Growing Pains: Chapter 2-Girl Meets World

July 2nd, 2024

Although I did not cry at graduation, I cried a lot when I finally arrived at the place that would shape the next four years of my life. The first wave of tears came when my mom and sister bid me farewell, the floodgates opening soon after the last box of my clothes arrived safely in my room. All the ones that escaped my tear ducts afterward would bloom from seeds of insecurity and uncertainty. I finally had what felt like the world at my fingertips. But what to do with it? I will admit after seeing my roommate, who I had barely uttered a word to, take off the next morning while I was still glued to my stuffed animal-adorned bed, I was consumed by envy of her confidence and independence, and startled by the apparent lack of my own. I had already felt as though I was the turtle in the race of socialization. I was so focused on making it to university, that now that I was here, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. The friends I had back home all had each other, as they went to the state school more than half our high school class would be attending. I refused to let wallowing in my self-pity become an option though, and so I found myself gearing up for the day, not knowing where I was headed, but letting my footsteps lead me out the door anyway.

My first-day exploring campus.

Instead of heading to the bookstore or the library when I stepped out into the salty, brisk wind of New York autumn, I forced myself over to a dining hall where I would meet my first round of prospective friends. In retrospect who could blame me? Since I could remember, American media had been spoon-feeding me tales of wild parties, new romantic partners every week, and substances I could barely wrap my tongue around pronouncing. My university itself was selling the slogan, ‘This is the best four years of your life!’ (I definitely haven’t heard that before) to students, reminding us at every turn that we’d never know if our soulmate would be lurking at the fifth free pizza event of the week. Despite having been proven wrong about this four-year bonanza before, I ashamedly fell for it again. I fell into step with the often-time robotic script of asking everyone I crossed paths with, “What’s your name? Where are you from? What’s your major?” I was maybe a little too optimistic, and too convinced that I would in fact meet my future spouse at the speed dating event at the dorm a twenty-minute walk from me. I collected Instagram usernames for sport, and I still have numbers on my phone that have never been contacted, and whose names I no longer recognize. It felt as though if I did not make friends that week, the window for all the relationships that awaited me for the next four years would close its doors and remain shut for the rest of my college career. Overdramatic yes, but it was the gospel I preached and practiced. Birds of a feather flock together, and if you had not found people to latch on to during that first week, you could kiss your social life goodbye. At the end of it all, I emerged victorious in my endeavor and had multiple individuals I felt I could call friends, despite knowing them for a measly couple of days. I would soon discover that although I survived the battle, there was a greater war to come.


Use this student discount for affordable and delicious cuisine!

By Tiana Gregg

Tiana is a rising junior at NYU majoring in English and minoring in Art History. She spends her days reading, writing, listening to music, and indulging in just about every hobby (except sports!) you can think of to fill her time. You will never find her idling.


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

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

Share

Talent Is Overrated

July 2nd, 2024

Someone has probably told you that everyone is good at something. The idea that talent must be harvested and discovered has been drilled into our brains since childhood. Countless movies and cartoons teach kids to find their talent (sometimes called other names like “spark” or “gift”), and those who fall behind the rest, wasting their childhood finding what makes them special, can’t help but feel like there’s something wrong with them. In a not-more-fortunate contrast, those who “find” their talent are forever bound to it, like prisoners to the spark that becomes their whole sense of identity. 

The former, those who spend their lives searching for a mystery, may try every single hobby available. They might have signed up for karate, painting, chess, or poetry classes—perhaps even all—hoping to discover whatever gift they were born with. Eventually, they will realize they have no talent, so according to that Disney movie they once saw their lives must be meaningless. After all, how can they even excel at anything if they lack talent? 

The latter, those who find what they are good at, may have tried a couple of hobbies before finding their spark, and when they did, their lives formed around it. Eventually, they won’t be allowed to do anything outside their gift because that is what “they were born to do.” If they ever wanted to chase after a different dream, it would be frowned upon. After all, wouldn’t pursuing something different be a waste of talent? 

