Archive for the ‘onHealth’ 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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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 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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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?

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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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The Gift of Listening

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

The gift of listening is a power that revolves among us human beings on this earth, it is vital to living and may be considered a scare trait. According to Merriam Webster the term “listen” points out specific keywords. Such as, “pay attention”, “give consideration”, and “be alert”. Listening is a skill and is often unexplored territory that despite our sense of hearing it requires wisdom. It requires wisdom because it involves concentration, effort and the ability to distinguish hearing and listening. Listening is more than a trait, it is a process that is filtered because we often choose what we want to hear and what we cancel out. We also forget that with listening comes feeling connected with one another, spiritually, physically and mentally because we are sharing a healthy space, that makes it important to understand each other. 

The Muse, “Improve Your Conversational Skills in 4 Easy Steps” https://www.inc.com/the-muse/4-ways-you-can-become-a-better-conversationalist.html Accessed 1 Dec 2020.

In spite of our noisy and distracting surroundings, it encourages us to be patient and silent. When you’re silent, you are able to grasp more information, be more observant, and it allows you to learn about who you are. Therefore, we should all want to improve our listening skills with some effort and practice. As it benefits you in the long run and possibly could strengthen your relationships with not only others but also with yourself. Listening is very crucial to being successful. For instance, during a job interview, you must listen closely to the questions in order to give effective answers or during a job training process. In 2019, I acquired my first retail job in the industry at Uniqlo. As a Sales Associate providing customer service, accomplishing floor layouts, also following and listening to instructions got me promoted to an Advanced Associate, after three months. A co-worker once advised me, “don’t work hard, work smart” which could be interpreted from different perspectives. In my understanding, I apply this to my work ethic and in my leadership skills. In other words, working hard is part of what got me promoted but it wasn’t entirely the reason for my promotion. The ability to listen to my manager’s delegation of tasks, listen to the feedback, and comprehend what was expected of my work allowed me to build confidence. Responding to constructive criticism and being assertive through engaging positively with my team members made me have a positive attitude. Listening plays a major role in creating a safe culture and environment because when your thoughts, opinions, and ideas are being taken into consideration it makes you feel involved. 

Furthermore, listening is far more than being a good leader but it is also about building worthy relationships and being a wise person. Being a good listener to a friend or your next-door neighbor may not be a big deal for you, but to the other party, it could mean healing and being valued. It may be known as venting but it creates a safe and welcoming atmosphere with someone else that could possibly be in the same shoes as you once were. When you listen to someone it creates a bond between you and the person, a special connection that engages just you and the other, out of the billions of people on this planet earth. Listening to your significant others helps with your own personal development, it doesn’t have to be career-wise but it can also help with your own healing, learning, and communication skills. Sometimes, this world needs more empathy, respect and to be more caring. It is important to be that change and to give your undivided attention as you’d like to be given. Are you a good listener? 

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By: Yadira Tellez

Yadira is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Business Management and minoring in English literature. She’s worked in retail and has had the opportunity to work behind the scenes during NYFW. Her dream is to be a Fashion Stylist but enjoys creative writing to relieve stress and express her mind.

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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Wait a Minute, Who ARE You?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

How often do you check in with yourself?  Oftentimes, college life goes at such a fast pace that students will “leave” themselves behind, putting deadlines ahead of their well-being. It definitely doesn’t help that many professors like to think that students can afford to devote 100% of their time to their class, but when you have five classes, the math doesn’t quite add up. Considering most can’t afford to devote 100% of our attention to education in general- let alone a single class- one can very easily feel overwhelmed. Without a doubt, stress is a frequent and unfortunate element of college culture; more than 40% of college students experience an above-average level of stress, as reported by the National College Health Assessment– though, anecdotally, I suspect the number is much higher than reported. 

When you can’t relieve your stress in a healthy way, it builds up within you and quickly you can find yourself experiencing burnout, which is a miserable thing. Personally, when I am burnt out, I dissociate– it feels like you’re watching yourself from the first person, as though you were merely an observer in your daily life, rather than an active participant. The advantage of this state of “autopilot” is that I can push through daily life, even if I am overextending myself. The obvious consequence, though, is that it can be easy to lose yourself in your daily routine. Do note that dissociation is a common thing, and just about everyone will experience it at least a few times in their life. But, if you feel that way all the time, that is when it becomes a problem. It took me a very long time to realize that I had a problem with dissociation as it was (and still is) a coping mechanism of mine. While not everyone may relate with dissociating as a reaction to burnout, everyone will develop coping mechanisms to deal with burnout and daily strife. The important thing is that you must be able to identify when you are using these coping mechanisms, and then be able to be honest with yourself; is this healthy?

