Archive for the ‘onLove’ Category

Love Like Her: Empathy

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

“Oh, it goes beyond sympathy. Sympathy is to understand what someone feels; empathy is to project your imagination so that you actually feel what the other person is feeling: you put yourself in the other person’s place. Do I make myself clear?”

Funny Face. Directed by Stanley Donen, Paramount Pictures, 1957.

If I could have any superpower I would sprout a field of flowers that would give people empathy once a flower is picked. Empathy is a selfless gift all people need to possess, yet most do not. It’s a social intelligence people should learn when they’re small: to treat people how you want to be treated

“I don’t want to have sex with someone, unless, they’re my boyfriend,” I’d tell him, “we don’t have to be in love. I just want to make sure it’s worth it, I guess.” It was a rule I made for myself when I decided I was ready, but it was a rule I let slip. Nearly a week later, he would write in the essay I was helping him with: “my girlfriend is annoying.” I decided to ignore it. People should vocalize the people they want? He kept it up though, he would suggest in little ways I was already his girlfriend without ever communicating it. Maybe he was afraid? Maybe, even though I vocalized that I wanted to be in a relationship with him, he was still insecure? I kept extending myself to him in that way, collecting more and more flowers. Perhaps, some part of him thought I would change my mind. I understood how scary that is and so I let him in. Once I did, he changed. I would always think of him in some capacity. I thought of how my every word, action, and mood would affect him. I wanted him to be happy and I wanted to make sure I was making him happy, that’s all. When that was not reciprocated, I could taste the way things would end before they did.

During the evening of my mother’s and father’s relationship, my dad was incarcerated, my brother was on his way, and my mom was tired. Before he went away, for what was the next five years of my life, there were no more blockbuster dates. My dad had his own apartment and my mom and I lived in the same house just a few floors higher. She went to work a lot and sometimes I’d even go with her. The clues of separation only come to me now. I saw my dad less and less, but after a long week, he was my weekend vacation. I was in sweet little kid bliss. Even when we all hung out separately everything was okay. When my dad was arrested I saw their closing come to a halt. Whatever happened between them was now in a back pocket. When my dad needed someone most he knew who was in his corner, despite everything.

I knew the boy stopped thinking of me when I was no longer something to have. It was as if we were no longer friends. He didn’t want to hang out and play video games, talk, or watch movies anymore. He would only come around for two things: sex and empathy. He would always make up excuses that were tailored in an effort to get what he wanted. I knew I would never let him feel the way he was making me feel, but I stayed. I couldn’t understand why the relationship was changing the way that it did. From there, we were on a rollercoaster that was just in for a loop when we decided to quarantine together those first covid months. He had nothing to prove when it was just us but he never stopped being apathetic. When he became so naturally codependent on me and I decided I would never allow myself to depend on someone like him. “I don’t need you,” I’d tell him in the kindest way possible. “I can take care of myself,” I’d remind him. “I just want you, not need” he had to remember. During our true finale, when I told him, “you always said such mean things to me, I didn’t deserve that.” He would respond with “and you did too.” When I asked him to name examples he’d bring up those old conversations of how I never needed him, how he did me, and how I told it to him.   

I learned that undoubtedly from all the women in my family, especially my mother. Caring comes naturally to a woman in a relationship otherwise she couldn’t call it her own. Regardless of herself, she is supposed to tend, water, feed, and love so fiercely. My mother, she showed enough care and love for both of them to exist as parents. She wrote letters and letters reminding him of how much love he had.  She couldn’t bear the thought of being taken away from her daughter’s first day of kindergarten and her son’s first day of life. She wrote all the things she wanted and would want to hear if her mistakes had pulled her away from the things she loved most. Her heart broke in all the ways she thought his heart was. She put so much time and energy into her empathy. Her only remedy for being taken for granted was to never need in return. To take care of herself second and to depend on no one because how awful would it feel to receive love the same amount of love you give for it to be taken away. 

When she was finally on the outside, having that free time she then thought of herself instead. Picking flowers and actually smelling them. He was so far away now taking up less space and there was finally room to breathe and become. To become someone who wasn’t a pile of everyone else’s feelings. That is when she learned to dance. 

I never believed that everything he did and said was what I did not deserve. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t good enough and that was the best excuse he wore. I was angry at myself all the time and when I wanted to be hurt I’d call him. I didn’t love him. I wouldn’t ever love him in that way even if we were happy. But, I knew then I thought that was the love I thought I deserved. I let him treat me the same way I treated myself and the way I have always been treated. 

If I could have any superpower I would sprout a field of flowers that would give people empathy once a flower is picked. Not only would they learn to treat others how they’d want to be treated, but they’d learn to have empathy for themselves. When I  take the time to understand my feelings and give myself room to feel those feelings without shame, that’s empathy. I am going to be stuck with myself for the rest of my life. And as I grow older I find I would never treat someone the way I do myself. I can be unkind, ruthless to my brain and body, and still push myself to do and be in situations that steal from my person. The first step toward receiving what I deserve from the world is by creating a blueprint. 

