days and has helped me gain inspiration for my fiction writing. When you need to take a rest, try the Great Lawn just behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 86th street. In the summertime, the Delacorte Theatre, which is located a few paces away, hosts free Shakespeare in the Park events! 

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Overview: 

  • Find some alone time amidst the rush of constant city activity to decompress after classes!
  • Try: the dog park in Washington Square, The Pond and Harlem Meer in Central Park.
  • Stop by Cafe Reggio and Van Leeuwen  after a day in Washington Square.
  • Have a meal at the Plaza Hotel Food Court before going to The Pond. 
  • Take city walks and discover new neighborhoods for both inspiration and to unwind!
  • Try: walking down Madison Avenue before visiting the Great Lawn and Delacorte Theatre.

These are just a few examples of places I like to go when I need to slow down after a grueling day as a New York city student. Eventually, you will be able to find which neighborhoods you like the most, thus opening up new communities for you to discover and be a part of! 

____________________________________________________________________

Helisoa Randriamanana is an aspiring writer, academic, and recent Spring 2021 graduate of The New School with a BA in literary studies and a double minor in philosophy and religious studies. She is interested in jump starting a career in the world of book publishing and most of her work, both fiction and non-fiction, reflects the humanist philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas.

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Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 2: Fun Food Formulas

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Food hacks have become all the rage amid facts and fiction in the cyber realm. Social media platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, are great places to discover quick and easy recipes that are perfect for those who need a little inspiration. From mindless scrolling on these platforms hours on end, I have come across countless examples of food-inspired content. And so, in this edition of Plugging in with Good Intentions, I’m sharing my favorite recipes for each meal of the day, including dessert, that I have discovered via the Internet and social media.


~Breakfast~

We’ve all heard that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ so why not make it tasty? I love bananas, especially on top of traditional flapjacks. So, when I watched @maddisonskitchen make her own on TikTok, I knew I had to re-create it and share this fun twist on pancakes. Also, if you aren’t a fan of bananas, you can easily replace them with other fruits in this recipe! From sliced strawberries to apples, the possibilities are endless. 

Banana Pancake Dippers 

What You’ll Need:

  • Pancake mix (or you can make it from scratch)
  • Bananas (as much as your heart desires)
  • Pan 
  • Oil or butter
  • Toppings (ex. syrup, whipped cream, Nutella)

Steps:

  1. Prepare your pancake mix.
  2. Slice your bananas.
  3. Heat up your pan and oil/butter it up.
  4. Dip each banana slice into your batter and ensure they are fully coated.
  5. Place each of your banana pancake dippers about an inch away from one another on the pan to cook.
  6. Once you see bubbles forming, flip them over to cook the other side. 
  7. Cook until your banana pancake dippers are golden brown on each side.
  8. Serve with toppings, if desired.

~Lunch~

Back in the day, I would bring sandwiches that my mom made for school lunch. Of course, I would be picky and request to have no crust. Then, I discovered Smucker’s Uncrustables and thought they were so convenient. Essentially, they are sealed sandwiches with no crust. 

As seen in the picture above, there is a variety of flavors for Uncrustables. Still, if you think about it, they’re chemically processed and frozen. After watching the ‘Trying TikTok Food Hacks’ YouTube video from @merrelltwins, however, I learned that I could make a more nutritional and fresh version of Uncrustables. 

DIY Uncrustables 

What You’ll Need:

  • Bread
  • Cup or glass 
  • Filling (ex. Peanut Butter, Nutella, jelly, fruits, ham, cheese)
  • Toaster 

Steps:

  1. Choose your filling (possibilities are endless here).
  2. Take two slices of bread and spread your filling in the middle of one piece. Be sure to leave space on the outer edges, so your sandwich can be sealed with no leakage.
  3. Assemble your sandwich by placing the second piece of bread on top of the other. 
  4. Now, use your cup or glass to seal your sandwich by pressing firmly and twisting to remove the crusts. 
  5. You should now have your very own and perfectly sealed DIY Uncrustable. 
  6. You can either eat it just the way it is or toast it. Also, they can be prepared and stored in the freezer for later.

