Archive for the ‘Uniqueness in NYC’ 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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Cultivating Your Community and Finding Your Peers

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

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

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

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

Enjoying Open Mic Night at The People’s Forum

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

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Overview

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

_______________________________

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

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

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Chapter Two: So Much Food!

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

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


Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street

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

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


DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

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


Nutella beignets at Cafe Marie

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


Bagel Belly near Union Square

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

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

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


My friend and I enjoying Times Square 🙂

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


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

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

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

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

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


By: Anna Matefy

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


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

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Sunnyside

Monday, August 9th, 2021

It’s about time I share my weekend habit. Every weekend, I like to explore a new neighborhood of New York City. Besides being an excuse for exercise, I do it because in a city with hundreds of years of history and cultures, walking through each neighborhood provides unique stories to learn from. The buildings, people on the street, street art, the food, parks, places of interest, heck even the placement of trash cans on the sidewalk can share what life was and is in each neighborhood. All walks of life can be found in New York City and I’m fascinated by which places can say what about them.

The neighborhood I visited last weekend was Sunnyside in Queens, a ten minute ride on the 7 train from Grand Central. It’s a diverse spot in an already diverse borough. Here, tall apartment buildings exist alongside homes with garages and a Turkish mosque could be found right next to a Korean preschool. Industry has been pushed next to the railyards, being replaced with playgrounds and bars and restaurants. Tall trees line the sidewalks and children ride on bikes or are pushed in strollers by their parents. It gives a suburban feel to an area not too far away from the urban boom in neighboring Long Island City.

Speaking of suburbs, an interesting spot in this neighborhood is the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, one of the first planned communities in the nation. It was built in 1928 inspired by an English idea of urban planning called the garden city. With rows of flat bricked brown buildings distinguished by the hedges and shrubbery in front of them or the ivy creeping up the walls, it feels more like walking through the Shire than America. It also has one of two private parks in the entire city which is a big boo but at least the people in the tennis courts there looked like they were having fun. 

When I walk, I get hungry, so I like to stop by a well known spot in the neighborhood to eat. In Sunnyside, a well-known spot was Donovan’s Pub, an Irish themed pub that looked like a medieval cottage inside and had apparently one of the best burgers in Queens. Its reputation did not disappoint as the burger itself tasted good and the bun was crisp. Not too costly on the money side, but if you’re looking to find a cheap place to eat, there are options. Right after leaving the pub, I spotted a place where I could get tacos for two dollars each. Too bad I was full. In the springtime, there is a food festival called Taste of Sunnyside which plays to the neighborhood’s strength in diversity, providing food from Colombian to Italian. Covid threw a wrench into it as it did to everything, so I’m hopeful that it will start again in 2022. 

Overall, Sunnyside was an enjoyable place. It’s a neighborhood full of life and renewal. It had its loud parts from the rumbling of the 7 Train and the Long Island Rail Road and it had its quiet parts in-between where the city would vanish and you could be left to think for yourself. It’s definitely a neighborhood I recommend to walk through and I’ll definitely come back. In the larger context, it’s been another neighborhood down in the many more I have yet to see. Hopefully, I’ll get to them all one weekend at a time.



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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Expanding Your Palate: A Delicious Accident

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

If you don’t leave your comfort zone voluntarily, life will drag you kicking and screaming out of it. This was part of the rude awakening I received as I transitioned to living in New York my freshman year. It wasn’t just college life that presented a challenge to me, but the city itself. New York has a unique way of making a person feel not just lonely, but isolated, despite living side by side with millions of other people. You walk with them on your way to class, you eat a foot away from them at the tiny corner restaurant, and you sometimes even find yourself angry that they are in your space. And yet, no matter how close you may be to others, you somehow still feel alone. At least, this is how it may feel at first. 

My second semester at NYU brought on more adventures than expected. With my new friend Leslie beside me, I finally felt less lonely than I had at the beginning of the school year. I could breathe a sigh of relief that now I had someone to do things and go places with. But classes and schoolwork got the better of us, and in about mid-March, we found ourselves as unsatisfied as before we had gotten to know each other. As we sat under the fluorescents of the library at 2:00 a.m. one night, I turned away from my half-written paper and said to Leslie, “We don’t do anything. We only have a quarter of the year left and nothing to show for our freshman year.”

She was reluctant to acknowledge it but ultimately agreed. However, we both knew what the real problem was. Nearly identical in nature, two homebodies out of their element, we were anxious. Overall uneasy, generally nervous, ultimately too timid for New York. And broke. Most of all broke. 

