Archive for the ‘onHealth’ Category

Chapter Four: The Beauty in Mess

Monday, July 8th, 2024

My mother always told me that straightening my curly hair was as important as going to school—like the state of your natural hair somehow aligned with the state of your life. If I failed to keep up with the biweekly hairdressing appointment before school or work, I would become a negative representation of my family. I would become a negative representation of a woman. A failure. Beauty for my family meant so much more than being able to attract people sexually or romantically—it meant being able to make or at least look like you make good decisions and are a positive role model. Say hello to the halo effect.

I don’t think there is any part of my life that isn’t messy. From my hair, to my feelings, decisions, relationships, to the notes in my notebooks, everything about me screams “mess.” I like to think that this messiness is a result of how self-contained I was in my childhood and adolescence. Even a result of perfectionism due to the pressures of being the eldest daughter of immigrant parents. Somehow, I was still able to make sense of life. I could accept that I wasn’t born a newly minted Barbie doll nor was I born to be one. My mess and flaws could be beautiful too.

a black and white photo of a naked woman
We aren’t meant to be perfect.
Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/a-black-and-white-photo-of-a-naked-woman-d97MDnRxpeU

I like to think that college freed me from the structure of K-12 education. With college, I had a legitimate excuse to make mistakes of all kinds. You didn’t have to know exactly what you wanted to study and could possibly change majors multiple times throughout the semester. You didn’t have to have three to four pages worth of experience to put on your resume because college was the interim period before you were fully flung into the workforce. Your life was a blank canvass you could paint however you wanted.

I was often afraid to make mistakes because I didn’t want to send the message to anyone that I couldn’t handle life. That I wasn’t trustworthy. Or a good decision-maker. But I argue that I turned out just fine after making tons of mistakes throughout college and after graduation. I don’t doubt there will be plenty more to make but just as many good decisions to make as well. The fear of making mistakes to me is simply the fear of regret. We don’t want to regret having created a mistake-ridden life. A lot of us ultimately want to be at least proud of our lives in the end.

I had to fight off a lot of doubt over whether I belonged at college or not. I could have made the mistake of dropping out entirely (and many different times) if I hadn’t used my campus’s counseling services. But there were many other resources and opportunities I could have made better use of. Such as participating in more campus events, writing more in my leisure time, sharing my work outside of class, participating more in class, not doing other people’s work for zero credit, and keeping certain contacts for future reference. Most of these, as you can see, have a lot to do with relationship-building—one of the things I struggle with the most.

I failed to set boundaries early in many of my relationships with classmates and workmates that I was growing very unhappy and unfulfilled. I was masking many of my true thoughts and feelings to hold onto some social approval, even if it wasn’t going to mean anything months or years later since we continue to meet new people in new places. I failed to hold intentional relationships instead of relationships of convenience, which led to a lot of alienation. It wasn’t what I truly wanted, and my mental and physical health suffered a lot because of this.

I tried patching my issues up with facial serums and masks, but it quickly proved to not be sufficient. As much as they brightened my skin (and occasionally boosted my mood), especially during exam weeks, it started to become more and more a reminder of how I was numbing my emotions. These beauty regimens helped me avoid the glances I’d frequently get from my mother when she thought my emotions were aging my face. It’s usually why I avoided looking at myself in the mirror. Beauty regimens would become my cover-up for good health, even when my issues were more than skin-deep.

Think of the beauty regimen exactly like our work routines. They are both often done to receive an external reward, involve excessive consumption, keep us measuring each other based on random numbers, and turn us into products. I was the product I kept making over just to be accepted by the world. And not only does our skin already do all it needs to on its own, but our brains and skin are more connected than we know. Instead of just focusing on the outside, we should do what some dermatologists recommend being “emotional skincare,” which is a beauty approach that aims to create better skin through better mental health.

College helped me be better to myself and my skin. I used to care so much when I’d forget to de-puff my eyes, moisturize my face, or exfoliate my legs because I put my parents’ wishes over mine. I realized that my skincare routine was never about me but about how I thought the world needed me to look. But being on a college campus, I almost magically stopped caring about what my parents and everyone else thought. Perhaps because they couldn’t claim that extra space I had for myself, I could feel comfortable enough taking off the metaphorical (and skincare) mask every now and then—at least in my own company. Comfortable enough with being messy and cleaning up after myself in private.


If it’s got “serotonin” in the name, it’s got to be good! Enjoy with 20% off!

