Archive for the ‘onCollege’ Category

The Effect of Covid-19, Remote Learning and What Comes Next

Friday, September 10th, 2021

It’s strange to think about how much I longed for home during my first year of college, which ironically ended up being where I finished my junior and senior years. I was back home for spring break when it was announced that BU would be going remote. I subsequently made a quick day trip to Boston to pick up some essentials from my dorm and left the rest, assuming that I would be coming back to the city. I did eventually step foot in Boston, but it was for my graduation, approximately a year and a half later.

BU Commencement 2021: Over in a Flash | BU Today | Boston University
BU’s Commencement for the Class of 2021
Image Credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/bu-commencement-2021-over-in-a-flash/

I have mentioned before that studying abroad in London made me want to really explore Boston and take advantage of being in a city, so I was definitely sad that my time in Massachusetts was cut short. However, I assumed that remote learning would be manageable because, as I’ve also previously stated, I’m more of an introvert and I believed that taking classes over Zoom would be no big deal.

Gradually, though, taking classes virtually began to wear me down and I started realizing all the small things that I missed from being on campus. I missed being able to talk with my classmates before and after class. I missed walking around Boston and Brookline. I missed going to various spots on campus to do my coursework. I missed not staring at a screen for hours on end.

View from the 26th floor of StuVi2
Image Credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/bu-commencement-2021-over-in-a-flash/

The pandemic and remote learning gave me a new appreciation for all the interactions and activities that I took for granted while on campus. It also made me extremely grateful for all the opportunities and stuff I did before the world seemingly came to a halt. 

Even though I was taking classes remotely, I did step outside of my comfort zone with the classes I took, particularly in my final semester. Before then, I had certainly taken courses that forced me to do so. For instance, I had classes that were small and discussion-based, meaning I had to actively participate and voice my opinions, which was challenging for me. I was constantly nervous about not saying something smart, like my classmates, or fumbling over my words. There were some professors who liked to randomly call on students to answer questions and that was even scarier because I was in fear of being called on and not knowing what to say.

The classes that I took in my final semester were different, though, in that the major projects were tasks I had never done before. One class required me to make a video and I needed to assist in writing a script, and maybe do some acting, for another class. I had never edited a video, written a script, or acted. When I saw the syllabi for both of these classes, part of me was tempted to drop out of both. 

However, I decided to take the classes because my time at BU was ending, so I had to seize the chance to take courses that seemed interesting, or else regret not doing so. Also, making a video meant learning and refining a new skill, which would be a nice break from binging shows in my downtime (something I was admittedly doing a lot during the pandemic). And script writing would allow me to practice my creative writing abilities, since I did mostly analytical writing assignments in college. As for the acting, I could take comfort in the fact that I wouldn’t be doing it in-person. 

I actually really liked taking those classes since they were unlike anything I had taken before. A lot of the people in my classes were amateurs in video editing and script-writing as well and the professors weren’t expecting us to be experts. Therefore, knowing that what I created didn’t have to be perfect, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was able to enjoy the classes more and try new things before graduating.

If you are looking to step outside your comfort zone, I absolutely recommend checking out classes outside the discipline you are studying in or courses that require you to try something new. It’ll help you expand your horizons, pick up additional skills and perhaps pique your interest in a subject you never considered before. There are deadlines to drop out of a class, so if you show up on the first day and decide it’s not your cup of tea, you aren’t forced to keep drinking it for the rest of the semester. 

Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking at multiple master’s programs. I had applied to one and was offered admission, but after deliberation and conversations with friends and family, I decided not to accept. Ultimately, I felt like the program I applied to wasn’t right for me. Now, without the stress of college, I’ve been able to research different programs and really think about what I want to do for graduate school. Of course, it is a bit frustrating not currently knowing exactly what direction my life is going in, yet I am glad to have this small break from school after all of the pressure I placed on myself to succeed academically in high school and college. Besides, I want to be certain that I pick a master’s program that I will be happy with instead of just rushing to finish my graduate studies. 

Just to summarize:

  • Attempt to make the most of your time in college and take a minute to appreciate the little things that we take for granted.
  • Selecting an interesting class can be a good way to step out of your comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to search for courses outside your discipline.  
  • It’s alright not to go straight into graduate school after finishing your undergraduate studies. It’s fine to take your time. Everyone’s paths through life are unique.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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 Five: Looming Graduation & Lingering Uncertainty

Friday, September 10th, 2021

In my previous chapter, I discussed the importance of being intentional with your time. I only began to realize this in senior year– far later than I would have preferred. I spent a good chunk of my undergraduate years suffocated by insecurity, which prevented me from pursuing certain social opportunities. Once I gained at least some confidence (it’s a lifelong process, isn’t it?) I began to go out more with friends, and I wasn’t overly concerned with how I looked or how much I ate that day. Graduation time crept up on me as I realized I only had a few months of school left. 