New York is a city that demands you to demand something of it and we were used to having to ask nicely. But no longer. We made a decision to go out more, to try to do something fun, even if it was just one thing, every weekend. We would break out of our shells and get to know the city, as we were meant to. We would save the money for those things that were worth it and would find other events that were free to go to. Inevitably, we were drawn to more and more restaurants with mouth-watering images of food on their websites and dazzling settings to dine in. Going out to eat undoubtedly became one of our favorite ways to treat ourselves, and that we did. 

Some Friday night in April we chatted eagerly on our walk up to Panna II, an Indian restaurant Leslie had hyped up to me after reading reviews and seeing pictures of their interior, which looked like an explosion of Christmas lights. She was excited to try Indian food for the first time and I hadn’t had my fill since last summer, so as we approached Panna II we were too distracted to realize what was happening.

“Come in, come in,” a man at the foot of the stairs said. We could see Panna II, just a few steps up from where we were on the sidewalk, winking at us with all its lights. Hungry and keen on stuffing ourselves with chicken tikka masala as fast as possible, we followed the man without a second thought. We followed him down. As we walked down a previously-unnoticed set of stairs into another restaurant, we looked at each other, panicked and too shy to say what was on our minds: “Wait, I’m sorry, I think we’re in the wrong place.”

In a whirlwind we were seated under rows of multicolored chili lights and menus were placed in front of us. When the host left us to browse the menu, we could only stare at each other. 

Royal Bangladesh Indian Restaurant in New York City.

“I don’t think this is it,” I eventually whispered across from Leslie. “Is this maybe their downstairs area?” I had been so set on Panna II that I was hopeful this was the case.

“Maybe?” Leslie whispered back, also clinging to hope. At this point we had to have looked suspicious huddled over the table, whispering to each other and looking around with wide eyes, completely disregarding the menus. 

“No, this isn’t it,” I said, but it was still barely registering in my mind.

“Then where are we?” Leslie asked. She was as frazzled as I was.

I looked down at our menus and found our answer. I read out, “Royal Bangladesh Indian Restaurant.”

We stayed. It would have been rude to leave even though we hadn’t ordered yet, and anyway, we still got our Indian food and twinkling lights. The food truly was some of the best, if not the best, Indian that I’ve ever had. Leslie quickly became a fan of it and ever since we’ve ordered take-out from Royal Bangladesh countless times. Though things hadn’t gone as planned, we made the most of it and ultimately had a spectacular night, one that we’d laugh about for a long while after.

This night didn’t represent a huge leap in our leaving the comfort zone, but it was undeniably a moment in which we had to learn to go with the flow and enjoy the moment. It was especially difficult for two people who needed to feel in control when exploring the city, but it paid off. I know though that if we could have gotten just a little more comfortable a little more quickly, we would have had way more stories to tell from our freshman year. 

Curious to see how I could have prepared myself to be more “out there” my freshman year, I recently researched some ways to get out of your comfort zone. The ones I found most notable chalked up to forming habits and reshaping your mindset to trying new things. I believe these to be the most important when wanting to explore the city because New York can take a lot out of you otherwise. If you find yourself struggling to want to go out, it is perfectly normal. But I’d suggest doing anything you can to get yourself to walk the city’s streets and uncover what it has to offer. Starting out small, just one restaurant, museum, or happy accident at a time can take you there.

And if you’re craving Indian food after reading this, Campus Clipper has a coupon just for you to use at Mughlai Indian Cuisine. Click on the link below to get either 50% or 15% off a delicious meal! It will be sure to satisfy your cravings.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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 Diary of a College Student: Adjusting to Life Off-Stage and into the Lecture Hall

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

In having been an actor for over 10 years of my life the adjustment that I experienced in not pursuing acting further in college was interesting, to say the least. Before that, life had been a world of opportunity in the sense that anywhere could have been a stage upon which to demonstrate my craft, my commitment, my skill, etc..

Upon arriving in New York City as a freshman college student, I found myself searching for something new around which to center my life. Something that could fill the void I felt inside me. I wanted to substitute something for the hours of intense training, detail-oriented rehearsals, and a creativity that was conditioned to image the sufferings and joys of human existence. I was in the process of reimagining my life, adjusting to my new life off-stage, in lecture halls, and among unfamiliar peers; in the manner that I would live, the activities that I would pursue daily, the motivation that I felt that pushed me toward always becoming better than what I was the day before, etc.. I believe that this time, a time of life re-imagined, can relate to, and is shared by, those who experience a dramatic shift in their day-to-day routines, their sense of limitation, and their sense of liberty when choosing what to prioritize in life.

