Archive for the ‘onLife’ Category

Wanting

Friday, June 24th, 2022

I close and lock the stall door. I dig through my purse until my fingers find the piece of plastic they are yearning for. I bring it to my lips without a thought. I could have walked back to my dorm after my class before experiencing the “dizzy,” but I want it now. I stand in the stall, holding my phone in one hand and the vape in the other, waiting in deep anticipation for the shivers to begin. In a sick twist of fate, the vape slips from my hand, bouncing off the bathroom floor and out of the stall. There is silence as I freeze, watching the shadows of girls at the sinks. I frantically collect my purse from the hook and swing the door open. “Is this…someone’s?” The girl is holding the pink disposable in a paper towel. I should just leave it. She’s uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable. “It’s mine.” I grab the piece and shove it in my pocket, my face hot. I don’t thank her. I wash my hands and leave, my stomach curdling and my eyes on the floor. Why didn’t I just wait until I got home? The “dizzy” had been ruined and my pride tarnished. I pat my pocket as I walk, ensuring the piece is safe.

There was a time when I didn’t consider my yearning for nicotine an addiction. It was just something I liked, something I craved, something that was fun. It didn’t feel unreasonable to pool together change from around my room to buy a vape, or to drive a mile or two out of the way to go to a location that didn’t I.D. It was in these moments, like the one in the restroom, that my ideology started to shift. The feeling of dependency becomes pronounced when there are outsiders watching the struggle. It’s the opposite of solidarity; the others don’t understand why I’m standing in the bathroom with this piece of plastic. There is almost a mirror effect, in which one can see their shortcomings reflected in the eyes of another.

Photo from a gas station that did I.D., but we were only there for a fun photoshoot, not to restock. My vape was in my pocket.

Surrounded by other vaping college kids, I find it intriguing that so many of them are willing to share. Of course, among familiar faces, there is always the willingness to help a fiending friend. But in groups of total strangers, at parties or other functions, people would ask for a hit from someone’s vape, and they would oblige. This isn’t necessarily universal, but that solidarity resurfaced again in the sharing of nicotine. Everyone who is addicted to nicotine knows how it feels to be without it. The dependence exists in all of us, and many individuals are willing to allow the less fortunate to obtain a “dizzy” when they ask. There is no mirror reflecting the discomfort of the situation, no viewer highlighting the way the asking is almost begging.

The craving for the “dizzy” drove my days. The experience was almost sacred, this moment alone with my head buzzing and my body half-floating. I would plan my schedule around when I could find a private place to hit my vape, and until that time, it remained tucked away. I knew it took about two and a half hours for the nicotine to leave my system and my body to reset, closer to three for a more intense “dizzy,” and so I would patiently wait. It gave me a feeling of control, of power over my nicotine usage. I had self-control. I didn’t need nicotine. I just wanted it.

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg looks into the formation of habits within the brain. In an MIT experiment from the early 1990s, researchers placed rats into a maze with a piece of chocolate at one end. After going through the maze repeatedly for a week, researchers found that the rats’ brains were less active while completing the maze, as they had formed a habit of completing the maze in a certain way in order to find the reward–chocolate. “This process,” Duhigg writes, “–in which the brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine–is known as ‘chunking,’ and it’s at the root of how habits are formed.” This research also posited the habit loop, a three-step process which occurs within our brains: cue, routine, reward. Duhigg continues, “When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making.” Once a cue or a trigger of some kind takes place, the brain wants to divert focus to other tasks and allow the routine to occur.

The habit loop can be helpful, because if you can control the cues and rewards in play, you can create new habits. It can be unhelpful, however, when cues and triggers are constant. Everywhere. 

While perhaps I did not need nicotine, it sure was hard to ignore.


Want some Italian-American cuisine at a discounted price? Head to Isabella Restaurant with your student I.D. for 10% off your meal!