~Snack~

At this time of the day, sometimes all you want is something sweet to satisfy your cravings. One of my favorite snacks is cookies, especially Oreos. Still, it’s fun to try your own twist on an American classic. 

Oreos

And so, as I was scrolling on Pinterest, I came across a quick recipe from @CookingClassy on how to make Oreo Truffles! With the recipe calling for only three ingredients, I knew I had to make some myself and share it with you all. 

Oreo Truffles

What You’ll Need:

  • Oreos
  • Cream Cheese
  • Melted Chocolate 

Steps:

  1. Crush Oreos into fine crumbs. This step can be executed in multiple ways. For instance, you can use a food processor, crush them by hand with a fork in a bowl, or by putting the Oreos in a plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. 
  2. Add enough cream cheese to your Oreo crumbs, so that your mixture becomes thick or dough-like.
  3. Now, shape your mixture into round balls. 
  4. Put your Oreo truffles into the freezer to solidify for about 15 minutes.
  5. Once chilled, dip your Oreo truffles into melted chocolate.
  6. You can also add toppings such as additional Oreo crumbs and sprinkles.

~Dinner~

Now, if you’re a regular user of TikTok you might be familiar with this meal I’m about to share with you. One food hack that went viral in early 2021 was Baked Feta Pasta. After watching the TikTok from @feelgoodfoodie, I knew I had to make some myself.

Baked Feta Pasta

What You’ll Need:

  • Pasta
  • Feta Cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic 
  • Basil (if you want to be fancy)
  • Baking dish

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place a block of feta in the middle of your dish and surround it with your cherry tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle olive oil as well as sprinkle salt, pepper, and a few garlic cloves (or garlic powder) across your dish.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until everything is softened.
  5. In the meantime, boil the pasta.
  6. Once the tomatoes and feta are thoroughly cooked, smash them to create a creamy sauce. Then, stir in your cooked pasta. 
  7. Top with fresh basil, if desired. 

~Dessert~

If the Oreo truffles weren’t enough, then how about Oreo mug cake? Again, here is another twist on an American classic.

Oreo Mug Cake

What You’ll Need:

  • Oreos 
  • Milk 
  • Mug

Steps:

  1. Place a few Oreos into a microwave-safe mug.
  2. Crush your Oreos into a chunky mixture.
  3. Pour just enough milk, so that your mixture is submerged but peeking through the top.
  4. Heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. 
  5. Now, you have a gooey chocolate pudding-like mug cake that will satisfy any nightly cravings.

In the end, these fun food formulas can be altered however to your liking. Still, go on and discover more recipes. And remember, stay positive and maintain good intentions.

Eat Happy on Behance

If you can’t find something you like right away, you can always visit the multitude of organizations that offer student discounts on Campus Clipper to find inspiration on your own fun food formulas. 

For instance, check out Tropic Berry Cafe for fun acai bowls and smoothies!


By: Sydney Ly

Sydney Ly studies Communication with dual minors in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is currently working in retail and has experience as a tutor. Her passions include but are not limited to reading, listening to music, and watching The Office.

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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Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 1: Relax from Reality

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Foreword

Living in a modern society that is dependent on technology and the Internet, can sometimes be challenging for us to find and maintain positive energy through virtual means. There will always be controversial debates as to whether technology and the Internet are good or bad for us, however, we shouldn’t be preoccupied with settling this never-ending dispute. Rather, it’s up to us to utilize devices and engage online in a way that brings new meaning to our lives. From finding new interests to connecting with people, the virtual world doesn’t always have to lead to negativity. When plugging into the technological world, the key to helping to avoid an unhealthy mindset is to go in with good intentions. Ensure that you step into the cyber realm with purpose and set yourself up to receive fulfillment.


Chapter 1: Relax from Reality

Oftentimes, we say that we desire an escape from the obstacles and chaos that we experience throughout our daily lives. With such ease of accessibility and instant entertainment, it’s no wonder why we constantly absorb ourselves in the digital world. Still, it’s important to note that we shouldn’t exclusively resort to our devices as an ‘escape.’ Instead, modify our mindset to focus more on relaxation. You may need a little distraction from matters in your life and that’s okay. It’s all about setting boundaries and treating yourself to some digital entertainment. Despite going on your phone with good intentions, sometimes logging on to social media can dampen the mood. This is where certain phone apps can help shine some light on your day.

