Archive for the ‘onFun’ Category

Finding Safety In Your Situation

Thursday, June 13th, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Thomas Stewart

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


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

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

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The “More” That Everyone Needs

Thursday, June 6th, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Thomas Stewart

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


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

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

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On The Fordham Bubble

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

Nestled comfortably into the center of the Bronx exists a tree-lined oasis, cut off from the rest of the world. A place where those inside get to enjoy the sounds of birds and church bells instead of cars honking. A place populated by spoiled college students, most of which are unwilling to venture outside its imposing iron gates. This place is none other than Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus.

I’ve been lucky to be a student at Fordham for the past two years, where I’ve been able to take advantage of its beautiful campus and vibrant student life: a plethora of clubs spanning the arts, administration, publishing, academics, and more. There’s plenty to do on campus; I will commend the university for that. However, it would be a disservice to remain behind campus gates. Nicknamed “the Fordham Bubble,” the phenomena causes many students to pathologically stay inside Fordham’s campus, and if they do leave, limit themselves into Lower Manhattan rather than exploring the city. Contrary to the beliefs of many Fordham students, not all of New York is like SoHo or Bushwick or Astoria, neighborhoods frequented by young people in similar demographics to Fordham students: namely, people “escaping” suburbia to enjoy the fast-paced life of the city.

More specifically, Fordham is located in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. Whenever I tell someone I go to school in the Bronx, I usually get this response (especially from older people): “The Bronx is very dangerous. You should really be careful.” Not only is this phrase insulting, it’s also extremely diminutive and completely disregards the diversity of neighborhoods throughout New York City. Even so, while some neighborhoods in the Bronx may be considered “rough” by outsiders, such is not the case for the majority of the Bronx, least of all Belmont. In fact, the area is populated mostly by families because of the many schools nearby: MS 45, PS 74, Theodore Roosevelt High School, and more. A building on Fordham Road even houses 6 specialized schools!

As such, I believe that Fordham’s location in Belmont provides the perfect introduction to New York City. Belmont is home to large Dominican, Italian, and Albanian populations, which allows for incredible food options. Arthur Avenue, arguably the crown jewel of Belmont and the self-professed “real Little Italy,” packs a whopping 29 restaurants into 4 blocks. And that’s not even counting the restaurants on the cross streets! Each restaurant offers a unique experience, even if they’re offering similar food. While many Fordham students do take advantage of community staples like Enzo’s, many businesses in the Bronx don’t get enough love from the students who spend four years adjacent to them. This is why it’s necessary to “pop the Fordham bubble”: expanding our palettes in more ways than one is an excellent way to support local businesses and to engage with our community in a meaningful way, rather than just existing alongside it.

For Fordham students, the D’s Fordham Road station is a community staple as much as any local restaurant.
Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45036064995610335/

In this series, we’ll attack this problem, offering the means to pop the “Fordham bubble” by bringing attention to restaurants, parks, markets, and events that show what not only Belmont but the entire Bronx has to offer. We’re going to learn from the best by dialoguing with members of the Belmont community and hearing about their favorite things to do in the place they call home. We’re going to do a deep-dive into what Arthur Ave is famous for, and we’re going to explore some places that should be famous, too. Belmont is one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of New York because of its ability to offer a bite-sized portion of city life while still maintaining the feeling of a tight-knit community. Without the exhausting hustle-and-bustle of Manhattan, without the finance bros clogging the subways, without the influencers taking selfies in the middle of the street, one can truly appreciate what is, in my opinion, is the most underrated borough in New York City: the Bronx.

Get off campus for a bit and head uptown for delicious hot pot at XW Spicy Hot Pot!

In short, one not only needs to step outside of their comfort zone, they need to reassess the reasons for said comfort zone. This goes for any college student living in an urban area that furrows the brows of their close-minded friends and family: the city is what you make of it, and you’ll never find your new favorite spot if you don’t pop the bubble!


by Mia Crocco

Mia is a rising junior at Fordham University – Rose Hill studying English and theology. In her free time, Mia enjoys cooking, collaging, and playing the piano and guitar.


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

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

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

Monday, October 30th, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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


Meg and I hanging out before the semester starts

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

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

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


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

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

Summary:

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

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By Mia Ilie

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


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

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

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Connections Through Creativity

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

Having a creative outlet is something that I believe is essential for everyone, but especially college students. The route memorization and endless readings that all students suffer through for the sake of their degrees can be incredibly draining, and it is so helpful to both take a break and exercise a different part of your mind through creative activities. Granted, I am a film student, so all of the creative stuff is a pretty integral part of my degree as is. However, that’s not to say that I don’t find ways to express my creativity in other ways outside of film.