By Sophie Rounds

Sophie Rounds is a rising junior at Loyola University Chicago, double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She loves to read and wishes she were a better cook. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys singing in several choirs at her university and thrifting 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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Where to Begin? Navigating Relationships of All Kinds in College

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

So, August is coming to an end, you’re freshly graduated from high school, and you’re getting ready to start this new chapter of your life that everyone’s been hyping up for as long as you can remember: college. You are probably feeling a mixture of emotions about the journey, from excitement to nervousness, to everything else in between. You want to be as prepared as you possibly can, but you don’t know where to start. After all, you’re going to be living on your own independently, likely for the first time in your life.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/02z1I7gv4ao

As a current college student who was once this excited and nervous freshman, I think most college students tend to over and under-focus on certain parts of the college process. For example, lots of students focus on the small, logistical parts of independent living. A lot of time and energy is spent on making sure that you brought enough clothes, or that you have the right room decorations to make your room as comfortable as possible. While these things are important, missing one pair of shoes at home is not going to determine the success or failure of your semester. The biggest misconception that college students seem to have involves what living independently really means. Most students seem to think it just means “living by yourself,” but this is not true. If you think about an average high schooler’s routine, all of it can be done without the help of others. Like clockwork, you wake up, go to school, do any after-school activities you may have, get home to have some dinner, do your homework, and then go to sleep. Most of these activities don’t require anyone else but YOU. In that way, college students are already more independent than they think they are, so it’s not just about operating alone. Instead, living on your own means that the structure you took for granted for eighteen years is entirely upended. No one is going to make your dinner when you get home, yell at you for not getting to practice on time, or remind you to finish your schoolwork if you have missing assignments. Living independently is, fundamentally, about you creating a structure for yourself, and sticking to it. 

When this structure that has been in place your whole life is suddenly removed, your life starts to change in unexpected ways. While it’s easier to change the times that you wake up, eat meals, and go to sleep every day, some things are less obvious and even harder to change. One of these changes, perhaps the most important one, lies in your relationships with others. In high school, relationships with your family, friends, and teachers, while potentially challenging, are made very easy to navigate by the time structures created for you. However in college, professors are not available every hour of the school day, and you only see your classmates for a fraction of the time during the week. People are organizing their own clubs and hosting their own parties. This isn’t even mentioning your parents or your old friends which you may have left behind when moving across the country. Simply put, relationships in the real world are not easy, and college is no exception. Much like many things in your childhood, forming and maintaining relationships were likely made easier for you by the structure given to you by others. Forming new and maintaining old relationships can be very difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. Luckily for you, I’m more than happy to give a few pointers. 

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/eTgMFFzroGc

I’ve had a college experience, starting with a very typical first semester before heading home for a semester online due to COVID-19. After a year filled with COVID restrictions, things started to return to normal by my junior year. In my experience, between masks and Zoom meetings, college as a whole often felt uniquely disconnected and impersonal. And in times like those of a pandemic, personal relationships were more important than ever. Whether you go to Harvard or Cape Cod Community College, any college graduate will tell you that it’s not about the things you do in these four years, it’s about who you do it with. With that in mind, I’m here to share some of my own experiences with you so that your college relationships are the best that they can be, extending beyond the four short years you are given at college. 


Speaking of new beginnings, one of the best things to do when moving to a new place at any point in your life is finding a good place to eat. Smash Burger has a great selection of burgers and shakes for a great night out exploring Boston or for ordering in and sharing with your new college friends. You can get 15% off your order using the coupon below.


By: Lucas Pratt

Lucas Pratt is a senior at Boston College studying Philosophy, English, and Chinese. He enjoys games of all kinds, Dungeons and Dragons, and getting around to finishing the copy of Dune that’s been sitting on his nightstand for months on end. Lucas has decided that the words “employable majors” don’t mean anything to him, and is eagerly seeing where the world takes him in the future.


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✎ EditSign 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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How I Got Evicted from a Farm

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Part One: Toledo

The minivan, blue and cloudless as the sky, rolled slow through the streets of East Toledo. Its tattered seats were damp with the sweat of my back, the fabric refusing to dry in humid air. Its open windows, every so often, sent notes of sulfur and cement up my nose, riding through on the respite of a faint breeze. On the street below, the occasional loose cobblestone made for uneven terrain—each lurch of the car gnawed at the curd of motion sickness in my stomach, born nine hours and three state lines ago. 

In the driver’s seat, Layla peered ahead through the heat in a tired search for the night’s site of temporary lodging. A bead of sweat slipped under the rim of her glasses, leaving shiny footprints to highlight the curvature of her face. Her curls had unraveled themselves over the course of the day, and with every turn of the wheel they grew further apart, resisting containment. Pausing at a stop sign, she ventured her elbow out to lean against the window, but the hot metal door prompted a quick recoil. A few more blocks to go before our first rest. 