Meditation

Lately, I’ve been switching between a couple of self-care apps that have helped me through rough patches in my life. If you are new to self-care, there are two meditation apps that provide tools and remedies to support your journey to feeling better — Sanvello and Headspace. 

These two apps are great if you like simple check-ins on how your day is going and need guides to mindfulness. Both apps contain activities, ranging from breathing exercises to journaling, that can be completed within just a minute, or even an hour, of your day. If meditation doesn’t seem like your niche,  Headspace contains guides on physical activities such as cardio and yoga routines.

Now, you might be thinking that such meditative and therapeutic practices are not for you. Well, don’t fret sometimes I don’t even want to immerse myself into a state of deep relaxation or guided workout. So, this is where another app comes into play — #Selfcare.

As the name suggests, #Selfcare is all about focusing on you and creating a space tailored for your well-being. Essentially, the app is a virtual bedroom to resemble a ‘stay at home’ or ‘lying in bed’ kind of day. There are numerous simplistic tasks including, putting away laundry, watering plants, and lighting a candle, that are available whether you choose to do so or not. You can even just open the app and listen to its soothing soundtrack and imagine you’re in bed if you aren’t already. Again, it’s all about you! This app gives you space to simply relax and focus on the present moment.

Of course, I couldn’t leave out minimal mind games that are more ideal if you are the type of person that needs to keep your brain busy. Games such as 2048 and 1010!, are great if you want straightforward objectives and calming conditions. 2048 is all about combining numbered tiles to reach the number 2048 and 1010! revolves around merging puzzle blocks to clear the board. Below are actual gameplays from my phone.

In the end, these apps are accessible from a phone or tablet and contain various methods for relaxing from reality. Whether you prefer meditations, aerobics, a virtual space for winding down, or simple games to keep your mind busy, it’s always good to take some time to relax from reality.


Do:

~Log on with a positive mindset

~Relax with self-care apps

~Play simple mind games

Don’t:

~ Rely on technology as an escape

~ Engage with platforms that may trigger negativity


If you’re in need of some major relaxation, then check out IL Girasole for a day at the spa!


By: Sydney Ly

Sydney Ly studies Communication with dual minors in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is currently working in retail and has experience as a tutor. Her passions include but are not limited to reading, listening to music, and watching The Office.

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 Covid Cooking Club: Chapter 3: Vegetables

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

The Covid Cooking Club

Chapter 3: Vegetables

How to Grow Cabbage In Easy Steps
A picture of a delicious cabbage. At least I think it’s delicious, I’ve never cooked cabbage. Hell, I don’t remember if I’ve ever even eaten the stuff.

Vegetables are the things your parents told you to eat when you were kids, and you either ignored them completely or complied entirely out of fear. The fact that we must be forcibly conditioned to consume boring green stuff is evolution’s fault, as we have become a sedentary society without our bodies ever adapting to the fact that if we want to eat we no longer have to chase down a gazelle on foot and beat it to death with a rock. Thus, I must consume at least some vegetables if I don’t want to devolve into a quivering mass of immobile gelatin, which would be extremely inconvenient as it would deprive me of the manual dexterity required to build the plastic model robots that have been my closest friend during the current crisis. The vegetable I eat most often is celery, not because it tastes good or has any nutritional value aside from fiber but because it doesn’t need to be cooked, just washed. The fact that it has zero calories makes it attractive to me since it means I can waste the space on something else later, but I almost always end up dipping it in hummus to give it some actual flavor and thereby defeating the entire point. My favorite cooked vegetable might be spinach, which I literally never make. This is partially because it’s another food my family makes a lot better than me, and partially because you can buy ten pounds of spinach at the store, cook it up, and wind up with half an ounce. Obviously that’s an exaggeration but I only have so much fridge space and spinach takes up too much of it. Normally the vegetables I prepare the most are green beans and broccoli. These are also both foods I associate with my parents, but I can make them in a way that doesn’t totally embarrass me. I make broccoli more rarely because of two reasons. The first is that it just takes much longer to boil in water, and I don’t trust myself to fry it, so boiling green beans is just more efficient. The second is that ever since I was young I’ve had this weird thing where I only eat the buds of the broccoli, not the stem. I think it has to do with little baby me believing that broccoli was just tiny trees or something, but either way I end up not eating half of the broccoli and that’s just wasteful. It does make it easier to prepare though; to make green beans you need to individually slice the tips off each bean while with broccoli you can just break a piece off the stalk and wash it. Generally I eat vegetables separate from my actual meals, because as previously mentioned in the first chapter my pot is much bigger than the stovetop itself so I can’t really have another thing cooking at the same time. This also means that a lot of the time when I’m feeling pressed for time I just skip vegetables entirely, which would definitely be a bad idea if I considered the future consequences of my actions beyond wildly unrealistic scenarios like turning into a lump of fat who can’t build robot toys. I’m sure the fact that I eat vegetable at all puts me ahead of many, and so by the time I become like unto the blob people from Wall-E there will have already been innovations by the manufacturer which make the model kits able to be assembled the fingers the size of drain pipes.

