Same Person, New Habits

August 17th, 2022

We’re listening to a song in their room. I haven’t heard it before, but I know the band. It’s starting off really slow, quiet. We talk over the building music, about who knows what. With a crescendo and a great rush, the song blooms around us, sending shivers down my spine and tingles through my chest. The feeling is familiar, and I’m left speechless, awestruck by the music’s impact. My friend sees my reaction, and they grin. “The natural dizzy.” I don’t remember which of us said it, but I knew it was true. The “dizzy” had come to me, no nicotine necessary. When the song ended, we played it again.

This remains one of my favorite songs of all time; it will always hold a special place in my heart.

We all have habits. Having control over the habits we choose to put time, energy, and money into is vital. Habits, however, are very difficult to change, as Charles Duhigg points out in “The Power of Habit.” Some habits can be reasonably easy to replace, when working with the same routine for a new reward or ridding your life of certain triggers to keep away from the habit altogether. Nicotine was definitely not easy to replace, but the coffees, manicures, and other treats I buy for myself help offset the frustration of being without nicotine. Another element that eased my quitting was my discovery of the natural “dizzy.” Music has always deeply affected me, especially live performances at concerts or musical theater productions. When I was giving up nicotine forever, I knew the “dizzy” would be the hardest thing to let go of. The physical feeling nicotine gives a person is what really keeps them hooked, and my usage of the “dizzy” as a reward made it extra difficult to consider living without it for the rest of my life. When I found that live musical experiences, certain songs, and even particular melodies and harmonies could give me that physical, tingly experience that nicotine once provided, I realized I just needed to change how I sought out the “dizzy.” If I searched for the natural “dizzy,” the one you can find while your favorite band plays or at the closing number of Wicked or on a car ride with friends, that would keep me away from the chemical “dizzy” I had become reliant upon. Nicotine always left me wanting more; the new “dizzy” is more reliable. Satisfying and wholesome and, in some cases, free of charge!

I’m seated next to a girl who wishes she had a vape. I do too, honestly, but I suddenly feel resolved. It’s not solidarity; it’s support, encouragement. I’d met her an hour earlier. I tell her, “You can quit if you want to.” Maybe it’s hypocritical of me to say so, but I say it anyway. “I’m serious. You have the strength to quit.” She nods, smiles. I think my words make us both feel a bit better.

Offering support to others has really helped me to remain strong in my efforts to be nic-free. If a friend complains that they’re fiending for a vape, I’m already offering suckers, gum, something to hold that will keep their hands busy. This doesn’t always help, nor does it ever really solve anything, but I think assisting someone in avoiding nicotine for even an hour is an accomplishment.

Even though I’ve been completely nic-free for over 3 months, I still get cravings for a cigarette every so often. When the scent of cigarette smoke wafts through the drive thru of the coffee shop where I work, I can’t deny the annoyance I feel. I still find myself digging in my purse for a piece of gum when friends have their vapes. It gets easier, but I don’t think the inner struggle will ever disappear. My confidence, however, never ceases to grow. I know I made the right choice, and I’m proud of myself every single day.

Some people will always vape. They won’t see anything particularly harmful or wrong about it, so they’ll continue to allow it in their life. It will remain one of their habits. I respect that. We all have habits; we all have addictions. Some habits are worse than others and, in the grand scheme of things, vaping isn’t that awful. It’s less obnoxious and dangerous than smoking cigarettes. It can bring about joy, satisfy the desire for nicotine. I get it. For me, the issue was I knew it wasn’t good for me. It drained my bank account, hurt my throat and lung capacity, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d lost control. So, I made the choice to quit and pushed through powerful cravings to be free from the addiction. It wasn’t easy, and I can’t fault people for not going through with it.

There are lots of reasons people do addictive things. We all have desires for things we maybe shouldn’t have. My advice? Find something addictive AND good for the soul. Something that doesn’t cost $20 every 3-4 days.


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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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Business-Casual on a Budget

August 15th, 2022

You’ve made the leap: you scheduled the interview or started the job, and you need to look professional for your new venture. But it’s hard to afford a professional wardrobe without a professional salary. Over the course of my jobs and internships, I’ve found some ways to make the most of your student wardrobe. You don’t need to go into debt just to look the part.

The first thing to think about is the environment in which you need to dress to impress. In my jobs so far, I have inhabited creative industries—photography, publishing, etc. In such industries there is generally more acceptance for color, pattern, and different cuts of clothing than there would be in, say, finance. These suggestions speak to my experience, so consider them against the expectations of your industry.

Let’s start with the basics: a dress shirt, blazer, and slacks. There are multiple ways to wear a dress shirt under a blazer. Tucking it in is classic, but maybe you can get away with some variations. Try buttoning the shirt all the way up and adding a pendant or chain between the collar points for a sophisticated but customizable look. A French tuck—tucking a portion of the shirt front into slacks and letting the rest fall—is sleek when paired with a blazer. A French tuck is the tucking equivalent of a clip-on tie: it looks just as good, but is much more comfortable.