Whether or not you relate to one of those mentioned fates, it is undeniable that people’s success is often credited to their gift. For instance, after putting all their effort into a successful project, gifted people will hear comments like: “That’s because you are talented–it’s so easy for you.” And they will smile at the intended-to-be-compliment, feeling all their hard work invalidated. On the other—unlucky—hand, the ones without innate abilities might feel tempted not to learn anything as they are conditioned to think only talented people get to succeed. 

Unfortunately, people tend to forget that there are two things undoubtedly more influential than talent: discipline and dedication. While talent is that natural ability, skills are developed through practice. Your gifts take you only so far. Your skills are the ones you can evolve to where they need to be. There is no room for talent in a room full of skilled professionals who have worked hard for their abilities. With that said, I don’t mean talents are not something to celebrate, but they are not the finish line. Thus, the pressure to find them must be eased. Likewise, if you do encounter your talents, you are not bound to them.

Image Credit: https://www.thesaurus.com/e/grammar/talent-vs-skill/

I first learned to differentiate gifts from skills in high school. My best friend couldn’t understand a thing about chemistry, but I easily understood it. He claimed chemistry was my talent and I believed it. We studied together and I saw him going through longer study sessions, solving more problems, while I watched movies or played video games. The exam results came, and he had earned a better grade than mine. Surely, if he had studied as little as me, he would have failed, but he was able to surpass me by simply trying harder. He took quite a liking for chemistry after that and pursued a career in science. I did as well. 

Like many who discovered their talent, I thought my only choice was to be a chemist because I was meant to do that. I went to college for three years and was seemingly content. But after moving to New York City, I started to question many things about myself and one of them was if being a scientist was what I really wanted. It took some unlearning until I realized that writing was what fulfilled me. To pursue a career in writing, I had to develop skills and work hard like my high school friend did. After taking some time to learn the language, I started college again with a new major in English. 

My high school friend recently graduated from the biochemistry program. He became a fine scientist through training and practice because that was what fulfilled him professionally. I now continue my journey as a college student and writer. Although it doesn’t feel as easy as chemistry—my gift—did, I feel like finally being on the right path. Simply, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. 

If you have found what you are good at and it feels right to pursue it, please do. Many people who followed—and developed—their talents have become extraordinary individuals. Just make sure you pair your gifts with skills and don’t let others minimize your efforts. However, if your path doesn’t make you happy, find another one. You might discover a new talent or, like me, a career that fulfills you whether you are great at it or not. 

If you haven’t—or never—found what you are good at, look for what makes you happy. Sometimes, we do something difficult and it doesn’t come out great on our first try, but it still makes us feel accomplished. That is the feeling you must cling to. Study, train, and develop the skills necessary for that career. The outcome might surprise you because, like my friend, you don’t have to be gifted to be exceptional. 


When the pressure to follow your talent becomes too heated, refresh yourself with some gelato. Use this discount to cool you down even further.

By Roxanna Cardenas

Roxanna is a Venezuelan writer living in New York City. Her works include essays, poetry, screenplays, and short stories. She explores fiction and non-fiction genres, with a special interest in horror and sci-fi. She has an A.A. in Writing and Literature and is working on her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration.


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

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

Share

Park it somewhere!

July 1st, 2024

You’ve heard the complaints: “New York is so expensive! You can’t do anything fun without spending money!” But this is not true! Sure, eating good food and visiting cool museums may require a chunk of change. However, there’s something to be said for one of the most underrated and inexpensive activities that New York has to offer: the park.

New York, like many other urban areas, is stingy with its greenery. Parks and other recreational spaces have to be sectioned out by blocks, and it’s hard to hear birds chirping over incessant cars honking. But tucked in New York’s northernmost borough are green spaces that rival the iconic Central Park. The Bronx, deceptively wooded, alone has over 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreational areas. But here are some of my favorites.

Poe Park. Once the home of famous 19th-century poet Edgar Allan Poe, Poe Park boasts a large green triangular lawn dotted with cherry trees. Placed in the center of the park is a charming white farmhouse with many of the original furniture still inside. Students can tour the farmhouse for only $3, but entry into the park is completely free. Poe Park is a 5 minute walk north from the Fordham Road stop on the D train, and an 8 minute walk northwest from the Fordham station on the Metro North. If you’re looking to get in the headspace to write some chilling stories, or just to get outside for a bit, Poe Park is a great option.