For me, music has always been a core way for me to express myself, for myself. I started playing piano at age 5 and absolutely adored the way that playing music could express emotions in a way that words are not capable of. At first, it was a private way of showing up for myself and working through things through a creative medium. However,  the summer after 4th grade, I started my journey with the cello.

My very first cello recital

I think what first attracted me to the cello is how human-like its register is. The warmth and depth of the tones that can be produced on the cello are just so reminiscent of the human voice,  which gives cello pieces an extra layer of complexity and emotion. Starting cello is what finally helped me bridge the gap between finding my voice through music and sharing that voice with others. 

From elementary all the way through high school, I was able to have so many amazing experiences through playing the cello. I got to perform with the amazing trio Time for Three, play a movie-themed concert, and participate in the pit orchestra for two school musicals. By the end of my senior year, it was difficult to imagine a life without the cello and orchestral music. However, I wasn’t sure how to incorporate cello into my college life.

Going to school in Ireland definitely complicated things. If I wanted to bring my cello from home, I would have had to buy a whole extra plane ticket for it. With a connecting flight and a lot of baggage, it just didn’t seem like a viable option. The other choice was looking to buy or rent a cello in Dublin, but the research I did at home yielded very few results. So, with little choice to do anything else, I flew to Dublin for the first time without knowing the next time I’d play the cello.

Thankfully, with the help of fate, it didn’t take long for me to find out. My school had a society fair, and I went straight up to the orchestra’s booth to enquire about auditions. I was hoping they would have auditions later in the year, so I could have the time to look for a cello, but unfortunately, they were holding the only auditions of the year in just a few days. 

I booked an audition slot, and the panic to find a cello set in. I traversed all over the city, going from one music shop to the next with no luck. Finally, I made my last stop for the day at a music store that was set to close in twenty minutes. To my surprise, they had a single student cello for sale. It was in my price range so after sending a few photos of the instrument to my teacher back home to make sure it was okay, I bought the cello and brought it home.

I didn’t have much time to practice, but thankfully the audition went okay and I got into the orchestra! (It would have been pretty awkward if I didn’t…having just bought a cello and all). I was a little intimidated by how talented the other players were, but after a few rehearsals I settled in and found myself looking forward to the weekly rehearsals as a break from my classes and an exciting way to continue playing cello.

I had a number of incredible experiences through the cello my freshman year of college as well. I played Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies, performed in the pit for the musical “Sweet Charity,” and even got to play some ’90s music for Trinity Ball, the largest private party in Europe held right on my university’s campus!

The Trinity Ball crowd!

Overall, I am so grateful that I was able to continue playing cello in college. It has given me a community and so many memories that I wouldn’t be able to imagine my college experience without. I would highly recommend to anyone starting out in college to find their own creative outlet, whether it’s an instrument, visual art, creative writing, or anything else. There are so many opportunities to connect with the arts through your school, and once you find the thing that’s right for you, you’ll be so happy for both the outlet and experiences that it will provide.

Summary:

  • I started playing piano as a musical outlet, and eventually switched to cello
  • I had amazing experiences in high school playing cello, but wasn’t sure how to continue in college
  • Thankfully, I was able to get another cello and join my university’s orchestra
  • The orchestra has provided me with a strong community and unforgettable experiences performing
  • Having a creative outlet in college can be an amazing way to establish a community and take part in new experience

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By Bella Littler

Bella is a second year film student within the Trinity College Dublin / Columbia Dual BA program. She grew up in Iowa, but is currently living and studying in Dublin. On the average day, you can find her watching obscure movies, going on aimless walks around the city, or raving about any and all Taylor Swift lyrics.


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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Buy Some Cowboy Boots

Friday, October 13th, 2023

My roommates and I have recently gotten into line dancing at one of the local bars here in Boston. Every Sunday and Tuesday night, there is a bar about a mile and a half from our apartment with a big dance floor and a whole bunch of honky-tonking, boot-stomping individuals dancing their hearts out, brew in hand. The atmosphere is absolutely electric, people sporting cowboy boots and hats, cutoffs, bolos—the whole country thing. It’s awesome.