When styled right, basics can go a long way.
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shirt_%28drawing%29.jpg

Look in your existing wardrobe for pants that may be able to act as slacks. When I bought plaid purple pants, I didn’t see them as professional. But paired with a nice blouse or button-up, they’re suddenly a funky work pant. Anything with structure (non-clinging), without rips, and non-denim can be in the running. The key to finding professional pieces in your existing wardrobe is to look for potential, not intent. Even if you bought something for non-professional purposes, when paired with another item, could you see it differently?

By the way, the more variety you have in your wardrobe, the more distinct outfits you can craft. For example: I own a black blazer and a plaid blazer. If I pair a white button-up with the black blazer, then wear the white button-up with the plaid blazer the next day, they’ll be seen as two distinct outfits because I’ve changed from a solid to a pattern. The same can be said for shirts. Don’t just get two of the same item; have some variety. Think of it this way: Two distinct blazers + one shirt that doesn’t clash with either = four different outfits, not to mention the combinations you can create if you add some variety to your pants as well. Or try fun shirts! A black blazer looks different if you wear it with polka dots versus a floral pattern. Two distinct button-ups or blouses + one simple blazer = four different outfits.

In many cases, professional dress doesn’t have to look a single way. That means you can make the most out of a few basics and your existing wardrobe. Explore what you have with fresh eyes, and you might be surprised by what you wear to your next meeting or interview.

Takeaways:

  • A few items can be worn in a variety of ways to freshen up your professional look
  • Look to your existing wardrobe for potential: what could become a professional item when paired with something else or worn differently?

Why not add to your professional look with a new pair of glasses? Use this student discount for 50% off frames!


By: Kelsie Lynn

Kelsie Lynn is a rising junior at New York University studying communications and creative writing. She is probably in a coffee shop right now working on her latest short story draft.


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

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Chapter 2: Keeping Parents in the Picture

August 11th, 2022

After the last lamp is unloaded from the pile of Amazon boxes and set up in your room–with maybe a few choice words uttered along the way–, you follow your parents back outside to your family car. The trunk is still open from unloading all of your many (some would say too many) dorm necessities and decorations for your first year in college. With the momentous closing of the trunk, you exchange heartfelt goodbyes with your parents, filled with tight hugs, words of encouragement, and maybe even a tear or two for good measure. As the family car pulls away from your very first dorm building, you can’t help but take a deep breath and savor your newfound freedom. Your parents are (seemingly) out of your life for good, and you can’t help but feel a wave of excitement for all of the fun you’re going to have. No parents mean no rules, and no rules mean you can do whatever you want. It’s time to start a new adventure.

Except… that’s not really how it works. Your parents are not gone forever. In fact, they might even be coming back in four weeks for parent’s weekend. Maybe you have plans to see them over a fall break or Thanksgiving weekend. Regardless of how much you see them when your parents send you off to college, it doesn’t stop them from being your parents. For better or for worse, your parents play a significant role in shaping who you are as a person. On a strictly surface level, they feed you, clothe you, and give you shelter. Sometimes they are the ones driving you to and from school or registering you for different activities. They even impact your mannerisms, interests, and personality traits in ways you don’t even realize. Even though they won’t be present in your everyday life anymore, you can work to maintain a good relationship with them while in college. Using the following tips and tricks can help you to form a great bond with your parental guardians while still expressing your freedom in your time away from home.

My first and most important tip is to set a time to call your parents each week. While the average college student has frequent contact with their parents, remembering to do this can be valuable for anyone in college. I strongly recommend doing something like this for a multitude of reasons. It gives your parents an opportunity to know what’s going on in your life. If you have a positive relationship with your parents, it helps you catch up with each other. If you have a less than positive relationship with your parents, this can be an easy way to keep minimal contact with them. If you are a person who enjoys having structure and making plans to keep yourself accountable, regimented meetings such as these every week can even become benchmarks for organizing a schedule, or an exercise in debriefing your week out loud with people who care about you. Weekly phone calls were something that I struggled with at first because I felt completely sucked into my college experience, leaving no room to think about what was happening at home. This is largely because I go to a college that is close to where I live, so I was focused on completely separating my life at home from my life at college. I was afraid that my parents would try to act as if I had never gone to college and were going to expect me to be at home when I didn’t want to be. But by establishing firm boundaries between home and college, I was able to enjoy my time on campus while not feeling bad about coming home once in a while for special events. Now, going to my senior year, I often look forward to reconnecting with my parents. Instead of being a reminder of my home that I wanted to escape, they became an escape from some of my more chaotic times at college. 