Then, COVID-19 upended everyone’s lives. Amidst all of the existential dread of graduating and parental pressure, I decided to take the LSAT in the fall with the aim of becoming an environmental lawyer. (This seems to be a right of passage for humanities majors.) When I took the actual LSAT in September, it was far from reflecting the best score I had gotten in practice, and the kicker was that while it made me feel dumb, I didn’t want to be a lawyer anyway: I only wanted to be a better writer.

The reason I decided to pursue Media and Communication again was not only to have some closure after not being able to graduate in the traditional sense, but to do what I’ve always wanted to do: comedy. I am studying Communication because of the dual interest in politics and comedy that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart sparked in me in high school. After the 2016 election, I felt extremely anxious and decided to pivot explicitly toward politics for a few years after completing my first internship at a comedy club. 


Nikki Glaser performing at Gotham Comedy Club during my internship

I think I lost the plot along the way. I became embroiled in the world of politics, when that too never felt like the perfect fit for me. I applied to some Political Communication programs and, although I was accepted, I knew I wanted to go back to NYU. Of course it’s a very different conversation to have with your parents that you want to be a comedian, than the one about wanting to be a lawyer. But if the latter is a lie to yourself too, then why pursue it? 

School is a way to grow your network of relationships, and try new things within the support structure of academia. If you’re looking to pivot careers, especially in the middle of a pandemic, going back to school can be a good place to start, depending on your financial priorities. 


Fall near NYU Campus

There’s a really pretentious phrase I recently heard an actor say in an interview that I want to share: “Don’t act unless you have to.” I think you could apply this philosophy to a lot of jobs that may involve constant rejection and (job) insecurity, even though it is pretentious. It took me a long time to finally decide to pursue comedy for myself, which I’ve always loved above all else, and which catalyzed my passion for other fields like public service. But what if I fail? That would be embarrassing. Nonetheless, I now feel that I have to try anyway because I already regret not starting comedy when I was younger. I don’t regret my years in politics (which frankly gave me great comedic material) because I still felt a sense of purpose, but that sense has been relatively fulfilled. 

What I hear in “Don’t act unless you have to,” is that if you know you will be rejected often and are going against all odds, but still want to pursue a passion that people scoff at or cringe at behind your back, then you have to do it. For yourself. 

For me, that’s comedy. What do you have to do? And who cares how long it’ll take! When it comes time to think about what comes after college, you may be overwhelmed by your options. My advice is to consider: what’s your comedy? What do you have to do?

My advice for figuring it out:

  • Don’t wait until Senior Year to have a social life; build your network of relationships professionally and personally 
  • Consider what you love doing above all else, if money weren’t an issue
    • You can do this thing as a hobby, and perhaps work up to doing something professionally if appropriate, or you may prefer to keep it as a hobby
    • Your life should not be centered purely around autopilot labor for income
  • You will be uncertain about pursuing certain passions until you actually start pursuing them; the “what ifs” will weigh on you in a few years so get ahead of them
    • And it is *never* too late or too soon to pivot professionally if you crave something new
  • Good luck!!!


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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Chapter Four: Comedic & Cultural Entertainment in NYC

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

My mental health preservation efforts do not stop with good food and exercise, but emphatically extend to comedy. An overarching theme of what I write about regards being intentional with your “self,” your time, and what you enjoy. I love going to comedy clubs, watching late night shows (from home or in-person through the iota lottery system), seeing movies (which are cheaper earlier in the day/as matinees), and going to museums.

Having gone to college, I know that the experience can be very overwhelming, especially if you are in a new (and big) city. I wanted to attend NYU because I dreamed of working in political satire, which remains true. I knew New York City was where political satire thrived, and that’s where I wanted to be. Still, although it was my choice to ultimately move away from home, I had no idea where to begin when it came to actually exploring the city. 

So, I started with late night, since that’s where I enjoy my favorite political comedians including Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, John Oliver (who is not technically “late night”), and Seth Meyers. If you simply Google the name of any of these people/shows along with “tickets,” you will find the link to sign up for the lottery to see them live. Through this free lottery system I have been able to see Sam Bee once, and Colbert twice. These were incredibly emotional and fun experiences for me, not only because comedy has been my passion since childhood, but also because the reason I chose to study Media was so that I could work in comedy entertainment. Because of Jon Stewart’s influence as a political satirist, I even worked in proper politics for a few years after 2016. 