https://www.campusclipper.com/new/popup1.php?CUP_COD=4032
Don’t make my mistakes! Save yourself with healthy food before it’s too late!

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By: Alexander Rose

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

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

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

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An Honest Discussion About Therapists

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

In recent years there has been a lot of  talk about normalizing therapy, coinciding with the recent uptick in mental health awareness, and for good reason. In this world of climate change, political hell, literal plague, and the hundred other disasters going on globally, I’m pretty sure that everyone can use a good therapist. You don’t have to suffer from mental illness to see a therapist; everyone’s life is full of daily anguishes– even if they seem “minor” or “petty,” they can still linger in your thoughts. The world of the college student is especially susceptible to this;  problems that seem manageable on their own quickly and frequently gather until you are overwhelmed. But, a therapist can help you get through them! They should be someone who you are comfortable confiding in because they are isolated from all other facets of your life. The unfortunate catch with therapy, however, is that you have to be comfortable with them.

Not all therapists are created equal. Finding the right one can feel like going on a blind date, because you can never be quite sure what you’re going to get. A therapist can have the best credentials in the world, sometimes, your personalities just don’t quite mesh. In fact, it seems that many people tend to be unsatisfied with their therapy. Anywhere from 20 to 57% of patients don’t come back after their first visit, and of those who come back, 37-45% of them don’t come back after the second visit. Unfortunately, the number one most cited reason for client termination is dissatisfaction with their therapist. While that dissatisfaction could stem from any number of sources, the indication is clear: therapy is a service with high turnover, and you should expect to have some negative experience with your therapist/therapy. I don’t say this to discourage you from exploring therapy, because proper therapy with a well-fitting therapist will always be beneficial. Improving your mental health is an active process that requires dedication, a desire to better yourself, as well as someone or something to help guide you. For many, that person may be a therapist! That being said, here are some tips I can offer to those looking to enter the world of therapy.

Fader, Sarah. “Difference between a Therapist and a Psychologist” 24 Nov 2020 https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/what-is-the-difference-between-a-therapist-and-a-psychologist/
  • Don’t be afraid to keep your guard up. Therapy is a strange thing; there are not many times where you have a conversation with a total stranger about your inner thoughts and feelings. It’s uncomfortable– and it’s entirely valid to not want to immediately open up to your therapist. Most will understand this, but some will egg you on to let your guard down. Remember that you are the one paying for this service, and you should be comfortable vocalizing your desired pace with your therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, then perhaps it’s time to look for a new one. 
  • Beware the sunk cost fallacy. One reason people will stay with a therapist is that they believe that, because they’ve already invested so much time and money visiting one therapist, they should just commit to them– regardless of the quality of the therapy. This is known as the sunk cost fallacy, and while it generally refers to economics, it absolutely applies here. Opening up to a therapist about deeper traumas is an exhausting thing, and many will stay with their therapist only because they know so much about them. If, over time, you feel that your relationship with your therapist has changed for the worse for whatever reason, remember that therapy is supposed to be a beneficial process, but it can’t be beneficial if you don’t like your therapist. 
  • The path to recovery is never linear. This isn’t to say that, if you’re in therapy, you’re “damaged” in some way. Rather, “recovery” can refer to any difficulty you’re having, and discussing with your therapist. As you attend therapy you will discover aspects of yourself you’ve never noticed before, and sometimes that will be an unsettling experience. You will have highs and lows as you perceive yourself and your experiences in new lights, and it’s important to remember that just because you are feeling particularly “low” does not mean that your therapy is not working. Try to keep that in mind when and if you feel frustrated with the process. On the opposite side of the coin, if you have been feeling worse about your issues consistently, then maybe the process is not working for you.
  • Your college probably has resources for you. Use them! Many college students can’t afford therapy. For me, therapy would cost $50 per session thanks to my incredible health insurance. As a result of that, I am ironically not in therapy at this moment. Thankfully, my college has counseling sources, as do many colleges across the states. If you can’t afford therapy, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to these sources; they will help you! 
  • Therapy might not be for you. But you should at least try it! In my opinion, the increased presence of therapy in popular culture is a great thing. Taking care of your mental health has tragically been stigmatized for a long time, but it has finally gained its legitimacy in the court of public opinion. As more people call for the normalization of therapy, it’s important to remember that not everyone is at the point where they will benefit from therapy. And that’s okay, too! But be careful not to use this as an excuse to avoid therapy. At least give it a try and see how you feel; if you’ve never tried it, how do you know it’s not for you?