Edited by Jackson Bailey
Take some time to self-care at Enail in NYC, where you can receive healthy and high-end nail services. Save up to 15% with this coupon and your student ID or 20% during happy hour.

By Melodie Goncalves

Melodie Goncalves is a rising senior at Rhode Island College pursuing her degree in English/Creative Writing and Sociology. She has passions for reading, writing, caring for others, and music. Spending lots of her time with friends and family.

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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friendship: low risk, way higher reward

Monday, July 4th, 2022

On one fine September evening of my freshman year, my ex and I were strolling around Porter Square. It was balmy late-summer, we’d settled into an easy stride beside each other and, on the surface, it seemed like a perfect evening. We were talking about something loosely related- college life, moving in, classes. Then she made an admission: “I just don’t have the easiest time making friends.”

I glanced over at her, eyes wide in bewilderment. “Yeah?” 

“Yeah. I feel like everyone’ll think I’m weird.” Her voice was light but her eyes had dimmed, the corners of her smile dipping towards the sidewalk- it was clear the thoughts behind her confession were taking a toll on her. 

This struck me as ridiculous, because 2018 Ness thought she was the sweetest person in the world (and it wasn’t just blind adoration or anything- 2022 Ness still thinks she’s a standup gal!). So I decided it was time for some incentive. We, and so many other Bostonian college students, had swiftly become loyal customers to many of the local eateries, so I honed in on that as the prime motivator. “Okay, let’s make a bet,” I began. “If you don’t make a friend by the end of the semester, I’ll treat us to dinner at that one really good ramen place.” 

I paused, reconsidering. 

“Actually, I’ll treat us to dinner if you do, too. As a reward,” I amended.

“So either way, you’re buying?” she asked, her smile picking back up.

“I guess so.” We both had a chuckle, continued on our merry way back to campus, and probably had a great rest of our night. But my ex had brought up a relevant point, universal not just to new students, but to anyone. 

How does reaching out and building friendships work?

I think the answer can boil down to simply “putting yourself out there.” Way easier said than done, especially when factors like social anxiety or time limitations come into play. There are so many ways to shoot yourself down; maybe people are just being fake-nice, or maybe they don’t know how to just say no to hanging out, or maybe, as was my ex’s big fear, they’ll find you weird.

It can be super easy to let fear of rejection get in the way of anything, especially friendship.

But before getting into a tailspin over everything that could go wrong, I think it’s worth digging into the benefits. 

At the very least, ECPI University suggests that friendships can provide a networking opportunity (Why Friendship is Important for College Students). For any budding professional, that’s already a highlight. That said, networking potential probably isn’t the first thing to look for in a potential companion, so it’s a good thing there’s oodles of other benefits.

In her 2016 article from Dartmouth Together, researcher Janice McCabe took inventory of the social connections at an unspecified university, interviewing a total of 82 students (How Your College Friendships Help You– Or Don’t). Her findings revealed that, while some close-knit friendships in the college setting can be academically distracting, many actually academically elevate each other. Colleges are big- it’s easy enough to find people who share your values, and if that includes your success as a booksmart icon, you’ll likely attract friends who will not only help you achieve your potential, but achieve it to its fullest capacity. 

Additionally, these close-knit friendships provide people to lean on. One of the students interviewed by McCabe, addressed as Alberto in the study, had been a victim of racist remarks from peers and professors. Through his close friendships, he was able to receive support and know there were allies in his corner. Friends are a place to process, a place to work through strife; a symbiotic, reciprocal friendship also provides opportunity for empathy. 

If that’s not reason enough to branch out and invite a new pal into your life, there’s also the reality that you probably won’t have to do it super often. After checking in with her interviewees post-college, McCabe found that about 30% of people had maintained their connections for at least five years. That’s a hypothetical three out of ten people that you could potentially get super close with and have in your life forever. Albeto, McCabe’s interviewee, had called his friends his family. Why would you want to let brief, hypothetical embarrassment scare you out of finding family?

And once a group starts, it doesn’t stop- people multiply. Maybe it’ll start with a peer you met in that Illustration 101 class, or someone in the dining hall. Then you’ll have dinner with them and they’ll bring their roommate. Maybe their roommate has a cool new friend, who gets invited to the next thing you decide to do. And so on and so forth- you never know how real the “six degrees of separation” theory is until you see it in action.

That’s certainly how it went for me, my ex, and our friend group during my freshman year. I don’t think we ever did get that ramen, but it didn’t matter- the real reward was the friends we made along the way.

There’s literally nothing as great as support from people who care!

tl;dr: these are people who are probably very much like you! Reach out to them!