By Daeli Vargas

Daeli is a recent graduate from the City College of New York with a BA in English and a publishing certificate. She is from the Bronx and is very passionate about all things literary. She hopes one day to publish many books of her own and share her passions worldwide.


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

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

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You Can Fit It All… But Should You?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024

Going back to college when in your 20s can be nerve-wracking. At first, life as a student excited me because of the things I was about to learn, the student discounts I would get in different venues, and the possibility of making new friends. However, as time went on stress added itself to the picture, harming the joy I felt for starting school again. 

When I started at the community college, I noticed most of my classmates were much younger than me. Although I was learning and getting my student deals, my freshman year was unsuccessful in giving me any friends. Additionally, I kept comparing myself to my younger classmates. They would graduate before me (age-wise) and start working before me. This made me feel like I had a race to win. Slowly, I kept taking more and more classes to make sure I graduated faster. I even tried to graduate in three semesters instead of four, but my job schedule didn’t allow it. I was so occupied with schoolwork and regular work that for two years I barely had time to take advantage of everything the school offered. I never used the many resources available or joined any club. I spent those years like a ghost.

A normal week in my planner during the semester. During the weekend, my body gave up and I got sick.

It wasn’t until my last semester when I met some students my age in my major that I realized other people were giving themselves the chance to go to school again and that there was no need to race anybody. We met after class during office hours, and I finally felt I had a community. It lasted only four months. Then I graduated, and it was time to transfer to a different campus. Once again, thoughts about finishing my degree as fast as possible came to the surface, and without my friends around, I purposely kept myself busy. I signed up for five literature courses while working two jobs for 32 hours a week, a choice that already felt like a lot. However, I didn’t stop there. I didn’t want to make the same mistake I did back in community college, so I was set on using as many resources as possible. I signed up for the internship program at the career center, applied for multiple scholarships, and submitted work for awards. Additionally, I went to office hours, joined a few club meetings, and stayed available for student events. 

When I talk about my spring semester, people often ask me how I did it. How was I able to accomplish so many things? Some assume my GPA paid the price, but it didn’t. Some think I’m just a superhuman, which I am not. The truth is that I had to sacrifice something to have time for all my school-related occurrences. I had to sacrifice multiple things, actually. And I did so without realizing it at first.

My messy desk reflects my inner turmoil and stress.

The first thing I sacrificed was spending time with my loved ones. I had limited time off, which I used to attend school events; thus, dates with my husband and hanging out with my friends were left behind. The second thing I sacrificed was my house chores. We usually divided our time to clean, but my family took over my chores during the semester. Naturally, this brought up some tension in the household. The third thing was my physical health. Before the spring of 2024, I followed a balanced and fulfilling diet, and I would exercise regularly. My tight schedule eliminated the time to cook or move my body, which translated into stomach problems and joint pain. Lastly, the fourth thing I sacrificed was my mental health. I have never had a stellar one, to begin with, but the overload helped only to intensify pre-existing issues—and generate new ones. I had no time to give my mind a break and cope with everything that I was experiencing. I was in a constant state of numbness and inertia that I am just becoming aware of now. Ever since the semester ended, all I can do is sleep for 10 or more hours. I can’t even write as much as I wished to do during the summer break. My mind and body are exhausted. 

Slowly, I am becoming myself again. I am reconnecting with my friends, taking over my house chores once more, returning to better food habits and exercise, and caring for my mental health. More importantly, I am learning about limits. Our culture celebrates overachievers, and it is tempting to always take on a new challenge to prove—to others—that you can do better.  However, prioritizing rest is not a lazy habit. It is a balanced one. What is the point of racing if your body succumbs before the finish line?


Allow yourself to prioritize your wellbeing and relax with this coupon.

By Roxanna Cardenas

Roxanna is a Venezuelan writer living in New York City. Her works include essays, poetry, screenplays, and short stories. She explores fiction and non-fiction genres, with a special interest in horror and sci-fi. She has an A.A. in Writing and Literature and is working on her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration.


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 Three: Breaks are Productive

Monday, July 1st, 2024

I always sensed from my Dominican immigrant parents that you had to really justify your breaks and even vacations. I remember feeling guilty for missing a few classes in middle school, even when I was very sick. I remember being in my high school Tae Kwon Do class doing jumping jack exercises, feeling so weak from my period symptoms that I felt I couldn’t jump anymore; yet my instructor kept telling the girls that periods weren’t any excuse not to do the exercises. And those high school days were long running from8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. These were among the many ways I was neglecting my health for the sake of hard work—unsurprisingly this only continued even more during college.

