Archive for the ‘onCollege’ Category

Finding Safety In Your Situation

Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Planting my feet on Columbia University’s campus for the first time is an experience I will never forget. Before me was an oasis of grand buildings decorated with ancient names like Homer or Herodotus that I’d never heard before. Like many college freshmen in New York City, I was moving to a new place with what seemed like the entire world sprawled out before me. That feeling can be exhilarating at times, but daunting during others. Between all of the new faces, foods, and experiences you encounter, creating a community for yourself is a must when it comes to maintaining health and even sanity. At this pivotal moment in one’s life it’s crucial to find safety in your situation. 

A photo of Butler library, showing the engravings of Homer and Herodotus.
Taken on 35mm film.

Honestly, Columbia’s makeup inherently discourages a sense of community: Tucked away in Morningside Heights, the campus removes itself from the hustle and bustle of Midtown, Downtown, and even its neighboring Harlem community. Beyond physical barriers like gates, the Ivy League university maintains its competitive nature. I’ve had countless conversations with fellow classmates who complain of the competition to do well in class. In addition to NYC’s toxic “hustle culture”, Columbia students also experience the pressures of the classroom. This especially applies to students interested in the STEM field, where professors often limit the amount of “A” letter grades they give per section. This can lead to tense relationships between students and classmates, perpetuating an “every man for himself” mindset. Instead of cultivating a community of students that uplift each other, this culture can incite gatekeeping and standoffish attitudes. In my opinion, this is counterintuitive to the nature of a university. This is especially disappointing as Columbia boasts of its location at the intersection of thousands of different cultures and people. Columbia doesn’t always encourage a culture of community, but there is still opportunity for the student to engage with their surroundings! It would be a shame to close oneself off from all that the university has to offer socially, geographically, and intellectually. 

Though it may feel easy to shy away from the whirlwind of life that bustles outside of your dorm room, I argue that you have to intentionally form a safe space for yourself in college. The first few weeks of freshman year are incredibly formative. It’s such a beautiful time of life where most people have no expectations, no friends, and no curfew. Everyone is so open to meeting new people and trying new things. It’s important to lean into this social spirit that possesses everyone at the beginning of the year. The end goal isn’t to make lifelong friends, it’s simply helpful to have people to say “hi” to or invite out for adventures in the city. When you maintain a friendly and open mindset you’re fostering a more secure environment for yourself, and for the general community. Through this mindset, we can discard the idea that one must fail a class for another to pass it. While college is an inherently individualized experience, that doesn’t mean we have to face it alone. 

Forming circles of people with similar interests or characteristics are always a great place to start. Basic commonalities were instrumental in forming new friendships. For me, I was able to connect with other students who had just moved from California to New York. These friendships provided an outlet for me to express my homesickness to someone who understood what I was going through. At the same time, I was also learning more about new people and cultures. Most importantly, we were able to support each other during one of the biggest transitions of our lives through the things we had in common. 

A group photo of some of the friends I made freshman year.
Taken on 35mm film.

I can’t sit here and tell you to hunt down all of the people from your home state on the move-in day. What I’m suggesting is to start with what you know. Whether it be where you’re from, who you want to become, or how you got here, finding friends through basic commonalities is the kickstarter for maintaining sanity at college for the first time.


By Thomas Stewart

Thomas currently attends Columbia University and plans to double major in creative writing and human rights. At Columbia Thomas is a staff writer for the City News section of the Columbia Daily Spectator, where he publishes articles that concern the West Harlem community. In his free time, you can find him practicing music or trying new vegetarian recipes


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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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Confessions of a “Golden Child”

Thursday, June 6th, 2024

You have probably heard about us. The children who behave just as expected—when the expectations are high—and the ones the family brags about. We are known as the “Golden Child” and can do nothing but shine.

Since birth, I was expected to be obedient, the treasure my parents could show the world and say, “She’s such a good girl; she gives us no trouble.” I was—indeed—so good at it. It was my innate talent. My behavior? Impeccable; my grades? Outstanding; and when my little sister was born, I was expected to be something even bigger than a golden child: a role model. And the gold chain of my success started weighing me down.

