You Are What You Read

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.

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More Than A Meal

June 28th, 2022

My boyfriend and I have started a tradition of cooking over Facetime once a week together. We’re currently long distance so this is a nice way to spend time together and it helps him get more comfortable in the kitchen. We’ll spend the previous night picking out a recipe, go and get the ingredients, and then hop on Facetime to cook the meal together. However, my boyfriend is not super comfortable in the kitchen yet. This has led to several hilarious mishaps. One of the first meals we cooked together was orange chicken. My boyfriend was struggling to get his sauce to thicken so, as the recipe suggested, he kept adding more cornstarch. Suddenly, I saw him freeze and a look of mild horror started to blossom on his face. “Babe,” he whispered, “I think I’ve been using corn syrup instead of cornstarch.” I couldn’t help but burst out laughing, and he soon followed suit.

Food can be such an important part of life, far beyond our dependence on it to keep living. It has become a centerpiece for social events. I can’t tell you the amount of times the words “free food” have gotten me and my friends to go to an event that we otherwise would not have considered. Food is used as an excuse to see people and catch up – “going out for lunch” or “getting coffee” are often used to suggest a reason to hang out with someone. It can help build memories and strengthen relationships, like my boyfriend adding copious amounts of sugar instead of a tablespoon of dry starch. In America, we have whole holidays that center around the food being eaten at them. Thanksgiving is pretty much just an excuse to eat way too much with your family, and I don’t think anyone is in any rush to change that. On top of its importance to our physical health, food has a huge social aspect to it. 

While food’s impact on our social and physical wellbeing are, for the most part, common knowledge, few people consider food’s impact on our mental health as well. According to Dr. Eve Selhub in her article “Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food”, what people eat and how much of it can greatly impact their brain functions and mood. This is not only because our brain uses the energy from food to run smoothly but also because good food helps the bacteria and neurons in our gut to stay healthy and help neurons send and receive neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.  Essentially, the food you eat can affect your mood and energy levels. If someone eats too much, they might feel bloated or tired. If someone eats too little, they won’t have the energy to do what they need to do in the day. This is especially important for people with depression who struggle with energy levels and mood already. The kind of food you eat can also affect your mood with processed foods causing inflammation and blocking neurons in your stomach from sending and receiving neurotransmitters. Overall, the food you eat has a huge impact on your mental health and vice versa.

Mood boosting foods come in all shapes and sizes

I found this out the hard way. I had a pretty good relationship with food until about the end of eighth grade when I started getting incredibly stressed out. This caused me to feel like I was going to be sick every time I ate. I never threw up but I started eating less and less to try to avoid feeling sick. I remember thinking that I would rather be hungry because it meant I didn’t feel sick and I started to enjoy feeling hungry. While this went away halfway through that following summer, the mindset of rather being hungry than sick is still something that I’m trying to get over. In the summer before junior year, I started exercising to try to help my declining mental health. I started doing at home workouts and really getting into fitness. This did help my mental health a little bit but it opened a whole new avenue for hurting my mental health: I started to track my calories. It was pretty harmless at first. I was just curious about how much I was eating and how I needed to change it to fit my fitness goals. However, it quickly became an obsession, with me consistently eating less and less just to see the number on the calorie tracker (and, subsequently, the scale) go down. If I felt like I ate too much that day, I would work extra hard to burn off those calories. I rarely could, and I felt like a failure every time this happened. This is similar to an eating disorder called Orthorexia nervosa. According to NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) in their article on the disorder, Orthorexia is an obsession with healthy or “clean” eating to the point of damaging someone’s health and wellbeing. This is a very real and serious eating disorder and, while I don’t consider myself as someone who suffered from this disorder, I know I was very close. Luckily, I had friends who knew what was going on and were able to help pull me out of that mindset before it got too dangerous. I was able to forget calorie tracking and, while I still sometimes have the urge to obsessively work out and track my food, I have been able to let it go and start to rebuild my relationship with food.

My Easter meal of steak, potatoes, salad and dinner rolls!

The biggest thing that has helped me overcome this struggle is learning how to cook my own meals. About two years ago, I moved into my first apartment and finally had access to my very own kitchen. It took a little bit to learn what I was doing but I quickly found a joy and passion for cooking. I also found that having more control over my food and knowing exactly what went in it helped me tremendously. I’ve been able to reframe my mindset around food from being solely used to further my physical health to being a fun social activity that helps my whole body function properly. While I’m still growing out of unhealthy mindsets, I have been able to find excitement in searching for new recipes, learning to cook them, and doing it for and with the people I love…even when they add too much corn syrup to an orange chicken recipe! 

tldr: Food can and should be much more than calories in and out.