My childhood and adolescence was defined by my studies because that’s how I was taught to view life and success. I was taught that taking breaks was a distraction from continuing to increase your social status and making loads of money; two things that were extremely important for my family. It also felt like because they were themselves so used to the grind, they needed me to do the same in order to understand how much they sacrificed to get me to a decent life in the US. However, I think their view of personal sacrifices for me isn’t entirely accurate.

In some ways, I feel like I have sacrificed my entire self for my parents. I spent much of life building an inauthentic version of myself easy enough for them to manipulate. I prioritized my needs last, leading me to deprive myself of so much I needed in order to survive in the first place. Sometimes, I deprived myself of proper dinners just to work more to feel like I could pay my parental debt in labor. Other times, I gave up on precious sleep—something I am jealous of my twelve-year-old self for doing better—just to re-update my resume and apply for more jobs to feel like I wasn’t doing nothing at home.

If I happened to have too much free time, I couldn’t just journal, write for fun, listen to music, or chat with friends online without it feeling like I wasn’t being productive enough. Labor was the way my existence was justified. It was the way my parents felt I could properly honor them and even God. Even better if I could just handle doing it all as modern women are expected to. Clean. Cook. Babysit. Console. Get Paid. Being a woman was itself a full-time job with little benefits as I have come to face it more and more each day. And quitting was not a choice.

I have found that making time for both journaling and walking are forms of exercise I can easily do every day without hurting my wallet, my mind, or my body. One being more mental and the other being more physical, they still mirror each other in that they both keep me active and release me from self-containment—like I mentioned in the previous chapter. I have also found that journaling and walking facilitate each other, especially when I am in as open of a space as my college campus.

An empty train cart all to myself 🙂

These exercises encouraged me to continue tapping into my sense of interoception, one of the many other senses we humans have but aren’t too aware of. As a woman, I am aware that I have been spending a lot of time inside my head and haven’t given those feelings proper release out into the world. It almost felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin and transform into a butterfly in order to fly away from my problems. But I had to learn to love living in my human body and find my natural habitat—a place where I could smile, yell, laugh, and cry at a high volume without shame.

College was a break from home and everything else that came before it. College might cause some to grind even harder if they aren’t careful enough, but it gave me a resting place to slow down. Breaks, regardless of what they are breaks from, are productive because you have the space to properly enjoy yourself. You’re able to let your brain breathe, let yourself be inspired by the world, take notice of beautiful sights nature gifts you, and listen to your body when it may be telling you are consuming too much energy. If anything, your breaks allow you to be a proper student of life. Exactly why you shouldn’t let labor be your master.


Ease your mind with a refreshing spa day using this 10% off student discount coupon!

By Daeli Vargas

Daeli is a recent graduate from the City College of New York with a BA in English and a publishing certificate. She is from the Bronx and is very passionate about all things literary. She hopes one day to publish many books of her own and share her passions worldwide.


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: Boundaries Exist and Distance is Necessary

Monday, June 24th, 2024

There is nothing worse than an unspoken boundary that is violated. I imagine many of us as kids, especially young girls, have grown up believing that we didn’t have the right to our own privacy and our own space. Living in a small two-bedroom apartment with four other family members for a great majority of my life, I know I didn’t. It was quite the chore not communicating boundaries that were always there but didn’t quite have the language or courage to uncover them when doing so was like the equivalent of committing a sin to my parents.

I had a level of freedom I couldn’t find for years living in a strong, seemingly impenetrable bubble of domesticity. I had these rumbling thoughts deep inside of me thinking—why did this have to mean home? Why couldn’t I get outside of the bubble and share with others who weren’t even my biological family? These thoughts raised a lot more questions than answers. My naturally curious self while raised to be incessantly obedient to my family was also stubborn to be challenged and released from this containment. There indeed always was and still is a life outside of the family and of the traditional home.

I had believed that my parents (and extended family) were entitled to all the private details of my life just because they were my blood. That blood erased the possibility of personal choice. Once I was aware that I would become a college student and an adult, and didn’t have to share everything with my family, I was relieved. My college campus was like a home away from home. I could create my own schedule, choose my own classes, choose my hangout spot, and do almost whatever I wanted without my parents’ or teachers’ input.