The streets were quiet and empty of people. Up on the right, in front of each vacant house, rose a tall wire fence decorated with a dozen ‘beware dog’ signs, one every few feet, shouting through their sharp corners and neon hue. The signs were outnumbered only by the dogs themselves, which populated the yards behind the wire with consistent abundance. Groups of them gathered beside each porch, following the slow creak of the van with low growls and curious eyes, passing us off to the stares of the next pack as we left their yard behind. Some were large and hunched over, with heads that skated above the ground, held still by thick, rippling necks that curved upwards to stab the sky before reassuming connection with their spines. Others were small, with stumpy legs that grew blurry as they chased one another, carving a maze through the longer, slower limbs that rose like tree trunks around them. Many were old and withered and sick, with fur that clumped at the sides of their faces and buzzed with other creatures of the yard. One, Layla pointed out, was not a dog at all but a goat, hooved and horned and staring dejectedly into space. We silently wondered where in the world we were. 

My present meander through Toledo, destined for the west coast, had been a fairly spontaneous undertaking. Though, I suppose, equally unexpected was the onset of the pandemic, not to mention the sudden eviction from campus three quarters into freshman year and the ensuing six months I spent confined to my 80 square foot New York City bedroom. The year had already been an uphill battle, tossed back and forth between New York and Providence like the plaything of two depraved orcas. College life, in all its excitement, quickly became a fever dream upon my return to the city, where the fullness of the life I’d left behind struck me hard atop the head. When my stay in New York suddenly stretched endlessly into the future, and the world outside went vacant, I was left to stew in the mildew of this old life, the milky decades of memory that stained the walls and floors and city streets. Space itself became a yellowing palimpsest, writhing with the specters of the past, some lovely, fond, and warm, others indelibly painful, but all of them dead. To bring the walls alive was to feel it all, all at once, so I did—and my present began to rot alongside my past. 

So, Layla and I decided to leave. Rather than return to school and experience a loose translation of the life we wanted, we faced the death of our expectations head on and elected to drive west to spend a few months working and living on an orchard in California. We found the place online, called the owner—who seemed nice enough, for a stranger—and hopped in the minivan to begin the sixty hour drive that would, eventually, herald our chosen life among the trees. 

But before the trees came Toledo, Ohio. And before our rest came that endless row of houses, houses that the blue minivan rolled past careful and slow, houses guarded by dogs.

* * *

The houses stood short and sprawlingly wide, hidden behind the high fence and maximalist ornamentation of their front yards. Pink slats fell haphazardly off their sides, as if knocked down by the heavy weight of the sun. Windchimes spun and sprinkled themselves into the breeze. Thick weeds corroded the corners of stacked pots; wooden welcome boards and cheap statues overcrowded nearly every lawn. 

One house in particular had a yard piled high with life size plaster replicas of the dogs that stood cautiously behind them. The copies seemed frozen in time, as though some moment of the past, in its intensity, caught hold of the animals and refused to let them pass wholly into their future. Yet there they stood beside the plaster, alive and in steady movement, treading seamlessly across the debris. They followed our procession magnetically, without any interruption in their line of sight—not even for a moment. 

The car rolled to a halt at a pleasant little house, just past a road that sectioned off our street from the caravan of pack animals on the other side. Digging the key out from under the front mat, we unlocked the door and step into the cool air inside. Immediately, I let out a long sigh of relief, and Layla looked at me, grinned sheepishly, and delivered a long and contented yeahhh of agreement. But it wasn’t just the air for me—it was these walls, big and beautifully unfamiliar. These walls to whom I was a stranger. Walls with memories to which I did not subscribe.

A goat standing in the front yard of a Toledo home, staring dejectedly into space.

The Toledo neighborhood goat.

As we looked around, we realized the place was far too big for just two people, so we came to occupy the back corner of the house, dark green and dimly lit by the candle lights that protruded out from the wall. A few minutes after collapsing in the bedrooms, we received an alert that the house a few doors down the street had been the site of a murder merely three days earlier. It was hard to imagine that the lavender shutters of the home, in their softness and levity, could bear witness to such a crime. Layla wondered aloud what the dogs must have thought was going on, whether in them the noise might have sparked fear or excitement. I thought intently of the walls. After a silent moment, we descended to double lock the front door before retiring upstairs. 

For all the strangeness of the day, Toledo afforded me a heavy, uninterrupted night of sleep. As we rose with the sun the next morning and continued our journey west, the shouts of dogs and occasional bleat echoed through the empty streets. Despite the noise, I neglect to turn around and look.



Zachary Federman is a student at Brown University studying literary translation and Middle East Studies. Zachary is fond of art, detests logical positivism, and is excited for the future.