Poe Cottage is beautiful all times of the year, but especially so in the summertime, framed by this great green cherry tree!
Image credit: NYC Parks

Belmont’s community park, Ciccarone Park, is as lively as it is conveniently located. Nestled on 188th St between Arthur Ave and Hughes Ave, Ciccarone Park is the perfect summer spot, complete with water spouts for cooling off, shady trees to relax under, and comfortable benches to read on. The park is popular with families because of its playground and proximity to family-friendly pizza joints such as Full Moon Pizzeria. For students living in Belmont, Ciccarone Park is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors while remaining close to home.

Belmont’s Ciccarone Park is one of my favorite spots for reading, reminiscing, or playing hackey sack.
Image credit: Eater NY

It wouldn’t be a list of prime outdoor spaces without mentioning the New York Botanical Garden, affectionately referred to as “the Botans” by Fordham students. NYBG’s sprawling campus is home to greenhouses, rock gardens, waterfalls, and a multitude of great green lawns. Even with 250 acres of prime picnicking spots, my favorite spot in the Botans is the rock garden. It’s quiet, serene, and beautiful all four seasons.

If you look to the right, tucked behind that cherry blossom tree, you can see Fordham’s Keating Hall poking up in the distance.
Image credit: GetYourGuide

The Bronx is often a forgotten borough, separated from the other boroughs on the northern part of the continent. People think of the Bronx solely as a strictly urban area with large stone buildings, a mess of highways, and graffitied walls. But there is so much more to my favorite borough than pop culture’s depiction of it. The Bronx boasts lush greenery along the Mosholu and Pelham Parkways, and over 10,000 acres of prime picnicking locations. Wherever you decide to park it this summer, don’t forget the beautiful boogie-down Bronx!

If the weather does not befit a trip to the park, check out Color Me Mine on the
Upper West Side for a discount on a rainy day activity!

by Mia Crocco

Mia is a rising junior at Fordham University – Rose Hill studying English and theology. In her free time, Mia enjoys cooking, collaging, and playing the piano and guitar.


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

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

Share

Chapter Three: Breaks are Productive

July 1st, 2024

I always sensed from my Dominican immigrant parents that you had to really justify your breaks and even vacations. I remember feeling guilty for missing a few classes in middle school, even when I was very sick. I remember being in my high school Tae Kwon Do class doing jumping jack exercises, feeling so weak from my period symptoms that I felt I couldn’t jump anymore; yet my instructor kept telling the girls that periods weren’t any excuse not to do the exercises. And those high school days were long running from8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. These were among the many ways I was neglecting my health for the sake of hard work—unsurprisingly this only continued even more during college.

My childhood and adolescence was defined by my studies because that’s how I was taught to view life and success. I was taught that taking breaks was a distraction from continuing to increase your social status and making loads of money; two things that were extremely important for my family. It also felt like because they were themselves so used to the grind, they needed me to do the same in order to understand how much they sacrificed to get me to a decent life in the US. However, I think their view of personal sacrifices for me isn’t entirely accurate.

In some ways, I feel like I have sacrificed my entire self for my parents. I spent much of life building an inauthentic version of myself easy enough for them to manipulate. I prioritized my needs last, leading me to deprive myself of so much I needed in order to survive in the first place. Sometimes, I deprived myself of proper dinners just to work more to feel like I could pay my parental debt in labor. Other times, I gave up on precious sleep—something I am jealous of my twelve-year-old self for doing better—just to re-update my resume and apply for more jobs to feel like I wasn’t doing nothing at home.

If I happened to have too much free time, I couldn’t just journal, write for fun, listen to music, or chat with friends online without it feeling like I wasn’t being productive enough. Labor was the way my existence was justified. It was the way my parents felt I could properly honor them and even God. Even better if I could just handle doing it all as modern women are expected to. Clean. Cook. Babysit. Console. Get Paid. Being a woman was itself a full-time job with little benefits as I have come to face it more and more each day. And quitting was not a choice.