None of my friends grew up line dancing or doing anything remotely similar. All of us are New England born and raised, never worn a pair of cowboy boots, and had little connection to the southern lifestyle. We didn’t know a damn thing about line dancing. Of course, we know the basics like “Cotton-Eyed Joe”, but nothing like what you see at a country bar like this one. 

I had no idea what to expect the first time we ever went. One of my roommates had gone a few weeks earlier and was really eager to take us as soon as possible, so I was really excited despite having no actual clue what it would be like. I love to dance, so I knew I would have a good time, I just didn’t know exactly what that would look like. Unsure of what to wear, I just ended up going in the jeans and tank top that I had on that day.

The dance floor was already packed by the time we got there, but we claimed some space towards the back of the dance floor and jumped right into the fun. Every thirty minutes they had a tutorial on whatever dance they were playing next, but most of the time you were just expected to automatically know what dance went with which song and how to do it. Some of these dances were really hard, too. We tried to learn some on the spot, but it was mostly just us stumbling around and trying to mirror the people in front of us as best we could without a lot of success. Some we sort of got the hang of, but most we didn’t even come close. A lot of them are super complex, and you just have to come in knowing everything. You are just supposed to know! And we came in, a bunch of city slickers with absolutely no knowledge. We knew that we needed to study up and come back stronger.

We left that night absolutely drenched in sweat. Drenched. Throughout the night we had gone to the bathroom about ten times to wipe ourselves down, but we were sweating. Sweating, dancing our hearts out to songs we didn’t know and moves we couldn’t master. We had the time of our lives, and decided that we absolutely needed to do this every week. A few days later, we headed off to the thrift store to find some cheap cowboy boots. Yes, after one line dancing session, we needed to purchase cowboy boots. We pranced around the boot section and practiced some twirling and sliding to make sure we got the perfect ones. We tried on some cowboy hats, just to get into character, but didn’t end up buying them. We did, however, all leave with a pair of cowboy boots. You gotta play the part, and at this point we were fully committed to our new country lifestyle. When we got home, we watched a ton of tutorials and mastered some moves, so by the next week we were ready to dazzle. 

My mom’s well-loved cowboy boots that she gifted me. These girls have seen some stomping!

Now every week we show up in our cowboy boots, dance the night away, and leave soaking wet. We have the best time, every time. I think that part of the reason that we have so much fun doing this is because we really committed to making it the most full experience it could be. We found something that we all really enjoyed, and we doubled down. We bought boots. We learned the moves. We go every week. We make time to do this together. 

I think that it is too easy to get bogged down with busy schedules and not make enough time to play and have fun. My roommates and I struggle with that a lot. Despite living together, we don’t actually see each other that much. It means that our time together, when we get it, is really special. There have been times where I almost didn’t go because I had too much work or was too tired, but every time I have been so happy that I chose to take a break and have fun with my friends. Yes, school is important, but it is ok to choose yourself and your friends over an assignment. Now is the time to make memories with your friends, so go out! Going line dancing with them every week, making the time to do it together, it makes my heart feel really full. I think that when you find something that you love, people that you love, you should always try to make that extra effort. Devote yourself to the experience. Lean into it. Enjoy it whole. Buy some cowboy boots. 

Line dancing is no low energy task, use this coupon for 15% off and fuel up! You’ll need something hearty after all of that stomping!

By Erin O’Brien


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


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

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


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Chapter 3: A Little Rain Never Hurt

Thursday, October 12th, 2023
The selfie sent to my mom at 2 in the morning about my wild college adventures.

From theaters to museums, Brooklyn house parties, Boston frats, cafes, and bookstores, my “going out” experiences range far and wide. Having had the pleasure of living in two metropolitan cities, I have truly experienced my fair share of escapades. With my years of experience filled with both memorable and pathetic going-out stories, this girl has some advice to give.