A picture from when a friend and I had the opportunity to see Colbert live.

Aside from going to free late night shows, I love going to comedy shows. One of the best times in my life was when I had the opportunity to intern at Gotham Comedy Club, which auspiciously entailed me getting to watch two to four hours of stand-up for free every week while helping post promotions to social media. Being mindful of some age restrictions, there is usually a minimum cover fee at comedy clubs, so your evening can get pricey, but it is absolutely worth going to at least one to experience the NYC stand-up comedy scene. 

My best friend and I felt that we didn’t always make the most of our time in undergrad, so we made a point to go to as many shows and events as we could in senior year. We saw one of our favorite stand-ups (Nate Bargatze) perform an hour-long special live, and we went to Broadway shows as well. There are often some form of student discounts available for Broadway, or even films, and colleges often send emails about such opportunities– so keep a lookout. 

Whatever your passions are outside of school, be intentional with making time for yourself. I had fun in school and enjoyed my classes, but a break can offer rejuvenation. When I felt inspired and/or didn’t have the time or resources to go see something, I took it upon myself to write my own comedy for fun– I have not yet gathered the courage to do an open mic myself, but my goal is to try soon. To mentally prepare, I just remind myself: it’s a right of passage for every comedian to bomb… right?!

For more “serious” cultural moments in NYC, I love visiting the Hayden Planetarium’s Space Theater at the American Museum of Natural History and watching their immersive mini-documentaries on Space projected onto a spherical dome above the audience. Museums in New York are plentiful, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), the Guggenheim, and my personal favorite: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). The MET has so many sections that I still haven’t seen. They also have seasonal or temporary exhibits, which are very novel. I visited just last week and they had a Dutch exhibit up, displaying multiple Rembrandts (which are very cool and sad).  


Marble statue of Orpheus visible from the back on “the Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco, 1506–15”

Whether you love comedy or not, there are  plenty of forms of entertainment in New York City, or surely wherever you are going to school. Colleges do a fantastic job of promoting discounted events, so keep an eye out in your emails and school bulletins for any opportunities. 

Ultimately, my advice is that you be intentional with your “self,” what you enjoy, and the time (off) that you have. 

For those seeking entertainment while in college:

  • Be intentional with your off-time; resting/relaxing can be achieved in other ways than just sitting at home
  • Colleges do a fantastic job of promoting discounted events, so check your emails and school bulletins for any opportunities/ find Campus Clipper on social media for coupons! 
  • Museums are always worth visiting; students usually receive significant discounts if not the “pay what you can” option (which can just be nothing)
  • NYC offers a lot of free entertainment, whether it means seeing a daytime talk show live,  SNL, or late night


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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Chapter 6- Returning to Boston and My First Internship

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

I feel like it would be too bold (and perhaps slightly cheesy) to say that studying abroad changed my life. It doesn’t feel like I was in London that long ago, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has warped my sense of time, so it’s hard to view that experience retrospectively. However, I can confidently say that studying abroad influenced how I approached my following spring semester at Boston University when I returned.

I wanted to be more outgoing and adventurous in Boston, like I had become in London. So, I decided to seize more opportunities to do activities outside of campus. For example, I went to two Beanpot games with a friend. Beanpot, for those not familiar with the Boston area, is a hockey tournament between BU, Northeastern University, Boston College and Harvard University held at TD Garden. I had seen hockey games on campus, but never fathomed going off-campus to see a game during a weeknight when I had class early the next day because I’m not a huge hockey fanatic. I thought it might be fun to go to a Beanpot game at least once, though, and it was. I’m still not the world’s biggest hockey fan, but I did enjoy watching the game intently and cheering on the BU team.

Beanpot game at TD Garden

A week after the Beanpot tournament, I went on a weekend trip to Philadelphia with some friends. I had been to Philly before with my family and we typically just went to the same places repeatedly, so when my friend invited me to go, I agreed. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends, be a little touristy and go to some spots I had never been to before. We saw the Liberty Bell, ran up the Rocky Steps (well, I half-jogged), ate Philly cheesesteaks, etc.

The best part of the weekend was definitely going to Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, which is an outdoor mosaic art gallery. It was stunning, and being surrounded by an array of intentionally-placed art pieces in the labyrinth was incredible. 