I have found that making time for both journaling and walking are forms of exercise I can easily do every day without hurting my wallet, my mind, or my body. One being more mental and the other being more physical, they still mirror each other in that they both keep me active and release me from self-containment—like I mentioned in the previous chapter. I have also found that journaling and walking facilitate each other, especially when I am in as open of a space as my college campus.

An empty train cart all to myself 🙂

These exercises encouraged me to continue tapping into my sense of interoception, one of the many other senses we humans have but aren’t too aware of. As a woman, I am aware that I have been spending a lot of time inside my head and haven’t given those feelings proper release out into the world. It almost felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin and transform into a butterfly in order to fly away from my problems. But I had to learn to love living in my human body and find my natural habitat—a place where I could smile, yell, laugh, and cry at a high volume without shame.

College was a break from home and everything else that came before it. College might cause some to grind even harder if they aren’t careful enough, but it gave me a resting place to slow down. Breaks, regardless of what they are breaks from, are productive because you have the space to properly enjoy yourself. You’re able to let your brain breathe, let yourself be inspired by the world, take notice of beautiful sights nature gifts you, and listen to your body when it may be telling you are consuming too much energy. If anything, your breaks allow you to be a proper student of life. Exactly why you shouldn’t let labor be your master.


Ease your mind with a refreshing spa day using this 10% off student discount coupon!

By Daeli Vargas

Daeli is a recent graduate from the City College of New York with a BA in English and a publishing certificate. She is from the Bronx and is very passionate about all things literary. She hopes one day to publish many books of her own and share her passions worldwide.


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

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

Share

Baby Steps to Community

June 30th, 2024

“Hey there!”, “Good morning!”, “How can I help you?”. Greetings like these graced my ears a million times while I lived in California. It was so common that it seemed universal. It was a normalcy that I took for granted. 

It wasn’t till I hopped on a plane across the country and moved into my dorm at Columbia University that I realized just how much of a privilege those pleasantries were. Instead of being greeted with warm, genuine smiles, I was met with blank stares and indifferent attitudes. It was a shock to go so unnoticed in such a densely populated space. Maybe the fact that people are so ubiquitous in New York City reduces the impulse for human interaction. Maybe people are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of their own lives, they don’t have the mental capacity to acknowledge their own neighbors. Whatever the case may be, the difference between social interaction in California and New York City is undeniably apparent.

A snapshot of Washington Square Park. So many people in the same place, concerned with themselves. Taken on 35mm film.

For a while, this variation left me stunned. I felt like a fish out of water when my “please” and “thank you”s were met with confused faces. While this was certainly a culture shock, it was one that I was able to adapt to and eventually overcome. I’m all about appreciating the culture into which you are moving, but I also believe it’s important to remember where you came from. In this spirit, I chose to modify the way I carry myself in New York City. It’s important to curate a sense of community in your first few months of college, and this is virtually impossible without reaching out to people and starting conversation. With that being said, here’s a strategy that’s helped me retain my friendly West Coast mannerisms in the big City.

My advice is to begin with baby steps. Attitude and atmosphere are invisible characteristics, so it can be a surprise when they shift around you. I first noticed that my surroundings were different when the people on the street looked past me without a second thought. When I realized this, I had to take a step back and a breath inwards. What was I doing here? Should I be changing the way I act in order to fit in? These were the questions I had to ask myself as I was acclimating to the city. My answers all centered around the fact that I wanted to grow from the person I had been back home. Even though the city promotes individualism, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to grow without learning from people as well as my academic studies. With that in mind, I started practicing kindness in small gestures, like saying thank you to the security guards stationed at my residence hall, asking the dining hall workers how they were doing, and even holding open the door for other classmates. These small actions were the building blocks for greater actions like reaching out to professors during office hours or asking new friends to hang out. So many factors can overwhelm you during your freshman year of college, it can be difficult to stabilize yourself. Little by little, you can set yourself up to handle these important interactions with ease. 