One of the downsides to living on your own and away from your parents is that you lack them as a readily available resource. While adjusting to doing everything on your own can be difficult, it is okay to ask for help. Often, parents can become even more eager to help their children with whatever may be concerning them during this difficult transition to independent living at college. However, it can be tempting to abuse this and just ask your parents to do everything for you, like asking them to fill out certain forms when you don’t want to deal with them. This brings me to my next piece of advice, which is to ask your parents to teach you how to do things, not to have them do things for you. While Google can be your best friend for smaller tasks, you can use your parents as a resource for bigger tasks that require more explaining or experience to teach. Using your parents as a resource is important because it forces you to learn how to do the activity yourself instead of having to learn it on the fly when you’re living alone. College is all about learning, so what better time is there to learn life skills than in a safe environment where there are fewer consequences if something goes wrong? And if you’re someone who likes to talk with your parents, this can be another excuse to catch up or learn hilarious stories from when they were learning these life skills. 

In the same way that you don’t want to take advantage of your parents, you also want to make sure that your parents don’t take advantage of you and try to dictate your college experience. It’s no secret that parents today are more involved in their child’s life than ever before. While the ever-inflating price of a college degree may be perceived as a good reason for that, some parents use that as an excuse to control every aspect of their child’s life, from the classes they can take to the places that they can live. This can lead to students going through multiple years of college studying subjects they have no interest in or missing a social life they desperately need. While I acknowledge that every situation is different and that it can be difficult to go against your parent’s requests, I strongly recommend that you work as hard as you can to have a college and independent living experience that is good for you, not one that is strictly good for your parents. One helpful tactic when discussing with your parents about these issues is to not ask what they want but to ask what they are trying to accomplish. Here’s an example: a year ago, my parents asked me for the password to my log in to my portal account in college. I didn’t feel comfortable with my parents being able to go into my account at all times, so I asked them why they wanted access to the account. I learned that they wanted to know my grades at the end of each semester. We were able to come to an agreement that I could find a time to show them my grades each semester, instead of them going in to check themselves. While this won’t work all the time, addressing the root of the issue can help both parties come together towards a better solution. 

At the end of the day, every family is different, and your relationship with your parents is unique to you. Maybe you love to talk to them every day, or maybe you prefer learning how to do things by yourself. Nevertheless, I hope one or more of these tips can be useful to you. If you learn anything from this, it’s that a relationship with your parents is not only worth maintaining but can be invaluable for a great college experience. By the time I was getting ready to start my first semester, I, like many other college students, was basically starting to get sick of my parents. Everything they did and said annoyed me, and I felt like I had to get away from them at all costs. But by the end of the first year, I felt like my relationship with my parents was stronger than ever before. As long as you put in a little effort, happy parents can help you go a long way in both college and beyond.


Speaking of adults and responsibilities, setting dentist appointments are one in the large list of things that you’re going to have to figure out how to manage and afford for yourself. Luckily, Ultimate Dental of Cambridge has your back. You can get up 20% off an appointment with this coupon and a student ID.

By: Lucas Pratt


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


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet 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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Coda: The Next Dance

August 9th, 2022

Growing up as an Asian-American Jewish person in New York City, my multiethnic heritage granted me glimpses into cultural spaces that don’t often overlap. My favorite childhood outings with my mother were to local Japanese grocery stores and bookstores, and I regularly attended my local synagogue for Hebrew school and Shabbat services. Over the years I have developed a deep appreciation for my mixed background, but there have been times where I have felt a gnawing sense of imposter syndrome in these spaces, as if I don’t truly belong. While traveling in Japan, for instance, locals would sometimes start speaking to me in Japanese, assuming that I, like my mother, spoke the language. I was ashamed by my inability to respond, giving only blank stares and uttering simple apologetic phrases. As a young teen, I became aware that I was often the only nonwhite person in the room at my synagogue. Because my physical appearance is predominantly Asian, subtle looks and underhanded comments from others, albeit rare, made me feel like an outsider to the Jewish community. Aside from my background, given New York City’s bustling and diverse nature, I have grown accustomed to living alongside many different types of people with radically different life experiences. My own experiences, along with the city’s accepting, ‘anything goes’ culture, have led me to view inclusivity as one of my most important values, and one I hope to embody in everything I do. 

Me and my mom traveling around Japan in 2018

When starting out as a DJ, my intimidation could not be entirely attributed to my newcomer status. My first time attending a DJ’s Streetbeat set at the radio station, I walked into a room of seven white men. Their kind, welcoming demeanor eased my nerves, but it was hard to shake the feeling that my race and gender made me an outsider. After all, the majority demographic that I encountered at the radio station that night was no coincidence. 

By taking charge of the music, DJs hold a lot of power as the person responsible for setting the atmosphere of the party space. Accordingly, female DJs break the narrative established by fraternity life, which heavily influences the college party scene by skewing power towards men. Typically, fraternities host parties in their frat houses while sororities are prohibited from throwing parties. This arrangement discreetly places power in the hands of fraternity members, who can control the layout of the party and are often in charge of distributing drinks. Women may feel pressure to comply with fraternity members because they are visitors in the space and therefore lack the same sense of control. 