There were many people I met in college that seemed to use this freedom away from home as eagerly as I wanted to. Though, I would say in riskier ways than I was willing to. Plenty just wanted to drink, smoke, and have lots of careless sex. It isn’t downright awful to engage in any of these short-term pleasures, as long as they are measured and consensual. But freedom in college to me meant an entirely different thing. It meant getting closer to Mother Nature. Enjoying my own company. Reveling in my own aliveness. It was like a spiritual awakening to see just how much of this world there was for me to experience.

Going to college made me closer to nature, closer to myself, and closer to everyone I have learned major lessons from—even those I have run physically and emotionally away from. It made me see how many more similarities we carry to each other than we do differences. That we are all just wandering souls, even my own family would argue against that using the argument that biological ties are unbreakable. Essentially, that biology keeps at least some of us away from wandering too far. Even though chosen families exist, but that’s another conversation for another time.

Even if my college wasn’t too far from home, I found it a necessary part of my life. For some, college may have given them nothing; but for those such as myself, it saved me. College revealed to me how my perfectionism was hurting me. How staying neatly within the lines draw by home life was holding me back. I didn’t have to dedicate my entire life to my family. I didn’t even have to absolutely love spending time with them.

My college campus—repping City College of New York, of course—gave me a quiet thinking place away from the aggressive debates at home. It gave me beautiful buildings I could stare at without feeling like an awkward tourist. It was almost like a mini-city—not too huge that I didn’t feel like an ant and intimate enough to actually enjoy the nature around me and feel like a part of it too. Even riding the college shuttle bus almost every day to and from the train station made me feel like I owned the city for a couple of minutes. I was indeed a natural wanderer.

I admit that I have taken Mother Nature for granted plenty of times, and college put Her front and center so I wouldn’t ignore Her. After reading that academic greenspace provides many positives for college students such as more social interaction, sharper focus, improved moods, and improved cognitive performance, I thought about how academic greenspace made me feel more aligned with the world. I hadn’t felt more at ease and more myself than at my college campus. I thank Her for that.

Though small, my college campus will always be beautiful to me.

To conclude, I’d like to reference an Afro-Latinx Literature course I took in the Fall of 2022, which was taught by Bronx-born poet Mariposa at City College. What was so significant about this course was that my professor invited multiple writers and activists to speak to our class—many having been involved in the Nuyorican Movement and The Young Lords Party in the 60s and 70s in New York City. I remember in one of our earlier classes being taken to Remembrance Rock on our campus where there lay a plaque commemorating the Black and Puerto Rican students who protested for racial diversity and tuition-free college at City in 1969. Our class sat on the grass underneath the trees as we listened to our professor speak with peace. It was in this moment that I realized that learning should always be in nature and always reflect it.


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By Daeli Vargas

Daeli is a recent graduate from the City College of New York with a BA in English and a publishing certificate. She is from the Bronx and is very passionate about all things literary. She hopes one day to publish many books of her own and share her passions worldwide.


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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Interview with Dr. Allan Sicignano of Spring St Chiropractic

Friday, February 9th, 2024

Have you ever wanted to learn more about health and the human body? Check out this Campus Clipper podcast episode with Dr. Sicignano– a chiropractor with 30 years of experience!

Campus Clipper interns discussing on the podcast!

Find the episode here and all recent episodes of the Campus Clipper podcast here

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Chapter Four: Embracing My Cult

Monday, July 10th, 2023
Banshee Halloween party

My frisbee team is called the Brandeis Banshee, and we are a cult. 

Off the field, we host social events to bond and get to know each other a little better. There’s generally something every week, whether it’s a party or a group meal or something a little… odder. 

Everyone gets a special name—different from their real name—to go by on the frisbee field. On the day of the naming ceremony, I had to bring a list of things to “sacrifice” to the upperclassmen, including exactly 21 grains of rice and a sign from campus. It was very cold that night; I was shivering in my leather jacket as they led us in silence through the pitch black woods. After zigzagging our way up a winding, tree-rooted hill, myself and the other newbies were given fake names that the upperclassmen chanted all around the circle (let’s just say some of the names might not be appropriate to mention here). We drank the blood of the past Banshees (CapriSuns) and were sent on a scavenger hunt throughout campus where we had to take videos of ourselves doing questionable things. I had to re-enact the birth of our captain while the others had to do things like ask to take a sip of someone’s drink, sing karaoke in the campus center, and perform an orientation leader dance in one of our campus eateries. After all that embarrassment, we finally migrated to the captain’s apartment and received our real names! Mine was Apex, but I don’t get to know why until senior year (another tradition). 