Ideally, we would live in a world full of friendly and constructive communities. Questions and conversations would flow seamlessly between people of all different backgrounds. New York City’s reality is one of closed-off individuals, but that doesn’t mean we have to surrender to the social stigma of cordiality. I’m nowhere close to being confident in talking to strangers, making friends, or curating community. It’s an experience that requires patience, practice, and even failure. I’m willing to endure a fit of discomfort in order to perform small actions of kindness. In my opinion, discomfort is necessary if your goal is to grow as a person. Though it may be difficult to immediately behave with grace, I encourage you to take the small steps for the sake of building your greater community. It’s the little things that go a long way!


By Thomas Stewart

Thomas currently attends Columbia University and plans to double major in creative writing and human rights. At Columbia Thomas is a staff writer for the City News section of the Columbia Daily Spectator, where he publishes articles that concern the West Harlem community. In his free time, you can find him practicing music or trying new vegetarian recipes


When you finally work up to reaching out to new friends, Color Me Mine can be a great hangout idea. Use code CAMPUSCLIPPER for $50 off!

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

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

Share

Growing Pains: Chapter 1- What Now?

June 27th, 2024

In the weeks leading up to my high school graduation, I swore up and down to anyone who would listen that I would be bawling like a baby upon hearing the first name hesitantly called out by our principal. I cried at the sound of the bell ringing signaling our last day of school, I wailed tears of misery the last time I saw my best friend, and I almost ruined my graduation photos with the tear tracks drying up crustily on my foundation-patted cheeks. The actual ceremony felt like a blur, a simple hour spent listening to names be called that I’d never hear uttered again, and peering into the crowd in the stands for faces I recognized. I remember determinedly weaving through bodies in a crowd in its aftermath, in search of the familiar faces of my friends and family. As we all eventually found our way to each other, I took in their various expressions, some delirious with joy, some drowning in relief, and some helplessly devastated. One face in particular was sobbing out uncontrollably, and as I teased her for the state she was in she hid her face in the crook of her gown-clad elbow and blubbered out through a mess of snot and tears, “Why aren’t you crying?”

The sun setting on graduation day.

Of course, I had been asking myself the same question since we took our seats in front of the podium.  I know I have the bad human habit of looking at the past through rose-colored glasses, romanticizing the worst of times, and yearning for a me that no longer exists. High school is no exception, and I have plenty of good memories from that period of my life, but my graduation is one event my mind has not been able to sugarcoat. The immediate response that rang through my head was, ‘Well, because I hated it here’. Although it does feel like an overstatement to say that I hated my high school, it was indeed a word I threw around a lot in association with the establishment. In most instances, it was fueled by teenage angst, and out of spite for the often ridiculous rules we were bound by inside its steadily chipping blue-painted walls. But at other, more desperate times, it was shouted out of sheer frustration from the mouth of my 16-year-old self in response to my parent’s inquiries, crushed by a pressure that was always looming over my head. To hate something is to care, and I cared so much about things that have become relatively trivial to me now, but that seemed to be equivalent to the weight of the world a mere two years ago. I always felt like I was embedded in a crisis, whether it was if my stomach looked flat enough to wear the new crop top I bought, the number displayed in my Instagram followers, or finding a steady group to sit with at lunch. One building had been the center of my universe for nearly half a decade, and in one moment, all of the things I nursed so carefully in my mind for years seemingly dissipated, and it was all over. At that moment I realized just how small me and my worries were, as they fell into another drop into the bucket that is life. In my smallness, the world felt overwhelmingly bigger, and through me rushed a feeling I haven’t the words to explain. So I smiled sheepishly at my friend and responded with an bashful, “I don’t know”.


Use this student discount to treat yourself to an icy dessert to cool down in this summer heat!

By Tiana Gregg

Tiana is a rising junior at NYU majoring in English and minoring in Art History. She spends her days reading, writing, listening to music, and indulging in just about every hobby (except sports!) you can think of to fill her time. You will never find her idling.


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

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

Share

Low-Cost Concert Venues

June 25th, 2024

Finding affordable concerts in New York City can be difficult, amongst the countless pricey entertainment options. While getting a ticket to see an artist you love at a larger venue such as Madison Square Garden or Radio City Hall requires preparation months in advance to find the best prices, if you are looking for someone affordable and last minute – there are plenty of options. Finding live events does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming process, especially given the concentrated number of music venues in New York City. Here are some of my favorite spots, some of which are available to under-21 audiences, for a fun night out without pushing your budget!