With a female DJ behind the booth, men no longer dominate the party atmosphere. As an Asian American, I further hope to break the narrative of predominant whiteness within most party spaces at college. I aim to prioritize people of color and women during my sets, and like to showcase female-forward music from around the world, either produced by a woman or featuring feminine vocals. Everyone deserves to party safely and comfortably, and to feel represented by the space around them. I also hope to pave the way for other female, nonwhite, and queer DJs. There were always a few other women in the Streetbeat community, but never any nonwhite women. I remember how intimidating it was to join Streetbeat and hope that my presence in the group encourages other nonwhite women to join. Changing party culture is bigger than any one person, but it starts by showing up in new ways, and giving others the courage to do the same. 

DJing at a concert highlighting Northwestern bands and DJs, for students and by students

This same desire for inclusivity fuels my post-grad aspirations. I fell in love with English literature and creative writing classes at college, so in addition to continuing to DJ on the weekends, I hope to create a more inclusive culture in the publishing industry by becoming a book editor for underrepresented authors. Storytelling through books has a unique ability to share experiences and spread empathy, and my goal as a book editor is to share the stories of those who are too often overlooked by the mainstream. 

Pursuing my goals will surely not be easy, requiring perseverance, hard work, and dedication. However, I am willing to put in the work, knowing I am on the right path because my pursuits align with my values. Aside from one’s career path, personal values influence nearly every aspect of life, from relationships to spiritual life to daily routines. When faced with uncertainty or deciding upon next steps, turning to your values can help you determine what to do. In fact, you likely embody your values already in ways you don’t even realize. If you’re not sure what your values are, take a look at what is important to you and the things in your life that you care about the most. Coming into college as a freshman I knew I liked music and wanted to take more English classes, but I couldn’t imagine the aspirations I have now as a DJ and book publisher. By taking a moment to clarify what matters to you the most, you can empower both yourself and those around you to move in accordance with one’s own personal values.


Wherever life takes you, your belongings may not always be able to follow. Use this coupon for deals with Gotham Mini Storage for convenient and affordable storage options nearby!

By Lu Poteshman

Lu is a rising senior at Northwestern University, where she studies English Literature with a minor in Art, Theory and Practice. She is passionate about all things music and art, and loves to paint, draw, design things, write creatively, cook and explore in her free time. She is currently working towards her dreams of being a book editor by day and DJ by night.


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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Rapid Revival Restaurant Review Returns Reinvigorated: Marinara Pizza

August 9th, 2022
MARINARA PIZZA, New York City - 1376 Lexington Ave, Carnegie Hill -  Restaurant Reviews - Order Online Food Delivery - Tripadvisor

Okay, this one’s a bit of a cheat. I had actually eaten at Marinara before I did this review. In a city full of pizza places, this is a place that has a pizza. And it’s a pretty good pizza!

But before we talk about that, we need to talk about the garlic thingies. I love these things, even though I only ever have like two of them and I’m always served five and I don’t even know what they’re really called. Regardless, the ones at Marinara are okay. They’re crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside, which is good for biscuits but less good for these guys. At least they taste like garlic,

But the real start of the show is the pizza, which is everything you want out of New York pizza. It’s hot, it’s greasy, and it’s damn tasty. I ordered a pepperoni pizza which they didn’t have so they added pepperoni on top of a regular pizza and it tasted like it was supposed to be there. I don’t even have naything clever to say. Eat this pizza.

Verdict: 9.25/10 Unknown Foodstuff Names


By: Alexander Rose

Alexander Rose studies satire at NYU Gallatin and wishes he was actually just Oscar Wilde. He is interested in writing, roleplaying games, and procrastination. Describing himself in the third person like this makes him feel weird.


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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“You Online Shop Too Much”-My Mom, Probably

August 5th, 2022

If online shopping is so bad, then why is it so relaxing? Why is it so satisfying to fill my carts with all of the items that I want, knowing full well that I can’t afford the thousands of dollars of merchandise? Why does it bring me comfort to organize wish lists with things that I will probably never get around to buying? These are the million-dollar questions, I know.

In my first semester at college, I was probably ordering new clothes once a month. It was so convenient to ship them to my dorm, and it’s always fun to get a package when you’re at school, even if you’re the one sending it. However, I do have a habit of ordering clothes just to return them in the next week. My mom considers this a bad habit, but I consider it being fiscally responsible and making sure to get my money back whenever I order something that I don’t like or don’t need. To each their own.

A very high-quality mirror selfie of me trying on clothes that I ordered online in my dorm. We do not have a full-length mirror, hence the standing on the chair. Have to get creative sometimes.

Once the pandemic hit, the term “retail therapy” seemed to take on a whole different meaning. It was one of several ways to pass time during our days of isolation, but it also seemed like a way to stay connected with the outside world and brighten up your life by getting something new or treating yourself in whatever form that takes—whether it was new clothes (ironic, considering the furthest place I was going on an average day was to the kitchen downstairs), a new book to read, or a new appliance to try out. Much more convenient and safer than going shopping in-person, and much less work and cognitive energy being spent.

