Archive for the ‘onEntertainment’ Category

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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Cultivating Your Community and Finding Your Peers

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

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

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

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

Enjoying Open Mic Night at The People’s Forum

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

___

Overview

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

_______________________________

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

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

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Chapter 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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Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 4: Music Mix

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

There’s no denying that music influences our mood and form of expression. Whether you’re a composer, performer, or a mere listener, music can be the perfect outlet to express creativity and let out emotions.

With technological advancements, we can listen to any song our heart desires with just a few clicks of a button. 

Sometimes we need a distraction or boost to our everyday lives. For me, I think of music as an abstract companion. As long as I have a device that can connect to music, I know that I can depend on it to be there for me. I never go about my day without listening to some form of music. Even if it’s a busy day, I’m sure my ears will end up hearing a tune from a commercial or the radio playing from my neighbor.  


Back in third grade, my school required us to learn how to play the recorder. I became so fond of it that I made my parents purchase my own recorder instead of renting it out from school. It also helped that we were told that we would be rewarded with colored ribbons each time we mastered a song. This incentive definitely pushed me into trying my best and advancing my skills. I would say this was the point where music became a bigger part of my life. 

Once I reached fourth grade, middle school band teachers were brought in to introduce us to the other instruments that we could learn to play. At this point, it wasn’t mandatory to learn another instrument nor play the recorder. Still, I chose to learn how to play the flute and went on to perform in numerous school concerts. Along with playing in the middle school band, I played for the all-city band that was made up of students from different middle schools in Quincy, MA. From making new friends to developing music skills, I owe it to my younger self for sparking my appreciation and enjoyment of music.


Maybe you’re not a big fan of music. Yet, let’s look at the wide range of benefits that music brings to our lives. 

1. Mood Matcher

  • Music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music are perfect for discovering new music and creating playlists tailored to your mood. From songs to sing while in the shower to crying in the rain, the search for new music never has to end. 

2. Mental Health

3. Social Connections

  • Music can easily be shared with others via the Internet. From individual songs to packed playlists, you can find people who have similar music tastes. 

4. Cognitive Boost

  • Listening to music can block outside noises and improve your concentration.

5. Increase workout endurance

  • High tempo tracks can help boost physical activities. By blocking out distractions, you can focus on building strength and endurance.

These are just a few of the many benefits that music can bring into our lives. From meeting new people to keeping calm under stressful activities, listening to music stimulates our ears and brain activity. It doesn’t matter if you are musically inclined or a fan of a certain artist. Remember it’s all about having fun, encouraging good vibes, and plugging in with good intentions


If you’re in need of some tech to help foster your music career or some new headphones to listen to some tunes, check out Adorama!


By: Sydney Ly

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

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

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

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Discovering Yourself: Realizing Your Interests Beyond the Crowd

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

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

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

A flyer found on a TNS bulletin board advertising philosophy workshops

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

Flyer advertising a conference at TNS

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

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

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

____

Overview

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

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

____________________________________________________________________

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


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How to Get Ahead of Prices and People for Theatre This Summer and Fall

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Theatre’s been gone for almost a year and a half now, and with plans to reopen shortly, here’s some tips on how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to shows.

Image credit: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/theater/how-to-get-cheap-theater-tickets-including-hamilton.html

We all know that Broadway shows can be expensive. Even the producers who set the high prices know that, so they’ll often offer tickets at reduced prices in a lottery. These tickets would be available at the box office the day of the show, or online the day of the show; and those who get them are selected by random chance. It’s the cheapest option to get tickets, but the odds are highly variable due to the number of tickets offered and the hundreds or thousands that apply in the lottery. Therefore, it’s best to consider lotteries as a spur-in-the-moment option: great if you get it, okay if you don’t. Comparable prices are found in standing-room where you pay money to stand in the back of the theatre and watch the show from there, but the view isn’t great

Now for an option where you can actually plan to get cheap tickets and watch the show, TodayTix is the app I swear on. My entire freshman year (up to Covid) was spent milking this app for as many tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows as possible. What I like about it, and what makes TodayTix stand out from competitors like the TKTS booth at Times Square is that you don’t have to buy tickets on the day of the show; you can buy tickets months in advance at half the price of regular tickets. I was able to see shows at a cost between sixty to eighty dollars for Broadway, forty to sixty dollars off-Broadway at any night from celebrity-studded productions like 2019’s Betrayal to musical megahits like West Side Story. Though you don’t have a choice in where you are seated, I have never been disappointed as the tickets seat you in really good spots, better ones I’d say and at cheaper costs than those who get regular tickets. It’s an app I’ll be returning to use this fall and for any show I’ll see in the future.

Image credit: https://www.todaytix.com/nyc/shows/23288-seven-deadly-sins

But maybe you’re impatient. Broadway really only opens in September and October and you don’t want to wait months after getting tickets on TodayTix, nor do you feel like going through the whole lottery process. Here’s another tip. Broadway is overrated. Really. In their ticket prices, the struggle for good seats in the theatre, and the crowds to dodge in and out of the theatre (and those you have to get past in Times Square); Broadway sometimes isn’t the best option. Good thing there’s off-Broadway and other theatrical productions sprinkled throughout the City to provide the same entertainment at much cheaper prices and in a more inclusive, interactive environment. And unlike Broadway, there’s some off-Broadway shows open this summer! Seven Deadly Sins, The Office! A Musical Parody, and Blindness to name a few are shows you can buy tickets from and watch this instant this summer. Each production has their own Covid safety standards, so be sure to consult their websites before going to make your informed decision.

The world of theatre is just starting to bloom again, and as restrictions ease and the world returns to a new normal, no doubt the journey to get tickets or experience theatre will be hectic and expensive. Best to prepare beforehand to save money and be at the front of the line.



By: Jared Skoro

Jared Skoro is a junior at NYU Gallatin studying a mix of English, Political Science, and Psychology. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and exploring a new neighborhood of the city every weekend.

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

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

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Foreword

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


Chapter 1: Relax from Reality

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

Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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


Do:

~Log on with a positive mindset

~Relax with self-care apps

~Play simple mind games

Don’t:

~ Rely on technology as an escape

~ Engage with platforms that may trigger negativity


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


By: Sydney Ly

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

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

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

Share