The heaviness projected towards the shaping of my personality. I became a people-pleasing, rule-following, perfectionist child who hated herself whenever she made a mistake. My parents often described me as “shy” to excuse my quietness, but the reason for my lack of words was nothing else but fear. Fearfulness and the inevitable anxiety that comes with it filled my days, living terrified of saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way. Somehow, I had connected my high grades and good manners to my parents’ love; one couldn’t exist without the other.

Image Credit: https://www.choosingtherapy.com/golden-child-syndrome/

On the other hand, my little sister would grow to be as imperfect as she needed to be. She would misbehave and do badly in school. Still, instead of getting my parents’ disapproval—like I thought I would get—they hired tutors, stayed on top of her homework, and showered her with gifts anytime she’d get something higher than a D. Regrettably, this response from my parents planted a seed of resentment. I have always loved my sister, but growing up, I couldn’t help but be upset at the different treatments we got. I failed to see that this also affected her, after all, living while feeling you need to reach your big sister’s standards also creates resentment.

As an adult, I understand my parents didn’t think I needed special attention. I was always so put together, “mature for my age,” and such a good student that my achievements were just as expected of me. My A’s were not as impressive as my sister’s C’s. They didn’t do this on purpose or with bad intentions; my sister deserved all the attention she got. Unfortunately, the effects of this imbalance between us are clear. My sister is now a confident woman who understands her value is not determined by her mistakes, while I am still insecure and believe perfection is the only way to get people to love me. However, since I moved to New York City and away from the need to please my parents, I’m slowly finding my worth beyond my grades.

Finding what I enjoy outside of a classroom

When I got here, I made mistakes, so many mistakes. I misbehaved, revealed, and learned to forgive myself for that. I eventually realized my parents didn’t stop loving me even if I wasn’t their golden child anymore, so I forgave them for making me think that. My sister and I forgave each other and became the best friends we were always supposed to be. Most importantly, I took pride in my academic achievements for the first time in a long time. I always told others that “getting A’s is not something to be proud of” as a defense mechanism because it wasn’t celebrated in my house. For five years, I stopped attending school and concentrated on finding what made me worthy.

Throughout the quest to find my value as a human being, I decided to apply for college and allow myself to enjoy my life as a student. For the first time in a while, my high GPA made me proud because I saw it as the fruit of my efforts and not as a testament to my worth, a reason for others to like me. Sometimes it is still tempting to measure my value against my academic achievements because I am still unlearning many things. It is an ongoing, difficult journey but it is also necessary. To fully embrace my college journey, I must let go of my search for perfection and focus on what being a student is about: learning and connecting.

If you are your parents’ “Golden Child” right now and feel the suffocating burden that inevitably comes with it, I hope you understand soon that you are allowed to make mistakes, that you must aim high for yourself and not others, and that your value goes beyond how bright you shine.


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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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The “More” That Everyone Needs

Thursday, June 6th, 2024

Big decisions like college commitment can sometimes generate confused or disapproving reactions. Personally, many people from my hometown couldn’t understand the desire to leave my home, the Central Valley, or California at all. Attempts to explain my visions of more changes, discoveries, and experiences were often in vain. My desire to leave home was too complex to express through small talk. Ultimately, it was a feeling that I alone could observe and act upon. Through a frustrating process, I learned to be okay with the fact that not everyone would understand my decision. I had finally convinced myself to chase my dreams, there was no need to prove myself to others.

A photo of myself after my high school graduation. Taken on 35mm film.

In my opinion, appreciating your home is just as necessary as leaving it. These two actions are intrinsically connected; they feed off of each other. Thinking back to my experience leaving California’s Central Valley, I remember feeling conflicted about my departure. My home has nurtured me for the past 17 years, but it had sheltered me from the outside world. Its mountain ranges entrapped me physically and mentally.

