Archive for the ‘onValues’ Category

The Effect of Covid-19, Remote Learning and What Comes Next

Friday, September 10th, 2021

It’s strange to think about how much I longed for home during my first year of college, which ironically ended up being where I finished my junior and senior years. I was back home for spring break when it was announced that BU would be going remote. I subsequently made a quick day trip to Boston to pick up some essentials from my dorm and left the rest, assuming that I would be coming back to the city. I did eventually step foot in Boston, but it was for my graduation, approximately a year and a half later.

BU Commencement 2021: Over in a Flash | BU Today | Boston University
BU’s Commencement for the Class of 2021
Image Credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/bu-commencement-2021-over-in-a-flash/

I have mentioned before that studying abroad in London made me want to really explore Boston and take advantage of being in a city, so I was definitely sad that my time in Massachusetts was cut short. However, I assumed that remote learning would be manageable because, as I’ve also previously stated, I’m more of an introvert and I believed that taking classes over Zoom would be no big deal.

Gradually, though, taking classes virtually began to wear me down and I started realizing all the small things that I missed from being on campus. I missed being able to talk with my classmates before and after class. I missed walking around Boston and Brookline. I missed going to various spots on campus to do my coursework. I missed not staring at a screen for hours on end.

View from the 26th floor of StuVi2
Image Credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/bu-commencement-2021-over-in-a-flash/

The pandemic and remote learning gave me a new appreciation for all the interactions and activities that I took for granted while on campus. It also made me extremely grateful for all the opportunities and stuff I did before the world seemingly came to a halt. 

Even though I was taking classes remotely, I did step outside of my comfort zone with the classes I took, particularly in my final semester. Before then, I had certainly taken courses that forced me to do so. For instance, I had classes that were small and discussion-based, meaning I had to actively participate and voice my opinions, which was challenging for me. I was constantly nervous about not saying something smart, like my classmates, or fumbling over my words. There were some professors who liked to randomly call on students to answer questions and that was even scarier because I was in fear of being called on and not knowing what to say.

The classes that I took in my final semester were different, though, in that the major projects were tasks I had never done before. One class required me to make a video and I needed to assist in writing a script, and maybe do some acting, for another class. I had never edited a video, written a script, or acted. When I saw the syllabi for both of these classes, part of me was tempted to drop out of both. 

However, I decided to take the classes because my time at BU was ending, so I had to seize the chance to take courses that seemed interesting, or else regret not doing so. Also, making a video meant learning and refining a new skill, which would be a nice break from binging shows in my downtime (something I was admittedly doing a lot during the pandemic). And script writing would allow me to practice my creative writing abilities, since I did mostly analytical writing assignments in college. As for the acting, I could take comfort in the fact that I wouldn’t be doing it in-person. 

I actually really liked taking those classes since they were unlike anything I had taken before. A lot of the people in my classes were amateurs in video editing and script-writing as well and the professors weren’t expecting us to be experts. Therefore, knowing that what I created didn’t have to be perfect, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was able to enjoy the classes more and try new things before graduating.

If you are looking to step outside your comfort zone, I absolutely recommend checking out classes outside the discipline you are studying in or courses that require you to try something new. It’ll help you expand your horizons, pick up additional skills and perhaps pique your interest in a subject you never considered before. There are deadlines to drop out of a class, so if you show up on the first day and decide it’s not your cup of tea, you aren’t forced to keep drinking it for the rest of the semester. 

Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking at multiple master’s programs. I had applied to one and was offered admission, but after deliberation and conversations with friends and family, I decided not to accept. Ultimately, I felt like the program I applied to wasn’t right for me. Now, without the stress of college, I’ve been able to research different programs and really think about what I want to do for graduate school. Of course, it is a bit frustrating not currently knowing exactly what direction my life is going in, yet I am glad to have this small break from school after all of the pressure I placed on myself to succeed academically in high school and college. Besides, I want to be certain that I pick a master’s program that I will be happy with instead of just rushing to finish my graduate studies. 

Just to summarize:

  • Attempt to make the most of your time in college and take a minute to appreciate the little things that we take for granted.
  • Selecting an interesting class can be a good way to step out of your comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to search for courses outside your discipline.  
  • It’s alright not to go straight into graduate school after finishing your undergraduate studies. It’s fine to take your time. Everyone’s paths through life are unique.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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

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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 6- Returning to Boston and My First Internship

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

I feel like it would be too bold (and perhaps slightly cheesy) to say that studying abroad changed my life. It doesn’t feel like I was in London that long ago, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has warped my sense of time, so it’s hard to view that experience retrospectively. However, I can confidently say that studying abroad influenced how I approached my following spring semester at Boston University when I returned.