Exploring the labyrinth that is Philadelphia’s Magic Garden

I wasn’t just outgoing in terms of going out and exploring the city. The spring semester was also when I started applying for my first internships. Finding an internship was always something at the back of my mind, but I was so busy and stressed by classes that I decided to focus on my academics. By the spring of my junior year, though, I felt like I had learned how to manage my time well enough to handle having an internship. 

Also, it began to dawn on me that after the spring ended, I would be entering my final year before graduating. I wanted to start figuring out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. I had become an English major because I loved reading and writing and they were things that I thought I was pretty good at. This did not mean that I knew what I wanted to pursue as a career. There were people around me who had internships and knew exactly what they wanted to do after they graduated, which did, admittedly, put pressure on me. However, I was mostly eager to find out what direction my life would take. 

I worked hard on creating the perfect resume and cover letter and had a lot of help from the Internet. I Googled examples of both and tried to use them as guidelines to perfect mine. I spent a lot of time reading, reviewing and revising these application elements until the perfectionist in me realized that I was obsessing too much over tiny details. Then, I finally applied to a few internships that I found on Handshake.

I think that the freshman version of myself would have been panicking all day, every day, until I heard something back. I would have worried about whether I was good enough and fretted over the fear of failure. Fortunately, junior year me had a distinct mindset. Of course I would like to have an internship yet overthinking things that were outside of my control was not going to help me in any way. Even if it was challenging to do so, I just had to focus on the aspects of my life that I could control.

I was soon accepted into an internship with a literary agency. Basically, the internship entailed me reading over submitted manuscripts and providing my feedback. It was interesting to read the stories of various writers. It also reminded me how much I love reading for fun. Since I had to read so much for my classes, I really didn’t read for pleasure in college during my spare time. Looking through the manuscripts, though, it felt as if I was back in high school, when I used to read to pass the time. The internship also showed me how much I value storytelling. People have so many worlds, experiences and ideas to share in their writing and the thought of helping writers publish their works appealed to me. So, the internship certainly made me feel like I was taking a step forward in figuring out what I wanted to do with my future. 

If you are looking for an internship, my best advice is this:

  • Make sure to double-check your resume and cover letter. There are many examples of both online that you can check out. Also, your college’s career center might offer some helpful services, such as appointments to review your resume and mock interviews.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply to a variety of places. 
  • If you get an internship, seize the chance to make connections, network, learn new things and ask questions.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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- An Unexpected Time in London

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

I had no idea what was in store for me when I initially landed in London. I had done a little research through Google Maps and acquainted myself vaguely with the area that would be my home. I was registered for two English courses and two History courses, the latter of which  really intrigued me because one course included a class trip to Belgium. Besides these details, I had no idea what to expect. 

During orientation, where I was struggling with jet lag and trying to cling on to consciousness, I recall one of the speakers encouraging the students to venture outside of England’s capital. Aside from that one aforementioned class trip, I didn’t think I would be that adventurous.

However, gradually, my travel plans began to grow.

At the beginning of the semester, I signed up for BU sponsored trips. One of them was a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath and the other was a weekend trip to Edinburgh. Then, I learned that one of my English courses included a weekend excursion to the English countryside. When my aunt and uncle from New Jersey and my cousin from Guatemala came to visit me in October, we decided to take the Eurostar to see Paris for two days. Afterwards, I made plans with classmates to travel to a few European cities during the weekends.

View from Edinburgh Castle

I hadn’t expected to travel, but I’m glad I did so because I made so many great memories: taking a boat tour and gliding through the canals of Amsterdam, sitting in the Sistine Chapel and marveling at the ceiling, going to Edinburgh Castle and admiring the view of the city.

You don’t need to travel extensively when studying abroad, but seeing different parts of your host country or visiting nearby regions is something you should keep in mind. It’ll help you understand more about the country you are staying in and allow you the chance to experience new cultures. 

If you are traveling while studying abroad, you don’t need every moment of your trips planned out, but you should have a general idea of what you want to do. Some activities require getting tickets or making reservations, so if you have your heart set on doing something, make sure to do research beforehand. This also applies to food. For example, when I first went to Belgium, I realized that I didn’t know what foods to try, aside from waffles (which I did end up eating a lot of…). If you want to try out food local to the region you’re traveling to, do some research in that area as well! 

