Archive for the ‘onMusic’ Category

Something for Everyone: Finding Your Music Genre

Monday, June 10th, 2024

Whether you’ve been a music connoisseur since you were young or you’ve only recently started exploring and refining your taste, the journey to find your genre is almost as tenuous as choosing a college. Finding the one or multiple genres that appeal most to you can be helpful in discerning which concerts and events to attend, but also allows you to narrow down your hunt for new artists. While most of us listen to a whole range of genres every single day, shifting effortlessly from hip-hop to pop to country, it can be a daunting process to find your favorites. With unlimited access at our fingertips, how do you establish a unique music taste? 

Start with the classics. 

It’s important to listen to a whole range of genres before deciding what you do or don’t like. A good place to start is finding the classics of whichever genre you intend to explore. For example, if you’re trying to get into hip-hop and don’t know where to start, Spotify’s “Gold School” playlist is a great introduction. Utilizing your music platform’s curated playlists is great tool, even if you don’t have a music subscription, you can easily search YouTube for “hip-hop classics.” This exploration will likely be the most time-consuming part of your journey, however, most music lovers know that the hunt for a great artists is fulfilling t. Listening to the classics of each genre can be a great introduction, but don’t be shy in asking ask friends for recommendations. 

Use streaming platforms to your advantage. 

As previously mentioned, streaming platforms, most notably Spotify, provide excellent curation and opportunities to discover new music. Their algorithms are designed to recommend new music for you based upon your previous listening and provide a range of playlists for every genre, time period, and mood. You can even search a range of terms such as “Summer Mix” or “Morning Mix” to find curated playlists based on your recent listening. Apple Music also has a similar feature, though not as extensive as Spotify’s, the platform provides personalized playlists such as “New Music,” “Favorites,” and “Chill.” 

Spotify’s curated “Chill Morning Mix” for me

Experience it live. 

Experiencing music live is an essential part of supporting the artists you’re exploring, and it provides an immersive experience. Live music can also be affordable and accessible if you are exploring smaller artists based in your city. Attending these events is a way to create memories and potentially find a community with aligned interests. The collective experience of attending concerts is crucial to appreciating the genres that you are streaming, and it might introduce you to something new. 

Sit down and listen. 

Finally, the most time-consuming but gratifying part of this journey is sitting down and listening. Take the time to explore different artists and listen to their discography all the way through. It may take weeks to even scratch the surface of what you’re looking for, but as you listen more, the more your streaming platform can work alongside you to produce better recommendations. Trust the recommendations of Spotify’s “Discover Weekly,” and always be open to listening to something new. Spending the time and energy to explore genres will ultimately be rewarding for your musical journey. 

While I can only speak to my own experiences, these were the four tips I found most helpful as I explored my music taste through high school and college. If you spend half of your life with headphones on, trust me, finding songs you love is important. 


Need a study break? Enjoy $5 off when you join Pokeworks rewards!

Georgie Fleming is a recent graduate of Fordham University with a BA in Communications and French and Francophone Studies. While at Fordham, she frequently published articles in a music publication and worked as a barista. She grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. She spends her free time going to the beach, reading, and baking. 


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.

Share

A Student’s Secrets to Affordable Entertainment in NYC

Monday, June 3rd, 2024

New York City has been a cultural hub and home to artists across numerous disciplines for most of its history. One of the most exciting parts of NYC is its rich connection to music history and the hoards of artists which are attracted and inspired by the city’s vibrance. Music has always been an important part of my life. In fact, it was an emotional support archor during the pandemic; when creating a playlist for every mood, season, or activity was an ideal way to pass hours at a time. My engagement with live music prior to moving to the city was decently limited due to the inaccessibility of concert stadiums and venues from my small town. Coming to NYC, I could not have predicated that frequenting affordable live music venues would be a large component of my experience. However, it became one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend and become more connected with a sometimes overwhelmingly large city. 