It’s not all culty, though. We also have banquets where we present silly awards, costume parties, Mario Kart tournaments, and other fun events. We have another event where we all sit quietly around a fire and share our deepest thoughts and troubles, which is quite therapeutic.

Banshee talent show costumes

There’s also a wine & cheese night where we watch Ratatouille, the greatest movie ever made. Lunches venting about all of our problems. Chill afternoons tossing the frisbee on a beautiful day. Library study days that turn into hour-long chats. These people, they don’t just cheer for me on the field, they bring joy to my life every single day. 

One night, when I was a freshman, I was hanging out with some of the seniors. We played a word game for a while, talked, and made cookies. Remember when I talked about my insecurities and how I wasn’t sure if my friends actually wanted to hang out with me? I was a little skeptical that these seniors just felt bad since I was the one who asked if I could hang out. I’m not exactly sure how the words slipped out, but I asked if they liked hanging out with me or if I was annoying for asking them. My captain replied with: “Apex, I don’t think you realize how much you’re loved.” And I will remember that moment forever. It pierced my heart. More than a year later, after all these friends graduated, I still talk to them regularly and meet up to hang out, because these guys changed my life. Some of my closest friends at college are on this frisbee team, and I know I can count on them for anything. The game of frisbee is exciting, but even more important is having fun and making connections, even if it means engaging in weird cult-like activities. I am so grateful that I met these amazing people and found this amazing family.

Use this student discount to treat yourself!

By Agatha Edwards

Agatha Edwards is a rising junior at Brandeis University from Brooklyn, New York. She is majoring in health: science, society, and policy as well as psychology. She enjoys playing ultimate frisbee with her college team, going on runs, reading, writing, and binging TV shows. She enjoys exploring NYC and Boston with friends, especially where there are cute coffee shops involved.


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 One: An Introduction to Ultimate Frisbee

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023
My frisbee team, the Brandeis Banshee, at Northeast Regional Championships last spring

Jogging past the Hudson River on a breezy afternoon, I spy a disc zipping through the air. My high school’s ultimate frisbee team is having practice. I long to join them and sprint after that disc, make a sick catch and spike the frisbee hard on the grass, yet I can’t. I run Varsity cross country and track, and I have practice every single day. Turning my head around to focus on the path in front of me, I think, maybe someday

Three years later, I’m anxiously pacing towards a group of girls huddled on the corner of the Brandeis University club field. I almost didn’t come tonight because I’m nervous about a new sport and meeting new people. But I’m taking the chance and going to this first ultimate frisbee practice because who knows, it could be fun. 

Little did I know it would change my life. 

Ultimate frisbee is a seven versus seven non-contact sport played on an outdoor field. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, played by over 30 countries and by many high schools and colleges in the US. The goal is to pass the frisbee among players and make it to the endzone in order to score a point. The rules are like football and soccer, although ultimate is a non-contact sport. 

It was difficult at first to learn all the new terminology for ultimate. In terms of sports, I had only done basketball for a year in middle school, and then cross country and track for several years, which didn’t involve any ball or object. With ultimate, I had to learn how to hold and throw the disc, field formations (vertical stack, zone, poachy defense), names of certain plays we had to carry out, and how to cut successfully on offense, which is making a move on the field to get open for the disc. I learned how to be strategic and smart. 

Me, #64, high-fiving my teammate during a tournament

Another thing that was new to me was Spirit of the Game. Ultimate frisbee heavily emphasizes good sportsmanship, fairness, and honesty. As opposed to ice hockey or football, which can sometimes get messy, I noticed that my frisbee teammates were constantly encouraging and lifting each other up and giving positive feedback to each other. At my first tournament, we shouted team cheers and high fived after every single point. Though there is fierce competition with other teams on the field, we were all friendly with each other because of the pure joy that comes with playing this sport. The mindset of “I’ve got you next time” instead of “sorry for messing that up” really transformed my outlook on not just frisbee, but life. Immediately after each point during a tournament, my coach always says that the next point has already started, and to focus on that. For my schoolwork now, I try to focus on the next time, or the next opportunity, instead of drowning in failures of the past. I keep my head clear and focus on the future, what I can do to improve, and proactively go after it.