  1. Check the weather app: It was my freshman year and first Halloween at college. Due to my 18-credit schedule, I was flooded with the tail end of midterms and regular work. So when the 28th came around, the realization hit that it was a few days away, and I was without a costume. Luckily Amazon came in clutch, and I dressed up as a fairy; without wings or any distinguishing accessories, the outfit barely qualified as a costume. Nonetheless, my roommates and I spent much of the later part of the evening preparing for what was to come. After a mix-up of who was riding in which van to get to the Bronx, we finally arrived and stepped out into the pouring rain.  We didn’t let that stop us. We were determined to have a fun time, and a little downpour wouldn’t threaten that. So we trudged on, and somewhere in the night, our big group broke up into little clusters. Our naive expectations soon shoved us in the face of reality as we walked around the campus. We were soaked from the rain and shivering from the cold. Every location we went into seeking some sort of solace from the rain and, more importantly, fun. Every place we went to was filled to the brim with people so squished together you couldn’t even see your feet. Soon enough, one of my roommates and I decided to throw in the towel. We had tried, we had gone, and although it wasn’t the success that we had hoped for, we did it anyway. Although I wouldn’t step foot in the Bronx for another 12 months, so scarred from this incident, it did teach me quite a valuable lesson: always check the weather app. Don’t be like me and think that at the end of October, it’s okay to wear shorts outside at 11:00 p.m. It might seem like a silly suggestion, but the weather can truly make or break your going out experience. Choose wisely before choosing a mini skirt over a pair of jeans in 30° weather. 
  2. Don’t force yourself: With the alarm set for a startling 2 a.m., when most of our school was still out at some rooftop or dive bar, my roommate and I decided we were going to go out for pancakes. The 24/7 diner next door was simply calling our names, and we had been craving a little treat, so why not? Why the 2 a.m. aspect was necessary… it added a level of excitement to our little trip. In moments like those, you could not pay me to change out of my sweats and go more than 3 blocks from my dorm. I was content with going out for pancakes with my friend. No makeup, no crowds, no heels, just two girls sitting at a table full of pancakes and french fries. We talked about the gossip we had garnered from the past week loud enough that the whole diner could probably hear. Giggles and pictures to commemorate this moment filled our time there. While I like to go out as much as the next person, sometimes you need to take a step back and know your boundaries. Not going out does not make you uncool or weird in any way; I never saw it that way, and neither do your friends, trust me. There were many times when past roommates invited me out, but I declined due to one reason or another. I never felt guilt for it or that I missed an opportunity because I knew if I wanted to go, the idea of getting up would not raise my anxiety level to that of someone in shark-infested waters. It’s important to listen to your needs over what you “think” they should be. 

If pancakes aren’t your thing, maybe try some donuts instead.

By Juliana Capasso

Juliana Capasso is a junior at Boston University studying Film and Television & Public Relations. Outside of college, she spends her time exploring the city, reading, listening to music, and journaling.


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: Cold Brews and Bagels

Monday, July 17th, 2023
A meal at The Atomic Cafe in Beverly, MA

Campus life is wonderful. Seeing three people you know on the way to class, eating the daily caprese sandwich in the dining hall for lunch afterwards, meeting up with friends to go study in the library. The on-campus events with free food, therapy dogs, arts and crafts, and lots of laughs. 

Wait. Three people on the way to class? Why is this campus so small? Why do I always see people when I’m looking my worst? The daily caprese sandwich is getting a little boring. I don’t want to go study in the library, I just want to lay in my bed all day and watch Dance Moms. The on-campus events are fun, but today I just don’t feel like going to a make-your-own sleeping mask event. 

Some days, I need a little break from my normal routine. I need to get off campus for a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, I love the routine and the library and seeing people and the daily caprese, but once in a while I need to spice it up. There’s a whole city out there to explore. I’ve explored some of Boston’s famous areas, like the North End and Newbury Street. I’ve eaten Thai food in Cambridge, ran along the Boston Harbor, enjoyed the sunshine in the Boston Common, and climbed to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument. But I don’t have time to do this much, with homework, studying, exercise, and my part-time job. So, I found a way to enjoy myself while also getting work done. 

Usually when I work in the library, I get myself an iced latte from the on-campus Dunkin’ or Einstein’s Bagels, to make studying a little more bearable. Now, I try to go off campus at least once a week to find a cute little coffee shop to study in. I bring my AirPods, computer, phone, and anything else I need for a few hours of productivity. I order a drink and something to eat before sitting down at a table, ready to work.

Getting some work done at Cafe on the Common in Waltham, MA

It’s a vibe. Jamming out to some Taylor Swift while sipping on my vanilla cold brew with oat milk and working on my psychology homework. Trying new bagels and avocado toast and other brunch dishes. Being the mysterious girl in the coffee shop. At least that’s how I romanticize it. It makes studying a little exciting, because I’m in a new environment surrounded by unfamiliar faces and coffee lovers. And I’ve already made the effort to travel off campus, so may as well be productive. 