But, like many things in life, online shopping is not immune to corrupt business practices, ones that of course flourish in our capitalist system; ones that not only take advantage of employees that work in factories with egregious conditions and contribute to environmental destruction, but also manipulate us as consumers because they offer services that we are compelled to utilize.

Take Amazon, an example I’m sure we are all intimately familiar with. As a college student, Amazon is a lifesaver. Need a book for class immediately? It could come the next day. Need back to school supplies but don’t have access to transportation? Order it online and just walk to your mailroom to pick it up. Want to buy a coffee machine but don’t know which ones are the best to buy? Look at the reviews and have it in two days. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s affordable, and the products are usually very good quality.  

The cost, of course, is more than just the price of the item. The cost is that you are compelled to take part in a system that is as dangerous as it is convenient: employees are being pushed to the brink to work faster in unsafe working conditions, they are kept in the dark about COVID-19 and put at a greater risk for it, they work more than 60 hours a week, and they have to commute two or three hours to get to work, just to name a few of the many issues cited by Justine Medina and Brett Daniels, who are members of the organizing committee for Amazon’s Labor Union in Staten Island.

The same thing goes with fast fashion, “the mass production of cheap, poor quality, disposable clothing.” College students are very susceptible to fast fashion from companies like Shein, who take advantage of a person’s inclination to spend less money while still trying to keep up to date with fast-evolving trends. We see people our age everyday get on TikTok to take us through their shopping hauls, and it makes us want to go out and spend our money to do the same. Shein though, unlike Amazon, usually does not have as good-quality products and is very hit or miss, which personally gives me more of a reason not to shop there. I ordered from Shein one time freshman year, and out of the three items I kept, I have worn one of them exactly once. That is, of course, a perk of fast fashion—the clothes are so cheap that if you don’t wear them, you don’t feel guilty because it didn’t cost you very much. But, that’s also why the cycle is so hard to break, as people are more inclined to dispose of their clothes faster (not usually through sustainable methods) and simply order more.

I want to be abundantly clear that this post isn’t meant for me to sit here on a pedestal, tell you where you can and can’t shop, or make you feel bad. It’s more meant for myself—and hopefully others who feel similarly—to think through these pervasive problems and wonder where we can go from here. I still shop at Amazon and I don’t blame people who order from Shein because truly we are all just doing the best we can to try to save money and navigate a system that is inherently unfair at every step of the way.

I am caught between two schools of thought—on one hand, maybe individuals can try to be more aware of where they are shopping from and shop more sustainably. There are many good options, with the best probably being thrifting your items. Another good solution is to support more small businesses as opposed to large corporations, such as spending money on Redbubble (there is a student discount available!) or Etsy. I personally like buying clothes from American Eagle and Aerie, and I know they are beginning to make more products that are sustainable and eco-friendly.

Image credit: https://www.istockphoto.com/illustrations/sustainable-fashion

On the other hand, I also think that it is unfair to put the pressure on the individual and not the company—because yes, you could do your research and that would be great, but often we just don’t have the time or energy (especially during a global pandemic), and habits are hard to break. It feels like a losing battle, made worse by living through a time where we rely greatly on online shopping and companies like Amazon or Shein to get us the items we need in a safe, efficient manner. 

We debated this issue a lot in my ethics class last semester, and I still don’t really have an answer. I suppose the lesson here is to choose your battles when you can and recognize that making these choices can be difficult when there are many different factors at play and you aren’t in a position where you can spend more money on more expensive yet sustainable brands. Hopefully someday we can get to a place where the onus is not on us to do better, but for companies and brands to both recognize and actually care about the hurt they cause to both human beings and the environment, instead of just worrying about profits.

The good news is companies like the Campus Clipper are always looking for ways to help students save money and shop locally. For instance, if you’re looking to save 10% on art supplies, check out the coupon below and order from Blick Art Materials!


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, but has made barely a dent in the increasingly large pile of books on her bookshelf that she told herself she would read this summer. She hopes to enter a career in the editing and publishing industry.


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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Freedom?

August 3rd, 2022

I see the vape go to their lips from across the room. I grit my teeth and turn away, the craving suddenly ripping through me. “You don’t need it,” I think to myself. There’s more than one vape in the dim room, however, and a little alcohol does a lot to break down one’s resolve. I ask the boy next to me what flavor his disposable is. He asks if I have one, presumably to perform a trade of sorts. I admit to him that I quit, that I was two months vape-free. “Seriously? Wow, man.” His words are slurred, but his eyes are wide and focused on me, “That is so impressive. I’m proud of you. It’s not easy to go against the crowd like that.” Though my urge to break is nearly overpowering, his words are reassuring. A mixture of pride and guilt meld together in the pit of my stomach, pooling in the back of my throat. How can one feel so strongly about something but still yearn for the opposite?