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

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Chapter Five: Looming Graduation & Lingering Uncertainty

Friday, September 10th, 2021

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

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

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


Nikki Glaser performing at Gotham Comedy Club during my internship

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

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


Fall near NYU Campus

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

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

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

My advice for figuring it out:

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


By Anna Matefy

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


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

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Chapter Three: Exercise & Mental Health in the Big Picture

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

I have had a complicated relationship with exercise since I was a child. I began swimming when I was six years old at the behest of my mother. I am not a competitive person, and being forced to competitively swim through elementary, middle, and high school wore significantly on my mental health, past even the point of depression. My mother had no sympathy for me when I explained to her how horrible competitive swimming made me feel, and accused me of “laziness” among other things. I quit the day I turned 18 and now, at age 23, I still have not stepped in a pool since.

Seeing Simone Biles’ journey during the Tokyo 2021 Olympics has been incredibly validating because she respects the seriousness of mental health and recognizes how difficult it is to maintain as a serious athlete. Simone withdrew from part of it because of the physical danger her mental health posed toward her ability to complete her routine without becoming injured. When the (potential) injury is physical, it is often easier for others (not speaking for Piers Morgan) to understand the implications of poor mental health. When there are simply ambiguous ideas of depression or anxiety, one’s mother or coach can thoughtlessly reply: “Stop being so negative.” This gaslighting is incredibly infuriating, but mostly hurtful. 

These days, I crave a routine, when I used to detest it. The book Nausea by John Paul Sartre gave me the words to describe how I had previously felt in a creative writing piece: “I felt disgust and disappointment toward myself and toward everyone. Why can’t everyone just do what they want? Why must we play roles and condemn ourselves to routine? I need routine; my need for the right way to live is despicable.” 


My well-used and cherished copy of Nausea.

But now I’m not so weirdy resentful: routine helps me feel more in control of my daily life rather than suffocated by it. In your daily life, as long as you feel, and you are affected by the consequences of your own and others’ actions, everything you do matters. I love that notion because, while it used to make me anxious (since how I exercised was dictated by others), it now bolsters my individual agency. I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance. All I know is that only you know how you feel; even your therapist does not live in your mind. Neither do your parents, coaches, or teachers. Although ideally these figures should want to help you, sometimes they can’t because they don’t think the same way, and their lives have been informed by different circumstances. 

It’s okay to take your time and experiment with a routine. Mine still changes year to year. With COVID-19, it has been a particularly difficult year of coping, especially after my routine was entirely upended from one day to the next. I had been going to the gym for three days a week consistently over the prior year. I felt confident in my strength and endurance, and I was proud of myself. 


They usually draw a funny comic on the whiteboard at 404 (to get your workout started with a smile?): “Hey, dude, when I said ‘curls might help’ that’s not what I meant.”

Without a gym, I have no desire to exercise. During my year in isolation I lost all of the aforementioned progress and now have to start over. It’s okay, though: day by day. 

If you’re like me, and prefer to work out independently without instruction, colleges usually have a free gym you can attend as a student. My go-to gym at NYU is 404 Fitness, near which you can also find a Rumble boxing studio, and SoulCycle. If you want to be part of a club team in college, you can join intramural sports. If you want to do something more competitive you can look for sports within college divisions. If you don’t feel quite ready to take a class or go to the gym, or you just need a break from building your intensity, taking walks offers a more casual, but effective form of movement. 

 It’s okay to not “seamlessly” transition your lifestyle into going to the gym three times a week instead of none, or toward becoming a vegetarian, for example. Sometimes you will step outside of those goals simply because the world is not currently allowing for it, or you want to do something more, or maybe the transition doesn’t feel good anymore, which is okay. When you cannot control things, that is when it’s fun to simply be along for the ride (a passenger, as I like to say). In the big picture, your mental health should have a mutualistically symbiotic relationship with when and how you exercise. 

A brief summary of advice:

  • During college, take advantage of free gym memberships/ collegiate club sports
  • I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance; it occurs on a rolling basis throughout your life. 
    • Being a “passenger” is my way of describing my most reliable mode of self-preservation; you are not at fault for what you can’t control
  • Check out Jameela Jamil’s social media (Twitter/Instagram) and her podcast “iWeigh” through both of which she deeply and personally discusses a multitude of topics with individuals with personal experiences/experts regarding mental health, eating disorders, working out, feminism, etc. 
    • This has grown to largely inform a lot of my mindset regarding the language I use to discuss exercise, physicality, and nutrition


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 Two: So Much Food!