Now, three times a week, I have something to look forward to after classes. This motivates me to complete my work on time so that I can have fun and work hard at frisbee practice. This helps me balance my education with my extracurricular activities. I’m able to get great exercise in and focus on something other than schoolwork for a couple hours. And on days we don’t have practice, sometimes I’ll toss a frisbee casually with teammates to take a break from schoolwork or just to unwind and hang out. The positivity encapsulated by these teammates made me look forward to frisbee even more. The decision to go to that first practice that night may have been one of the best I’ve ever made. I’ve found a sport I love and a community I vibe with. Being surrounded by these friends helped me develop a passion for ultimate and motivated me to work harder at practice for the team. More on that next… 


Use this student discount to treat yourself to a free coffee with the purchase of a pastry at Paris Baguette!

By Agatha Edwards

Agatha Edwards is a rising junior at Brandeis University from Brooklyn, New York. She is majoring in health: science, society, and policy as well as psychology. She enjoys playing ultimate frisbee with her college team, going on runs, reading, writing, and binging TV shows. She enjoys exploring NYC and Boston with friends, especially where there are cute coffee shops involved.


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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Please Handle With Care

Saturday, August 27th, 2022

Whenever we are shipping or traveling with something fragile, we always label it as such and make sure that the item is handled with the utmost care. Why do we so seldom treat ourselves with the same caution? Items are replaceable, but we—as I hope you know—are not.

I’ve covered a lot of different topics throughout my writing about the COVID-19 pandemic—from being sent home from college, to current events, to relationships, and everything else in between. Truthfully, I could probably write about all the other ways that this unprecedented era of human history intersected with our normal lives, but almost anything you can think of would lead you right back here to a discussion of mental health and self-care—perhaps the greatest lesson that COVID may have had to offer.

Image credit: Pine County, MN, Department of Health and Human Services

Mental health wasn’t really something that I thought deeply about until I got to college. When I look back on high school and think about a lot of my habits—burning the midnight oil to finish my homework, sacrificing sleep, and generally spreading myself too thin—I can’t help but cringe. We’re taught that this is what it means to “work hard,” but it comes at a pretty high cost, especially when you’re young. No one should have to feel like that is the way you need to operate, no matter what stage of life you’re at. You are not the work you do or the grades that you get; your worth is far beyond that, which is something I try to remind myself when I start to believe otherwise. 

I still find myself exhibiting many of these behaviors in college, and it wasn’t until this point in my life where I started to feel physiological responses to my stress or anxiety—heart beating too fast, thoughts racing out of control, worrying about everything. And most of the time, I was concerned more so with how it would affect me academically, not physically or mentally. Yikes.

The pandemic really changed my perspective on mental health, not only showing how important it is to prioritize all aspects of your health, but also pointing out how many of the things we accepted as normal before COVID were deeply flawed. For instance, growing up, it was always expected that you would go to school or to work even if you were not feeling well. If you had a cold, you had to stick it out. If you didn’t sleep well, were feeling overwhelmed, or were burnt out, you had to find a way to get through the day. But now that we have lived through the onset of a deadly, infectious disease, we realize just how ridiculous this kind of behavior is. At school, more and more professors in their syllabi are now encouraging us not to come to class if we feel any inkling of an illness to make sure that we don’t spread it around to others. There is no good reason to force ourselves into doing things when we are not at our best, a mindset we should have adopted long ago.

Now, a lot of my professors have also added mental health provisions to their syllabi, encouraging us to take a day off class if we are struggling mentally and can’t engage with the class. Our student government leaders are pushing to make missing class for mental health reasons count as excused absences. In 2021, a student organization that carries out the mission of the Bandana Project, a national mental health awareness and suicide prevention campaign, was formed on our campus, seeking to provide students with resources for and breaking the stigma around mental health—all it takes is a green bandana to show your support and willingness to engage in the campaign. All of these changes ensure that we never have to feel that our academic career takes precedence over our wellbeing. At the end of the day, we’re at college to learn, not to burn ourselves out.  

Image credit: The Bandana Project
Be sure to check out this amazing organization!

Over the last couple of years, a lot of different stressors in our lives have converged at once: the spread of COVID-19, long periods of isolation, our nation in turmoil, and the general uncertainty of everything, while still having to go to college either online or in person when it became safe again. We are still dealing with the long-term consequences of all of these things, and the pandemic still isn’t really over. But we are all human and we can only expect so much out of ourselves, so if COVID did one thing for us, it was to force us to slow down and reconfigure our thinking to gear ourselves toward what is really important: taking care of ourselves.