I wanted to be more outgoing and adventurous in Boston, like I had become in London. So, I decided to seize more opportunities to do activities outside of campus. For example, I went to two Beanpot games with a friend. Beanpot, for those not familiar with the Boston area, is a hockey tournament between BU, Northeastern University, Boston College and Harvard University held at TD Garden. I had seen hockey games on campus, but never fathomed going off-campus to see a game during a weeknight when I had class early the next day because I’m not a huge hockey fanatic. I thought it might be fun to go to a Beanpot game at least once, though, and it was. I’m still not the world’s biggest hockey fan, but I did enjoy watching the game intently and cheering on the BU team.

Beanpot game at TD Garden

A week after the Beanpot tournament, I went on a weekend trip to Philadelphia with some friends. I had been to Philly before with my family and we typically just went to the same places repeatedly, so when my friend invited me to go, I agreed. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends, be a little touristy and go to some spots I had never been to before. We saw the Liberty Bell, ran up the Rocky Steps (well, I half-jogged), ate Philly cheesesteaks, etc.

The best part of the weekend was definitely going to Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, which is an outdoor mosaic art gallery. It was stunning, and being surrounded by an array of intentionally-placed art pieces in the labyrinth was incredible. 

Exploring the labyrinth that is Philadelphia’s Magic Garden

I wasn’t just outgoing in terms of going out and exploring the city. The spring semester was also when I started applying for my first internships. Finding an internship was always something at the back of my mind, but I was so busy and stressed by classes that I decided to focus on my academics. By the spring of my junior year, though, I felt like I had learned how to manage my time well enough to handle having an internship. 

Also, it began to dawn on me that after the spring ended, I would be entering my final year before graduating. I wanted to start figuring out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. I had become an English major because I loved reading and writing and they were things that I thought I was pretty good at. This did not mean that I knew what I wanted to pursue as a career. There were people around me who had internships and knew exactly what they wanted to do after they graduated, which did, admittedly, put pressure on me. However, I was mostly eager to find out what direction my life would take. 

I worked hard on creating the perfect resume and cover letter and had a lot of help from the Internet. I Googled examples of both and tried to use them as guidelines to perfect mine. I spent a lot of time reading, reviewing and revising these application elements until the perfectionist in me realized that I was obsessing too much over tiny details. Then, I finally applied to a few internships that I found on Handshake.

I think that the freshman version of myself would have been panicking all day, every day, until I heard something back. I would have worried about whether I was good enough and fretted over the fear of failure. Fortunately, junior year me had a distinct mindset. Of course I would like to have an internship yet overthinking things that were outside of my control was not going to help me in any way. Even if it was challenging to do so, I just had to focus on the aspects of my life that I could control.

I was soon accepted into an internship with a literary agency. Basically, the internship entailed me reading over submitted manuscripts and providing my feedback. It was interesting to read the stories of various writers. It also reminded me how much I love reading for fun. Since I had to read so much for my classes, I really didn’t read for pleasure in college during my spare time. Looking through the manuscripts, though, it felt as if I was back in high school, when I used to read to pass the time. The internship also showed me how much I value storytelling. People have so many worlds, experiences and ideas to share in their writing and the thought of helping writers publish their works appealed to me. So, the internship certainly made me feel like I was taking a step forward in figuring out what I wanted to do with my future. 

If you are looking for an internship, my best advice is this:

  • Make sure to double-check your resume and cover letter. There are many examples of both online that you can check out. Also, your college’s career center might offer some helpful services, such as appointments to review your resume and mock interviews.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply to a variety of places. 
  • If you get an internship, seize the chance to make connections, network, learn new things and ask questions.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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

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Alone in Boston: Pt. 2

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

As the third of four sisters, I never really had much alone time. I grew up constantly surrounded by my siblings. We shared bedrooms, clothes, sports teams and even entrees at restaurants. 

My eldest sibling, Randi, was always the ring leader of us sisters. Seven years older than me, Randi was typically put in charge of watching us while my parents worked or went out. To her, watching us was an annoying chore. For me, it felt like a privilege to be in her company. 

Randi is a perfect embodiment of a first child. She is cool, unique and beautiful. She often diverged from what was popular or trendy and instead acted like a tomboy, wearing baggy clothes and hanging around her guy friends. Her creativity showed through her art; her bedroom walls covered in graffiti depicting skulls, guns and surrealist bubble letters that seemed to drip off the canvas.   