Bowery Ballroom; https://mercuryeastpresents.com/boweryballroom/

One of New York’s most iconic venues, the Bowery Ballroom is a medium-sized yet intimate ballroom in the Lower East Side which has hosted artists from Kanye West to Lana Del Rey. This venue is one of my personal favorites because it is small enough where you can get a good view from basically anywhere in the crowd, without being too cramped. Upcoming artists playing this summer include Medium Blind and Mapache. Tickets here are typically around the $25-30 range and the majority of shows are 18+. 

Mercury Lounge; https://mercuryeastpresents.com/mercurylounge/

Mercury Lounge is also in the area and has shows almost every night, some of which are 18+. This venue typically hosts independants up and coming artists and is smaller than the Bowery Ballroom. It’s a chill venue and is perfect for last minute stop as tickets are available at the door for under $20. Mercury Lounge is great late night spot if you’re looking for something laid-back and affordable. 

Knitting Factory – Baker Falls; https://ny.knittingfactory.com/calendar/

The Knitting Factory is another great venue in the Lower East Side which is 18+. This is one of the smaller venues with tickets that range from completely free to $20. Attending shows here is always great because there is usually one band out of the numerous that play that you might now know. Typically, nights at the Knitting Factory are stacked with about 3-4 bands, which is a great opportunity to experience new artists. 

Webster Hall; https://www.websterhall.com/shows/

Lastly, Webster Hall is the largest of these venues, but small enough where it provides a great concert experience. Close by to the other venues mentioned, this is the place to catch mid-size to larger artists – upcoming shows include Clairo, Duster, and The Lemon Twigs. Most concerts here are 18+ and tends to cater towards a younger crowd. Tickets can be on the pricier side than the other smaller venues, but if your favorite artist is playing, it is well worth it. 


Looking for a late-night bite? Check out Rosetta’s Pizza and get 20% off with your student ID!

By Georgie Fleming

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


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

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

Share

Chapter Two: Boundaries Exist and Distance is Necessary

June 24th, 2024

There is nothing worse than an unspoken boundary that is violated. I imagine many of us as kids, especially young girls, have grown up believing that we didn’t have the right to our own privacy and our own space. Living in a small two-bedroom apartment with four other family members for a great majority of my life, I know I didn’t. It was quite the chore not communicating boundaries that were always there but didn’t quite have the language or courage to uncover them when doing so was like the equivalent of committing a sin to my parents.

I had a level of freedom I couldn’t find for years living in a strong, seemingly impenetrable bubble of domesticity. I had these rumbling thoughts deep inside of me thinking—why did this have to mean home? Why couldn’t I get outside of the bubble and share with others who weren’t even my biological family? These thoughts raised a lot more questions than answers. My naturally curious self while raised to be incessantly obedient to my family was also stubborn to be challenged and released from this containment. There indeed always was and still is a life outside of the family and of the traditional home.

I had believed that my parents (and extended family) were entitled to all the private details of my life just because they were my blood. That blood erased the possibility of personal choice. Once I was aware that I would become a college student and an adult, and didn’t have to share everything with my family, I was relieved. My college campus was like a home away from home. I could create my own schedule, choose my own classes, choose my hangout spot, and do almost whatever I wanted without my parents’ or teachers’ input.

There were many people I met in college that seemed to use this freedom away from home as eagerly as I wanted to. Though, I would say in riskier ways than I was willing to. Plenty just wanted to drink, smoke, and have lots of careless sex. It isn’t downright awful to engage in any of these short-term pleasures, as long as they are measured and consensual. But freedom in college to me meant an entirely different thing. It meant getting closer to Mother Nature. Enjoying my own company. Reveling in my own aliveness. It was like a spiritual awakening to see just how much of this world there was for me to experience.

Going to college made me closer to nature, closer to myself, and closer to everyone I have learned major lessons from—even those I have run physically and emotionally away from. It made me see how many more similarities we carry to each other than we do differences. That we are all just wandering souls, even my own family would argue against that using the argument that biological ties are unbreakable. Essentially, that biology keeps at least some of us away from wandering too far. Even though chosen families exist, but that’s another conversation for another time.