Pretty Sick live at the Bowery Ballroom – November 2022

A brief history of New York music culture: a birthplace of hip hop, punk rock, disco, and new wave. The city is also recognized for the host of genres which it has popularized such as jazz in Harlem, folk in Greenwich Village, and bachata in Washington Heights. New York houses some of the most iconic venues as well, such as the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and the Lincoln Center for Performing. Later on, I may even discuss how you can visit some of NYC’s iconic venues. It has continuously been a beacon of artistic freedom, inviting innovative creativity and supporting a large community of independent artists. The melting pot of cultures present in New York impact and shape how styles of music have mingled and merged. 

My own experience in New York has largely centered around music culture because it became one of the most accessible ways to find entertainment on the weekends as a college freshman and sophomore searching for under-21 nightlife spots. It can be difficult to find experiences which cater to 18+ audiences in New York despite the multiple universities in the city. Attending live music events became a gateway through which I could experience the city at night and an affordable way to socialize and foster new experiences. To continue nurturing my love for music, I also became involved in the burgeoning music scene at my own university. Fordham’s music community consists of numerous bands which perform on-campus and off in the nearby area and contains many students who go on to pursue music as a full-time career. Attending the performances of student-led bands because a way to meet new people and engage with my university community.

Having live music available within my own neighborhood of Belmont in the Bronx was certainly a privilege, but I still frequented my favorite Manhattan spots often. Overall, music has been a gateway for me to access all that New York has to offer, connect with its rich culture, and maybe even find my own place in an overwhelmingly large city. I want to connect students like myself to these experiences and share tips and tricks for finding affordable entertainment. In the coming chapters, I will both explore my on-campus and off-campus music venue experiences and even include an interview with a Fordham alumni and New York based musician. This will be my ultimate guide to accessing all New York has to offer music-wise including 18+ accessible locations within a student’s budget!


Enjoy 15% off hair services with this special discount for students!


Georgie Fleming is a recent graduate of Fordham University with a BA in Communications and French and Francophone Studies. While at Fordham, she frequently published articles in a music publication and worked as a barista. She grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. She spends her free time going to the beach, reading, and baking.


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.

Share

Connections Through Creativity

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

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

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

My very first cello recital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Trinity Ball crowd!

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

Summary:

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

Treat yourself to a boba study break with this 20% off coupon!

By Bella Littler

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


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

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

Share

Songwriting and Publishing: Burning Bridges

Sunday, July 24th, 2022

Burning Bridges

Any fan of Taylor Swift can reassure you that there is no better feeling than screaming one of her bridges at the top of your lungs. You might even lose your voice from it. There’s something in the way that she writes this pivotal part of her songs; they make you feel like you’re releasing the emotions you’ve tried so hard to gather. The bridge of any song, but hers, in particular, progresses the story, allowing the audience to fluidly follow. For example, the bridge of Taylor’s song “Cruel Summer” gets me every time. The catchiness of the shift in melody and the impact of such well-written lyrics make it impossible to not scream along. It evokes the feeling of falling in love with the windows down in your car going a million miles an hour. Listening to it makes you feel like you’ve just popped a bottle of champagne and there’s an overflow of bubbles you cannot contain. This is what makes a good bridge; not only does the song provoke such emotion, but it is the shift in emotion that makes it so valuable. It is the showing and not telling part of the song that allows people to feel such an overwhelmingness of emotion that you, plain and simple, have to scream. 

With such high expectations to live up to, writing a bridge is very difficult for me, especially the part where you change tones in the melody. Usually, in all the songs I listen to, the bridge is a variation or alteration of the original chord progression found in the verses and the chorus. This automatically sets the tone for the bridge. Will it be uplifting or will it be absolutely gut-wrenching? If it’s uplifting, major chords will suffice, but if it’s a sadder vibe you are willing to achieve, minor chords are your best friend. Sometimes, or in my case, I chose to make the bridge in my song take a more despairing turn melodically, but have the lyrics be on the happier side to create a push and pull effect. I think that this adds more dimension to what I’m trying to achieve. Yes, a love song is supposed to be happy and make you feel, well, in love, but love itself is a very complicated emotion. It is not a linear line to get from point A to B, but more like a tornado of different emotions combined into one. Cruel Summer is a perfect example of this. It makes you feel happy during the verses and chorus, but once that bridge hits, I’m three sheets to the wind and angered, wanting to scream the words that Taylor wrote so beautifully. 