I didn’t just admire Randi, I wanted to be her. I spent much of my time modeling myself after her. I would sneak into her closet and try on clothes way too big for my middle school body, listen to 90s rap music and watch reality TV on MTV.

The bits of my personality I didn’t get from Randi I got from my other sisters. I never really felt like I could truly be me and instead hid myself behind my sisters’ character traits, quirks and mannerisms. 

College was the first time I really experienced independence. There was no more following blindly in Randi’s footsteps or stealing my younger sister’s jokes. I finally had a space to myself, a place where I could be whoever I wanted to be.


My first week of college was rough. After many days of forced Welcome Week activities and exhausting social interactions I was ready to start transfer applications and call it quits. It wasn’t until Matriculation, over a week after I first arrived in Boston, that I made my first friend.

Thousands of students funneled into Agganis Arena. The ice of the hockey rink was covered in grey mats and thin folding chairs, all pointed toward a stage with a dozen people in black and red robes standing behind a podium. 

There was no order to the seating so it was by chance that I ended up sitting next to Mia, my future first friend at BU. President Brown droned on in the background as Mia and I bonded over our struggles transitioning to college.

From there Mia introduced me to a few other girls she met. Together we attempted to explore and understand the frat parties at BU. Not knowing enough people to get us invited, we wandered the streets of Allston and looked for houses with people buzzing around the outside and lawns covered in red solo cups. 

Mia has always been brave and a leader. I would hide behind her as she walked right up to the guys at the front door and convinced them to let us in. 

Mia and I were fast friends but aside from the few nights a week we’d hang out or go out, I still had hours of freetime to fill. I wasn’t used to having this much time to myself and I wasn’t sure what to do. 

As a new student in a new place, the best thing you can do for yourself is explore the city that you’re in. So that’s what I did. I used my love of shopping as an excuse to get out of my dorm room and off campus. 

I would spend hours roaming up and down Newbury street, ending up in places like Boston Common or the Theater District. Everywhere I didn’t walk I took the train. Soon I was an expert on the subway system in Boston, knowing each of the stops on the Green Line and which lines went to which areas; the Red Line for Harvard, the Blue Line for the airport, the Orange Line for Back Bay. 

Walking and shopping quickly became a habit. The days I didn’t have class I spent walking around Boston, familiarizing myself with the city and trying new places. Some of my favorite spots included thrift shopping at Vivant Vintage, sipping smoothies from Emack and Bolio’s and reading at Brookline Booksmith.

Photo taken by: Toni Baraga

Doing this helped Boston become a home. It also helped me learn to love spending time with myself. Being alone was no longer a drawback, it was a necessity. I was independent and powerful, going out on my own volition and not because someone else was leading me there.

If  you’re a new student struggling to adapt to your new environment, I suggest exploring your city. Try out local restaurants, venture off campus and into different parts of town and chat with as many people as possible. It’s easy to be uncomfortable in places you don’t know, so make an effort to know your city. 

College is truly a fresh start. It’s a place that can help you discover who you are and what you like. In astrology, your ascendent sign is how others perceive you, your moon sign is who you are on the inside and your sun sign is who you become. College is the place where you grow as a person and finally become your sun sign. As scary and difficult as it might be, try to be excited about all that the future has to offer you in a place where you can finally find your identity and become yourself.

  • Attending college in a new place can be very scary. Exploring your city is a great way to become more comfortable and familiar in this new place. Try exploring local favorites for shopping, eating and coffee.
  • College is great way to find your independence and blossom into who you really are. Try to find ways to enjoy spending time with yourself, whether that involves shopping around town or exploring local parks and trails.

My name is Toni Baraga and I am a senior in COM at Boston University studying journalism with a minor in archaeology. I have a passion for writing and I believe that everyone has a story. I have worked as a reporter for various newspapers, such the Somerville Journal and Boston University’s Daily Free Press. I grew up in St. Paul Minnesota and reside in Boston.  


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 5- An Unexpected Time in London

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

I had no idea what was in store for me when I initially landed in London. I had done a little research through Google Maps and acquainted myself vaguely with the area that would be my home. I was registered for two English courses and two History courses, the latter of which  really intrigued me because one course included a class trip to Belgium. Besides these details, I had no idea what to expect. 

During orientation, where I was struggling with jet lag and trying to cling on to consciousness, I recall one of the speakers encouraging the students to venture outside of England’s capital. Aside from that one aforementioned class trip, I didn’t think I would be that adventurous.

However, gradually, my travel plans began to grow.