All good meals require grocery shopping. Get started with this coupon!

By: Callie Hedtke

Callie is going to be a senior at DePaul University in Chicago where she is studying Graphic Design. If she’s not at her computer designing (or playing video games), you can find her in the kitchen trying out new recipes. She also likes to be outside exploring and enjoys hiking with her friends and family.


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

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The Art of Eating Chapter 1: Korean Food (Bonchon on 23rd)

June 28th, 2022

Welcome! I’m excited to get the opportunity to share my love of different cultural cuisines on here and hopefully introduce some people to new foods (along with getting introduced myself!). As much as I am eager to dive in and begin trying food I’m unfamiliar with, I am grateful to be reviewing Korean food today because it is a long time favorite of mine. Bonchon on 23rd Street is just a step away from the SVA studios (where I spend far too much of my time) as well as a short walk from Manhattan’s Koreatown. Still, it competes with any of the restaurants there just as well and surpasses my expectations for most of the Korean food I’ve had before.

It’s Monday afternoon when I manage to drag my friend, Dilan, into the city with me for our meal. He’s not so familiar with Korean food, so I’m enthusiastic about bringing him with me and giving him the full experience. Already when we step into the restaurant it gives a strong first impression with a welcoming waitstaff and an open space full of tables for customers. 

Illustration of the interior of Bonchon

For a beginner, a meal of Korean food wouldn’t be quite complete without some of the main staples. One of the first dishes brought out to us is kimchi, a traditional cabbage dish that ferments in a mix of Korean seasoning for a couple days before it’s ready to be served to customers like us. Kimchi is one of the most well known banchan (or Korean side dishes) and for a good reason; it’s got a satisfying crunch, a refreshing flavor, and a slight heat all in one bite. In addition to that, the manager, Susanto, also recommended we try japchae, which happens to be a personal favorite of mine. Japchae is unique because the noodles are made from sweet potato starch instead of egg and flour like Italian noodles or rice like noodles typically used in asian stir fry. Sometimes this starch can give the noodles a sticky quality or an overwhelming sweet taste, but the ones at Bonchon suffered from neither such conditions. It’s a perfect glass noodle to accompany an assortment of vegetables like peppers and onions.

Japchae (left) and kimchi (right)

However, in addition to serving more traditional Korean dishes, Bonchon also has its own distinct specials that set it apart from other Korean restaurants and give it a more modern edge. Their main item is fried chicken which comes in a variety of shapes and is served with two different special sauces (both imported here from Korea itself). The first of the sauces is the spicy sauce. I’m glad Susanto recommended this one to us because Dilan loved it, but after a piece or two I can feel my whole face heat up to the point both Dilan and Susanto laugh at me a bit when he comes over to check in on us. Despite this the flavors are still great and sweat or no sweat I wouldn’t hesitate to try it again. However, the second sauce, soy garlic, is much milder and doesn’t leave me with a bright red face. The slightly sweeter flavor contrasts with the spice of the other sauce and goes well with the crunchy texture of the battered wing.

Fried chicken in spicy and soy garlic sauce

Overall, Bonchon is a super convenient place to satisfy Korean food cravings, as it’s within just an arm’s reach of most of my classes, as well as a gateway to Korean food for those who are eager to try the cuisine. They offer a range of dishes from traditional to their own unique Bonchon flavor, but either way there’s something for everyone. 

To both students who are looking for a handy place to satisfy their cravings for a cuisine they love, or those who are looking to experience something new, make sure to use the student discount below when you visit!

For more about my experience you can also check out my TikTok video on the Campus Clipper TikTok!


By: Peter Schoenfeld

Peter Schoenfeld is an illustrator and self proclaimed food fanatic from New York. If he’s not trying new food, he’s drawing it (and if he’s not doing either of those things, then you can probably find him curled up on the couch watching dramas). As an incoming sophomore at the School of Visual Art he focuses on creating art that connects people to his personal passions– like eating!