Carbonara in Rome

During my weekdays spent in London, I did my best not to stay cooped up in my dorm. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of being in a new environment. On days when I planned to work on essays and other homework, I would either go to the London Library or the British Library– my BU program advantageously helped everyone get library cards for both places. I preferred going to the London Library, sitting by a window with the view of a park and working there for a few hours. I fondly remember my walks back to the tube station as the winter season began to approach because it would get dark at around 5 p.m., but holiday lights beautifully illuminated the streets of the city to mark the impending festive season. Therefore, do your best not to stay cooped inside when studying abroad. Spend some time exploring and getting to know more of the place you’re staying in.

Impromptu photoshoot in the atmospheric London Library

I made sure to stay connected with my family in New Jersey as well. It was challenging at first, considering the time difference. When I was free, everyone was busy with work. When they would be free to call, I would either be getting ready for bed or already in bed. So, I ended up speaking to my family a lot less than when I was in Boston. Still, we found time to speak once a week, at the very least, and I called my mom before I went on any trips outside of London, just to let her know that I would be away for the weekend. I texted my family a lot and sent them a ton of pictures, so they knew I was having fun. Though I definitely missed them, it was undoubtedly a relief that I wasn’t as homesick as I feared. I was happily occupied with classes, mundane tasks (like grocery shopping) and making the most of my time in London. The months seemed to fly by. December quickly arrived and I was a little sad to say goodbye to London.

Looking back at my semester abroad, I really have no regrets. Okay, maybe I wish I practiced cooking for myself prior to going to England because, before then, I had never had to make meals for myself every single day, so I was a bit lost in that regard. And perhaps I should have studied the currency a little more, since it got confusing to distinguish all the coins. But aside from those minor things (due to my admitted lack of preparedness), I enjoyed my time in London, ranging from minor activities like eating at Nando’s to doing really touristy things, such as seeing As You Like It at the Globe Theater. 

So, to summarize my study abroad tips:

  • Do research, whether it is about the currency, the language, the food, things to do, etc. 
  • Try not to confine yourself to the comfort of the place/area you are staying in. Explore! Make a bucket list! Try new foods! Don’t be afraid of doing some touristy things! There are museums and such that offer free admission or student discounts!
  • Make time to stay connected with friends and family from back home. And if you are abroad and feeling homesick, here are some helpful tips to help you out: https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/ways-reduce-homesickness-abroad

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Chapter Two: So Much Food!

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

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


Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street

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

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


DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

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


Nutella beignets at Cafe Marie

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


Bagel Belly near Union Square

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

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

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


My friend and I enjoying Times Square 🙂

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


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

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

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

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

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


By: Anna Matefy

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


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Chapter 4- Applying to Study Abroad and the Nerves that Came With It

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

I’ve previously mentioned that studying abroad was something that interested me when I initially applied to Boston University, particularly the opportunity to do so in London. Fortunately for me, BU actually had programs in London specifically for students studying English. For some reason, even before I started my freshman year at college, I had this whole plan laid out: I would get to know Boston during my first year, then I would study abroad the following year, and afterwards, I would dedicate myself to finding internships and figuring out what I really wanted to do after I graduated. 

However, I also experienced a lot of homesickness when I moved to Boston, as I discussed in previous chapters. It took me a while to adjust and I felt like I finally started to find my footing during the spring semester of my freshman year. Therefore, when the application deadline to study abroad in the fall of my sophomore year began to creep upon me, I knew that I should postpone my plans to study abroad.

I am not one to typically deviate from plans I have set in my mind, but I was confident in my decision not to study abroad my sophomore year. I felt like I was truly getting to know Boston that spring and I didn’t want to suddenly leave in order to study abroad. Also, I wanted to have more experience being independent and self-sufficient before going to a different country. I ended up spending my sophomore year getting more acclimated to BU and Boston, and I consequently also got to know the joy of trudging through thigh-high mountains of snow in order to get to my 9:30 a.m. class.

Photo taken during a Nor'Easter in 2018; the sidewalk is covered with snow as figure in jacket walks down. Snow falling blurs the image.
Image credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/anticipating-major-snowfall-charles-river-campus-to-close-monday-remote-classes/ 

When spring of 2019 rolled around, I started working on my London application: I contacted BU’s study abroad office to ask questions, got my advisor to fill out a form, reached out to a former professor for a letter of recommendation, answered the application’s questionnaire, etc. I, at long last, submitted my application in March, and was then left to wait.

I clearly remember the day I was accepted into the London program. It was a Friday and I had returned to my dorm, ready to collapse and take a nap after a long week of classes. Just before doing so, I checked my email and saw the email congratulating me on my acceptance into the program. Then, I immediately called my mom. When she answered, I blurted out the news and started crying, partially because I was sleep deprived, but mostly because I was so happy. 