A prime example of this entrapment in California was my nit-picky diet. My rotation of meals peaked at a grand total of 5 different foods, usually different variations of bread and cheese. This “5-year-old’s diet” wasn’t based on dietary or allergic restrictions, but rather a psychological barrier that hampered any desire to try new things. Offers of basic foods like chocolate, chicken tenders, or scrambled eggs were immediately declined, leaving no room for consideration or entertainment. I had never deliberately tried those foods before, therefore I didn’t like them: nothing more. Without knowing it, I had developed this instinctive and irrational rejection of trying new things. 

New foods were an obvious example of my mindless rejections in the Central Valley, but in retrospect I notice other instances where I deliberately denied myself growth. Whether it be tasting falafel for the first time, trying on a pair of sneakers “outside my aesthetic”, or even talking to classmates I had never spoken a word to, my mental block prevailed in hindering new experiences. I had cultivated a way of living at home that was satisfactory, but not stimulating. 

For a long time, this life at home was enough for me. To a certain extent, consistency and familiarity is necessary when it comes to growing up. Still, there comes a time where you begin to prod at the edges of your confinement. It might be enough, but you need a “more”. When, how, or why this urge for change happens varies from person to person, for someone else, it might be a conversation that exposes them to their dream job. For me, a college visit to the Ivies instigated my yearning to grow during my sophomore year of high school. Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you react to whatever force is calling to you. Once you understand what you’re drawn to, I urge you to make it a reality.

In the heat of the moment, it can be so hard to stay true to yourself and trust your gut. As I write these words a year after I decided to attend Columbia, I can say with 100% certainty that leaving home was worth it. College offers a universe of new sights, cultures, flavors, emotions, and friends. It offers the “more” that everyone needs. The only catch: you have to take that initial leap of faith to embrace it all. Regardless of whether you have supporters or adversaries, it’s up to you alone to make your dreams a reality.

The final float of the 2023 Macys Thanksgiving Parade.
Taken on 35mm film.

By Thomas Stewart

Thomas currently attends Columbia University and plans to double major in creative writing and human rights. At Columbia Thomas is a staff writer for the City News section of the Columbia Daily Spectator, where he publishes articles that concern the West Harlem community. In his free time, you can find him practicing music or trying new vegetarian recipes.


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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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My Experience with College FOMO: Choosing Studies over Parties

Monday, June 3rd, 2024

Not being a part of the action is one of the worst feelings for me–that I admit now. I am guilty of finding every excuse available in the book to study over hanging out with new friends, finding free events in the city, and getting college student discounts while at it too. You obviously don’t have to sacrifice one over the other, but I did think so the moment I started college. I partly blame high school for this.

Senior year of high school was stressful. We had to do presentations of our career choice detailing everything from the average annual income, work responsibilities, to the everyday work environment. Out of the 25 or so of us, only two students including myself did our presentation on journalism. I was so excited until I was met with cynical looks and comments like “That won’t pay much.” I felt so defeated because what this meant to me was that I was unprepared for college. I didn’t want to imagine my future was one HUGE question mark.

I felt even worse when I didn’t meet the deadline to register for early college courses to earn credits as a high school senior. It seemed like everyone already beat me to it. When the time came to declare what college we would each be going to, I had no answer. I had applied to about five different colleges—two SUNYs and three CUNYs. My first choice was SUNY Purchase, and I did get accepted. Until my father told me it was too far from home and couldn’t go. I felt betrayed by this decision because it could have finally been my chance to find my crowd. Every other college rejected me, and there came that lack of certainty again. 

I have to give myself credit for knowing how to handle the rejection considering I was basically a social reject all throughout grade school and high school. I found it hard to relate to my peers–-probably had a lot to do with being sheltered and socially awkward. I ultimately found myself going the community college route as my ex-boyfriend advised me. While it wasn’t my first choice, I was relieved to have found someplace to go to college. And I ended up loving it there, too. It was like a second home.

I knew going into community college that I wouldn’t see many familiar faces. Many of my high school classmates practically followed each other to upstate New York for SUNY colleges. Many seemed to mainly want to go for the college parties. While I never considered myself a party girl, there was a part of me that wanted to feel “normal,” as much as I dislike that word now. Bronx Community College did have the occasional party, but it wasn’t the hottest place to be–-not in College Land nor in New York. After a while, I realized that I kept finding myself in unpopular places, and that had to be for a reason. This didn’t mean that I wasn’t a party girl (at least not publicly), just that there was a certain crowd I preferred being around. And certain places too. Like bookstores, cafes, libraries, or public squares. And call me weird, but I never used these places as personal study corners. 