The ability to check in with yourself is an important life skill that often gets swept under the rug. Certainly, nobody, throughout all my years, of education taught me to ask myself, “Hang on a minute. Who am I? Is this what I want?” and I expect that many will relate to that notion. From a young age, many feel pressured to do well in school, and while education is an important thing, it’s almost important to understand why you do the things you do in life. Don’t just go to college because it’s the expected thing to do, go to college because it’s what you want to do. It can have a sizable difference in the actual quality of your education; a study from 2018 found that students who engage an activity out of their own free will were less likely to be exhausted and cynical, and are more efficient when compared to those who engage in an activity due to external pressures (such as parental pressure). Unfortunately, the reality is that many students are unable to pursue what they want because of external pressures, and so are subject to higher levels of burnout. Therefore, here are some tips I can offer on how to deal with burnout.

https://www.abreva.com/amp/how-to-avoid-burnout.html
  • Recognize how burnout feels for you. It’s an important level of self awareness to have, to acknowledge when you are feeling run down. It will help you pace yourself and will, in the long run, benefit your mental health, which will translate into more productivity. Burnout can be procrastination, a loss of motivation, imposter syndrome, general exhaustion and depression, or really any number of things. It’s a general sense of resentment towards your work (or study) that impedes your daily function. Remember– it’s totally normal; nobody can devote 100% of themselves to something 100% of the time. 
  • Find something to break up your daily schedule. Oftentimes burnout can result from a monotonous schedule. Thus, introducing something new will keep things interesting and can be a good distraction from a busy schedule. It could be a new hobby, or impulsive plans with your friends, or just anything different; but it will help energize you and make you more productive. 
  • Avoid negative people. It’s a pretty general thing, but the thing with burnout is that it drains your energy and your motivation, and dealing with toxic people will only waste the energy you have left. 
  • Get some sleep. We’re all guilty of it; sleep deprivation is a pretty regular thing for most students. For most people in general, too. But the impact a good night’s sleep can make is woefully underrated. There’s a point of exhaustion where studying just won’t help anymore, and you’re better off getting some rest instead. 

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. Some day, 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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COVID-19 Life (& 2020 in general)

Saturday, November 28th, 2020

The political upheaval, social unrest, and economic chaos during the pandemic has changed the way we all live, arguably more than any other event in recent history. It is unprecedented because, unlike previous hardships we have faced, the end of the pandemic is not readily apparent, and as we enter November– the ninth month of the pandemic– it is clear the changes in the American lifestyle are here to stay. 

Among the groups most affected by pandemic changes are college students. Student unemployment rates have soared since the pandemic. As dorms close, many students are forced to return home, which can be especially problematic when not every student’s household is a healthy environment. The academic world is forced to resort to online classes, which can be a stressful experience for many reasons:  students struggle to focus during class and retain the information afterward. 

Procrastination is much easier when you are sitting in your house; I have even missed a deadline for a test in one of my classes because I didn’t realize it was due! Such mistakes are much harder to make in a physical class. Socializing with your classmates is a real pain, as well; whenever my professor breaks everyone into groups there is this tragically awkward silence as we all do the work without talking to each other. And the real kick: we all get the privilege of having to pay full price for an online semester. I understand that schools need income in order to operate, but having to pay for a semester plagued with the issues that come with online class certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. 

These issues are compounded by the inability to go outside and by the existential threats we face in the form of the pandemic and climate change. What ends up manifesting is what many call the “pandemic depression”. The CDC reported in August that young adults were among the groups disproportionately affected by mental health conditions, and 40% of Americans reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse. The issue that many are predicting now is that this “pandemic depression” is about to collide with a condition known as Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD), a form of seasonal depression associated with the lack of sunlight and outdoor recreation during the winter months. Since many of the symptoms of SAD overlap with those of the pandemic depression, we are anticipating a very challenging season where those already affected by SAD will feel their symptoms compounded by the pandemic, and more people, in general, are expected to experience SAD. 

The pandemic has been challenging because of the uncertainty of the situations it has wrought. This issue, at least, is one that we can see coming. The question, then, is how can we prepare for the coming season?

Recognize how depression affects you. Self-awareness is an important skill that will help maintain your mental health, as discussed in my first blog post. The symptoms of depression manifest themselves on a case-by-case basis. If you are able to recognize the indicators that you are entering a depressive episode, you will at least feel prepared and in somewhat control of the situation, and increase the amount of self-care in your life accordingly.