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

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Love and Other Problems: Fading Nostalgia

June 27th, 2022

previous

Fading Nostalgia

After walking away from home to travel to an unfamiliar, towering city, I wanted to figure out what to do, what I wanted, what type of love I wanted. While I did try to brush old dust off my hands, put ‘figuring things out’ in a casket and let life take me wherever it wanted, I’ve realized that while I met someone new everyday, I never had a connection with someone that made us more than casual friends. My life became full of friends you see occasionally, friends you’d grab a coffee with but it would be too much to get serious, to vent about trivial things, to share your fears because, well, now everyone’s uncomfortable. These friends were like holding a lit firecracker between my teeth; fun, explosive, painful and with me for a minute. 

After watching another blank smile, another the-one-that-‘walked’-away, an age old story, the sound of cold footsteps becoming fainter and fainter was a rhythm I became all too familiar with. So I thought about the most intense form of love I could experience; romantic. I’d had three relationships in the past, three very different ideals and experiences, three different lessons learnt—and I came out of them with three different understandings of what type of love I wanted. 

The first was foolish and exciting. I never wanted to think about the relationship too seriously and never thought about why I didn’t want that—this love had fumbled somewhere, I didn’t know its purpose anymore and so it was an inevitable end. The second was a blazing meteor and maybe my karma for the nonchalant mess of the first—it was a crash-and-burn-and-run scene, a rehearsed speech and anger and pettiness, a gaslighting, nauseating mess; in hindsight it was for the best that it ended. The third was less intense and exciting than the others, it was healthy and good and pretty, it was comfortable, but we had no chemistry. The contrast between the previous excitement and current calm became boring and my words had lost their meaning somewhere between my heart and mouth. There was no point in lying to myself and forcing it, so I ended it. We did stay friends, but then I changed and he changed and we didn’t get along anymore. 

These feelings and experiences molded what I looked for in others — I knew more about myself as a person and what I wanted out of people, not just partners but also friends. Some of these attributes seemed obvious, but I apparently needed them slapped across my face to see clearly. Looking back at every lesson I’ve learnt and every moment that was spent learning loudly through tears or screaming or quietly through silences and overthinking (all silly things now and I skirt from recalling them too often before unpleasant memories can fully form, before they can bite) I comprehended a large reason as to why it was becoming so hard to grow close to someone in college: fear. I comprehended this through a fourth almost-relationship that I had. He was perfect, with a pretty eye-smile and was sweet and funny, but I was scared of timing and life (it didn’t seem like the right time, being so new to the city, but when I got that there was no ‘right time’, it was too late), so I rejected him and it was something I ended up regretting. Fear took this from me and gave in return a lot of mediocre could-have and would-haves. 

I made mistakes and I learnt, people made mistakes and I learnt too. Love in college was harder than I expected (where my expectation was borne from books and other fiction). I wanted the same things as these rose-tinted fantasies but it hasn’t been easy. I don’t have a storybook arc, I don’t face a challenge to come out ‘stronger’ or anything remotely similar, love and life in reality doesn’t like to be so straightforward.

out with my friends for our last new year together!

I did not think of these challenges when I started classes at NYU, and then I made the aforementioned mistake of just ‘watching, not trying’. I did like people, people I saw across the room, people who were in my classes, pretty, smart, gorgeous and fun people. I talked to them too, I got to know them superficially but that was it. I talked to them when I had an excuse, but that was also how I talked to any new friends I had made…and they all stayed like that: friends. This wasn’t a terrible life-ending situation to be in, but it got exhausting when everything seemed to be going well and then there was a halt, a stagnant sort of space where nothing became of our talking or closeness. Then we fell out of touch.

That was when I thought back to just a year ago, how all of my experiences had shaped who or what I wanted. There’s a lot of people who think everything that happened in high school was supposed to stay there, but I disagree. I liked who I was in high school because it shaped what I want today, and everything that I had experienced wasn’t as irrelevant as people made it out to be. In the excitement of moving from one stage of my life to another, it was really easy to forget what I had figured out from my time there, and easier even to claim a fresh start instead. That didn’t help me, it just set me back.

This comprehension came later though, a semester-into-my-freshman-year later. There was a lot I sat through in that first semester which made me think back to high school, and ultimately the contemplation shaped me into a person better prepared for the rest of the years I had left in university and even after. It made me learn how to tackle love and friendships in a way that would result in the outcome I wanted, an outcome that would leave me happier for it.

dinner with new friends in the city!