Putting studies over parties during college has its benefits for sure. But you don’t need permission, especially not from your parents to let yourself enjoy a social moment for the sake of it. Stay on track, but also let yourself breathe. A party doesn’t have to mean the end of your studies. 

#JustPartyTings


As a final note, you might genuinely like going the route less taken like I did; no shame in that. Join the “weirdos,” for a change. And stay smart!


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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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Don’t Take Home For Granted

Friday, May 31st, 2024

Whenever I tell people I’m from California, I usually get a range of surprised and intrigued reactions. “Oh really, Norcal or Socal?” or, “I’ve always wanted to go to LA” are frequent responses. My revelation is usually followed by the disclaimer that I come from the Central Valley, where it isn’t all flashing lights and sunny beaches. With that being said, I’ve always recognized that the Central Valley has a beauty of its own. It’s home to a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables, producing ¼ of the nation’s food according to the U.S Geological Survey. The towns that surround me boast the titles of “Raisin Capital of the World” and “The Nation’s Salad Bowl”. These small towns aren’t as glamorous as big cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, but they still maintain their own qualities that make them noteworthy.

A photo of the vineyards in my backyard at home.

Social interactivity is another one of California’s endearing qualities. It’s not uncommon to walk down the street and greet other passersby with “goodmorning” or “how are you doing?”. Common courtesy extends to strangers, and hospitality embraces neighbors, friends, and loved ones. The plethora of produce available also functions as a bridge between people, forming and fostering relationships. Looking back on my childhood, I remember going over to my neighbor’s house to pick up fresh eggs and squash from their farm. Other times my neighbor would come over and we would eat cookies together. The sense of community and hospitality was so natural, it was second nature. Little actions like acknowledging each other, saying please and thank you, or gift-giving were customs that I grew up with. These interactions occurred on an individual level and served to foster a greater sense of community statewide. I never noticed that these manners were particular to the region that I grew up in until I left it. I can recall my first time on the subway, and immediately being aware that this wasn’t the place to ask “how’s your day going?”. Even though this would be completely normal in California, over time I’ve adjusted to the unspoken rules of the city.

Accessibility and connection were the things that I took for granted back in California. While I can only describe my personal experience in detail, I know that these feelings are natural and universal. I’ve bonded with so many classmates over reminiscing on the little features of our homes that we miss, most notably our favorite west coast coffee shop: Dutch Bros. However, this nostalgia is not limited to the small, agricultural towns that I’ve described so far. The value in changing one’s environment can apply to city natives as well. In a city like New York, you can especially differentiate your home on the regional scale as opposed to the state scale. A neighborhood like Harlem, which features a median age of 36, is predominately Black, and a median income of $58,489 is starkly different from a neighborhood like Riverdale, Bronx, which has a median age of 41, is predominately White, and a median income of $77,840. The important difference is not based on geography, but rather culture and experiences. By putting yourself in a new position, you’ll learn a lesson that is easier said than done: to not take your home for granted.

 Every home has aspects of it that are simply irreplaceable. It’s hard to leave them, but in my opinion it’s necessary. There is so much value from leaving everything you have ever known for something new. Regardless of your upbringing, the experience of moving to a new place with different foods, people, and customs will make you a better person. Not only will you be more knowledgeable about the world, but you’ll be able to appreciate your home from a fresh perspective.


By Thomas Stewart

Thomas currently attends Columbia University and plans to double major in creative writing and human rights. At Columbia Thomas is a staff writer for the City News section of the Columbia Daily Spectator, where he publishes articles that concern the West Harlem community. In his free time, you can find him practicing music or trying new vegetarian recipes.


While it may not be as fresh as the Central Valley, students and faculty can get up to 20% off on produce at Uptown Whole Foods.