There is no such thing as a perfect bridge, let alone, any part of a song. What I think makes an effective bridge is a distinctive contrast in point of view. Lyrically the words shouldn’t be ones that simply push or continue the already stated narrative but create a new outlook. I usually draw inspiration from events in my life to solidify what I’m trying to convey. In any circumstance, this is the most natural way for me to gather inspiration. For example, Taylor Swift’s song “Betty” is told from a whole different point of view that isn’t Betty’s, but from a teenage boy who is experiencing losing his first love after making a huge mistake. This throws the audience off, but when you listen to it, the more intense it grows, all from a perspective that isn’t her own. The bridge in this song is a sense of realization in his apology, saying “I was walking home on broken cobblestones/ Just thinking of you/ When she pulled up like/ A figment of my worst intentions/ She said “James, get in, let’s drive”/ Those days turned into nights/ Slept next to her, but/ I dreamt of you all summer long”. This bridge not only leads us listeners right into the sweet spot of the song but unpacks more of the story as to why things happened the way they did. 

It’s important to note that not all songs need bridges and sometimes it doesn’t even feel necessary to clump one in. A bridge should act as an emotional response to the rest of the verses and chorus. Think of it as a tool to lyrically shift the perspective in your writing, but it is not always imperative to include one, some songs do just fine without them. What I love the most about bridges and writing them is that they take a situation and look at it from a completely different angle which can be so therapeutic, especially if the song is based on true life experiences. It gives not only the audience clarity for the sake of the progression of the story, but it allows you as a writer to step back from your work and look at your inspirations from a completely fresh point of view. 

Use this coupon at Al’s Cafe to get a $10 student deal to grab a sub in between songwriting!


By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.


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.

Share

Taylor’s Version

Saturday, July 23rd, 2022

When you go to listen to Taylor Swift on Apple Music or Spotify, I’m sure you’ve noticed that her two latest released albums are labeled with “Taylor’s Version.” Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) are the first two albums that the artist has re-recorded since their original release. In 2019, Swift announced the plan to re-record her first six studio albums, along with surprising her fans with unreleased songs from “the vault.”

Being one of the biggest and most dedicated musical artists in the world, why is Taylor Swift releasing her previously recorded songs once again? Unfortunately, it is not shocking that a hardworking and successful woman has had her work stolen while certain individuals attempt to deface her career. When she was just 15, Swift signed with Big Machine Records, however, this contract ended in 2018 when the company was sold to Ithaca Holdings, owned by Scooter Braun. Braun sold Taylor’s first six albums without her consent along with owning the rights to sell and distribute any copies of these albums.

Re-recording and re-releasing these albums on her own terms gives Swift ownership of each of the songs that she has written, sung, and played. She is now able to own the masters of her first six albums. She already owns her most recent albums; Lover, Folklore, and Evermore. As each of Taylor’s first six records gains the label “Taylor’s Version,” not only is she rightfully taking back what is hers, but these songs are being reborn to dedicated fans and to a new generation of listeners. As a woman who has dealt with a great deal of misogyny throughout her career, it is empowering to watch Taylor Swift always come out stronger in the end, even with people’s attempts to bring her down.

It’s not every day that devoted fans get to relive the journey of growing up with their favorite artist’s music. Listening to the original release of Fearless when I was 7 years old, I was eager to experience all my “firsts;” my first crush, my first best friend, my first day of high school. Now, listening to the re-recording, I reminisce on the enthusiasm and heartbreak that resulted from these experiences, all while feeling nostalgic about growing up. Living in my first New York City apartment while Red was re-released reminded me of how grateful I am to be living in this city, soaking in lyrics like “’Cause in this city’s barren cold I still remember the first fall of snow” and “Back to a first glance feeling on New York time.” I’m so excited for the next four re-recordings, as I’ll get to not only relive parts of my childhood but continue to connect her music to my personal growth.