It’s definitely not ramen, but if you’re looking for the perfect incentive to get your partner to make friends, maybe suggest some mouthwatering Indian food and pop over to Punjab Palace (I can absolutely vouch for this place- it’s amazing)!

With your student I.D. and your Campus Clipper coupon, you can get 10% off on your next takeout order. And it’s fairly shareable- perfect for you and any new pals!


By Ness Curti

Ness Curti is a freshly-graduated illustrator from the Lesley College of Art and Design. A part-time bobarista and full-time New England adventurer, they hope to one day tell stories for a living, whether through art or words. They enjoy doodling, procrastinating, and saying hello to the dogs they pass on the sidewalk.


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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Will a Fight Be the End of Us?

Monday, July 4th, 2022

When I was 15, I was in my first relationship. I was so fascinated with the idea of love, as everyone is at that age. I was caught up in the idea of him being my prince charming, and  I found myself looking for him in every romantic lead in the movies. So much so, that I had ignored the reality of the relationship. And it wasn’t until I was about a year out of the relationship everything that had happened had sunk in. 

Being in this relationship, I remember we would fight all the time. However, I found myself not picking fights only for attention but also for some sense  that he still cared what happened to us. Instead, I was censoring myself and apologizing for things I had no reasons to apologize for for fear of starting a fight, precautions that would ultimately fail because we would fight anyway., I was always so scared of a fight because long periods of this all-consuming silence would follow, a silence that felt like death to me. I wouldn’t eat, had no interest in anything or spending time with anyone. I just wanted to sit by my phone, waiting for a response and a chalked-up apology. A fight is bad, but the silence after is the worst; because then you start to question if maybe the two of you would ever speak again. The silence is an easy break.

Sheri Stritof, author of, “ What Couples Should Know About the Silent Treatment” for verywellmind.com, writes, in summary, that silence can be well intentioned in some situations, as time to cool-off after a fight or allow room for the topic to be discussed at a later time when emotions aren’t as high. However, silence after a fight becomes harmful when it is being used to assert dominance over the other person in the relationship. It generates feelings of anxiety and frustration that their partner doesn’t even want to communicate to solve the issue.

Image Credit: https://clipart.world

And yet, fighting in relationships is inevitable. When two people are working together to make a relationship, of course there are going to be disagreements, hurt feelings, and necessary room for forgiveness. In fact, Elizabeth Plumptre author of, “Why It’s Good to Fight in a Relationship,” an article for verywellmind.com that details how fighting, to some extent, is healthy for a relationship. Plumptre discusses that when fights come about in relationships, it is important not to raise voices nor use accusatory language. That it is essential to listen and hold each other and ourselves accountable when in the wrong. Plumptre goes on to say that, in a way, fighting can not only strengthen the relationship but healthy fights can also remove the fear of a breakup after a fight or any other fears attached to fighting with your partner.

So, it takes some time to heal a mind that fears the end in every fight. That fear can even last for some time in a healthy relationship until you get used to a healthy or successful way of fighting, which Plumptre refers to, by listening to each other and understanding where they are coming from. In general, your partner’s reaction to a fight is the tell-tale answer to the question: will a fight be the end of us? Going along with what both Stritof and Plumptre discuss,  using silence as leverage is ineffective and abusive in fights. And communication is what eases a chaotic mind in the midst of a fight. a fight will not be the end of the relationship, even if you need to take a minute to cool down. Discussing how you feel with your partner and what made you feel a certain way is a better way to have a fight.

Relationships aren’t going to be like the movies or how a 15-year-old me dreamed because the movies don’t show every aspect of a relationship within the limited run time.

And my 15-year-old self also enjoyed eating dumplings when watching any type of romantic comedy! So, take this coupon and get 15% off at Dumpling N’ Dips when you show your student ID!


By: Ashley Geiser 

Ashley Geiser is a Junior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Pace University. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and Co-President for Her Campus at Pace. She loves reading and editing. And when she is not reading or editing, she can be found baking in her kitchen.


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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Do They Hate Me?

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Continuing with this notion of persistent thoughts within friendships and what really brings them to the forefront of our minds, I want to center this blog post around the commonly pondered question: do they hate me? 

This heavy question can lead to hours and hours of insecurity and self-doubt. I think for me, this question really comes about because of people’s tone. I can interpret it incorrectly and that misinterpretation can make me believe that my friends actually don’t like me. I feel like I spend most of my time just tearing apart every conversation I have with someone, to make sure the conversation went okay. Then, I turn inward and tear myself apart thinking about certain ways I reacted and what could be misinterpreted on my end to make them not like me. Sometimes I fear that my worst nightmare is coming true, that my friends don’t like me, they just merely tolerate me. Nevermind the fact that the loss of a friendship hurts just as much as, if not more than, a breakup.