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 10: Not Goodbye Just See You Later

Monday, November 20th, 2023

I suck at goodbyes. I always cry or make inappropriate jokes to get everyone to laugh instead of being sad. With that being said, I’m absolutely terrified to say goodbye to some of my best friends at the end of my senior year займ 10000 рублей.

Luckily, I am a part of my university’s five year Master’s program and a few of my other friends are as well. But there are still a few that I’ll have to say goodbye to that I’m worried will likely end in all of us sobbing hysterically.

Not that there’s anything wrong with crying. Crying is an extremely healthy way to let out emotions and anyone who says otherwise is jealous of the way we are capable of portraying our emotions. The only reason I’m scared to cry when saying goodbye is because I’m a very ugly crier, but that’s just me.

I learned throughout my years at college that crying is seen all around campus. Which may sound depressing as hell, but it’s really not. Sometimes I’ll just be walking to the dining hall during finals season and I’ll hear someone sniffling and no one bats an eye because it’s so widely accepted. This was much different than my experience in highschool, but it was a new kind of difference that I was excited to welcome into my life.

Anyways, back to saying goodbye.

This isn’t my first time having to say goodbye to my friends. When I left high school, all of my friends and I went different ways. It was scary, but we knew it was for the best. Specifically when saying goodbye to my best friend of 16 years (at the time it was only twelve years), I knew there would be some tears. Her school was online for the first semester due to COVID and my school was open so I was moving to my new home for the next four years. We spent almost every day together during the summer, even with the pandemic going on. We found ways to hang out outside and wore masks so that we were still safe while taking in all the time we had left together. But when the day came where I had to leave, we still cried.


My best friend and I our senior year of high school, before COVID

I realize now that it was a bit foolish of us to cry. We still see each other and keep in contact all the time. It wasn’t really a goodbye, but more of a “see you later!”. The only difference in our friendship was that we weren’t seeing each other everyday, but even still we can text each other whenever.

And with that, I’m reminding myself all throughout my senior year that things won’t be completely different to how it was last time. Even though we won’t be living on the same campus, only a few minutes walk between each other, I know I will still see my friends and my roommate again. We’ve already discussed how we’ll meet up whenever we can and will aim to continue our tradition of a “Friendsgiving”.

Like I said before with my high school best friend, we also can text each other whenever. Thankfully we live in a technology based society now and it is much easier to keep in touch with friends than it used to be. We can send each other TikToks or funny videos on Instagram just to let each other know that we are still thinking of one another. We can also keep up with fun things happening around us and make plans to meet up at such events. For example, my friends and I are both fans of the same book series and one of us discovered there’s a themed ball/gala to celebrate that book series happening after graduation. We all are excited to see if we can go to celebrate the start of continuing our friendship after school.

When my friends and I finish walking across the stage with our diplomas we won’t say goodbye. We’ll just be saying see you later.


Some great memories of me and my friends!

Summary:

  • Saying goodbye has always been difficult for me
  • Crying is normal and healthy!
  • I had to say goodbye to my best friend after high school, but we still kept in touch so it wasn’t really a goodbye
  • How to stay in touch with friends after college

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By Mia Ilie

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


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

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

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People You Hate

Friday, November 10th, 2023

If there is one thing that is for sure going to happen in college, in life, it’s that you are going to meet people that you just don’t like. I go to a pretty small college, and for the most part I like to think that I can get along well with anyone. That being said, even in my small community, I have some opposition. There are a couple of people that I just do not like, for whatever reason.

My first year of college was online because of Covid, so my first year in the dorms was my sophomore year. I decided to go random for a roommate, and was matched with someone I seemed to have nothing in common with. I moved in without talking to her at all, with the exception of a five minute phone call discussing if the rug she wanted to buy would fit ok in our small shared space. I had a feeling that we wouldn’t be best friends, but that was ok with me. I thought we would at least be able to cohabitate.