Even if my college wasn’t too far from home, I found it a necessary part of my life. For some, college may have given them nothing; but for those such as myself, it saved me. College revealed to me how my perfectionism was hurting me. How staying neatly within the lines draw by home life was holding me back. I didn’t have to dedicate my entire life to my family. I didn’t even have to absolutely love spending time with them.

My college campus—repping City College of New York, of course—gave me a quiet thinking place away from the aggressive debates at home. It gave me beautiful buildings I could stare at without feeling like an awkward tourist. It was almost like a mini-city—not too huge that I didn’t feel like an ant and intimate enough to actually enjoy the nature around me and feel like a part of it too. Even riding the college shuttle bus almost every day to and from the train station made me feel like I owned the city for a couple of minutes. I was indeed a natural wanderer.

I admit that I have taken Mother Nature for granted plenty of times, and college put Her front and center so I wouldn’t ignore Her. After reading that academic greenspace provides many positives for college students such as more social interaction, sharper focus, improved moods, and improved cognitive performance, I thought about how academic greenspace made me feel more aligned with the world. I hadn’t felt more at ease and more myself than at my college campus. I thank Her for that.

Though small, my college campus will always be beautiful to me.

To conclude, I’d like to reference an Afro-Latinx Literature course I took in the Fall of 2022, which was taught by Bronx-born poet Mariposa at City College. What was so significant about this course was that my professor invited multiple writers and activists to speak to our class—many having been involved in the Nuyorican Movement and The Young Lords Party in the 60s and 70s in New York City. I remember in one of our earlier classes being taken to Remembrance Rock on our campus where there lay a plaque commemorating the Black and Puerto Rican students who protested for racial diversity and tuition-free college at City in 1969. Our class sat on the grass underneath the trees as we listened to our professor speak with peace. It was in this moment that I realized that learning should always be in nature and always reflect it.


Dance your heart away with free salsa dance lessons and $5 specialty cocktails using this coupon!

By Daeli Vargas

Daeli is a recent graduate from the City College of New York with a BA in English and a publishing certificate. She is from the Bronx and is very passionate about all things literary. She hopes one day to publish many books of her own and share her passions worldwide.


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

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

Share

Maintaining Relationships. Don’t Forget To Water Your Plant and Expect It To Grow

June 20th, 2024

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life is that friendship is a job. I’m gonna call it a job as it is something that requires effort and work to reap rewards. If you’re not a good worker, you’ll get fired. If you’re not attentive to your friends or dedicating time and energy, your friends won’t want your companionship. As kids, maintaining friendships is a lot easier because it is put upon us. Our parents schedule playdates, our sports teams and activities open spaces for bonding and communicating with peers, teachers lead ice-breakers, etc. During childhood, half the work is done for you, but adult friendships are more difficult to cultivate. The downside of childhood friendships is that we’re forced into them. Adult friendships’ beauty is that you get to choose who you associate with and keep in your inner circles.

This chapter is not about making friends in college. It’s about maintaining long-distance friendships. Upon coming to college,  I wasn’t used to going out of my way to make plans or time to chat on the phone with friends. In high school, all of my friends lived in my neighborhood or were in my classes. I’d always see them in person and get the chance to catch up then. In college, everyone is so busy, especially freshman year, is hard to be responsive in group chats or answer phone calls when you’re not expecting it. 

My high school friends and I did not want to drift apart while at school so we made a valid effort to find a time every other week to hop on a Facetime call. Hearing from home friends always made my week extra special, and I loved that we were always able to start where we left off each time we talked. If someone was unable to join the call, that was okay, too as long as they communicated. They might send us a voice memo instead or make sure to text extra in the group chat. If someone was too busy to respond to someone’s text we would make sure no one felt ignored by writing something like “Hey. Studying for an exam today. I’ll catch up in the group chat tonight with my thoughts.” Its important to continue making your friends feel heard, cared about, and loved even when you are apart.