While attempting to talk to people there were a lot of restaurants I visited with different people, I used to visit Bareburger with a coupon that I found really helped override the costs that came with eating out so often! Take the opportunity and grab this coupon for Bareburger for a great lunch with your friends too!


By Mahrukh Shaikh

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


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

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Do They Hate Me?

June 27th, 2022

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

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

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

Image Credit: https://clipart.world

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

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

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

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

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


By: Ashley Geiser 

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


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

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new beginnings and piercings as self-love

June 27th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And you know what?

I am.

Glow-up of the century.

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


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

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


By Ness Curti

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


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

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The First Week of College: 2020

June 25th, 2022

When the coronavirus landed in March of 2020, I isolated myself, streamed countless movies, and began preparing for the possibility of college in the Northeast. Having just graduated from High School in Colorado Springs, I spent my “waiting for college”  summer attending protests and volunteering for the Biden/Harris campaign. Every week or so I got an email that threatened to delay or blow up  in-person enrollment at Emerson College in Boston. A lot of my friends were staying home through the fall because of COVID fears; their schools mothballed campuses for the fall. We were all just waiting for this grand new chapter of our lives. In these weeks my mom and I got creative and charted different potential paths  if Boston didn’t pan out for the fall. I anxiously waited for Emerson College’s decision – to open for the fall, or go online only. I got the email in June, Emerson decided to open for in-person classes. When my roommate and I arrived at our freshman dorm room we were told to quarantine for the next forty-eight hours. Over this time my roommate and I bonded by perusing Tinder and browsing our new neighbors’ social medias. During a few Zoom meetings we excitedly looked for future connections and friendships in the faces on the screen. The anticipation for socialization reached its apex.

Emerson College’s Freshman Dorm, The Little Building (2020)

There is an expectation set for young men that college is the time for conquest, both sexual and recreational. It’s an expectation that is set from movies like Animal House and people in power who accept “locker room talk” as part of the status quo for masculinity. For generations these notions have been passed down from father to son. My Dad was a former Southern frat bro who was now overwhelmed with anxiety that his only son wasn’t showing the same type of interest in women he’d once shown. We’d once bonded over sports, but in High School I took a massive interest in theatre and film and he began questioning my sexuality. When he’d make comments about a woman’s body I’d never respond. When he’d make dirty jokes I wouldn’t laugh. This was all on my mind going into my first week of school, and yet the sexual desire was absolutely there. Perhaps it was because I’d been cooped up for so long in isolation. Perhaps a bit of that old-fashioned desire for sexual conquest had wormed its way into my psyche. When my roommate and I were let out of our dorms for the first time, I was looking for girls. I quickly made friends with a few guys on our floor. One of them was a New Jersey comedian who was dead set on getting a couple beers that night. My roommate had already planned a smoke session and I was not one to say no. Boston that September had a nice cool breeze and we walked around the city for a while before returning to the Boston Common. A bunch of other Emerson kids were gathered around and chatting, we approached them and my roommate offered up his hacky sack. There was a group of about twenty of us. We were all wearing masks and anxiously fidgeting in this new age of confusion and worry. I spoke too much and tried to get everyone’s names. One girl, who was a brunette with brown eyes, introduced herself to me and then shot me a glance. We locked eyes for a second. I darted mine away and then back again. The next time the sack came my way I immediately kicked it towards her. She wore a neon mesh shirt and seemed athletic, at least more athletic than the theatre kids and film majors that made up the circle. That day I spent the rest of my time seeking the same thrill of those little glances. I got on Tinder quickly, got a couple numbers. I was gorging myself on the possibilities of the sexual freedom that came with this new chapter. My first week became a series of needless flirtations. When school officially began I was worn out from the social expenditure. I didn’t hook up with anyone, and felt stupid for having considered that to be my only goal. I spent that week half-participating in conversations and I’d diverted my attention away from the experience of being on a campus for the first time. I felt like there was this pressure to do everything all at once. I wanted an entire college experience in the shortest amount of time possible. My advice is to slow down when you get to school. Take a second to really live in the moment and embrace the anxieties of being somewhere new. The brunette and I caught up after we’d settled into our living situations. We started going on dates. I realized that I wanted to slow things down and settle into my new home. By week two I’d experienced somewhat of a social burnout. It was good to take it a bit easier.