Wrong. I’m going to skip the details, for my sake and yours, but we did not get along at all. We had some problems that we could not resolve without getting residential life involved, and it put an extreme strain on our already foundationless relationship. I ended up moving rooms two weeks into school and we hardly saw each other after that, but once in a while we would run into each other on campus. No words were ever said, but every look we exchanged was charged with strong mutual dislike. In truth, I hated her. 

Me and my new roommate get along much better!

Now, I understand that maybe hate is a strong word, but in my case it is accurate. When everything was fresh, seeing her would rile me up. Heart rate increased, face hot, stomach turning–the whole thing. Laying eyes on her fired me up to the point of significant distress, and I fed into the toxicity that is hatred. I talked bad about her to my friends, I gave her dirty looks, I blocked her on instagram. I am not proud of the way I handled our conflict, but because I felt that my feelings were justified, I didn’t realize how my own negativity was poisonous to my mental well being. Why should I carry all this anger with me over something that had long been over?

Time, as it does, diluted those strong feelings greatly, and now, in my senior year, I do not really think about her at all. Or at least, I hadn’t in a while, until we ran into each other in the bathroom at a local bar. The two of us made eye contact, but our eyes didn’t hold any tension or malice anymore, it just felt awkward. It seemed that we had both moved on. We sort of smiled at each other, and said a polite hello as I washed my hands. Sitting in that politeness for a moment, I complimented her boots and started to dry my hands. 

“We don’t have beef anymore, right?” she asked. I wasn’t really sure. It all felt so far away now, we had both moved on. My hatred had turned to apathy.

“No, we’re good.” It was time to let go. Even though I hadn’t been thinking about her much lately, it felt good to have some closure. Hate is just not fulfilling, and I didn’t have room in my heart to carry it anymore. We chatted for a few more minutes in the bathroom, and though we will probably never be friends, it felt good to let go of all of that anger I didn’t know I was still holding on to.

Sometimes you have to feel your hate, and that is totally ok, but you cannot let it overpower your joy. Hate is a parasite. It is draining, and heavy. You do not owe anyone your affection or friendship, especially when they have wronged you in the past, but hatred is ugly and wastes energy. It’s one thing to not want to be around someone, it’s another thing to let them live in your mind constantly. Protect your peace and don’t waste your time in anger. You have better things to do.

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By Erin O’Brien


Erin is a student based in Boston, MA studying Communications and Studio Art. She is drawn to telling stories about love and friendship, with themes of humanity and connection at its core. In sharing her personal truths, she hopes to provide readers with nuggets of learned wisdom and college survival skills


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 8: Why Seeking Adult Validation is Actually Beneficial: How to Befriend Your Professors

Monday, November 6th, 2023

In high school, classes were relatively small and you had the same teachers pretty much everyday, making it easy to form a bond with those teachers. You never really had to put that much effort into getting to know your teacher and as long as you did your work, they pretty much liked you.

For me, I was a very quiet kid and way too anxious to talk to all of my teachers. There were some teachers I managed to get close to who have helped me get to where I am today, but with others I just had a normal student-teacher relationship and nothing special. I knew that when I went to college it would be important to try and form a bond with at least some professors like I did in high school. However, college is much different than high school.

Thankfully, I chose a typically small school so my classes are never too big, but even still, it is different from high school. Instead of seeing these professors everyday, I would see them once, maybe twice, a week and the semesters are much shorter than a whole high school year, so you only have a few months to try and make an impression.

It was difficult for me at first, to try and open up to professors. I often seek adult validation and would always be too afraid to ask questions to my professors in fear that they would think I’m too dumb for their class. Now though, after a few years, I’ve discovered that asking questions when confused adds a new layer to your professor’s perception of you and they even feel grateful that you can admit to being confused. My sophomore year was one of the first times I took a class within my new major and I was beyond confused.

No one else seemed as confused and I honestly felt stupid. However, slowly I became more comfortable and at some points would just say out loud to my professor “I’m so confused and have no idea what this means”. Any time I do this, no professor laughs despite what my overthinking mind may think. Instead my professor and I worked together to understand my confusion and I worked hard to become a better writer and student.

Two years later he is one of my favorite professors and has helped me gain many opportunities. I have won an award for writing and I’m able to apply lessons and tips that once confused me to other classes to improve my writing and discussions in class.