Even as the novelty of my imminent travels wore off a bit, I was mostly ecstatic. I had some nerves about studying abroad, though they weren’t as prominent as the nerves I had towards initially moving to Boston. There were three things I was most anxious about regarding going to London:

  1. I had never gone somewhere foreign to me on my own. In the past, I had voyaged outside the United States, but only to Guatemala and always with a family member to see other relatives.
  2. I wasn’t completely sure if I would like London, despite always having wanted to go there. When it came to Boston, I at least had the luxury of visiting the city both before and after being accepted into BU, meaning I had seen the area prior to deciding to undertake my undergraduate studies there. Conversely, with London, I would be seeing the city for the first time when I arrived in September to start my classes. Essentially, I had no way of knowing whether I would like London until I was actually there.
  3. I would be very far away from my family. I’ve stated before that I am close with my family and they are an important support system for me. Even though Boston is certainly a distance from my hometown, I was able to return home for holidays and long weekends throughout the semester. I did have some relatives who said they wanted to visit me when I was in London, but I still had to reckon with the thought of not seeing my mom or other close family members for an entire semester. 

When I started overthinking and overanalyzing these small details, I reflected back on my time at BU up to that point. All those worries I initially had about BU had slowly evaporated and I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else. I understood that I had to go into traveling with a positive mindset. Besides, visiting London had been a dream of mine and three months wouldn’t be too long. If I kept worrying about everything, I wouldn’t enjoy my study abroad experience.

Still, on August 31st, 2019, thousands of questions about the future rushed through my mind as I arrived at JFK and boarded my flight to Heathrow. I couldn’t even sleep as the plane cut across the night sky and flew over the Atlantic Ocean. As I watched episodes of Friends and Parks and Recreation in hopes of dozing off, I wondered what the next few months would look like.

Hours later, the plane landed on the surprisingly sunny morning of September 1st.

My London adventure had commenced! 

Picture of the London Eye and River Thames from my first full day in London.

Ultimately, if you are interested in studying abroad, do so when you feel ready (going to a new country for the first time and living there for several months is certainly a change!) and make sure to research various different programs. Contact your school’s study abroad office to ask any questions you may have, ranging from classes to living arrangements and try to learn more about the country you might potentially be studying abroad in. 

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Chapter One: Welcome Week

Friday, August 13th, 2021

I love flying into New York City at night. I always choose the aisle seat on airplanes because of my motion sickness, but I can never resist peeking through the plane’s windows in my periphery; one of my favorite views is that of the glittering lights beneath New York City’s night sky.


Bird's eye view of NYC at night
Bird’s eye view of NYC at night

In August of 2016, I flew from Colorado to New York in order to get settled in prior to beginning my college career. Once the plane landed, my stomach flipped over in excitement. My mom had come with me to help me move and I couldn’t believe that my dream of attending NYU had become a reality. 

Of course, I was also terrified. I knew that no one else from my high school class would be coming to NYU, and after my mom left I had no choice but to confront my newfound alone-ness. I sardonically thought to myself, “Well, welcome to Welcome Week.” 

I felt like a failure and my first semester had not even begun. One of my assigned roommates, whose name was also Anna, was a drama student in the Tisch School of the Arts. Off the bat, Tisch’s performing arts medium provides a tight-knit cohort community you’ll know for years, and I did not have that luxury as a Media, Culture, and Communication student since we were not placed into cohorts. I really liked the other Anna, and we made plans to hang out at one of NYU’s Welcome Week events: Drag Bingo, which featured contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. It seemed cool, and I nostalgically wished that one of my closest high-school friends was there because he would’ve loved it. He even made up his own drag name in honor of the show: “Shaneeda Bronze” (as in, “She needs a bronze.”). 

While I wallowed in nostalgia and loneliness on the second night of Welcome Week, I knew I needed to play a more active role in my own life. Unfortunately, I arrived at Drag Bingo well after the other Anna, and there were no more seats available near her (and no one was allowed to save seats). At that point, I was still standing in a stairwell in a line (or on a line for all the “real” New Yorkers) spanning across multiple floors. When I reached one of the landings, I noticed a pair of tan double doors to my right as someone threw them open to go through. I wondered aloud to the two girls standing in front of me, “Do you think we could go up that way?” They both shrugged and we continued standing in line. I stood with the girls at the back of the room during the event, and afterward they invited me over to their shared dorm. And that is how I met my best friends.