I share these inner feelings, not to encourage this spiral of negative emotions that are somewhat baseless in nature but to enter into the conversation that insecurity and overthinking make you live these intense experiences that haven’t happened. So, you feel like you are going through them constantly, grieving things that aren’t lost and hating yourself for things that aren’t outside of your own mind.

Image Credit: https://clipart.world

First, in any type of relationship an individual may feel some sort of anxiety upon the possible fallout because of how fragile relationships can be. No matter how close people are, it can fall apart. Now, that may sound cynical but it is realistic and still a bit dark.

Now, my negative thought process, as I mentioned before, develops from within the tone of a conversation I have with someone. That anxiety further intensifies over a text conversation because I can’t see or read how the other person meant for the text to come across. I automatically revert to assuming everyone is using a passive aggressive or distasteful tone with me because I have convinced myself that everyone is just pretending to like me.

In fact, writer Jon Jaehnig who authored the article, “Why Don’t People Like Me? Thought Patterns And Behaviors With Social Skills” for betterhelp.com discusses this theory, that within friendship we constantly make overgeneralizations based on a handful of bad experiences. These overgeneralizations lead us to project our inner feelings and thoughts onto our relationships with others. Essentially, the negative thoughts and feelings that are within ourselves harm our budding relationships when we assume that they will fail because of past experiences. Often, it is easy to misremember interactions and convince ourselves that we never really had any close friends, which further “proves” our negative and baseless thoughts that are rooted in anxiety.

Although in the past I have feared being alone, I have come to realize that embracing loneliness helps to heal these negative thoughts. Becoming my own friend, in a way, has had a positive impact. It allows me the opportunity to have friendships form in a natural way, and not feel the pressure of past experiences weighing down on them coupled with the pressure of needing people to like me.

A great way to embrace this loneliness is by spending some quality time with yourself! So treat yourself! And if you are in New York City, you can stop by City Glow Beauty Boutique and get 20% off all services when you bring this coupon and your student ID!


By: Ashley Geiser 

Ashley Geiser is a Junior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Pace University. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and Co-President for Her Campus at Pace. She loves reading and editing. And when she is not reading or editing, she can be found baking in her kitchen.


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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new beginnings and piercings as self-love

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Every time someone asks about how I picked Lesley University, I have a tendency to joke that I was following my ex-girlfriend. 

On one hand: this isn’t entirely true- the school had plenty of what I was looking for, including both of the majors I wanted, a supportive and queer-friendly environment, and a campus stretching across Cambridge. On the other: I do think going into higher education knowing someone who was both my best friend (at the time) and very dear to me did a lot to boost my confidence. 

I had a built-in friend, a way to start off the first of four years with a sort of social safety net. I had someone to talk to about the hardships of starting the higher-education portion of adulthood and the anxiety of moving into a new place. I had someone to do homework with, late into the night on scratchy dorm room carpeting. I had someone to complain with about the occasionally-questionable dining hall food. I had someone, and that made the nervousness of being in a new place slowly, surely, ebb into the background. This didn’t stop either of us from making friends as we both found our places within our new community, but it got us through the first few months as we began to build up new relationships. 

Having someone around who already knew me, accepted me, and encouraged me to be myself also made it much easier to get comfortable in my own skin- both as a new college student and as a trans and queer person coming of age. Fortunately, my school had plenty of overlap between the two, with a plethora of my freshman class being in a similar literal and physical transition. We were all looking to make homes out of our bodies, and one of the most obvious ways to do that was to get a new piercing.

About a week or two into my college experience at Lesley University, my ex decided she wanted a septum ring. Eager to work towards my own accumulation of piercings and to mark the pivotal shift into freshman year on my body somehow, I decided I would tag along. So, on one fateful student-discount Tuesday, we headed down the red line into Central Square, popping into the Boston Lucky’s for walk-in appointments. After a half-hour of sitting on some really nice leather chairs and admiring the jewelry selection by the cash register, I was escorted into the piercing room. The process itself only lasted a few minutes. A gloved hand ran an alcohol wipe around the center of my nose; a needle and horseshoe-shaped piece of metal followed suit, threaded through the cartilage without much fanfare. 

Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop. Done in layered green lineart.
Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop.

An hour after our arrival, we walked out together with our matching piercings. The new hole in my nose was all I’d hoped it would be. It looked great. My parents, however, were not on the same page. 

They called later that night. “It was a waste of money,” my mom chastised. “I don’t even think I want to come visit you on parents’ weekend.” My dad echoed the sentiment, taking the time to text me that he hoped it would get torn out. They warmed up to it as soon as they realized it could be flipped up, but the rift it caused felt emblematic. 