By Jackson Bailey

Jackson is a rising Junior at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and minoring in Political Science. Jackson enjoys writing about masculinity, love, and stand-up comedy. In his free time, Jackson enjoys snowboarding, playing pickup basketball, and reading.


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

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Thrust Into the Upside Down: Blurring the Spaces Between Work and Home Life

June 25th, 2022

If you couldn’t already tell from my author’s bio, I am a huge fan of the Netflix original series Stranger Things. The show has two main focal points in terms of setting—Hawkins, Indiana and the Upside Down, which is the creepier, gorier, alternate dimension that lies just “beneath” the small town. As a result, the lives of all of the characters in the show are literally turned upside down as they battle the monsters that emerge from that dimension.

As cliché as it is, I think it’s fair to say that the pandemic turned all of our lives upside down in one way or another, and we are still dealing with the worldwide consequences. In particular, because we were all confined to our houses for a long time, the spaces between our work lives and our home lives started to overlap. When we got sent home from college, my room became the hub for every facet of my life: I slept, took my Zoom classes, ate lunch, did my homework, and relaxed all in the same place. The cycle just kept on repeating, each day looking and feeling just like the one before.

It became increasingly difficult to set boundaries for myself and “turn off” my brain outside of “school” hours. That’s another thing too—my laptop was a vehicle for homework while also being my main source of entertainment. If I saw an email from a professor or classmate, I felt like I had to answer it immediately, even if I was taking a break. I kept procrastinating doing my work because it didn’t really feel like I was at school, so the work just didn’t seem important or even real for the matter. There was no physical paper to turn in, it was just online. There was no presentation to diligently prepare for, it was online and I could have instant access to all the materials I needed. In many ways you could argue that taking classes at home was a lot easier than they were in person, but they felt just as, if not more, draining.

I’ve always considered myself a homebody of sorts—someone who was more comfortable being at home in a space that I was familiar with instead of being out in social settings, or at least someone whose social battery drains quickly. But at this point, even I wanted so badly to go out and do something, to break up the routine. But I still just felt tied to my desk, since after all, I could do every and anything that I needed to do from that location (and of course, we were being quarantined, so there weren’t many places we could go anyway). Even when I got to return to campus in the fall of 2020, classes were still mostly online, so I spent more time in my dorm than I would have cared for.

Dorm sweet dorm.

In our increasingly technologized world, these spaces were already starting to become blurred before we were all stuck inside. Being able to send emails at any hour of the day makes people feel like they are always on the clock, always beholden to someone or some task that they need to do. It’s hard for people to shut down for the day and be done with it, because there is always a lingering feeling that there is still something that needs to be done. We can try to shut down the computer, but we can’t always shut down our minds. At least, I can’t.

Even in 2022 when we are getting closer to the lives that we used to live before the pandemic, it’s hard to distinguish between work time and self time. Especially being a college student, any hour of the day is fair game for being on the clock and doing work. Some nights I will stay up until 2am to finish an assignment, while other days I’m getting up at 5 or 6am to do it (a habit I do not recommend). It’s become difficult to set boundaries for myself or plan out my time. The work always gets done and I do it well, but it’s definitely at the expense of some other aspects of my life, like missing out on various activities because I either don’t feel like I have the time, even though I know that I do, or I feel paranoid that if I were to step away, I would never get to finish what I was working on. When I type it out now it seems so simple, but in the moment I just feel stuck.

For anyone else in this situation, my advice would be to find ways to distinguish between the different, competing aspects of your life. At school, I always try to make to-do lists so that I can prioritize what needs to get done, but I also give myself some leeway when I feel like I’m in over my head. I’ve started trying to do my work in places other than my dorm, such as the library where it’s nice and quiet, or our student center where I know I can get some coffee and might even bump into some friends. No one wants to feel like they are always behind or that they are living the same day over and over again—it’s important to find ways to break up the monotony whether it is taking up a new hobby, hanging out with friends, or just powering down your laptop for the day and sticking to it. 

Lovely fall view from the stairwell of Falvey Library.

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By: Katie Reed

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


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

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Love Like Her: Movie Kisses

June 24th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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By Melodie Goncalves

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


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

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Wanting

June 24th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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By Sophie Rounds

Sophie Rounds is a rising junior at Loyola University Chicago, double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She loves to read and wishes she were a better cook. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys singing in several choirs at her university and thrifting with her friends.


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

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