Sunlight is key. Cabin fever and a lack of sunlight are the key factors of SAD. It’s a challenge to go out when the weather is miserable and the temperatures are cold, but if you’re feeling a lack of energy or motivation, it might be worth trying a vitamin D supplement or changing your schedule so that you spend more time outdoors during the day. Of course, the challenge is finding things to do that are COVID-safe, but outdoor recreation is generally safe as long as you use common sense and follow the general COVID guidelines as set by the CDC.

Socializing is important (but be careful!) Another major challenge of the pandemic is the social starvation we all face. One symptom of SAD is a desire to further isolate oneself from others, but it’s important that you interact with others. We are social beings after all, and interacting with others can help satisfy your psychological needs. Apps such as Discord or Skype which basically act as group calls are great ways to chat with your friends and socialize safely.

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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Retail Therapy: Do, or Don’t?

Friday, November 27th, 2020

Most of us participate in retail therapy even if you aren’t familiar with the term. It refers to any purchases made with the intention of improving your mood (think comfort food). Considering the prevalence of depression and anxiety among students (severe depression in the college student body has more than doubled over less than a decade– that’s before 2020), it’s likely that most of us have relied on retail therapy to feel better. Purchases that you justify by saying, “I’ve had a hard week,” or “today has really sucked.” 

We think  that retail therapy works because it offers a sense of control over something. Generally, sadness is a result of a lack of control over whatever situation a person is in. But, when you shop it is something you can (usually) control; “Oh wow, look at this jacket. I love this jacket. I’m going to buy it and nobody can stop me.” I’ve definitely had this thought process with more than a few of my purchases over the years. It’s a uniquely satisfying feeling, to be able to look at something, decide you have the funds, and embrace your inner Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation: Treat yo’self!

The unfortunate paradox of retail therapy is that overindulgence, by spending beyond your means, can be a dangerous hole to fall into. Particularly when every company ever offers  a credit card, it can be easy to fall into a tragic spending spiral. If the main mechanism behind retail therapy is a lack of control over one’s life, having debt will only exacerbate that feeling, ,considering it’s already associated with increased feelings of depression. The average college student is especially vulnerable to the struggles of debt — tuition is damn expensive nowadays; as a result the majority of college students start life with an immediate boatload of debt hanging over their head, just for an education. But you can’t dig yourself into more debt just to cope with the fact that you’re already in debt, or you can fall into a dangerously deep hole. 

Having established the dangers associated, is it even worth indulging in retail therapy? The answer, like most, seems to be that it depends on the situation. One important thing to note is that unplanned purchases one makes in an effort to lighten your mood are not associated with feelings of guilt or regret. Additionally, impulsive consumers are able to practice restraint, if the goal of restraint is conducive to further happiness. Of course, this is a general rule that does not apply to every purchase, especially if the product purchased does not match the buyer’s expectations. One takeaway is that, when making impulsive purchases, guilt is less likely to play a contributing factor than you’d think. Furthermore, it has been established that participating in retail therapy is successful in treating sadness. Studies seem to suggest that retail therapy can effectively and reliably improve a person’s mood; therefore, it is a valid tool to rely on to keep yourself emotionally healthy– if you can also keep a cap on your impulses. 

It’s important to view retail therapy as a short term solution — buying things will not resolve the underlying issues that cause you to want to buy. Furthermore, you will want to balance yourself; too much buying will wind up making you feel worse, but investing in yourself is an important element of self-care and self-love. Here are some tips on how to make sure you’re keeping yourself financially balanced.

Try to stay in tune with your emotions. Retail therapy is really good at one thing: resolving sadness. Since sadness is associated with a lack of control over your environment, buying something will introduce something in your environment that you do feel control over. If you feel angry or guilty, however, buying something is ineffective because these emotions have less to do with your environment, and more to do with other people. It is important to know how to differentiate between these feelings, because they all fall under that general “not good” category, but retail therapy works best against sadness alone. 

Download a budgeting app. One popular way to stave off financial ruin is by running your financial information through an app like Cleo, which will then record all your spending and report the findings back to you. With budgeting apps you can visualize how much you can and are spending, and they will stop you from breaking beyond the rules you’ve set yourself. 

Get up and do something else.  This one can be harder in the pandemic, when we’re all cooped up indoors, but something as mundane as reorganizing your bedroom will instill in you a similar sense of control over your environment. So, when you feel yourself wanting to buy something without reason, instead get up and try to do some chores around the house, then see if you still want to buy that thing.

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. Some day, 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.

Share