While a little warning might’ve done wonders to prevent any familial unrest, I did what I did for me. I love my family, but part of paving my own path meant not conforming to their standards. Rather, I was setting my own. And it wasn’t just little 2018 Ness who decided to kick off their journey into higher education with a piercing. In a 2006 article from the JAMA Network, one Lester Mayers noted that 51% of university students surveyed had piercings, while 23% had tattoos; with the destigmatization among the workplace and accessibility of body modifications, the number has only gone up (Sequential Survey of Body Piercing..). In Hallie Long’s article from the DePaulia, she interviews freshly-tatted Angie Rainey, who declares that the tattoo she got in college “caught [her].. at such a transformative and new time in.. life” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15193575/). The body is a temple, and so many people have taken it upon themselves to decorate theirs to reflect burgeoning personal style. By making the decision to kick off college with a piercing, I became one of many new students who made similar choices, a way of making their bodies feel more like a refuge among the turbulence of life. Even in periods of great change, the one thing we can control is ourselves. 

Self-expression through body mods is a fairly common, healthy mechanism for self-discovery.

Another article from the Journal of Adolescent Health deems the reasoning behind piercings to be an act of identity, rather than rebellion (Contemporary College Students and Body Piercing). Between myself and the people I knew, most of us who were modifying our bodies (whether through our piercings, tattoos, or haircuts) were doing so as a way to find a sense of community within an alternative subculture. It was a statement of self, seeking out community and building our own confidence rather than actively trying to disrupt a peace within our immediate families. It was just that now, we had the freedom to find this new place for ourselves.

I started my first year of college nervous. Nervous about my relationship, about school, about the friendships I had yet to find. I was nervous about my parents, about getting homesick, about whether or not we’d see eye-to-eye. I was worried about whether or not the new hole in my body would heal properly. But even in the wake of all the fears about the future, I knew I’d be okay.

And you know what?

I am.

Glow-up of the century.

tl;dr: be nervous if you must, but know you’ll be okay.


Sometimes making the perfect change to your look is the thing that makes you feel your best and most confident, and there’s nothing quite like a fresh cut to help you feel your best… dare I say, nothing feels quite as marvelous! 

For that life-changing, new-kid-on-campus chop, treat yourself to a place that really understands the power of looking and feeling your best, like Marvelous Barber Lounge. With the help of Campus Clipper, you can get 20% off on the ultimate grooming experience- just bring your student ID and your coupon to redeem!


By Ness Curti

Ness Curti is a freshly-graduated illustrator from the Lesley College of Art and Design. A part-time bobarista and full-time New England adventurer, they hope to one day tell stories for a living, whether through art or words. They enjoy doodling, procrastinating, and saying hello to the dogs they pass on the sidewalk.


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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Love Like Her: Movie Kisses

Friday, June 24th, 2022

As a little girl, every so often, my teenage parents and I would go to a Blockbuster, buy snacks, and escape the world to watch a movie together. We would return home to a room just below three apartments, occupied by my mother’s parents, their children, and their children’s children. As a three/four-year-old, I grew up constantly running upstairs, fighting with my cousins, hopping fences, singing Keyshia Cole with my mom’s baby sister, crying, running, and dancing. It was so loud all the time – except for our little room in the basement where I first met love. Just like many others, my first love manifested in the first home I can remember. In that home with the scraggly carpet and the coldest air, love was the personification of two people: my mom and dad. Every detail of the love they gave to each other and gave to me illustrated the way I would soon love. With that, I learned there were parts of loving that were meant for movies, and then there were parts that hid in basements. 

I did not become interested in boys until I felt I truly had to. I was a kid busy being an adult for most of my life. I was always told I was so mature—so socially intelligent for my age, and I was never worried for. During my second semester in college, I was all the way down in Florida, purposefully far from that first home and all the people that occupied it. I was able to try on different versions of myself and be a kid in that way. I had only myself to think about until I met someone familiar. We met in a weird way; his best friend and I were interested in each other, and because this familiar boy and I were both part of the low sum of brown kids at this Florida college we quickly became friends. We hung out all the time, we talked, and we played video games. Our personalities aligned well, and again, something about him was just so familiar. I was convinced that the familiarity was something meaningful, so I stuck around. I got into fights with my friends about him, even letting an important friendship slip away, but I counted on that feeling I had with him. I protected him in all the ways a person could and began to care deeply. One night alone with him, we watched movies, got snacks, and escaped the world for a little while.  He never offered me a conversation with my own spotlight—everything was always about him. I mustered up courage anyhow and told him how I needed a friend because everything I knew so far about college made me sad. It was too different, and I wasn’t connecting the way everyone else was. I explained that as a first-generation, I had always wanted to go to college, never really understanding what it was. And when vulnerability poured from me, a gate opened for him, and things started to play like a film. 