So, remember to listen to what your body or your mind is saying—you are the best person to judge your limits and realize what you need at any given moment. Do the things that you enjoy doing, make you happy, and help you to heal—read a book, do a face mask, chill out (just to name a few of my go-to strategies). Totally cliché, but life really is all about balance. It takes effort to unlearn all of the things ingrained into our brains, something that I have still been struggling with, but at the end of the day, just please handle yourself with care.

As I said with my previous chapter regarding relationships, it should not have taken a global pandemic just to learn that we have to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. But I suppose it is better late than never.

A great way to practice self-care is to treat yourself in the health and beauty sphere, so be sure to use this coupon at Trinity’s Touch for all your brow, lash, and skincare needs!

By: Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a senior at Villanova University studying English and Communication. She is in utter disbelief that she just admitted to being a senior. She loves to read, but has made barely a dent in the increasingly large pile of books on her bookshelf that she told herself she would read this summer. She hopes to enter a career in the editing and publishing industry.


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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Same Person, New Habits

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

We’re listening to a song in their room. I haven’t heard it before, but I know the band. It’s starting off really slow, quiet. We talk over the building music, about who knows what. With a crescendo and a great rush, the song blooms around us, sending shivers down my spine and tingles through my chest. The feeling is familiar, and I’m left speechless, awestruck by the music’s impact. My friend sees my reaction, and they grin. “The natural dizzy.” I don’t remember which of us said it, but I knew it was true. The “dizzy” had come to me, no nicotine necessary. When the song ended, we played it again.

This remains one of my favorite songs of all time; it will always hold a special place in my heart.

We all have habits. Having control over the habits we choose to put time, energy, and money into is vital. Habits, however, are very difficult to change, as Charles Duhigg points out in “The Power of Habit.” Some habits can be reasonably easy to replace, when working with the same routine for a new reward or ridding your life of certain triggers to keep away from the habit altogether. Nicotine was definitely not easy to replace, but the coffees, manicures, and other treats I buy for myself help offset the frustration of being without nicotine. Another element that eased my quitting was my discovery of the natural “dizzy.” Music has always deeply affected me, especially live performances at concerts or musical theater productions. When I was giving up nicotine forever, I knew the “dizzy” would be the hardest thing to let go of. The physical feeling nicotine gives a person is what really keeps them hooked, and my usage of the “dizzy” as a reward made it extra difficult to consider living without it for the rest of my life. When I found that live musical experiences, certain songs, and even particular melodies and harmonies could give me that physical, tingly experience that nicotine once provided, I realized I just needed to change how I sought out the “dizzy.” If I searched for the natural “dizzy,” the one you can find while your favorite band plays or at the closing number of Wicked or on a car ride with friends, that would keep me away from the chemical “dizzy” I had become reliant upon. Nicotine always left me wanting more; the new “dizzy” is more reliable. Satisfying and wholesome and, in some cases, free of charge!

I’m seated next to a girl who wishes she had a vape. I do too, honestly, but I suddenly feel resolved. It’s not solidarity; it’s support, encouragement. I’d met her an hour earlier. I tell her, “You can quit if you want to.” Maybe it’s hypocritical of me to say so, but I say it anyway. “I’m serious. You have the strength to quit.” She nods, smiles. I think my words make us both feel a bit better.

Offering support to others has really helped me to remain strong in my efforts to be nic-free. If a friend complains that they’re fiending for a vape, I’m already offering suckers, gum, something to hold that will keep their hands busy. This doesn’t always help, nor does it ever really solve anything, but I think assisting someone in avoiding nicotine for even an hour is an accomplishment.

Even though I’ve been completely nic-free for over 3 months, I still get cravings for a cigarette every so often. When the scent of cigarette smoke wafts through the drive thru of the coffee shop where I work, I can’t deny the annoyance I feel. I still find myself digging in my purse for a piece of gum when friends have their vapes. It gets easier, but I don’t think the inner struggle will ever disappear. My confidence, however, never ceases to grow. I know I made the right choice, and I’m proud of myself every single day.

