Posts Tagged ‘college advice’

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

Friday, September 10th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just to summarize:

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

By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Chapter 6- Returning to Boston and My First Internship

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

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

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

Beanpot game at TD Garden

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

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

Exploring the labyrinth that is Philadelphia’s Magic Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Chapter 5- An Unexpected Time in London

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

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

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

However, gradually, my travel plans began to grow.

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

View from Edinburgh Castle

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

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

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

Carbonara in Rome

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

Impromptu photoshoot in the atmospheric London Library

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

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

So, to summarize my study abroad tips:

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

By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Chapter 4- Applying to Study Abroad and the Nerves that Came With It

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

I’ve previously mentioned that studying abroad was something that interested me when I initially applied to Boston University, particularly the opportunity to do so in London. Fortunately for me, BU actually had programs in London specifically for students studying English. For some reason, even before I started my freshman year at college, I had this whole plan laid out: I would get to know Boston during my first year, then I would study abroad the following year, and afterwards, I would dedicate myself to finding internships and figuring out what I really wanted to do after I graduated. 

However, I also experienced a lot of homesickness when I moved to Boston, as I discussed in previous chapters. It took me a while to adjust and I felt like I finally started to find my footing during the spring semester of my freshman year. Therefore, when the application deadline to study abroad in the fall of my sophomore year began to creep upon me, I knew that I should postpone my plans to study abroad.

I am not one to typically deviate from plans I have set in my mind, but I was confident in my decision not to study abroad my sophomore year. I felt like I was truly getting to know Boston that spring and I didn’t want to suddenly leave in order to study abroad. Also, I wanted to have more experience being independent and self-sufficient before going to a different country. I ended up spending my sophomore year getting more acclimated to BU and Boston, and I consequently also got to know the joy of trudging through thigh-high mountains of snow in order to get to my 9:30 a.m. class.

Photo taken during a Nor'Easter in 2018; the sidewalk is covered with snow as figure in jacket walks down. Snow falling blurs the image.
Image credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/anticipating-major-snowfall-charles-river-campus-to-close-monday-remote-classes/ 

When spring of 2019 rolled around, I started working on my London application: I contacted BU’s study abroad office to ask questions, got my advisor to fill out a form, reached out to a former professor for a letter of recommendation, answered the application’s questionnaire, etc. I, at long last, submitted my application in March, and was then left to wait.

I clearly remember the day I was accepted into the London program. It was a Friday and I had returned to my dorm, ready to collapse and take a nap after a long week of classes. Just before doing so, I checked my email and saw the email congratulating me on my acceptance into the program. Then, I immediately called my mom. When she answered, I blurted out the news and started crying, partially because I was sleep deprived, but mostly because I was so happy. 

Even as the novelty of my imminent travels wore off a bit, I was mostly ecstatic. I had some nerves about studying abroad, though they weren’t as prominent as the nerves I had towards initially moving to Boston. There were three things I was most anxious about regarding going to London:

  1. I had never gone somewhere foreign to me on my own. In the past, I had voyaged outside the United States, but only to Guatemala and always with a family member to see other relatives.
  2. I wasn’t completely sure if I would like London, despite always having wanted to go there. When it came to Boston, I at least had the luxury of visiting the city both before and after being accepted into BU, meaning I had seen the area prior to deciding to undertake my undergraduate studies there. Conversely, with London, I would be seeing the city for the first time when I arrived in September to start my classes. Essentially, I had no way of knowing whether I would like London until I was actually there.
  3. I would be very far away from my family. I’ve stated before that I am close with my family and they are an important support system for me. Even though Boston is certainly a distance from my hometown, I was able to return home for holidays and long weekends throughout the semester. I did have some relatives who said they wanted to visit me when I was in London, but I still had to reckon with the thought of not seeing my mom or other close family members for an entire semester. 

When I started overthinking and overanalyzing these small details, I reflected back on my time at BU up to that point. All those worries I initially had about BU had slowly evaporated and I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else. I understood that I had to go into traveling with a positive mindset. Besides, visiting London had been a dream of mine and three months wouldn’t be too long. If I kept worrying about everything, I wouldn’t enjoy my study abroad experience.

Still, on August 31st, 2019, thousands of questions about the future rushed through my mind as I arrived at JFK and boarded my flight to Heathrow. I couldn’t even sleep as the plane cut across the night sky and flew over the Atlantic Ocean. As I watched episodes of Friends and Parks and Recreation in hopes of dozing off, I wondered what the next few months would look like.

Hours later, the plane landed on the surprisingly sunny morning of September 1st.

My London adventure had commenced! 

Picture of the London Eye and River Thames from my first full day in London.

Ultimately, if you are interested in studying abroad, do so when you feel ready (going to a new country for the first time and living there for several months is certainly a change!) and make sure to research various different programs. Contact your school’s study abroad office to ask any questions you may have, ranging from classes to living arrangements and try to learn more about the country you might potentially be studying abroad in. 

By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Chapter 3- Getting to Know Boston

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

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

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

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

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

Outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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

Inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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

BU’s Agganis Arena.

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

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

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

By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Chapter 2- The First Week at University (Full of Homesickness and Doubt)

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

In the time between accepting my offer to attend Boston University and actually moving there from New Jersey in September of 2017, I underwent a spectrum of emotions. There were certainly times when I was ecstatic to be starting my undergraduate studies at BU. For instance, I had an overall positive experience during my freshman orientation at the end of June. On top of that, my family was proud of me and other people outside of my familial circle were excited about this change on my behalf. While I eagerly looked forward to September, I didn’t necessarily feel their level of enthusiasm. 