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

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


Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street

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

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


DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

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


Nutella beignets at Cafe Marie

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


Bagel Belly near Union Square

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

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

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


My friend and I enjoying Times Square 🙂

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


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

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

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

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

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


By: Anna Matefy

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


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

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Chapter One: Welcome Week

Friday, August 13th, 2021

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Beginning your freshman year, I recommend you:

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


By: Anna Matefy

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


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

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Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 4: Music Mix

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

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

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

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


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

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


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

1. Mood Matcher

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

2. Mental Health

3. Social Connections

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

4. Cognitive Boost

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

5. Increase workout endurance

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

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


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


By: Sydney Ly

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

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

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

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Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 3: Passion Perusal

Monday, July 26th, 2021

As you scroll through social media apps and the Internet, you may come across a wide range of activities and ideas that can spark your interest. Whether or not it’s your intention, you may pick up a new passion. 

You may have heard of this app called Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place to start if you like visuals and looking to discover new information. From exploring recipes to saving money through its product catalogs, this app can easily put you on the right path to find a new passion, or discovering a place to visit and save money. While you’re at it, check out Campus Clipper on Pinterest


Take, for example, my new passion for the art of crochet. According to Britannica, crochet is a “craft that developed in the 19th century out of a form of chain-stitch embroidery done with a hook instead of a needle.”

My new hobby all started on TikTok. My sister was the one who influenced me into exploring and learning more about crochet. She was scrolling through the app and found some users that were creating a wide variety of crafts such as plushies, clothing items, and accessories. After seeing numerous posts on crocheting, I soon began my quest on finding inspiration for my first project. 

In particular, @henripurnell on TikTok created a cardigan inspired by one worn by Harry Styles. He even made a YouTube video for a more in-depth tutorial that, of course, I had to watch. The cardigan is made up of a number of patches, as seen in this image that Henri includes in his tutorial video. 

With its presumed simplicity, I attempted to follow Henri’s tutorial and create my own chunky cardigan. 

The learning process certainly consisted of numerous trial-and-error attempts, as I was a mere beginner at the time. While the tutorial contained various stitch patterns, I decided to simply practice one stitch. Despite being bigger than I was intending it to be, it was worth all the hard work in the end. 


Along with a cardigan, I even made a headscarf inspired by a YouTube tutorial video from  Brunaticality. It’s a perfect accessory to tie an outfit together.  


Now, I know that crocheting isn’t for everyone. The key takeaway is that you can, too, find your passion or add a new one to your list. Inspiration is everywhere. From social media posts to advertisements, be open-minded on topics that may spark even the slightest bit of your interest. Who knows, maybe your new passion will lead to a possible career path! 

But here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Sports
  • Fitness
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Music
  • Video games
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Culinary (check out quick recipes in chapter 2 of Plugging in with Good Intentions)

Don’t fret over not finding something you love right away. Your new passions don’t have to be your career nor be about earning profits from it. Just remember to maintain good intentions when logging onto the Internet and be open-minded to new things.


If you’re thinking of getting into sports and fitness, check out a Reebok Fithub store for 10% off gear and classes!


By: Sydney Ly

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

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

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

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Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 2: Fun Food Formulas

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Food hacks have become all the rage amid facts and fiction in the cyber realm. Social media platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, are great places to discover quick and easy recipes that are perfect for those who need a little inspiration. From mindless scrolling on these platforms hours on end, I have come across countless examples of food-inspired content. And so, in this edition of Plugging in with Good Intentions, I’m sharing my favorite recipes for each meal of the day, including dessert, that I have discovered via the Internet and social media.


~Breakfast~

We’ve all heard that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ so why not make it tasty? I love bananas, especially on top of traditional flapjacks. So, when I watched @maddisonskitchen make her own on TikTok, I knew I had to re-create it and share this fun twist on pancakes. Also, if you aren’t a fan of bananas, you can easily replace them with other fruits in this recipe! From sliced strawberries to apples, the possibilities are endless. 

Banana Pancake Dippers 

What You’ll Need:

  • Pancake mix (or you can make it from scratch)
  • Bananas (as much as your heart desires)
  • Pan 
  • Oil or butter
  • Toppings (ex. syrup, whipped cream, Nutella)

Steps:

  1. Prepare your pancake mix.
  2. Slice your bananas.
  3. Heat up your pan and oil/butter it up.
  4. Dip each banana slice into your batter and ensure they are fully coated.
  5. Place each of your banana pancake dippers about an inch away from one another on the pan to cook.
  6. Once you see bubbles forming, flip them over to cook the other side. 
  7. Cook until your banana pancake dippers are golden brown on each side.
  8. Serve with toppings, if desired.