I don’t remember if I broke that night or not. It doesn’t really matter.

When I tell people that I’ve quit vaping, they’re usually impressed. I appreciate their congratulations, but the voice in my head telling me that I still want nicotine makes me feel like a fraud. I would feel proud of myself, but then feel silly for turning to someone and asking if I could hit their vape. In March, when I should have been over 3 months nic-free, I was caught in a cycle of going back on my promise to myself, just taking a few hits every few days. I realized after several weeks that I had fallen back into my old routine, my old habit resurfacing. I decided I could no longer allow myself to have cheat days. I knew I was strong enough now to stay away completely, so I had to fully commit to the quit. I remember resetting my timer after over 150 days. I had been lying to myself, and I was done doing that. Now, every time I break my streak, I reset the timer. It’s only fair.

Nights out with friends are fun but draining; it’s hard to be around accessible nicotine and stay away from it.

I still felt alone in quitting. The people who thought it was impressive that I quit were still vaping; they weren’t on my team in this endeavor. The lack of solidarity made it hard to be true to my promise to stay away from nicotine. Luckily, I have a secret weapon. She cheers me on and keeps me on track. She’s not in my same situation because she was never addicted to nicotine. She saw me when I was still vaping but trying to quit, and she was with me when I was fiending like crazy at a party. Someone who will physically hold you and tell the person whose vape you’ve just asked for “NO” for you is something special. Her pride means more than that of those who still vape, because she won’t dangle nicotine in front of my face. We get to stay away from nicotine together.

Sometimes I resent people who vape or smoke. It feels like I’m being teased, as they get their little rush of chemical joy while I sit fiddling with a hair tie or chewing violently on a piece of gum. I almost feel angry, seeing others with the same vice that was once mine. I allow myself to be angry, if only to keep me from asking for a spare cigarette. The solidarity between myself and those who subscribe to bad habits is demolished, because I went through the suffering that is quitting and they haven’t. I tell myself it won’t always be this way, that I’ll be able to be around it someday and not feel rage and jealousy rush to my cheeks. In her article “Neurobiology of Nicotine Dependence,” Athina Markou states, “Nicotine dependence is more prevalent than dependence on any other substance of abuse (Anthony et al. 1994).” While dependence on nicotine is a prevalent issue, nicotine itself is not the killer when it comes to cigarettes. Vaping bypasses the tobacco and delivers nicotine in chemical juice form to millions of individuals, avoiding the danger. One of those individuals used to be me. Sometimes I ask myself, why did you even quit, really? If it’s not really dangerous, what’s the big deal? If it’s so hard to stay away, then why stay away? It’s just a habit, in reality.

We all have habits.


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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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Love and Other Problems: Apathy Stretches its Jaws

August 3rd, 2022

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Apathy Stretches its Jaws

Starting Freshman year was both exhilarating and dizzying. Exhilarating in its freedom, in its increasingly clear skies and possibilities and opportunities; dizzying in its increasingly clear skies and possibilities and opportunities. What now? Thinking of the what now always sent a nauseating rush through my ribcage, bitter nausea and fear down my legs. The lack of being told what to do or who to talk to with expected, appropriate social niceties was more disorienting than I had ever anticipated.

So began my time sitting alone in cafeterias, dining halls and watching other people talk to each other instead. It was a really pathetic start, being honest. The people I had been grouped with during orientation didn’t stick around for too long and I never got to know them too well, so my routine when classes started, was just to come onto the campus, catch breakfast, finish assignments if there were any––or walk around like a fool if there wasn’t––, attend classes, do the work I had been assigned for the day, have dinner, go home. A tired, dull routine.

having breakfast alone in the first week of university :’

On our popular university Facebook forum, there seemed to be groups of people who shared my feelings, this abyssal loneliness, but strangely I never met people like this outside of that specific online sphere. Classes were a touch-and-go gameplay, a small ‘hi’ and then formal interactions. It was infuriating and it made me miss school, and that longing was not an emotion I had prepared, like watching the door in anticipation for someone particular to walk in, only to see a stranger. I missed my old friends and I missed the simplicity of getting to know people, I missed talking to people at all in fact.

If I recall my first semester now, the image I can produce clearly was sitting at a table for two in the cafe outside the library, cold air brushing my cheeks as I type quickly on my open laptop working for my chinese language class. I paused occasionally, eyes flitting from one corner to another, seeing other freshmen talking familiarly, always together, always in clusters. Those who did sit alone seemed to always have someone come up to them randomly to say hi. I just watched, my hand around the cold condensation on my cup of iced coffee. I guess there was a brownie next to it sometimes, but that was as interesting as it got. Thinking back now, the most interaction I had then was probably with the barista who worked at the cafe. Glenda, I remember her name. She called me Yiru, which was my chinese name, and the only part of the torturous routine I dug myself into that I looked forward to.