If you are a life-long fan or if you just listen to her music occasionally, you can appreciate Taylor Swift’s current journey right along with her. Whether you’re inspired by her efforts to take back what is hers, praise her mature vocals on the new albums, or are excited about “the vault” tracks, we can all learn valuable lessons from this amazing artist. You can show your support for these re-recordings by listening to Taylor’s Version and deleting the stolen copies from your music library! Songs from Fearless such as “Fifteen,” “You Belong With Me,” and “The Way I Loved You” will transport you back to your childhood bedroom. Songs from Red will validate all your feelings of loneliness, betrayal, and happiness, especially with vault tracks like “I Bet You Think About Me” and “Better Man.”


Pick up your favorite snack from Mulberry Market with this student discount!

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.


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.

Share

Who Are You Written By?

Saturday, July 9th, 2022

I come across so many different social media trends as I indulge in my guilty pleasure of scrolling through TikTok. One that stuck out to me was the “Who am I written by?” trend. This past March, TikTok users were asking their followers this question, meaning they wanted to know which musical artist they look like they’re associated with depending on their style, hobbies, and interests. Someone who dresses early 2000s grunge and is experiencing their first heartbreak might feel represented by Olivia Rodrigo. Someone who loves vintage Hollywood glam probably finds themselves listening to Lana Del Rey.

Personally, I feel like Taylor Swift’s music is the soundtrack to my life. Every emotion I feel can be tied back to one of her songs. She has a lyric written for everything I have experienced throughout my life. Taylor Swift has been there for my middle school crushes, high school heartbreaks, and navigating adulthood. I knew I was “written by Taylor Swift” when her lyrics so easily applied to my own life. When I first heard “If you never bleed you’re never gonna grow” from her song “the 1,” I felt a bit more secure experiencing changes in my life and taking risks knowing I was not alone in feeling uncertain. When I look back at the hardships I’ve faced, I am proud of how I’ve worked past them to get to where I am now. I find comfort in this idea being vocalized by an artist I admire, especially knowing there are millions of other listeners feeling the same way.

With an artist like Taylor Swift who has so many iconic eras, there is an album for everyone. I always come back to folklore because it focuses on different relationship dynamics and I love the way it captures what a “sad girl summer” is all about. I always think back to a lyric from my favorite song on the album, “august,” which is “To live for the hope of it all.” This one line sums up how I feel in all aspects of my life. I live for the hope that all my dreams and aspirations will begin to unfold. I’ve always stood by the idea that whatever is meant to happen will enter my life whether it be a person, job, or hobby. This has gotten me through periods of change.

I can pretty much say I am written by Taylor Swift because she is the one artist that comforts all my feelings of sadness, joy, and hopefulness. I specifically connect to folklore because no matter the time of year, when I listen to this album, I picture myself daydreaming on the beach while my worries slip away. I love how we can feel personally represented by our favorite artist, even if it’s simply based on our inner thoughts. Finding that one artist that feels special to you can make every day feel like a new experience.

A picture I took on Cornelia Street in the West Village where Taylor Swift used to live that has inspired multiple songs on her album Lover.

Whoever it is, your favorite artist can help guide you through the situations you face. To figure out who you’re “written by,” start to pay attention to what songs you associate with both your heartbreaks and happy moments. If it is not an artist, maybe it’s your favorite author or fictional character. So yes, listen to your sad songs playlist while staring out the window of a car. Or dance around in your room while a song about your first love plays on repeat. Sing your heart out with your friends while getting ready for an unpredictable night. Music intensifies all the moments in our lives, no matter how significant they are.



By Jacqueline Rappa

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.


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.