My dad always wanted to be the favorite and my mom always wanted to make sure I was okay. In our little home, they had horrendous fights. My mom would always be sure that he was cheating and they’d scream back and forth. If I knew anything about love then, it’s that it was all about loyalty. Since my mom was the one who I was with the most, I knew she was as loyal as they came. She completed little acts of service with such love and effort that even in her complete exhaustion, she would still prioritize the person she loved. She’d give and give so much to my dad and be returned with clues that he was with someone else. Because my mother made me brush my hair into tight ponytails so I wouldn’t get head lice, and because he bought me a new toy every week, I was loyal to him too. “Mommy, you crazy,” I’d say. “Stop yelling at daddy.” It was so natural of me to take his side because it was the side that was always taken by her, too, even when she was hurt. That kind of loyalty, I learned from my mother, and it is the kind of loyalty I carry into my relationships, today. 

Later on that movie-esque night, we turned on some music and tried out some goofy dance moves until the gate opened wider and our dancing slowed. I was never interested in any boy like I was interested in him. I wrote a plot in my head about how this night could end perfectly, and he followed it perfectly. I wanted to see where the night could go, and eventually, we kissed. It was a comfortable kiss. I didn’t want anything less and certainly not anything more, because that sort of thing didn’t happen in movies—not in moments like these. He looked at me and said, “I think I’m falling in love with you.” I couldn’t say anything back, of course. I just kind of looked at him, shocked. No one had ever said those words to me before. It was scary and special, and he was giving me everything I wanted. Oh, how familiar it was. 

It wasn’t very cool to live in a basement, according to everyone and their kid. They explained that it was more of a sad thing, but I never minded their judgment because my dad bought me the coolest of things. My dad prioritized wants over needs, and because I always had the things I wanted, life was euphoric. And since my mother would give and give, she would also never need. After all, it wasn’t good to need or depend on someone else. 

Soon enough on that night, the boy would ask for something that would lead me closer to his true intentions. Even though no one had ever wanted me like this and I had never had a night like this, it was disingenuous, and I couldn’t admit that. I was desperate for this story—desperate to be loved—and he reminded me so much of home. I found out later in our relationship that he was not the kindest person, but I didn’t need to be told I was beautiful. I learned that he was not the most truthful, but I didn’t need him to be genuine. I knew he wasn’t the most empathetic, but then again, I didn’t need to be cared for. 

Somehow and somewhere I found myself giving more to the boy than I did to myself because I just wanted him around. I counted on those movie nights because I was convinced that was really all I needed. I was trying to replicate a fragile love between my mother and father. That was all I knew love was. 


La Lanterna Caffe in NYC is a great spot for a date night or a night out with friends. Save 20% with this coupon and your student ID.


By Melodie Goncalves

Melodie Goncalves is a rising senior at Rhode Island College pursuing her degree in English/Creative Writing and Sociology. She has passions for reading, writing, caring for others, and music. Spending lots of her time with friends and family.


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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Am I a Good Friend?

Monday, June 20th, 2022

I think, often, within my friendships, I search for a constant and consistent kind of validation. A certain type of validation that’s able to offer reassurance and justification that I am, in fact, a good friend. 

Recently, a friend of mine had been experiencing some anxiety over some recent big changes in their life. While she was talking to me about her feelings and thought processes, I felt that I didn’t really have the capacity to handle the emotional state of the conversation, and I felt that I wasn’t offering enough support. Even if she did just want a listening ear to rant about a current situation that was happening to her, my replies to her stories and shared feelings were usually short and came across as detached, consisting of “that sucks” and “Yeah, oh my god.” Beyond that, I wasn’t really sure I was doing much to be a helpful friend, which led me down a spiral of questioning my ability to actually be a good friend. 

Dealing with emotionally charged conversations or feelings has never really been my strong suit in friendships, and I have become increasingly aware of it. I tend to avoid leaning toward my emotions and instead try and distance myself from the person and the situation. It’s not that I don’t feel any sympathy for my friends; I really do share in the awful things they are feeling and I want to make it better for them. But, at the same time, it makes me uncomfortable and that feeling of discomfort makes me feel like I am falling short as a friend. I just wish I could express in some way, “Hey, I’m glad you feel like you can talk to me about this stuff. But, I’m not the best at handling emotional situations. I’m here for you though and I will continue to support you.” At one point, I actually did reach out to my friend to apologize for my lack of helpful responses and for the insincere tone that came across. I did really care about what she was going through, and I tried to convey that to her.

Image Credit: https://clipart.world

I wanted to delve into why I continue to react in a short and distant manner when it comes to emotional issues or discussions with friends. I strive to understand why this detachment feels like it is out of my control at times. Kimberly Holland, the author of the article “Emotional Detachment: What It Is and How to Overcome It” for healthline.com, describes this idea of emotional detachment as sometimes being voluntary or involuntary and oftentimes used by individuals to set up boundaries within friendships. Holland then goes further in-depth to discuss how emotional detachment can be enacted by choice or as a result of abuse. This detachment can, at times, be a normal method that people use in friendships to conserve their energy. However, it can sometimes be a more severe form of detachment and lead to commitment issues or substance abuse. 