This especially applies to college students, namely Freshmen, who recently removed themselves from a familiar environment full of routine and safety. In attending an out-of-town, an out-of-state, or international university, students are faced with the difficult task of taking what they knew as life and drastically reimaging it to suit their needs in their new localities. The difficulties arises from temptation. Temptation that is reinforced by the general newfound liberty of independent living. Spiderman taught me at a young age that “with great power comes great responsibility,” and it is a fact of human existence that ameliorating one’s liberty of choice, freedom of expression, and right to self-determination is directly relatable to one’s sense power.

So in here lies the subject of responsibility. What this essay aims to make palpable is the difficulty that exists in maintaining one’s sense of responsibility and pragmatism during this time of life re-imagined. Before, we discussed the opportunities college students have in trying to find the best student deals, spark new relationships, curate better hygiene, etc. when in an unfamiliar place, such as attending a new school. However, it is this greater realization of the individual’s power of choice that is the true subject of this discourse. I don’t want to sound cliché, but for new college students, there is no greater excitement then determining exactly what it is that makes you happy and using those sources of happiness to your advantage.

Image Credit: http://www.scei.edu.au/news

The overwhelming nature of arriving in a different city, into a situation where there are no longer limits on the things you can try, or finding where those things will begin generally brings anxiety with it. It is good to feel that anxiety, because it means that you value what your life is and your happiness in living it. If I could go back and tell myself a tidbit of advice freshman year, I would tell him this: there is no greater opportunity missed than living a life that prioritizes your health, your happiness, and your ability to make patient deliberated decisions. That may seem like an Olympian sized feat, but it begins with the littlest of things. For example, when one prioritizes their health and ability to focus and deliberate, than drinking the night before a test perhaps wouldn’t even enter one’s mind as a viable option.

Image Credit: https://www.pragmait.com/therapyboss/blog/short-term-or-long-term-goals-still-required/

It may seem a little extreme. However, when I was adjusting to my life off-stage there were many decisions that I see now as being nothing but a hindrance on my overall goal of being happy. I was more concerned with my momentary happiness and less concerned with prioritizing my long term goals.  It is easy to try and find the most exciting thing to do as a young new college freshman or sophomore, but it is all too easy to get caught up in the overwhelming liberty that comes with newfound independence. Always prioritize the life you want to be living and don’t simply live in the moment, and I promise that your life re-imagined will be a rewarding one to live.

By James Rodriguez


A Texan born and raised, James Rodriguez grew up in San Antonio TX, and has recently graduated from New York University, having studied corporate and political publicity. He sings, plays guitar, studies French, etc. in his free time, and when given the opportunity to share advice that he thought noteworthy with future or current college students, he jumped on the chance. He believes that there is something incredibly important in obtaining knowledge from those who are going through or have recently finished dealing with the difficulties one is seeking advice on. Which is exactly the aim of the Campus Clipper: to share the best advice possible in order to better the experiences of students who are struggling now. Because he was once that lost college student who was searching for instruction and who felt out-of-place and in need of direction, he hopes that his words can relate to someone’s struggle and help along the way. 

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 encourage 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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NYC: On the Street

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

I’ve been in New York for about a month now, and what an overwhelming month it was. Between cramming everything I own into my tiny car and driving from Michigan, to meeting my ten (ten!) new housemates, to getting scammed, to getting scammed again by the stupid transit system, to navigating the New York University campus, to getting off at the wrong subway stop, to getting utterly lost while on a run– it’s been anything if not exciting.

One of the most immediately striking features of New York City is the swirl of languages, food, and dress on every corner. Of course, it would be silly for me to see this diversity as proof that NYC is post-racial or completely harmonious. New York has issues, as does every city.

A metaphor I’ve developed for thinking of the city’s culturescape is the subway. Essential yet hated by most New Yorkers, the subway is dirty, unreliable, and overall frustrating- but it’s most people’s only option. NYU is exactly 6.1 miles from my house in Brooklyn- it takes 50 minutes to commute into Manhattan, and that’s on a good day. After dodging drips from the sagging ceiling, I jump the gap between the platform and the train to squeeze in with the other haggard commuters. The subway is the great equalizer: in the dark damp, it’s hard to be superior to others when you’re lumped into a mass. Fancy clothes are at risk of being soiled, and uncomfortable shoes don’t lend themselves to the constant walking required to transverse the city.

One of the stations I frequent. Courtesy Tumblr

One of the stations I frequent. Courtesy Tumblr

 

In the subway, there are no barriers. The privileged cannot use tall gates, expensive cars, or newfangled security systems to distinguish themselves from the “rabble,” us common folk. We are the human condition, pressed into a small, shabby subway car together. We are all subjected to the same delays, the same discomfort, the same noises and smells. We all pay the same price (3 bucks a pop!) to push past the turnstile and descend.