The title and cover page of the paper I won an award for

It is so important to befriend at least one of your professors so you can always count on at least one adult to help you out in the future. And in order to do so, you don’t need to bring a fruit basket or something to their desk and essentially be a suck-up (no hate to suck-ups, I applaud those who can do it).The best way to form a connection is to be honest. Tell them how you feel about their lessons, ask questions, and participate. They will admire you and your attitude and will look forward to seeing you in other classes in the future.

The professors I have gotten close with have helped me find internships, be references for internships/jobs, and have written some letters of recommendations that I needed to get into grad school. They also help you become more confident in yourself and your work. At least that’s what happens to me when I seek adult validation.


After becoming known in the community within my major, I have been given opportunities like being an opening reader for my schools literary magazine! Here’s me reading one of my short stories

Summary:

  • Forming relationships with high school teachers is different than professors in college
  • It may seem intimidating at first to speak with professors, but slowly you discover they are humans too and not scary
  • It is best to be honest with them and communicate how you feel rather than just act like you know what’s going on
  • Befriending professors will essentially help you in the future

One of my favorite forms of self care is getting my hair done! Get 20% off by showing this coupon and student ID!

By Mia Ilie

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


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

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

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Chapter 7: Balancing It Out: How to Have Fun and Still be Organized

Monday, October 30th, 2023

If I’m being completely honest, I’m the absolute worst at staying organized. Time

management skills? Those don’t exist in my world. I just do things when I remember and hope for the best. At least that’s what I used to do.

My freshman year of college, I was interested in majoring in psychology and took a few psych courses. I noticed through those courses that I fit into some of the definitions of ADHD and further researched it. By my sophomore year, I got the diagnosis and things started to make more sense. Turns out your brain is supposed to think in full proper sentences and people are actually able to sit down for hours and focus while studying? Crazy concept.

Anyways, for the first two years of college I was doing mostly alright with a high GPA, but was always stressed and often procrastinated  things to the last minute. Figuring out how to have fun with my friends and also find time to do homework was nearly impossible. Once  I also got a job, my brain was about to burst.

Every year before the first day of classes, I would buy a planner and swear to myself that I would use it and stay organized. Now, if you also have ADHD, you know what it’s like to have everyone suggest buying a planner only to spend money and never use it after the first week. Every year I would spend a day writing out my week and marking when important dates are in the semester, only to forget about it and never open it again. I’m sure for some people, planners are a great way to stay organized and on top of things, and I definitely recommend it for people to try. It just wasn’t the right fit for me.

I then tried different tips people have given me like adding things to my calendar on my phone and getting notifications. However, I couldn’t even figure out how to set up the notifications on the calendar/reminders and every time I tried I would just end up forgetting all about whatever was planned. If you are a tech savvy person, this is probably the best thing for you, but I’m like an old woman and suck at technology. I do like Google calendar though, my boss uses it for work and that at least keeps some part of my life organized.


Meg and I hanging out before the semester starts

It wasn’t until my junior year when I met my friend Meg till I found out what worked for me. My friend Meg is incredibly organized and even schedules their own naps. I had no idea how they did it until one day they showed me a simple checklist they made on their notes app of things they need to get done before the end of the semester. At first it seemed overwhelming, but then I remembered the trick my old therapist told me to do things day by day.

So with both of those things in mind, I opened my notes app and wrote down the things I needed to get done each day for the last two weeks of the semester and it actually worked! I broke down assignments so I wasn’t overwhelmed telling myself to get the entire thing done in one sitting. For example, I would write “Monday: Create essay outline. Tuesday: Write first two paragraphs. Etc.” This way, they were smaller tasks that led to completion. It also helped that every time I checked something off it was super satisfying, especially to see my list get smaller.

When I started my senior year, I wanted to move from my phone to paper because holding a physical to-do list helps me take things more seriously. So instead of buying a planner, I bought an empty lined journal and every Sunday I write down my tasks for each day of the week. Now I’m extremely organized and capable of finding the time to hang out with friends rather than avoiding work or avoiding my friends till everything is done.