There’s two coffee shops near Brandeis University, Cafe on the Common and Common Good Co., both of which have amazing cold brews and baked goods. Some days I’ll take the commuter rail or campus shuttle to Boston or Cambridge, which has lots of options. I’ve really liked a chain of cafes called Tatte, because there’s usually plants and artwork inside to make the experience more aesthetic. I recently tried another chain called Thinking Cup (where you can use the Campus Clipper student discount!) and love their lattes and chocolate chip cookies. One day I decided to take the commuter rail all the way to Beverly, in Northern Massachusetts, and found Atomic Cafe. This had to be one of my best experiences at a coffee shop, as it had a very hip vibe and was connected to a bookstore. Another memorable outing was at Cafe Ducali in the North End, where my friend and I stayed until closing and received leftover muffins and cookies for free. 

After these small getaways, I’m ready to go back to studying in the library and caprese sandwiches for a few days. There’s comfort in my regular campus routine, and it’s something I can always go back to, something I can rely on. I couldn’t go out to a cafe every day, because even after going out once, I’m a little worn out. Also, the money. It’s something to do every once in a while, something I look forward to. Maybe I’ll see you around one day.


Use this student discount to treat yourself or a friend!

By Agatha Edwards

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


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

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


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Chapter Four: Embracing My Cult

Monday, July 10th, 2023
Banshee Halloween party

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

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

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

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

Banshee talent show costumes

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

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

Use this student discount to treat yourself!

By Agatha Edwards

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


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

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

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Chapter Three: The Circle of Life

Thursday, July 6th, 2023
My frisbee team winning the spirit award at a tournament!

When I got the email saying that I had been nominated to be an administrator for my ultimate frisbee team, I was overwhelmed by intense emotions of excitement, pride, and anxiety. The Banshee Leadership Team, or BLT, is my college frisbee team’s group of captains and administrators. They oversee practice plans, tournament logistics, rostering players, and more. The biggest task may be bringing the positive spirit and energy to every team event, and being a reliable source of trust and confidence; to be a leader. 

A smile crept over my face as I read the email. I was chosen. Me, the quiet freshman with no experience in frisbee, had been recognized as a hardworking, dedicated member of the team. My improvement over the past four seasons had been noteworthy, and I was ready to take it to the next level. 

But was I really a leader? I was afraid to let people down. I always preferred to listen rather than take initiative, so that I had a clear set of directions to follow. Public speaking had never really been my strong suit, either. Sometimes, I don’t even answer phone calls because I’m scared to talk to the person on the other end. I was afraid that I was going to mess this administrator thing up and that people would question why I was in that position. I’m still learning the art of ultimate frisbee, too—though I’d significantly improved, there were plenty of teammates who were more skilled and I was worried that they might look down on me. 

I shouldn’t think that, because my team isn’t like that; we’re a family. It’s an issue I have with almost every social scenario. Doing group work for classes, I worry if I’m doing my part correctly. At work, I worry about whether my boss is going to fire me because I made a small error. Even while hanging out with close friends, I wonder if they really want to meet up with me or if they’re doing it out of obligation or because they can’t say no. 

I still have these intrusive thoughts, but I had to remind myself that being nominated was a good thing. A good thing. I talked to some of my teammates and they were nothing but encouraging. I didn’t have to have anything figured out at the time, and I was allowed to keep learning too. I had the entire team to back me, and not out of obligation—but out of their hearts—because I would do the exact same for them.

Old and new Banshee leadership!

Though I’m new on this journey, I’ll do my best to make my frisbee team better. I want to serve this community and give back joy and confidence which was instilled in me by past leaders. Without the incredible teammates who rooted for me, even when I made mistakes, I wouldn’t have found the courage to continue finding my passion for the sport. I have had special moments with all of my past captains and administrators, all of whom have helped me to grow, but two of them really stand out. One of my captains from my freshman year would always high five me and hype me up. She really made practice fun and helped me to open up. That same year,  one of the administrators helped me learn how to throw a flick and was very patient and supportive of me. Now, I get to be that person for other newcomers and help them find their love for frisbee. It’s the circle of life. I’m proud of myself for getting to this point and excited to take on the challenges ahead.


Use this student discount to treat yourself to some ice cream!

By Agatha Edwards

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



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

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

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