My friends from highschool and I at our favorite beach during the Summer
Visiting Color Me Mine with friends is a great activity for nurturing creativity and de-stressing

Hogan Bingel is a rising junior at NYU who plans to graduate in May 2026 with degrees in Journalism and Politics and a minor in The Business of Entertainment, Media, Technology, and Fashion. She grew up in Arlington, VA, outside of Washington, DC. She is home for the Summer and will be studying abroad in Florence during Fall 2024. For the time being, you can find her writing poetry, listening to vinyls, and planning her next travels.


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

Share

Balancing The City

June 20th, 2024

Screeching metal wheels, passing footsteps, and foreign languages flood your senses when walking down the average New York City street. For myself and many others who didn’t grow up in the hustle and bustle of the city, it can be quite an adjustment. Exploring and understanding your new college environment is a challenge on its own, but I believe it’s important to venture beyond campus walls and appreciate the city that is at your fingertips. Even if you’re moving into the city with an open mindset, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. While my time in New York has been limited so far, I’ve picked up on a few tips that might be helpful to the average New York City freshman. 

First things first, it’s very important to understand your immediate surrounding area. New York City is gigantic, complex, and diverse. With a population that speaks over 200 languages, includes over three million foreign born residents, and houses the most ethnic enclaves in the country, there’s certainly a lot to discover. Even though there’s a whole city to explore, it’s best to start with a home base. Get familiar with your surrounding community! The best way to accomplish this is to walk around, which is convenient, since NYC is one of the most walkable cities in the U.S! As a student at Columbia University, I took it upon myself to become aware of the surrounding Harlem area. I remember walking to so many places that seemed interesting to me during my first few months of college. From cafes, to barbershops, to parks, I was intentionally exploring all my immediate area had to offer me. Ultimately I found success and satisfaction in doing so! One of my favorite cafes in the city is just a 15 minute walk from campus, and my barber is only 10 minutes. Google Maps can be really helpful when it comes to finding destinations. Virtually scanning for nearby restaurants or cafes is a great way to mentally plan out your excursions. Granted, it’s important to do your research on the safety of your given area. Use your best judgment, especially when traveling alone. No matter what region or borough your school is located in, I believe that exploring on foot is one of the best ways to go.

My current google maps view, showcasing all transit lines and saved locations.

Depending on your area, you might be able to get familiar with your surroundings within the first month of college. When you feel comfortable enough, you should take your ventures out past the university area. Seeing as college campuses typically alter the culture of their immediate surrounding area, it can be refreshing to explore the city outside of the “university bubble”. While your immediate neighborhood is the most accessible, it’s worth it to take the extra step to experience a more authentic side of New York. For destinations outside of walking distance, public transit is your best friend. New York’s subway system is incredibly extensive, boasting 472 subway stations and 3.6 million daily riders. Thankfully, the system is always accessible and can whisk you from one side of the city to the next with ease. One tip that helped me when it came to exploring the city was setting my Google Maps to transit mode. This allowed me to not only see the subway lines that I would be taking, but also get used to the layout of the system over time. It’s important to have some idea of where you’re going before you get on the subway. Since phone service can get shaky in between stops, I try to carry a paper map with me whenever I can. You can get a portable map for free by simply asking the worker at the booth near the turnstile. In my experience, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Most important of all, it’s important to find a balance during your time at college. While life at university might feel suffocating at some points, it can be strenuous (physically and financially!) to go out on the town every night as well! Scheduling at least one outing with friends per week was what worked best for me. It gave me something to look forward to during the school week. I suggest trying out what schedule works best for you. Asking questions like “can I afford a $6 matcha five days a week?” or “is it smart to leave campus so late?” can help formulate a plan that makes sense. Finding this balance between campus life and exploring the city is what really makes going to college in New York City worthwhile. So whenever you make the time, I encourage you to get out there and explore all that the city has to offer!


By Thomas Stewart

Thomas currently attends Columbia University and plans to double major in creative writing and human rights. At Columbia Thomas is a staff writer for the City News section of the Columbia Daily Spectator, where he publishes articles that concern the West Harlem community. In his free time, you can find him practicing music or trying new vegetarian recipes


If you’re like me and love looking for new acai bowls, use code PYGCK at Tropical Berry Cafe for 40% off.

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

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

Share