Some people will always vape. They won’t see anything particularly harmful or wrong about it, so they’ll continue to allow it in their life. It will remain one of their habits. I respect that. We all have habits; we all have addictions. Some habits are worse than others and, in the grand scheme of things, vaping isn’t that awful. It’s less obnoxious and dangerous than smoking cigarettes. It can bring about joy, satisfy the desire for nicotine. I get it. For me, the issue was I knew it wasn’t good for me. It drained my bank account, hurt my throat and lung capacity, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d lost control. So, I made the choice to quit and pushed through powerful cravings to be free from the addiction. It wasn’t easy, and I can’t fault people for not going through with it.

There are lots of reasons people do addictive things. We all have desires for things we maybe shouldn’t have. My advice? Find something addictive AND good for the soul. Something that doesn’t cost $20 every 3-4 days.


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Sophie Rounds is a rising junior at Loyola University Chicago, double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She loves to read and wishes she were a better cook. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys singing in several choirs at her university and thrifting 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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Freedom?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

I see the vape go to their lips from across the room. I grit my teeth and turn away, the craving suddenly ripping through me. “You don’t need it,” I think to myself. There’s more than one vape in the dim room, however, and a little alcohol does a lot to break down one’s resolve. I ask the boy next to me what flavor his disposable is. He asks if I have one, presumably to perform a trade of sorts. I admit to him that I quit, that I was two months vape-free. “Seriously? Wow, man.” His words are slurred, but his eyes are wide and focused on me, “That is so impressive. I’m proud of you. It’s not easy to go against the crowd like that.” Though my urge to break is nearly overpowering, his words are reassuring. A mixture of pride and guilt meld together in the pit of my stomach, pooling in the back of my throat. How can one feel so strongly about something but still yearn for the opposite?

I don’t remember if I broke that night or not. It doesn’t really matter.

When I tell people that I’ve quit vaping, they’re usually impressed. I appreciate their congratulations, but the voice in my head telling me that I still want nicotine makes me feel like a fraud. I would feel proud of myself, but then feel silly for turning to someone and asking if I could hit their vape. In March, when I should have been over 3 months nic-free, I was caught in a cycle of going back on my promise to myself, just taking a few hits every few days. I realized after several weeks that I had fallen back into my old routine, my old habit resurfacing. I decided I could no longer allow myself to have cheat days. I knew I was strong enough now to stay away completely, so I had to fully commit to the quit. I remember resetting my timer after over 150 days. I had been lying to myself, and I was done doing that. Now, every time I break my streak, I reset the timer. It’s only fair.

Nights out with friends are fun but draining; it’s hard to be around accessible nicotine and stay away from it.

I still felt alone in quitting. The people who thought it was impressive that I quit were still vaping; they weren’t on my team in this endeavor. The lack of solidarity made it hard to be true to my promise to stay away from nicotine. Luckily, I have a secret weapon. She cheers me on and keeps me on track. She’s not in my same situation because she was never addicted to nicotine. She saw me when I was still vaping but trying to quit, and she was with me when I was fiending like crazy at a party. Someone who will physically hold you and tell the person whose vape you’ve just asked for “NO” for you is something special. Her pride means more than that of those who still vape, because she won’t dangle nicotine in front of my face. We get to stay away from nicotine together.

Sometimes I resent people who vape or smoke. It feels like I’m being teased, as they get their little rush of chemical joy while I sit fiddling with a hair tie or chewing violently on a piece of gum. I almost feel angry, seeing others with the same vice that was once mine. I allow myself to be angry, if only to keep me from asking for a spare cigarette. The solidarity between myself and those who subscribe to bad habits is demolished, because I went through the suffering that is quitting and they haven’t. I tell myself it won’t always be this way, that I’ll be able to be around it someday and not feel rage and jealousy rush to my cheeks. In her article “Neurobiology of Nicotine Dependence,” Athina Markou states, “Nicotine dependence is more prevalent than dependence on any other substance of abuse (Anthony et al. 1994).” While dependence on nicotine is a prevalent issue, nicotine itself is not the killer when it comes to cigarettes. Vaping bypasses the tobacco and delivers nicotine in chemical juice form to millions of individuals, avoiding the danger. One of those individuals used to be me. Sometimes I ask myself, why did you even quit, really? If it’s not really dangerous, what’s the big deal? If it’s so hard to stay away, then why stay away? It’s just a habit, in reality.

We all have habits.


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Sophie Rounds is a rising junior at Loyola University Chicago, double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She loves to read and wishes she were a better cook. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys singing in several choirs at her university and thrifting 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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