Share

Songwriting and Publishing: Chorus Crisis

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Chorus Crisis

Personally, the most challenging part about writing a song is figuring out the chorus. It strikes me as difficult because it’s the climax of the song. Remember the plot diagrams that teachers used to show us in our English classes growing up? I’ve come to realize a song is somewhat like that. The rising and falling actions reflect the verses and bridge, and the climax is the chorus. There’s always a build-up to the chorus which is why there is so much pressure to make it catchy or unique because it’s what some listeners resonate with the most. I find a chorus hard to write or even compose because it needs a wow factor to stick in the audience’s brain. When writing this song’s chorus, I tried so many chord progressions, but I feel like I’ve hit a wall lyrically and melodically. With frustration at my fingertips, I try to not give into that energy and force myself to remold that into inspiration, so I turn to the artists that have influenced me most. 

My favorite Taylor Swift song is “Clean” from her fifth studio album, 1989. I absolutely love that song because, to me, it represents hope and the ability to rebuild yourself from a tumultuously toxic relationship or experience. The chorus is a breakthrough and feels like you are about to “punch a hole in the roof” as she says in the second verse of the song. When the chorus hits, it feels almost like a release of your emotions and the lyrics surround you like a warm hug to let the listener know that they made it past these strenuous endeavors. The lyrics, “Rain came pouring down/ When I was drowning, that’s/ when I could finally breathe/ And by morning/ Gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean” not only are melodically sound but allows those to dig deep inside themselves and relate this song to any life struggle. It talks about the loss of a relationship, but it could also be about addiction, depression, or the loss of someone. What I love about interpreting this chorus, is that there are no limits as to what this means to the listener. 

When writing my chorus, I keep these things in mind but also try not to allow the pressure of trying to achieve any kind of musical perfection, because that simply does not exist. With that weight off my shoulders, I begin to strum and sing what comes to mind. I finally reach what I think is going to be my chorus: “I found you/ in the corner of my eye/ hidden in plain sight/ where were you all this time/ so hard to find/ it’s too good to be true/ but I found you/ and you found me too”. I thought, yes Taylor Swift’s chorus is jam-packed with meaning and beautifully written metaphors that have all different kinds of interpretations, but there’s also a beauty to simplicity. I didn’t want my chorus to be too much or too copy-cat-esque, but I wanted to be my own style with that hint of her inspiration. 

I run into the problem of self-doubt a lot when it comes to writing music and writing in general. I always ask myself, is this too cheesy? Or is this too cliche? But what I’ve realized is that a majority of tropes that surround music are so cheesy and so cliché, but that’s because they’re universal experiences and feelings. I’m not saying that everyone needs to write a corny Top 100 pop song to be successful, but those themes are so common that it’s a matter of turning them into something that is unique to yourself. It is important to write something that will receive an emotional response, not only from listeners but from the person singing it. When I write, sing, or play an instrument, it’s something that I have to feel in my body and mind, or else the execution or performance is set up to be a disaster from the get-go. 


Don’t forget to use this coupon to get 20% off at Crave: Korean Fusion and Lounge for some delicious food.


By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.


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.

Share

You Are What You Read

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

English novelist Angela Carter once said, “Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.” Escaping into the pages of a book is one of my favorite ways to feel both relaxed and creative at the same time. As a reader and writer, getting lost in a novel is a very therapeutic experience for me. Literature comes to life more so when I am able to relate to the story that is unfolding. Just like when I listen to Taylor Swift, when I read about a character that goes through the same experiences I do, it feels personal and safe.

Taylor Swift once told a fan she loves the novel Normal People by Sally Rooney. After reading it and watching the series adaptation on Hulu, I completely understand why she recommends it. The main characters, Connell and Marianne, struggle to communicate their feelings to each other throughout the novel. Their words get lost in translation and they never truly know what the other is feeling. While reading Normal People, I imagined myself in the story because there are often instances where I assume how someone else feels instead of asking straightforwardly. This can lead me to overthink and sometimes create irrational scenarios in my head. A part of me knows this can all be solved by being direct about my feelings, but it is easier said than done. But as Rooney’s characters showed me, I’m not the only one who does this. And certainly Taylor Swift has shown she does this too, with lyrics like “I’d tell you I miss you but I don’t know how” and “Here’s to silence that cuts me to the core.”