~Lunch~

Back in the day, I would bring sandwiches that my mom made for school lunch. Of course, I would be picky and request to have no crust. Then, I discovered Smucker’s Uncrustables and thought they were so convenient. Essentially, they are sealed sandwiches with no crust. 

As seen in the picture above, there is a variety of flavors for Uncrustables. Still, if you think about it, they’re chemically processed and frozen. After watching the ‘Trying TikTok Food Hacks’ YouTube video from @merrelltwins, however, I learned that I could make a more nutritional and fresh version of Uncrustables. 

DIY Uncrustables 

What You’ll Need:

  • Bread
  • Cup or glass 
  • Filling (ex. Peanut Butter, Nutella, jelly, fruits, ham, cheese)
  • Toaster 

Steps:

  1. Choose your filling (possibilities are endless here).
  2. Take two slices of bread and spread your filling in the middle of one piece. Be sure to leave space on the outer edges, so your sandwich can be sealed with no leakage.
  3. Assemble your sandwich by placing the second piece of bread on top of the other. 
  4. Now, use your cup or glass to seal your sandwich by pressing firmly and twisting to remove the crusts. 
  5. You should now have your very own and perfectly sealed DIY Uncrustable. 
  6. You can either eat it just the way it is or toast it. Also, they can be prepared and stored in the freezer for later.

~Snack~

At this time of the day, sometimes all you want is something sweet to satisfy your cravings. One of my favorite snacks is cookies, especially Oreos. Still, it’s fun to try your own twist on an American classic. 

Oreos

And so, as I was scrolling on Pinterest, I came across a quick recipe from @CookingClassy on how to make Oreo Truffles! With the recipe calling for only three ingredients, I knew I had to make some myself and share it with you all. 

Oreo Truffles

What You’ll Need:

  • Oreos
  • Cream Cheese
  • Melted Chocolate 

Steps:

  1. Crush Oreos into fine crumbs. This step can be executed in multiple ways. For instance, you can use a food processor, crush them by hand with a fork in a bowl, or by putting the Oreos in a plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. 
  2. Add enough cream cheese to your Oreo crumbs, so that your mixture becomes thick or dough-like.
  3. Now, shape your mixture into round balls. 
  4. Put your Oreo truffles into the freezer to solidify for about 15 minutes.
  5. Once chilled, dip your Oreo truffles into melted chocolate.
  6. You can also add toppings such as additional Oreo crumbs and sprinkles.

~Dinner~

Now, if you’re a regular user of TikTok you might be familiar with this meal I’m about to share with you. One food hack that went viral in early 2021 was Baked Feta Pasta. After watching the TikTok from @feelgoodfoodie, I knew I had to make some myself.

Baked Feta Pasta

What You’ll Need:

  • Pasta
  • Feta Cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic 
  • Basil (if you want to be fancy)
  • Baking dish

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place a block of feta in the middle of your dish and surround it with your cherry tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle olive oil as well as sprinkle salt, pepper, and a few garlic cloves (or garlic powder) across your dish.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until everything is softened.
  5. In the meantime, boil the pasta.
  6. Once the tomatoes and feta are thoroughly cooked, smash them to create a creamy sauce. Then, stir in your cooked pasta. 
  7. Top with fresh basil, if desired. 

~Dessert~

If the Oreo truffles weren’t enough, then how about Oreo mug cake? Again, here is another twist on an American classic.

Oreo Mug Cake

What You’ll Need:

  • Oreos 
  • Milk 
  • Mug

Steps:

  1. Place a few Oreos into a microwave-safe mug.
  2. Crush your Oreos into a chunky mixture.
  3. Pour just enough milk, so that your mixture is submerged but peeking through the top.
  4. Heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. 
  5. Now, you have a gooey chocolate pudding-like mug cake that will satisfy any nightly cravings.

In the end, these fun food formulas can be altered however to your liking. Still, go on and discover more recipes. And remember, stay positive and maintain good intentions.

Eat Happy on Behance

If you can’t find something you like right away, you can always visit the multitude of organizations that offer student discounts on Campus Clipper to find inspiration on your own fun food formulas. 

For instance, check out Tropic Berry Cafe for fun acai bowls and smoothies!


By: Sydney Ly

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

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

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

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