My to-do list from the last two weeks. I do a new color each week to keep things exciting!

It’s also important to remind yourself that some days are better than others. You may have a lot written down to do for the day, but it’s not possible to get everything done every single day. And it is also important to treat yourself and still hang out with your friends, especially if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It is always best to take care of yourself first.

Summary:

  • I struggled on how to stay organized with school work and having fun
  • I was diagnosed with ADHD but none of the tips people were giving me helped
  • I met my friend Meg and liked the idea of a to-do list
  • I became much more organized and balanced everything out
  • Remember to take care of yourself!

Have a self care day and get 20% off a sweet treat with this coupon and student ID!

By Mia Ilie

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


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

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

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Chapter 5: Service. Friendship, and Equality: Gamma Sigma Sigma

Monday, October 16th, 2023

Despite having my suitemates and a few other friends, I still felt like I hadn’t been able to get the real college freshman year experience. Thanks to COVID, almost all events were on Zoom, including club meetings. There was one campus organization, though, that I was able to feel connected with despite being on Zoom.

In my first chapter, I mentioned my friend Cayleigh who by then was in their Junior year. In Cayleigh’s freshman year of college, they told me that they had joined a sorority…and I was baffled, flabbergasted, astonished, and many other synonyms for confused. Cayleigh and I had always been very similar and, if you knew us, you knew we were definitely not sorority people. This is no hate to those in a sorority, I honestly find your social skills very impressive because I could never do that. I applaud you all (this isn’t sarcasm I genuinely am very impressed by it all and admire it).

Cayleigh and I are both…not as positive or spirited as most sorority people. The closest I think either of us got to a sorority in high school would be watching Legally Blonde (still one of my favorite movies and I watch it at least four times a year). So yeah, when Cayleigh texted me that they had joined a sorority, it was shocking. But then they explained to me what sorority they had joined.

It was then that I learned about Gamma Sigma Sigma, a co-ed service sorority. This Greek organization was not a social sorority, but was focused on service and helping out the community. In high school, I enjoyed my time doing community service and I knew I wanted to continue volunteering in college, so this was perfect. Also it looks incredible on your resume.


Me and my big at a formal event together with some other friends

So, as I was saying before, when I was a freshman, connecting to different organizations was difficult. But, because I had already known Cayleigh before COVID, they had helpfully introduced me to their friends who also happened to be in Gamma Sigma Sigma with them. Because I was able to meet all these amazing people, I felt connected to the organization and wanted to join them not just for the amazing friendships, but also the service opportunities as well.


Me and friends at a service event

Since joining, I have met so many amazing people and I am so grateful for what this sorority has done for me. By the end of my sophomore year I was voted into the position of “Membership Vice President,” which is the person in charge of recruitment. It was my job to encourage people to join our sorority and feel safe and welcomed within the process. Through this position, I met new people and gained several organization and communication skills thanks to all the super exciting paperwork that I had to fill out.

In my senior year, I’m currently finishing my last semester as Membership Vice President and passing the torch to the next person. Next semester, I plan to focus mostly on gaining my master’s degree as I’ll be entering grad school, so I intend on going inactive in my sorority. Meaning, I’ll still be a member but don’t have to attend our weekly meetings or collect service hours. It will be weird, but I feel as though Gamma Sigma Sigma has served its purpose for me.

I met some of my best friends, I got to know the community and help out with service projects, and I became more responsible. If you are stressed about making friends or having a “proper college experience”, whatever that means, I strongly recommend taking a closer look into Greek Life on campus. You may never know what you could find.


Me and my little caught driving to get food

Summary:

  • Because I was a freshman during COVID, all clubs were online and it was hard to meet people
  • My friend Cayleigh introduced me to a few people from the sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma
  • I felt close with everyone in the sorority and decided to join
  • I gained different experiences with the service projects I worked on and becoming Membership Vicepresident

It’s always important to do some self-care! Treat yourself by relaxing and getting your hair done for 20% off with this coupon and Student ID!

By Mia Ilie

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


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

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

Share