At the beginning of the semester, I signed up for BU sponsored trips. One of them was a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath and the other was a weekend trip to Edinburgh. Then, I learned that one of my English courses included a weekend excursion to the English countryside. When my aunt and uncle from New Jersey and my cousin from Guatemala came to visit me in October, we decided to take the Eurostar to see Paris for two days. Afterwards, I made plans with classmates to travel to a few European cities during the weekends.

View from Edinburgh Castle

I hadn’t expected to travel, but I’m glad I did so because I made so many great memories: taking a boat tour and gliding through the canals of Amsterdam, sitting in the Sistine Chapel and marveling at the ceiling, going to Edinburgh Castle and admiring the view of the city.

You don’t need to travel extensively when studying abroad, but seeing different parts of your host country or visiting nearby regions is something you should keep in mind. It’ll help you understand more about the country you are staying in and allow you the chance to experience new cultures. 

If you are traveling while studying abroad, you don’t need every moment of your trips planned out, but you should have a general idea of what you want to do. Some activities require getting tickets or making reservations, so if you have your heart set on doing something, make sure to do research beforehand. This also applies to food. For example, when I first went to Belgium, I realized that I didn’t know what foods to try, aside from waffles (which I did end up eating a lot of…). If you want to try out food local to the region you’re traveling to, do some research in that area as well! 

Carbonara in Rome

During my weekdays spent in London, I did my best not to stay cooped up in my dorm. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of being in a new environment. On days when I planned to work on essays and other homework, I would either go to the London Library or the British Library– my BU program advantageously helped everyone get library cards for both places. I preferred going to the London Library, sitting by a window with the view of a park and working there for a few hours. I fondly remember my walks back to the tube station as the winter season began to approach because it would get dark at around 5 p.m., but holiday lights beautifully illuminated the streets of the city to mark the impending festive season. Therefore, do your best not to stay cooped inside when studying abroad. Spend some time exploring and getting to know more of the place you’re staying in.

Impromptu photoshoot in the atmospheric London Library

I made sure to stay connected with my family in New Jersey as well. It was challenging at first, considering the time difference. When I was free, everyone was busy with work. When they would be free to call, I would either be getting ready for bed or already in bed. So, I ended up speaking to my family a lot less than when I was in Boston. Still, we found time to speak once a week, at the very least, and I called my mom before I went on any trips outside of London, just to let her know that I would be away for the weekend. I texted my family a lot and sent them a ton of pictures, so they knew I was having fun. Though I definitely missed them, it was undoubtedly a relief that I wasn’t as homesick as I feared. I was happily occupied with classes, mundane tasks (like grocery shopping) and making the most of my time in London. The months seemed to fly by. December quickly arrived and I was a little sad to say goodbye to London.

Looking back at my semester abroad, I really have no regrets. Okay, maybe I wish I practiced cooking for myself prior to going to England because, before then, I had never had to make meals for myself every single day, so I was a bit lost in that regard. And perhaps I should have studied the currency a little more, since it got confusing to distinguish all the coins. But aside from those minor things (due to my admitted lack of preparedness), I enjoyed my time in London, ranging from minor activities like eating at Nando’s to doing really touristy things, such as seeing As You Like It at the Globe Theater. 

So, to summarize my study abroad tips:

  • Do research, whether it is about the currency, the language, the food, things to do, etc. 
  • Try not to confine yourself to the comfort of the place/area you are staying in. Explore! Make a bucket list! Try new foods! Don’t be afraid of doing some touristy things! There are museums and such that offer free admission or student discounts!
  • Make time to stay connected with friends and family from back home. And if you are abroad and feeling homesick, here are some helpful tips to help you out: https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/ways-reduce-homesickness-abroad

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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

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Chapter 3- Getting to Know Boston

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

As I began to overcome my homesickness, I started stepping out of my comfort zone, which was also a challenge for me. One of the first things I did in order to accomplish this goal was look at clubs and organizations that Boston University offered. BU has something at the beginning of each semester called Splash, which is a student group recruitment fair. It was here where I wandered around aimlessly for a while at the start of my freshman year and signed up for any club that looked remotely interesting. 

You never know what may happen when you join a club, even for something you have no experience in. For example, in the spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to check out BU’s knitting club, even though I had never knitted in my life. I signed up for the club’s email list at Splash in the fall, but never got around to checking it out. However, as my first spring semester at BU commenced, I decided to do so. The first meeting in the student union lounge  was pretty crowded, but the club provided me with some supplies and I was taught the basics. Unfortunately, the first few rows of my knitted square looked like a mess. Still, the desire for improvement motivated me to show up the following week. After that, attending knitting club meetings became a fairly regular routine for me. I would get a beverage from Starbucks, go to the lounge, pick up my square from the bin of yarn of supplies and knit a few rows.