Evenings felt worse, I could see kids getting into cabs together to go around the city and wondered how I could make a friend that would do that with me too. I went for a walk around campus usually at that time, befriended the cats around the buildings enough that they started recognising me when I approached. It was a bit peaceful and a bit introspective, and I won’t be unthankful for it, but it got lonely. Miserable. Maybe I found interaction difficult purely around the fact I didn’t have to make this much effort in high school. People came into class, we talked regularly and became friends. I had assumed I could do the same class this time too, but at that point classes had been online for nearly two months, so I was just joining a zoom meeting and leaving again. When classes turned in person again, I think my time became easier, but these people had their own friends and lives of their own so it never felt like they wanted to stick around for longer than they should.

food i grabbed with friends on an island at NYU abu dhabi

I sat outside, on the rooftop of our academic buildings, maybe with a cat next to me occasionally, and looked up at the blank sky, stars drowned out with the light pollution of the city. It felt like walking through an isolated forest. The trees there would be tall and old I’d imagine. Sunlight flickers through them, sharp and hot. There is a word for it. Komorebi. I would hear the sounds of squirrels, birds. There is humming, chirping. Wings with their dense flapping. The sound of twigs snapping and creaky wood. Birds are fortunate, you must know. They have each other, mindless in their friendship, mindless in their sounds.

This first month felt like a failure, I remember. I wasn’t living how I thought I would be, I wasn’t doing as much as I thought I would be. How could I think of love when I struggled to meet anyone to make into a friend? Seeing others do more, meet more people made me feel like I was doing something wrong, there was something I was missing. The gnawing fear of missing out on key experiences grew into a pit. I wasn’t even an introverted person, I loved talking to people and getting to know them, so this struggle was even more baffling. But it did change––mid-semester was when my life started to pick up, and when I started looking forward to my days going to classes, but the first half of quietness and wistfulness always stuck with me.


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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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Harmony: Gigs, Glory, and Growth

August 1st, 2022

Walking home on the last day of junior year classes, a chilly late-May day, I received an email notification with the subject line “oh and another thing:” from my creative writing professor. I stopped in my tracks to open the message, which read, “surround yourself with friends who will never let you forget that you are an artist.” 

I smiled, remembering the conversation that we had just wrapped up in our last class, which she had reserved as an “Ask Me Anything” session. Her email was an addendum to the response she had given for my question about how to manage burnout in a creative career. She shared advice about maintaining artistic momentum, and even told us that her students actually inspire her. 

As I continued my walk home, I reflected on the class, which had ended up being one of my favorites during my time at Northwestern. Beyond my talented classmates, the interesting topics, and hard work I put into the assignments, it was really the professor that made the class stand out. I had never met a professor so invested in her students and openly emotional with her words of support. Through office hour meetings where we discussed a lengthy short story piece I was working on, I became inspired by her creatively-driven career path as a novelist and creative writing professor. She encouraged us to take risks and dive deep into our writing, and as a result it was in this class that I discovered my voice as a writer and an artist. I dove into my writing, embracing the work that I really loved to do, and the effect rippled out into my other passion as I began to pursue DJing more seriously.

The summer after my sophomore year, I DJed every week during my late-night radio shows. Once I overcame the initial technical difficulties and got the hang of the equipment, my time at the radio station became sacred to me. I loved being able to practice alone while also knowing that there was a small audience of listeners somewhere out there. All by myself in the studio, it was easy to forget about the people tuning in to my show, but one night, to my delight, I received a call on the radio phone line in the middle of my set. A listener let me know how much they enjoyed my set, and asked about the names of the last couple of songs I had played. 

As I gained confidence behind the DJ booth at the station, I began to invite a couple of friends to come hang out at the station during my set. Some would talk and browse the station as I played, while others would peer over my shoulder and dance. When the fall semester of junior year started up, I received an email one day announcing a party hosted by the radio station and asking if anyone was interested in DJing. I responded to the email, and by the end of the day I had a forty-five minute time slot lined up for that coming weekend. 

A picture from my first time DJing at a party

In the days leading up to the party, nerves were running high and I wasn’t quite sure how to prepare. At the radio station, I would just show up and try things out for an hour, but for a roomful of people I wanted to be more prepared. I listened to a bunch of music and meticulously picked out songs for my set, then I went over to my friend’s house to practice mixing with his DJ board. On the day of, just an hour before the party started, I decided that I hated my whole set and redid all of my song selections. I felt underprepared and had no idea what was going to happen, but there was nothing left to do except go and try my best. So, I put on my favorite outfit and headed over to the party. I was the first person slated to perform, so as people started to trickle in, I put on the first song and began to adjust the settings to my liking. As I made my first song transition, muscle memory kicked in, and I realized that all those hours at the radio station paid off, and I knew exactly what to do – in fact, I could do it almost without thinking! 