When I first read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Swift’s song, “The Lucky One (Taylor’s Version),” instantly started playing in my head. The story goes into detail about the main character, an actress named Evelyn Hugo, who achieved great fame and success but lacks happiness in her life. Although she is viewed as “The Lucky One” because of her looks and wealth, she does not actually feel like it. “And they tell you that you’re lucky but you’re so confused ‘cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used,” is the Taylor Swift lyric I believe deeply connects with this character. Evelyn Hugo had to lock certain parts of herself away in order to maintain her public image, which is certainly a universal feeling among women.

Reading is inherently imaginative and expressive because we place our own lives and feelings within these plots. The way we interpret a story is what makes each person’s experience reading it individual. I feel lucky that I’ve read novels that give me the experience of being able to temporarily transport myself to a new, special world. However, I understand that this may not come easily to everyone. It took me a while before really finding a book that set off my love for reading, so here are a few tips to find the right book for you:

  1. Visit a local bookstore. Browsing through the displays, searching through your favorite genres, and asking for staff recommendations can lead you to the start of your reading journey.
  2. Social media. If you search “Booktok” on TikTok, you can easily find recommendations from so many different people and their unique opinions and perspectives. 
  3. Join a book club. Whether it be online, on campus, or in your city, this is a great way to integrate reading into your social life. Fun discourse can lead to deep and meaningful conversations.

Don’t forget to create a playlist of all the songs that remind you of the next book you’re reading to enhance this experience!


Use this Student Discount to pick up your favorite bagel and coffee!

By Jacqueline Rappa

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.


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.

Share

What Your Favorite Character Says About You

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Instead of feeling guilty about binge-watching a series all day, allow yourself to embrace the intriguing plot that you’re immersed in for those few hours. There is always something that can be learned from watching a film, even an early 2000s rom-com. After all, this form of entertainment can be used to spark your own creativity and imagination. Characters can inspire you and you can even find yourself relating to them and feeling seen. You can use movie elements to enhance your own life. Dialogue about love, conflict, and different passions can teach you new ideas and help you learn more about yourself.

I have an endless list of characters I love and relate to. I love seeing myself and my personality reflected in films and shows. That’s why so many of us get lost in fictional worlds. It provides us with escapism from our everyday lives. I watched the series Gilmore Girls for the first time last year and in a way, it changed how I see the world. I grew a new appreciation for living in my small neighborhood, fun days with my mom, and the joy of going to a coffee shop for a few hours. I saw my relationship with my mom reflected in the relationship between the two main characters, Lorelai and Rory. Gilmore Girls bonded us and made our relationship stronger. Throughout the series, Rory’s drive to succeed motivated me to want to learn as much as I could, take more trips to Barnes and Noble and read for pleasure. I realized how much I love to get lost in a novel because of her character. Lorelai’s carefree personality allowed me to stop taking myself so seriously and embrace my quirks. Watching her on my TV encouraged me to wear fun outfits even when I’m at home in the suburbs, not just at school in a big city.

Spending time with myself at a coffee shop on a rainy day in the city.

When I listen to music, not only do I relate the lyrics to my own life, but certain characters come to mind too. Of course, Taylor Swift has a song for every emotion and situation, so naturally, she has a song that connects with nearly all my favorite characters. This just goes to show how deeply relatable the experiences she sings about are. In “Nothing New,” Swift sings about the experience of getting older and realizing how little we know about the world and ourselves. In Gilmore Girls, as Rory goes through college, she notices she might not know herself as well as she thought she did as she starts to make mistakes. Listening to this song and having a character that also goes through this experience validated my feelings of being unsure about myself from time to time.