What I enjoyed most about the knitting club was that not only did I have the satisfaction of learning a new skill, but it was such a calming distraction after a day of classes. I could relax, knit, and talk to the other club members. For two hours we would talk about how our week’s were going, share stories from high school, and discuss classes, TV shows, anime, restaurants, books, etc. I was able to get new recommendations and suggestions, like that I should check out John Mulaney’s comedy specials on Netflix. The knitting club was enjoyable and, by May, my messy square transformed into a decent looking rectangle.

The end of my first semester with the knitting club also brought a surprise: the e-board asked me if I could be vice president for the following year, since the existing members would be graduating. I never thought I would be suited for a leadership position, but it was one of those moments where I thought “why not?” So, I agreed to take on the role during my sophomore year and I, once again, had a fun experience with the club. I taught new attendees the basics (since I was by no means an expert) and conversed with both them and existing members alike. This was an outcome I would have never anticipated, yet it certainly assisted in pushing me out of my shell. 

Outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Aside from clubs, I emerged from my comfort zone by doing activities off-campus. I had classes that required me to go to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (to which BU students had free admission). Art was never a strong passion of mine, but I always decided to make days of these trips. I would spend a few hours walking around and checking out the countless works of art while imagining a different time period.

Inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Another way I got to know Boston during my first two years was by making plans with friends that I met at BU. These plans ranged from simple, spur of the moment stuff like going to see a movie or eating out somewhere, to more organized outings such as going to Anime Boston, trying out an escape room, seeing a ballet, and attending a hockey game. Even though I would classify myself as an introvert, planning activities with friends gave me something to look forward to throughout the semesters. This was especially important during the periods when I needed a break, signified by the multiple essays I would simultaneously write and the mountains of reading I was drowning under. 

BU’s Agganis Arena.

When my family drove to Boston to visit me, that meant we could use the car to easily drive to areas outside of the city and explore other parts of Massachusetts. For instance, in the spring of my sophomore year, my relatives from Guatemala flew to see my family in New Jersey. During their visit, we took the opportunity to visit Salem for the first time, which turned out to be a really fun outing where we walked around the historic city.

Essentially, the three things I recommend in order to get to know your city/campus more are:

  • Joining a club/organization because you can meet people, try something new and pick up a hobby.
  • Taking advantage of free/reduced admissions that you are offered as a student.
  • Accepting/making plans with friends and family.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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

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Milk, Milk, and More Milk: Chapter 5 — Connecting Food with Culture

Monday, August 9th, 2021

On hot, sticky days in Chicago’s humid summers, where my family would crowd under the kitchen fan, one dessert would manage to cool us all down: tres leches. 

Tres leches is the king of all cakes all desserts in the Mexican culture. The rich, ultra decadent, and insanely moist cake wets the front of your shirt and makes your lips stick together, leaving your mouth to taste sweet for the rest of the evening. No matter how many glasses of milk you may drink afterward the sugary taste still lingers. It was the dessert least consumed in my family, but the one most desired by all. 

As you can see, I have always loved cake.

If you have never had the pleasure of digging into a thick slice of tres leches, try and picture this: a vanilla cake drowned in three types of milk, hence the name “tres leches,” and topped with whipped cream. It may sound a little too rich, but I promise you it is worth all the hype I am giving it. 

About a month ago, while sitting on the couch with my roommates, I suddenly decided I was going to make a tres leches. I don’t know what compelled me to do this, or what even prompted the idea, but the simple thought of slicing into the sinful, whipped cream-topped morsel made my mouth water. With this seed of inspiration, I took to an unsuspecting source for recipes: TikTok. 

Finding good Mexican food, let alone baked goods, in Manhattan is difficult. If you want the authentic taste that brings you back to eating meals with your family around your grandmother’s kitchen table, you have to go to Queens, and unfortunately, I simply don’t have the time to do that right now. So, I have resorted to recreating the dishes I crave from my past in my tiny apartment’s kitchen. Surprisingly, TikTok has been my main source of recipes when it comes to making Mexican dishes that my family never taught me. Not only is it a great way to visually learn, but many of the users are conscious of a careful-spending budget. When my sudden and very urgent craving for tres leches began, TikTok was the first place I searched for a recipe. 