Overall, if I’m aware that I’m not responding to a situation in the best way, to avoid spiraling I remind myself to check in with my friend to make sure I am at least helping them in a way that supports them. But, I also know I need to conserve my own mental health without letting their situation and emotions become my own. And by checking in with myself, I am not allowing the emotions to overwhelm me, and simultaneously, I am showing up for my friend in a way that works for both of us.

A great place to go and maybe have these conversations about boundaries with your friends is Colomba Bakery! And use this coupon to get 20% off your coffee order, when you bring your student ID!


By: Ashley Geiser

Ashley Geiser is a Junior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Pace University. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and Co-President for Her Campus at Pace. She loves reading and editing. And when she is not reading or editing, she can be found baking in her kitchen.


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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Love and Other Problems: The First Step

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

The First Step

I hadn’t really planned for my life to go in this direction, though I guess I should have expected that, because life and expectation have a discrepancy. It’s not supposed to necessarily be a bad change, but my life now is a cutting contrast to when I used to sit in the dingy, dry cafe outside of school, gossiping in hushed tones with the soft faces I had known for years. Now I sit in aptly-sized and aesthetic cafes with their overpriced coffee, and notably alone. I never gave extensive thought to how things would change and how strange that would feel. Now sitting here as I am on my cold, marbled floor, surrounding me are unseeing strangers with lips stretched around unfamiliar smiles and roads and alleys I could take one step into and find myself lost even with every map in the world. 

In hindsight, I should have known that the thrill I felt to leave the place I had walked through for 18 years to go to college, would grow into the gnawing dread that had come to possess my lungs when I stepped foot in the airport the first time. The airport was like a limbo, the place people stopped to look through tall windows overlooking larger-than-life planes, looking at other people flying off to better or worse lives and wondering which one they’d belonged to. High school was a simpler time even if it had felt like university was the key to figuring everything out all at once. It had been the same people, same building and same structure for years, and though I felt like a dancer then, performing one routine over and over and ready to step out of the cradle of my stage, it was still a comfort. I didn’t think about how much of a comfort it really was until I started to feel the absence of my shiny rehearsed performance and polished stage floors and the faceless crowd cheering me on. 

One thing that had felt difficult in particular was love. Love in all its forms and with all its nuances felt more out of reach. Youthful love and hate and heartbreak and drama had existed in a buzzing sort of confinement, not dissimilar to an agitated bee hive, and had been easier to find and keep. Moving to another city and leaving it all behind just felt like it meant letting go of every attachment I had with my favorite restaurants, my favorite spots at my favorite time of day and my favorite people. It was strange because even the kids I never really liked were part of a constant I had stickily attached myself to, and being uprooted from that was disorienting. Of course I had been merrily packing my whole life and never thought about it, until I was at the end of a hastily written chapter and facing my two best friends who seemed a grave sort of upset to my eerie calm. The moment I stepped through the gate and looked back at their weary faces, I knew we had taken our last picture together, smiling and heavy-hearted, because they would be moving soon as well. With that thought, I got through immigration blankly, a silent cacophony dancing in my head until I was at the gate, and then waited for my flight crying in the bathroom. 

And then I sent my friends pictures of me breaking down to poke fun at myself as some sort of odd, ludicrous way of coping. 

The flight overlooking my city

Perhaps it will get easier as I slowly integrate myself into the structure of this new community and the challenges and new comfort it brings. Maybe there will always be a part of me that will miss the ease that came with knowing what to expect and being told what to do, and the unadorned confidence in the knowledge that the people around me would stay the same. I had time back then, to get to know these people. The time we thought about was never in the context of workload, it existed with simple routines and little choices. Back then, my routine and method in befriending or getting to know someone was entirely based on knowing when and where I would see them; and that usually just consisted of either class, lunch, or after school. Now, that range is broader, so broad I could never list out every place or time or possibility if I tried –– and it makes keeping someone a constant harder, because one day you may see them regularly, but then the semester is over and you don’t have the chance again. Both of you forget about each other. 

I recall going through notes for my chinese exam in a line at the Starbucks inside university during my first semester, and a tall, soft-eyed guy had struck a conversation with me on the course. It was a nice conversation, until afterwards when I had gotten my drink and walked to my table and promptly realized I forgot to ever get a name or anything, and being as bad with faces as I was (am), I knew I could be found looking him right in the eye and not have a lick of recognition. If this was school, I could ask anyone about who that was (because everyone knew everyone) and strike an easy friendship. Mildly disappointed, I had huffed and sat down, sipping miserably on my overly sweet frappe. Tough luck. 