As a Taylor Swift fan and lover of numerous drama series, it is exciting to watch adaptations feature Taylor Swift songs. It is about time that her lyricism is used to enhance thrilling moments in film. For example, in the new Amazon Prime series The Summer I Turned Pretty, there are several Taylor Swift songs featured throughout the show. They represent the emotions of the characters and songs like “Cruel Summer” perfectly capture that hopeful feeling that fills the air at the beginning of summer. Swift’s songs add a sense of nostalgia to the series and help better connect the audience to the characters.

Watching The Summer I Turned Pretty.

If you’re ever looking to draw inspiration from a TV show or film character, try to find one that you strive to be like. This doesn’t necessarily mean the most successfully written character or the most attractive, but maybe one that is in tune with their emotions. One that embraces their individuality and is unapologetically themselves. This will help deepen the connection you have with yourself as you realize your experiences are universal.


Use this student discount to treat yourself to your favorite coffee order!

By Jacqueline Rappa

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.


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.

Share

Songwriting and Publishing: A Verse of Poetry

Monday, June 20th, 2022

A Verse of Poetry

When it comes to writing a song, there is no proper way to go about it. If I sat here and tried to figure out how to write the perfect song, I’d be sitting here for hours. One of my biggest inspirations when it comes to songwriting is Taylor Swift. I admire the way she creates a story through her lyrics and her experiences. Her songwriting takes the form of poetry and that is something I definitely try to emulate with my own songwriting. But what am I even going to write about? The first thing I do whenever I’m writing anything is grab a notebook and a pen and get to brainstorming. With my guitar laid across my lap, I start playing chord progressions till I find something that feels right. Along with playing melodies, I simply start singing whatever comes to mind because without thought I can truly figure out what I feel. By not having any predetermined outline, I can let my words flow freely and have them come naturally, instead of writing something first. 

Concentrated and ready to write!

The first thing that comes to mind is love. Love is a universal feeling that everyone has experienced at one time or another. We love our parents, friends, and significant others, so there is a lot of room to play here. With a brush of my thumb, I start singing from an outsider looking in at my own relationships. The first lyric for the first verse starts with: “my friends see how well you treat me, never heard that one before” to reflect on how sometimes we don’t realize how well things are going till we take a step back. “They tell me, how much you need me, never needed you more” follows to show an appreciation for that person in my life. As I continue, I realize what I want to write: a love letter. As much as I love writing, I am admittedly bad with words in the sense that I never openly tell people how lucky I am to have come across them in my life, so this is a way to express my love through music. When writing, I often stop and come back to my guitar to hear what I write with a clear mind and a new perspective. 

I saw some swans on my walk on the Esplanade after my coffee!

Hours later when I’ve had a coffee and taken a walk around the neighborhood, I go back to writing. I pick up my guitar and try plucking a progression instead of strumming, which I find to like better to create an airy, whimsical feel. Picking up where I left off, I start blissfully singing a few lines to create the first verse. After trial and error, I solidify my words and clean up the rough edges and come up with: 

My friends see how well you treat me, never heard that one before

They tell me, how much you need me, never needed you more

And you don’t judge me for my dirty laundry, 

You’re the only place in this world I feel safe 

And for the first time in my whole life,

I never felt the need to try and change.

2 hours later…

After coming up with a verse, I play it over and over again until my fingers get blisters from plucking the same four strings for what feels like days. I then record myself singing what I wrote to hear it from outside my body and to double-check if it sounds angelic or like a cat clawing at a chalkboard. I also play it in several keys to see what sound I like better for the song as a whole. Although this feels like I’m creating a finished product, to me, it is never finished. I have too many ideas and changes throughout the songwriting process that I feel like I could always add more or do it completely differently, but I like to save that for the end. This verse is “done” but there are moments where I completely hate it or love it or want to start all over, but I know if I just keep going, it’ll all turn out the way it’s supposed to. 


Grab a sandwich at Al’s State Street Cafe with this coupon!


By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.


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.

Share