I love to bake it runs in my blood. My maternal grandmother never leaves the house without a tray of freshly baked potato chip cookies: the most strange, but insanely delicious, shortbread cookies with crushed potatoes chips in them to offset the sweetness. Her love for baking was passed down to me as a child. For a few years as a teenager, my brothers could expect to finish dinner off with carrot cake cupcakes or some variation of cookies. I knew I would be able to make a good tres leches, but I wanted it to be more than its traditional form; I wanted it to remind me of the cake my dad would bring home in a neat white box, covered in whipped cream with a certain twist that no one could put their finger on. I wanted it to remind me of laughing with my cousins when we would get whipped cream on our noses, threatening to touch each other with sticky fingers left from the cake. I knew that those specific memories would be hard to grasp, but not impossible. 

After a quick search on TikTok, I came across a surprisingly easy and affordable recipe from the user @cici.soriano. With a quick trip to the grocery store, I felt prepared to make this cake. Although it didn’t exactly remind me of the scrumptious memories of my childhood, it provided me with something more important: the pleasure of knowing that I can bring aspects of my culture with me wherever I am. Watching the smile on my roommates’ faces as they tasted the fondest recollections of my past, their lips sticky from the condensed milk, reminded me of the joy I felt as a child when having my favorite cake for dessert. 

My first attempt at making tres leches. I made sure to make caramel from leftover cans of condensed milk and drizzled that on top.

Sometimes, finding delight in your cultural food means making it yourself, no matter how difficult it may be. My tres leches is not exactly traditional or completely “homemade,” but it allows me to briefly remember the joys of my childhood, and has provided my friends with a new favorite dessert. The next time you recreate your favorite cultural meals, desserts, or simple snacks, consider sharing them with your friends it may become their favorite, too. 

Tres Leches Cake

Ingredients

– 1 can of evaporated milk

– 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

– 1 can of whole milk (use leftover can of condensed/evaporated milk to measure)

– 1 box of vanilla cake mix 

– 1.5 cups of heavy cream

– 2 tbsp of powdered sugar

– 2 tbsp of vanilla extract 

– 2 tbsp of cinnamon

Steps 

  1. Preheat the oven according to cake mix instructions.
  2. Assemble cake.
  3. Blend evaporated, condensed, and whole milk along with cinnamon and vanilla extract in a blender until combined and smooth. 
  4. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar together until soft peaks form. 
  5. When done baking according to box instructions, let the cake cool for 20 minutes.
  6. Trim the brown top off of the cake, along with the sides. Poke small holes all around the cake. The more holes you have, the better the milk mixture will seep in. 
  7. Pour milk mixture over the cake. 
  8. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

If you don’t have the time or resources to bake your own cake, head to Amorino for 20% off your gelato order!


By: Allegra Ruiz

Allegra Ruiz is a junior at New York University and she is from Chicago. She studies English and is minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading books and essay collections, and cooking for her roommates. Currently, she lives quietly in New York. 

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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A Delectable Midnight Treat

Monday, August 9th, 2021

I know being at college you are often consuming delectable treats and snacks in your free time and in your dorm sometimes you get the urge to just create something on your own. I know for me at midnight I always found my roommate and I ordered from the beloved Insomnia Cookies or any dessert place we saw that was open. Even taking the leap in getting out of our dorm and spending money at the dorm market to buy any candy like gummy worms, or any ice cream that they had. From originally living in the NYU dorms I know that most underclassmen dorms do not get the luxury of having the appliances that a kitchen contains. If you are lucky most college students have a mini-fridge and a microwave. Still, if you have those one or two appliances the chances of you keeping it or even using it are slim since the dorm room is so small. This made me venture into the world of dessert and snack creations. While I explored different recipes that were easy to make, and required very few ingredients, and were tailored to the needs of college students I stumbled upon one of the best recipes I make in the dorm, and even at home when I have a real kitchen. Luckily, I know a snack/dessert recipe that can be altered in many different ways for it to fit your own needs. It is known as “vegan edible cookie dough”.

It is your lucky day. Here is the recipe to create the tastiest, healthy, and protein-packed edible cookie dough. For this dessert, you will need chickpeas…. Yes, I said chickpeas, and trust me you won’t taste them. You will also need some type of nut butter, or sun butter if you are nut-free. You will also need some oats, and vanilla extract and the final most important ingredient is the dark chocolate chips in my opinion. All you need to make this is a blender if you have one, or you can use a fork and mash it up while you mix in the oats, nut butter, and vanilla extract. It is that easy. Just mash all the ingredients together and then top it off with some dark chocolate chips, and there you go. If you do not like dark chocolate chips you can add as many other toppings, and customize them to your own desire. You do not have to worry about getting food poisoning from the raw eggs or anything like that, because there is raw produce in this, therefore it will leave you with that sweet chocolatey feeling of happiness, and pure joy.