The only method of separation available to subway passengers is a bit of flimsy plastic: earbuds that provide music, but also sound barriers against the din of the subway. Our earbuds denote a small pool of personal space- a little island of privacy in the dense crowds of people, not to mention the sometimes alarming squeal of the train on its tracks. This personal space, however, is an illusion- someone can sway into and bump you when the train jerks to a stop. Also, safety is at least at the back of each passenger’s mind- especially if the passenger happens to be of the female variation. At any point, the 1% of the crowd that harbors unsavory intent might slip a hand into a pocket or worse.

Every time I curse the faulty public transit system, I know I should remember that this is how most of the world travels- via feet, bicycle, bus, or creaky subway train. At the very least, I should take it as a reminder of privilege, and that my entitlement is as illusory as that personal space we try to claim when crushed in amongst the crowd.

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year Master’s student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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 encourage 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. 

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From New York to….Home

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

I think there are only a few places in your life that you can call home when it comes down to it. Hopefully you’ll get to go to a lot of places and see the world everything that it holds, but home, that’s special. I’m sure for most of you, who are reading this during or just before your college experience, home is where you grew up. It’s your high school, your childhood friends, your first love, and the good times with your family. It’s hard to leave all of that.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

Vadodara, Gujarat Taken by Jainita Patel

Vadodara, Gujarat
Taken by Jainita Patel

But it’s worth it. Coming to New York was one of the best experiences of my life in that I started to realize that home can be more than one place. The longer you live somewhere the more comfortable it becomes, the more wrapped up you become in everyday life. In New York especially, you become jaded and tired. And I think that’s when it’s important to remember those initial feelings you had right before coming to NYC. The fear, the wonder, the bewilderment. The first article I ever wrote for the Campus Clipper was trying to recreate that small-town feeling in NYC and I think that though that’s helpful initially, you’ll find that in a few years you won’t need it anymore. Though this is a wondrous thing at first—you’re finally a real New Yorker!—this city wears on you if you don’t find novelty in its diverse number of activities.

I find that when I go back home—the Jersey Shore, in this case—I’m hit with the nostalgic feeling that only accompanies places you can no longer call home. The places where all of the adventures have been had and all the memories made, laminated, and bound into a book you only open on rainy days. Though this is a harder feeling to accomplish in NYC, sometimes it can feel that way.

And that’s when its important to get out—physically or mentally—if you can. Just for a little while.

Adventures don’t have to be thousand-dollar expeditions to other countries. Even just taking the train outside of NYC for a day can be an adventure if you make it one. Adventure is a mindset, not a physical act. Distancing yourself from the monotony of classes and workdays can be freeing in ways that are unimaginable. Because New York is a miracle and a curse for those of us who live here.

 

View of New York.  Taken by Jainita Patel

View of New York.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Vadodara, Gujarat. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Vadodara, Gujarat.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

The best time to have this mentality is as a student, when loans cover most of your expenses and though you’ll have to pay them back eventually, for now you’re free to do as you please. Studying abroad is something I would encourage to anyone that can find the means to do so. That is one of the reasons my articles have been so Euro-centric. I went to London for 6 months and ended up traversing around the continent instead of going to class. It was worth it. It’s very stereotypical for a middle class person under thirty to say “I went to Europe and it changed my life,” and I’m not saying that Europe itself changed me, but it did give me an appreciation for the adventures that I have already had and the adventures that I want to have in my home city or wherever I end up in the future.

Before I got into college, I used to go back to my parents’ hometown of Vadodara in Gujarat, India a lot. This was, in a way, my home away from home. Very soon after my taste for adventure blossomed, I quickly realized that Vadodara would always be my parents’ home even if the Shore is also their home.

What I mean to say is that one can have multiple homes and that you don’t have to go to a certain place to have an adventure. Adventure is all around us and if you’re willing to put in the effort to go, it could make you realize things about the world in all its vastness and yourself in all your infinites that you would’ve never thought of until you got lost in Wales or had to take a 14 hour bus from Paris to Berlin. These stories eventually become a part of you.

As much as I love New York, I think it’s important to get away for a bit. Whether it’s a couple days or a few years. Right now, home for me is New York. But it’s also the Shore. It’s also every month I spent in India growing up, playing with my cousins, and feeding stray cows. It’s walking the streets of Edinburgh like I grew up there and getting angry at the trolley in Prague. It’s cozied up in the Paris Shakespeare and Co. and freezing to death for the view in Vik, Iceland.

Home can be a few places, but the world is too big to just stay in one place. So get out there and see what it has to offer. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Me and my cousin circa 1999 in Vadodara.