All of a sudden, the dance floor was full. I could see how the crowd responded to the music and tried to play off of their energy, layering upbeat songs to get the crowd moving with slower songs to give people a breather. I was nervous that my disco house tracks wouldn’t land because they’re not the typical Top 40 hits you hear at a college party, but I was delighted to see that people were really dancing and enjoying themselves. I left the DJ booth feeling a huge sense of success, and received lots of compliments, thumbs up, and smiles from friends and strangers alike. As the next DJ took over, I slipped into the crowd with a smile that would linger for days to come, and danced the rest of the night away.


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By Lu Poteshman

Lu is a rising senior at Northwestern University, where she studies English Literature with a minor in Art, Theory and Practice. She is passionate about all things music and art, and loves to paint, draw, design things, write creatively, cook and explore in her free time. She is currently working towards her dreams of being a book editor by day and DJ by night.


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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Reflecting Friendships

July 29th, 2022

I like to think that my worldview has grown a lot in the past few years. Once I took the first steps necessary to become more independent and responsible, beginning with my journey into a foreign country for college and continuing as I make my way towards different travels and milestones, I came to realize many lessons and values that I failed to before. Most particularly, I learned how to reevaluate my relationship with the people around me. 

I often hear about “red flags” or “warning signs” in any kind of relationship on social media, and though these warnings aren’t always reliable, they prompted me to start considering my personal boundaries with others. There were tiktoks and tweets that I came across that made really general statements about interactions, categorizing slow texters or people who use a certain kind of emoji as being “bad” or undesirable. While I know I shouldn’t take these posts too seriously, I began wondering if I had traits that others considered to be “red flags” or absolute boundaries, or just how others viewed their relationship with me in general. Of the faults that I could readily list about myself, I must admit to being a terrible texter. Not because I don’t want to respond, but oftentimes I just forget to, or I get way too in my head about it and end up feeling unnecessary anxiety about my replies instead. I wondered if these “failed” interactions were my fault, or if I was allowed to expect my friends to be more or less accommodating of these faults. 

As with most people, I’ve had my fair share of difficulties in navigating relationships, particularly with friendships. I grew up in a small community amongst a rather static group of peers. Few people entered this circle, and fewer people really left. It’s safe to say that my social circle never experienced major ups or downs, and as time passed everyone kind of just got used to being around each other. While I was fine with this as a child, I started feeling more and more alienated as I grew older and my interests developed differently from my peers. Quite a few of my friendships came to pass in this manner — maintained as an extended familiarity, but fading away without any real attachments. 

As a result, I held a lot of rather naive expectations about socialization when I grew older and started stepping out into a broader community. I figured that with an increased population size I would find my place somehow, and I definitely believed I did, but it was only as my freshman year of college came to a close that I realized that my “place” was just temporary. As this first year progressed, my peers began to shed their early orientation-driven enthusiasm and with it, many friend groups collapsed and faded away. I found myself at a loss as conflicts erupted in the groups around me, and my own relationships with these people grew brittle, and eventually broke away. I was deeply upset that those I had trusted and believed to be close confidants had so easily let go of our friendships. 

In the two years since then, I’ve grown and found comfort in my own goals and interests, but I often recall the naivety I held in my first year, and wonder if there was anything I should’ve changed to keep hold of the people who I thought were important. But at the same time, without these continuing attachments, I’ve had the time to reflect on myself and really focus on my own growth. I’ve come to appreciate being alone most of the time, much unlike the way my old friend group was adamant about doing everything together. I think I’ve found that keeping to myself works a lot better for my personality, and in this time I spent focusing on myself, I’ve also found several very valued friendships that I’m comfortable within and that I trust to be respectful of my boundaries. Most importantly, I’ve come to accept that there are some people who are only meant to be in my life for a period of time, and though they no longer hold that position, I should just be thankful for the joyful memories we shared and let them go without resentment. 

Exploring shared interests is a great way to spend time with my friends without feeling overwhelmed or fatigued — this was from a trip to Dia Beacon!

My younger self was perhaps too dependent on the idea of the glorified “best friend,” the media-marketed ideal of a tight-knit group where everything functions perfectly and no one ever gets hurt. While this may be a reality for many people, it simply hasn’t been for me, and I understand now that this expectation may have prevented me from really being a good friend to others. I convinced myself that the issue was just that we weren’t a fit, and while that may have been the case as well, this selfish belief kept me from putting in as much effort as I perhaps should have. But as I’ve matured and cast aside such habits, I think my greatest lesson throughout these many failed friendships is that there really isn’t a reason why I should need a perfect friend group. More than anything, I’ve learned that I’m perfectly fine and happy even without, and this ideal that I chased all throughout childhood only served to make myself miserable as I compared every relationship I had to “perfection” and found them wanting. There were definitely many connections that I mistakenly let go of due to these misconceptions, but as a wiser (as I’d like to think) version of myself, I trust that I have grown enough to be happy as I am, and hope that in this way, I can foster much healthier relationships with the people I come across in the future. 


One of the best ways I’ve found to catch up with others is to meet up for a meal or a cup of coffee and chat. Use this student discount and treat yourself and a friend!


By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


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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