Carine, Author: Carine, Author:, Priscillla Says:, Carine Says:, Melanie Says:, and Jane Says:. “Vegan Chickpea Cookie Dough.” The Conscious Plant Kitchen – TCPK. 03 Mar. 2021. Web. 15 July 2021.


After you create this, if you have a mini-fridge you can store it in a container and save it for later. If you are lucky enough to also have a microwave in your dorm, you can form the dough into a ball and place it into the microwave, and watch your healthy, vegan cookie dough be transformed into a quick and easy cookie. Not only is this snack/dessert recipe easy and fast, but it also will leave you not becoming broke in your bank account. I know many college students that spend their own money on GrubHub, UberEats, and even Postmates placing those orders for those midnight treats. I have to admit, those midnight treats from the best dessert places in NYC are hard to beat but the delivery fee really will break your bank account. That is why this quick and easy recipe can be made in bulk and last days. This results in no more everyday midnight orders, and constantly spending your money on delivery fees without even noticing, now you can wake up and want a treat to go to your mini-fridge, or snack draw and grab this cookie dough out and eat it with delight without even spending a penny.

Shoemaker, Written by Caitlin. “Chickpea Cookie Dough Recipe: The ULTIMATE Guide.” From My Bowl. 01 Mar. 2019. Web. 15 July 2021.


By: Hanna Mandel

Hanna Mandel studies Drama at NYU Tisch in hopes of being on the big screen one day. She hopes to venture into writing, directing, and producing. She loves to travel and explore new places, as well as trying new foods!

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 5: Bridge the Distance

Monday, August 9th, 2021

Despite the exceptional ability to search on the World Wide Web and instantly receive information, our modern-day technology allows us to accomplish one significant thing — bridge the distance. Today, we have the ability to communicate with people across the world. Advancements in technology and the Internet have come so far, and they continue to develop and improve for the better. We are extremely lucky to even have a mini device that fits into our pocket that can connect us to not only people, but places to eat, shop, and entertain ourselves. 

It seems bizarre to think that our elders were accustomed to sending handwritten letters and playing board games for entertainment. The amount of time and effort it takes to execute tasks such as ordering something from Amazon or looking up the latest news is cut in half because of technology and the Internet. A world without modern-day devices is almost inconceivable.

Think of the Covid-19 pandemic that we are still suffering through after more than a year of its discovery. Due to the transmissibility of the virus, many of us have had to resort to utilizing technology in order to connect with others. Health regulations and social distancing guidelines have created a wider gap between all of us. Despite this, the ability to continue with everyday life is possible because most of us are lucky enough to use devices that help uphold some degree of communication. From remote learning to working from home, we are still able to maintain our connections. Web conferencing applications such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet are just a few of the many platforms that allow virtual face-to-face meetings from anywhere that has an Internet connection. 

Even if you don’t prefer turning on the webcam, there is still the ability to simply talk to others through technology. While it was an early contraption, Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone revolutionized communication. While some of us might not own a landline anymore, most of us do have a mobile phone that can make calls. 

Fast forward to the 21st century, it’s safe to say that times have changed and younger generations continue to utilize other means of communication. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been popularized and allow users to instantaneously express thoughts and connect with people worldwide. Whether you prefer to call, text, web conference, or simply post an update on social media, technology and the Internet allow you to communicate across great distances. 

Personally, I can’t go a day without using some form of device that connects to the Internet. One time I did last most of the day without my devices. Though, I do have to admit that it was for a challenge assigned by one of my professors. Notably, a digital detox is good for the mind and body, as it’s a way to appreciate the tangible reality that is right in front of us.

In the end, it’s important to recognize the need for boundaries and knowing when to take a break from technology and the Internet. Yet, once you’re ready to log back into that device just remember to plug in with good intentions


If you’re in need of services to bridge the distance check out these deals from The UPS Store!


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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Alone in Boston: Pt 1

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

The summer before starting college was one of the most fun and cherished times in my life; my friend group from high school got closer than ever before. We spent almost every day together swimming in the lake, getting ice cream from the local creamery and going for sunset walks. We poured our hearts and fears out to each other in a way we never had, sharing moments of weakness and sadness over leaving home and facing change. 

That summer felt like a fairytale, a dreamscape I often looked back on during my first week in Boston when I romanticized my high school experience and sought comfort from my memories. 