Me and my cousin circa 1999 in Vadodara.

Me! Taken by Jainita Patel

Me in my tiny NYC apartment cerca 2017.
Taken by Jainita Patel

___________________________________________________________________________________

By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. 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 encourage 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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From New York to….Reykjavik

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Sometimes, living in a city like New York during the winter feels like living in the 7th circle of hell. If the cold doesn’t make you regret going outside, the blistering wind will. Despite the drawbacks, New York in the winter can be a lot of fun, even after the holiday season has passed. Though the severe lack of people can come as a shock to first, New York after December is one of the quietest, most beautiful cities in the world. With sites on the water and lots of indoor activities, New York’s gray winter feels a lot like Reykjavik.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/

https://c1.staticflickr.com/

http://www.reykjavik.com/

http://www.reykjavik.com/

How do you enjoy all of the activities both places have to offer? Just follow these tips:

Don’t Dress To Impress.

I’m serious. Layers are your friends in both of these cities. Both have wind that bites into you, so even if you sweat a crazy amount underneath, those layers will save you from that nasty bite. Snowshoes that come up to the knee are a plus as well to avoid the nasty puddles of dirt and snow that gather between the sidewalk and the road. Plus, if you’re dressed warm enough to walk through New York in January and Reykjavik, you’ll see some amazing sites. New York’s Ice Festival in Central Park has two main events: live ice sculpting and a silent disco. If you can’t get enough of the cold and end up in Reykjavik in February, there’s always the Winter Lights festival to celebrate the long period of darkness the city has gone through. Not to mention ice-skating.

Exercise.

No joke, if you’re a runner in New York or Reykjavik, you better get used to the cold. Luckily, running in New York in the winter is a lot easier than running in the summer when throngs of people and cars constantly interrupt your route. If you’re not a runner, maybe winter is a good time to start if the cold doesn’t bother you too much. Running will keep your warm and motivate you to get outside and get some fresh air. If you get really good or even if you just want to see if running in the cold is something for you, try entering NYC Run’s Cocoa Classic (just $30 if you sign up before November 9th) on Roosevelt Island. There’s even hot chocolate in it for you. Reykjavik also has some fun runs like New York, though I would suggest holding off until summer for those. One of the best is the Midnight Sun Run (just $25 or 2400 ISK if you register by April) which takes place on the summer solstice. The spectacular sights will make up for the lack of cocoa and if you’re not a native Icelander, you’ll still get more than your fair share of the cold.

NYC Run's Cocoa Classic https://nycruns.com/

NYC Run’s Cocoa Classic
https://nycruns.com/

The start of the Midnight Sun Run https://runninginiceland.files.wordpress.com/

The start of the Midnight Sun Run
https://runninginiceland.files.wordpress.com/

Cocoa.

So maybe the Midnight Sun Run doesn’t provide hot chocolate, but Reykjavik has plenty of spots to grab one during the winter months. Grabbing a hot drink is foolproof way of warming up from your nose to your toes, and Súfistinn, across from Reykjavik’s City Hall, is the best place to get it. New York City has some excellent hot chocolate as well. City Bakery in Flatiron has some of the most warming and mouth-watering hot chocolate around. Or if that’s too far for you, MarieBelle on Broome St. is full of chocoholics that love a good cup of hot cocoa.

Explore.

Both of these cities are gems in the cold. For New York City, the lack of people after the holidays is refreshing and oddly quiet. Embrace it and get ready for the long, noisy summer months. Go to Central Park and climb Belvedere Castle to see the sight snowy sight around you or take a friend to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, which becomes a silent, icy wonderland in the winter. In Reykjavik when it’s light out, if you’ve never been before, you’ll get the same feeling as staring down from the Freedom Town onto a snowy city if you go up the Pearl and see the harbor in front of you and the snowy mountains to your side.

 

Just a personal note, if you’ve been to one city and not the other, if you stand at the tip of Battery Park in the dead of winter, you’ll probably regret leaving the warmth of your bed. However, stand there long enough and you’ll get the exact same feeling as standing next to the Sun Voyager, looking out to Engey in Iceland. The wind off the water might hurt at first, but the peace that comes with it is worth it.

https://crocsandcandy.files.wordpress.com/

View from Battery Park in the winter https://crocsandcandy.files.wordpress.com/

The Sun Voyager Taken by Jainita Patel

The Sun Voyager
Taken by Jainita Patel

 

Don’t let the cold hold you back. Bundle up and get out there! And who knows, if you love the cold and have been to New York but not Reykjavik, maybe you’ll get the chance to experience it one day and vice versa.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. 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 encourage 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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