NYU Campus at Abu Dhabi

Since I realized how hard it was to keep in touch with people, and realizing how little people liked to follow routines, never being able to make friends or getting close enough to someone to love them has gradually grown into a crawling fear. Love, in all its forms of romantic and platonic and everything in between, suddenly wasn’t so simple. It was a challenge, a challenge I wasn’t exactly sure how to deal with. I was prepared to adjust to homesickness, to the difficulty that accompanied high-level academia, but I didn’t think love would be something that I found difficulty in. It had always come so easily to me. 

I understand that love as a concept is complicated –– like the life that I shouldn’t expect to keep to a routine, love is like tides refusing to bow to the pull of the moon; rebellious, exhilarating and unpredictable. I thought it was something that would easily fall into place, that it would find me as easily as it did before, but I felt lost when it didn’t. But, as I knew about the discrepancy between life and expectation, I should have known of the discrepancy between love and it too. Love in all its appearances has been unexpectedly hard but taking control of it has been the solution that I have discovered. Leaving love up to fate does not seem to be the answer, so I am taking love out of fate’s palms and trying to do the best I can with it in every way available to me.

Like I used to have good food with my friends at cafes and restaurants, you can use this coupon to do the same and save money with a student coupon at the same time:



Mahrukh Shaikh is a student at New York University studying Business and Finance with a Marketing concentration. She has been writing and creating literature for years and is fond of various artistic mediums and social issues.


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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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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Hindsight is 2020: Starting College in a Global Pandemic

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

On March 14th, 2020, I was on an Amtrak train headed from Philadelphia to Providence. Usually, the train is bustling with life, to the point where you’d think that finding a seat is impossible and your arms start to shake from the weight of the luggage you are hauling home (or maybe that’s just me—I tend to pack heavy). However, this time the train was nearly empty, desolate. When I finally did see people, they sat across the aisle from me and proceeded to clean every surface in sight with a bottle of hand sanitizer. This was only a small glimpse into what the next two years (and counting) would be like.

Just a week prior to this, I was at home and on spring break. Just four days prior to this, I was in my philosophy class passing around a huge bottle of hand sanitizer—the first line of defense. Just two days prior to this, I had turned 19, a sort of irrelevant birthday in the moment, but still the first one I had celebrated at Villanova University. I remember being homesick, but when I stepped off that train, it was the first time that I was not excited to be home. When my parents picked me up, there seemed to be a mutual understanding that I was not supposed to be there. Previously, I had only returned for holidays or breaks under the pretense of fun or relaxation awaiting me, but this time I had no expectations.

My friends and I celebrating my 19th birthday during our freshman year of college.

At that point, nobody knew how long we would be home—our administration projected that we might be able to return to campus by April 14th, a prediction we now look back on and laugh about. The reality is, when I stepped foot in my house that night after a six-hour train ride, it would be a long time before I would be able to step out of it without the lingering, irrational yet somewhat rational thought that just saying “hi” to a neighbor might result in exposure to an incredibly infectious and devastating disease.

At college, I was independent. I felt like I had a purpose, a place to be—whether it was at class, in the library doing work, or hanging out with friends. I had a somewhat consistent routine in place, and even if it was not always smooth sailing, I was enjoying being at college. When I was at home, I was back to being dependent on my parents, back in my small town, and back to my room that—per my own design—was cluttered and not as organized as my dorm. It all felt unreal, and it all happened so fast.

Villanova COVID-19 Timeline, March 2020

With companies switching to remote work and universities transferring classes onto Zoom, there were suddenly four people in my house all trying to get their work done. Things did not always go perfectly, but everyone tried their best to stay out of each other’s way, be mindful of our responsibilities, and keep things lighthearted. Of course, my dad’s version of this was to throw a snowball at me while I was on a Zoom call for class, but I have since forgiven him.  

The first month after being sent home was, in one word, wild. People were stockpiling items like we were entering an apocalypse, nobody quite understood what was going on, and the death toll kept climbing exponentially. It was a difficult time to be a college student, but more broadly, a human being.

Bleak as the times were, I think there was one important lesson to be learned, and that was the importance of being flexible. People across the globe had to redefine their definition of “normalcy” and adjust to a new world, one faced with a global health issue. As much as students like myself did not want to go to college online or at home, and as much as professors likely did not want to teach in these ways, we all nonetheless worked together to make the best of the situation. Life can change so drastically in just one instant that we need to lean into those changes, reevaluate our routines, and rethink the way that we do things to better serve our needs. Most importantly, we need to be flexible with others, and understand that we are all just trying to do our best to get by.

I guess if I had to pick another lesson, I would say that if you have the option of attending class every day in your pajamas, definitely take it. Or, find small ways to treat yourself each day, such as visiting Pavement Coffeehouse at one of its locations in Boston and using this coupon: 


By: Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a senior at Villanova University studying English and Communication. She is in utter disbelief that she just admitted to being a senior. She loves to read and hopes to enter a career in the editing and publishing industry. She is also patiently waiting for Volume II of Stranger Things 4 to come out on Netflix. 


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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