That same summer, I spent the final week of August sharing boogery and blubbering goodbyes with my friends. After packing up everything I could fit into two suitcases, my eldest sister, Randi, and I headed to the airport. The plan was for Randi to accompany me to orientation weekend, stay in my dorm room with me for a few nights and fly out on Monday while my parents drove out to Boston the following weekend with the rest of my belongings. As we headed to the airport, I felt a gut-wrenching nervousness. It was the kind of anxiety that made me feel tight and wound up on the inside, like I’ve been holding your breath for too long. 

Boston definitely gave Randi and me a warm welcome. It was already 97 degrees when we touched down at Logan Airport around 11 in the morning. The heat radiated off the tarmac like a pan of overdone brownies.

We arrived outside Warren Towers over an hour later after struggling to understand the spider-like subway system. Three tall towers loomed over us, connecting at the bottom like a fork. We made our way up the escalator and into the small lobby which was separated from the rest of the dorm by a small office and two gruff-looking security guards.

Obviously irritated from the heat and confusion of the new freshman class, the guards dismissively informed us that visitors were not allowed to stay overnight during move-in weekend. In a panic, Randi and I begged the guard to let her stay the night and she would be gone in the morning. 

To our relief, the guard begrudgingly agreed. As Randi and I took the elevator to the 17th floor, a new realization set in. There was nowhere Randi could stay for the rest of the weekend for a reasonable price and she would have to change her flight and depart the next morning, leaving me all alone for the rest of orientation. 

The state of my dorm room only made me feel worse. It was no bigger than a small classroom, with four raised beds lining each wall, complete with a dresser and desk below. I was the first to arrive and chose a bed opposite the large windows that overlooked all of South Campus. The view was my only reprieve in that room. I smiled to myself as I spotted the stadium lights of Fenway Park. 

The view from the 17th floor of Tower A in Warren Towers. Photo credit: Toni Baraga

I tried to hide my disappointment and sadness over Randi’s sudden departure but I’ve never been good at hiding my emotions. We shared my twin bed that night, trying to enjoy our last moments together. The sweltering heat was our blanket as we slept on the stiff mattress, covered only with a single fitted sheet. 

Randi left promptly the next day. I sat alone in my dorm room and looked out the window over Brookline, feeling small and insignificant. Never in my life had I been so alone and I didn’t know what to do with myself. 

One by one my roommates started to arrive, each as uninterested in socializing with me as the next. They were all quiet and neat, which was nice, but it made adjusting really hard. I expected to be friends with my roommates instantaneously as we bonded over being non-locals and new to campus. I had hoped they would join me for Welcome Week events and we could explore campus and the city together. That dream dissipated quickly, however, as they all turned down my invitation for dinner in the dining hall. 

My first week at Boston University was one of the hardest times in my life. I cried every night under my small blanket so my roommates wouldn’t see. I attempted to make friends but it seemed as if no one was interested. By the time my parents arrived, I still had no friends and no fun adventures to brag about. 

I was broken and insecure. Coming to Boston felt like a huge mistake. I was completely blindsided by the fact that my first week was nothing like what movies or TV shows depicted. There weren’t people on every corner inviting you to parties and club meetings. It seemed as if everyone had found their friend group and already knew what they were doing. 

If there’s anything that I learned from that week, it’s that college may not be what you originally expect. You may not like your roommates and you may not make friends right away. The first week can be extremely lonely and heartbreaking. You might spend your first weekend eating by yourself in the dining hall and watching Netflix in your room, but that’s okay. 

You don’t need to have your new college life figured out in the first week. In fact, no one does. Friends change, classes start and life goes on. Instead of wallowing in the sadness of being alone try to focus on school and put your energy in your academics. Eventually your social life will catch up and the other stuff will work its way out. 

Overview:

  • Transitioning from high school to college is extremely challenging. It won’t be perfect at first and that’s okay. Taking time to adjust, rather than getting down on yourself, is very important. 
  • Making friends can be difficult. It may not happen right away, but exploring other avenues such as joining clubs and speaking with students in your classes can be great places to meet people.
  • Don’t let your preconceived notions become expectations. Everyone is going to have different experiences adjusting, so take your time and try not to compare yourself to others. 
  • When you’re feeling down about your social life, try to focus on academics instead. Being productive in other aspects of your life can be a good distraction and may also lead to other possibilities of friendship. 
https://www.campusclipper.com/new/popup1.php?CUP_COD=4115

My name is Toni Baraga and I am a senior in COM at Boston University studying journalism with a minor in archaeology. I have a passion for writing and I believe that everyone has a story. I have worked as a reporter for various newspapers, such the Somerville Journal and Boston University’s Daily Free Press. I grew up in St. Paul Minnesota and reside in Boston.  


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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