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Someday, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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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Social Media, & Why It Sucks

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat are the main mode of communication among college students. Most (myself included) are so ingrained in the culture of social media that we couldn’t imagine life without it; in some industries, if you aren’t actively on social media, you are at a tangible disadvantage compared to your peers. It’s inescapable, and understandably so; social media is a powerful tool, a great way to connect with your friends, share your life, and it can even be a solid tool for venting. I know that, for me, randomly tweeting complaints into the void is a good way to get things out of my system. 

I’m not gonna patronize any potential readers here by going, “oh but did you KNOW that social media is actually bad?” At this point, I feel the fact that social media can severely damage your mental health in a number of ways is well known. However, people tend to only focus on certain dangers of social media, like addiction, oversharing, or cyberbullying. While others remain lesser-known. For instance, warnings about cyberbullying are plentiful, but people also don’t talk as much about “echo chambers” that can occur in communities over social media. By “echo chambers,” I am referring to the fact that you are more likely to surround yourself with people who have similar beliefs to you, which means that your beliefs are also more likely to go by unchallenged. This reinforces your beliefs and can entrench you within them, making you more stubborn and unwilling to listen to anyone who might disagree. It’s this concept that drives the growth of developing anti-intellectual movements on the net, such as COVID-19 deniers or anti-vaxx, but it can also subconsciously affect anybody on social media. When you’re on social media, you need to make sure that you aren’t reinforcing your own biases by engaging with sources outside of your “bubble.” I think social media has failed to encourage this kind of behavior, which results in a lot of tribalism where people attack anyone who disagrees with them; this makes social media a toxic environment for everyone involved. While everyone inevitably falls into this behavior, it’s important to be aware of it so you can recognize it and avoid it. 

https://world.edu/6-ways-to-protect-your-mental-health-from-social-medias-dangers/

Social media, much like anything else, can also burn you out if used in excess. As social media continues to take more of our attention it is easy to slip into an obsession, which is terrible for your mental health for so many reasons. It can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety; when I spend too much time on social media, I feel a sense of hopelessness. Especially on Twitter– many people tend to focus on the negatives of life, with doom and gloom news spreading more frequently than anything else. And while that is understandable, given the state of, well, everything, that doesn’t make it any less exhausting. It’s important to be aware of social media burnout so you can recognize it; oftentimes I find myself so immersed in social media that I don’t realize the negative impact it’s having on me until I step away from the screen and detox. That’s really the best response to it; many apps have the option to temporarily deactivate your account in order to motivate you to take a break and ground yourself in reality. 

One of the most powerful features of the internet age, social media is inescapable. We all indulge in it because of how enjoyable it is, it’s important to maintain a level of self-awareness and metacognition when you consider your time on social media. Try to be aware of the influence social media can have on the way you think, your biases, and how it harms your productivity & well-being, so you engage in social media in a healthy way.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Someday, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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.  Paragraph

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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