It was serendipitous as much as it was the effort we put in to socialize with other students and get to know our college community at various events. Certainly don’t hesitate asking your roommate(s) to hang out, and seeing if you can be friends! 


Playbill at Sunday in the Park with George. (Before we knew Jake Gyllenhaal “doesn’t shower often.”)

Since we are required to live in dorms for our first year, I wanted to make the most of my dorming experience as well. NYU offers “Themed Engagement Communities,” wherein specific floors in respective dormitory buildings will schedule activities pertaining to that theme. When I applied for housing I threw my hat in the ring for the “Laughing Matters” comedy-themed fourth floor of the Weinstein building. I have loved comedy since I was in elementary school, and decided to study Media because of my reverence for political satire. Applying to the special interest floor gave me wonderful (cost-saving) opportunities to view an array of Broadway performances for $10 each. We went to see plays including Avenue Q, Sunday in the Park with George, and Dear Evan Hansen, as well as professional improvisation shows. 

Regrettably, I only joined a club, College Democrats, in senior year. I regret having waited that long to be more involved in the clubs on campus, especially because my senior year ended up being truncated due to COVID-19. NYU, like many colleges, hosts a Club Fest in both the fall and the spring, and trust me, there is no shortage of clubs to choose from, whether it’s political, athletic, improv, or food-related, etc. 

Of course, the college experience and New York City are two of the most overly-romanticized notions you may hear about. I still cried myself to sleep during those first few nights as I second-guessed my abilities to make friends. Yet, you are drawn to whatever city you end up in for a reason. You don’t have to figure it out right away. Find solace in your comfort mechanisms, like comedy is for me, and in the meantime, don’t be a passenger in your own life.


We encountered this sign outside of a restaurant (Gran Electrica) in Dumbo

Beginning your freshman year, I recommend you:

  • Do research about special dorming opportunities while selecting a dorm. Mine was the cheapest and we got to go see Br’dway shows for $10! (kudos if you get that reference)
  • Look for activities to do that are hosted by your school (after you cry a little bit because you’re overwhelmed and alone)
  • Get to know your roommates!
  • Have some adventures with said roommates. Even if it means accidentally ending up in Far Rockaway because you missed your subway stop. (I get lost nearly every day of my life; I call it sightseeing.)


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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Chapter 3- Getting to Know Boston

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

As I began to overcome my homesickness, I started stepping out of my comfort zone, which was also a challenge for me. One of the first things I did in order to accomplish this goal was look at clubs and organizations that Boston University offered. BU has something at the beginning of each semester called Splash, which is a student group recruitment fair. It was here where I wandered around aimlessly for a while at the start of my freshman year and signed up for any club that looked remotely interesting. 

You never know what may happen when you join a club, even for something you have no experience in. For example, in the spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to check out BU’s knitting club, even though I had never knitted in my life. I signed up for the club’s email list at Splash in the fall, but never got around to checking it out. However, as my first spring semester at BU commenced, I decided to do so. The first meeting in the student union lounge  was pretty crowded, but the club provided me with some supplies and I was taught the basics. Unfortunately, the first few rows of my knitted square looked like a mess. Still, the desire for improvement motivated me to show up the following week. After that, attending knitting club meetings became a fairly regular routine for me. I would get a beverage from Starbucks, go to the lounge, pick up my square from the bin of yarn of supplies and knit a few rows.

What I enjoyed most about the knitting club was that not only did I have the satisfaction of learning a new skill, but it was such a calming distraction after a day of classes. I could relax, knit, and talk to the other club members. For two hours we would talk about how our week’s were going, share stories from high school, and discuss classes, TV shows, anime, restaurants, books, etc. I was able to get new recommendations and suggestions, like that I should check out John Mulaney’s comedy specials on Netflix. The knitting club was enjoyable and, by May, my messy square transformed into a decent looking rectangle.

The end of my first semester with the knitting club also brought a surprise: the e-board asked me if I could be vice president for the following year, since the existing members would be graduating. I never thought I would be suited for a leadership position, but it was one of those moments where I thought “why not?” So, I agreed to take on the role during my sophomore year and I, once again, had a fun experience with the club. I taught new attendees the basics (since I was by no means an expert) and conversed with both them and existing members alike. This was an outcome I would have never anticipated, yet it certainly assisted in pushing me out of my shell. 

Outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Aside from clubs, I emerged from my comfort zone by doing activities off-campus. I had classes that required me to go to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (to which BU students had free admission). Art was never a strong passion of mine, but I always decided to make days of these trips. I would spend a few hours walking around and checking out the countless works of art while imagining a different time period.

Inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Another way I got to know Boston during my first two years was by making plans with friends that I met at BU. These plans ranged from simple, spur of the moment stuff like going to see a movie or eating out somewhere, to more organized outings such as going to Anime Boston, trying out an escape room, seeing a ballet, and attending a hockey game. Even though I would classify myself as an introvert, planning activities with friends gave me something to look forward to throughout the semesters. This was especially important during the periods when I needed a break, signified by the multiple essays I would simultaneously write and the mountains of reading I was drowning under. 

BU’s Agganis Arena.

When my family drove to Boston to visit me, that meant we could use the car to easily drive to areas outside of the city and explore other parts of Massachusetts. For instance, in the spring of my sophomore year, my relatives from Guatemala flew to see my family in New Jersey. During their visit, we took the opportunity to visit Salem for the first time, which turned out to be a really fun outing where we walked around the historic city.

Essentially, the three things I recommend in order to get to know your city/campus more are:

  • Joining a club/organization because you can meet people, try something new and pick up a hobby.
  • Taking advantage of free/reduced admissions that you are offered as a student.
  • Accepting/making plans with friends and family.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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 2- The First Week at University (Full of Homesickness and Doubt)

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

In the time between accepting my offer to attend Boston University and actually moving there from New Jersey in September of 2017, I underwent a spectrum of emotions. There were certainly times when I was ecstatic to be starting my undergraduate studies at BU. For instance, I had an overall positive experience during my freshman orientation at the end of June. On top of that, my family was proud of me and other people outside of my familial circle were excited about this change on my behalf. While I eagerly looked forward to September, I didn’t necessarily feel their level of enthusiasm. 

At random times, like when I went shopping with my mom and aunt to pick out some stuff for my dorm room, I felt nervous about going to Boston. Gradually, these feelings of anxiety continued to grow and linger, even as my family packed all my things in the car and drove to Massachusetts, so that I could officially start my first semester.

When it came time for my family to return to New Jersey, I remember crying and having difficulty saying goodbye. I clearly recall the overwhelming sensation of loneliness after seeing them leave as I stood alone, surrounded by the unfamiliar urban landscape that would be my new home for the next few years. This loneliness didn’t suddenly evaporate after a few days. Although I enjoyed my classes during my first week at BU, I couldn’t shake away my homesickness. I knew that moving from my small hometown to Boston wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t expect it to be so challenging to adapt to my new environment and independence. I felt like I was the only one that was struggling, which made me feel even worse. Everyone around me seemed to form new connections effortlessly and seamlessly integrate themselves into their new setting. This eventually led to me thinking: If I am missing home this much, maybe choosing Boston was a mistake. Maybe I wasn’t as ready for change as I thought I was.

View from my freshman dorm room

In coping with my homesickness and doubt, I was honest with my family about how I was feeling, which was the best thing I could have done. I knew that if I had acted as though everything was alright, I would have been detrimentally bottling up my negative emotions. I was fortunate in that my family not only sympathized with me, but encouraged me to give BU a try. They instilled me with confidence during this period of my life when my self-esteem wasn’t too high. They urged me to not give up on Boston so readily because I might end up liking the city. Deep down, I also knew that if I ended up giving up, I would probably regret the decision and be left thinking “what if?” for a very long time. 

In my endeavor to give Boston a try, I decided not to rely on family so much. During my first (and also subsequent weeks), I called my family nearly every day. Although keeping in touch with friends and relatives from back home was important, I realized that this constant communication was preventing me from getting to know my new environment. Therefore, I tried limiting myself to texting and making a few phone calls a week.

I also attempted to stop myself from being cooped up in my dorm room constantly. Being confined within that comfortable space heightened my feelings of loneliness and homesickness. So, I started taking walks, even if they were to nearby places, like to Brookline Booksmith (one of my favorite bookstores) or a coffee shop. Just going somewhere outside of my room helped immensely, whether it was doing homework in the lounge of my dorm, BU’s library or a coffee shop. These small steps made me start to feel more part of the community instead of a spectator. And this was only the beginning of my adjustment to life in a city after living my whole life in a small town, where my high school graduating class was smaller than some of my lectures at BU. 

Image credit: https://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/about 

Everyone’s experience with starting college is different. Some people face more homesickness than others and homesickness can be handled in various ways. Here are some websites that offer more tips on how to deal with feeling homesick: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-to-handle-homesickness-in-college , https://www.hercampus.com/life/how-deal-homesickness-freshman-year/


By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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