At random times, like when I went shopping with my mom and aunt to pick out some stuff for my dorm room, I felt nervous about going to Boston. Gradually, these feelings of anxiety continued to grow and linger, even as my family packed all my things in the car and drove to Massachusetts, so that I could officially start my first semester.

When it came time for my family to return to New Jersey, I remember crying and having difficulty saying goodbye. I clearly recall the overwhelming sensation of loneliness after seeing them leave as I stood alone, surrounded by the unfamiliar urban landscape that would be my new home for the next few years. This loneliness didn’t suddenly evaporate after a few days. Although I enjoyed my classes during my first week at BU, I couldn’t shake away my homesickness. I knew that moving from my small hometown to Boston wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t expect it to be so challenging to adapt to my new environment and independence. I felt like I was the only one that was struggling, which made me feel even worse. Everyone around me seemed to form new connections effortlessly and seamlessly integrate themselves into their new setting. This eventually led to me thinking: If I am missing home this much, maybe choosing Boston was a mistake. Maybe I wasn’t as ready for change as I thought I was.

View from my freshman dorm room

In coping with my homesickness and doubt, I was honest with my family about how I was feeling, which was the best thing I could have done. I knew that if I had acted as though everything was alright, I would have been detrimentally bottling up my negative emotions. I was fortunate in that my family not only sympathized with me, but encouraged me to give BU a try. They instilled me with confidence during this period of my life when my self-esteem wasn’t too high. They urged me to not give up on Boston so readily because I might end up liking the city. Deep down, I also knew that if I ended up giving up, I would probably regret the decision and be left thinking “what if?” for a very long time. 

In my endeavor to give Boston a try, I decided not to rely on family so much. During my first (and also subsequent weeks), I called my family nearly every day. Although keeping in touch with friends and relatives from back home was important, I realized that this constant communication was preventing me from getting to know my new environment. Therefore, I tried limiting myself to texting and making a few phone calls a week.

I also attempted to stop myself from being cooped up in my dorm room constantly. Being confined within that comfortable space heightened my feelings of loneliness and homesickness. So, I started taking walks, even if they were to nearby places, like to Brookline Booksmith (one of my favorite bookstores) or a coffee shop. Just going somewhere outside of my room helped immensely, whether it was doing homework in the lounge of my dorm, BU’s library or a coffee shop. These small steps made me start to feel more part of the community instead of a spectator. And this was only the beginning of my adjustment to life in a city after living my whole life in a small town, where my high school graduating class was smaller than some of my lectures at BU. 

Image credit: https://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/about 

Everyone’s experience with starting college is different. Some people face more homesickness than others and homesickness can be handled in various ways. Here are some websites that offer more tips on how to deal with feeling homesick: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-to-handle-homesickness-in-college , https://www.hercampus.com/life/how-deal-homesickness-freshman-year/


By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Acceptance: Becoming a College Student

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Autumn of 2017 was one of the most stressful times of my life. A few months shy of 18, I spent the Saturday after Halloween submerged in the couch, eyes fixed to my computer screen while episodes of Spongebob played muted on the TV. That night, the Early Action college application would close promptly at midnight. 

The day prior, a friend explained to me there was a higher chance of getting accepted into the colleges I wanted if I applied for Early Action because of the smaller number of applicants. I rushed home as soon as school was over, planted myself on the couch and started to type out supplemental essays for the eight schools I wished to attend. 

During my senior year I was still pretty unsure with what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I enjoyed reading and writing but I didn’t have a passion like many others in my grade. Because of this, I applied to schools all across the country without getting my hopes too high. I didn’t have a specific dream that involved a particular school, but I planned on attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, a campus about 15 minutes from my house and a safety school for most locals. 

Photo Credit: www.instagram.com/umntwincities

A few anxious months later, the results started trickling in. I found out I was accepted to the University of Wisconsin, Madison while in line for popcorn at the movie theater. My acceptance to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities arrived by email at dinner time, while my parents watched the local news and ate dinner on the couch. My acceptance into Boston University’s College of Communication came on a lazy afternoon watching cartoons in my basement. 

Getting accepted to BU came as a major surprise. To be honest, I had completely forgotten I even applied and only did so because of my dad’s encouragement. One drizzly and cold spring break trip to Boston a year prior to visit BU’s campus left me with a bad impression of the college and the town. The campus was a group of blocky, concrete buildings plopped down in the middle of a busy city. The outdated library and brutalist dorms were depressing. Nickerson Field in West Campus was the only part of the school that felt remotely similar to the colleges I grew up near, but the campus lacked community and school spirit. 

Because of that trip I almost turned my back completely on BU. I spent many long nights mulling over my choice between the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. My acceptance to BU was a great honor and opportunity, but it was completely forgotten under my preconceived notions and first impressions of the school. 

I almost let judgement get in the way of my decision. Watching the kids in the grades above me go to big schools like the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin compelled me to follow in their footsteps. Attending schools in the Midwest was easy and familiar and most were a short drive away from my childhood home and populated with many other graduates from my high school. 

Luckily, my dad knew that moving out of the Midwest and across the country by myself was the best thing for me. It would teach me confidence and resilience, two qualities I lacked from growing up in such a tight-knit and predictable community. 

Taking risks, especially at a time in life with so much change, can be paralyzingly terrifying. Whether you’re attending a school 15 minutes from your house or 1500 miles away, moving out of your house and gaining independence is a major step in anyone’s life. I was lucky enough to have another influence pushing me to get out and take a risk. I realize a lot of people may not have that luxury, but I hope any other indecisive students realize that every opportunity is important and something to take seriously. 

Me, in the middle, with my two best friends of 10 years walking through our elementary school on graduation day. Photo taken by Sammy Baraga.

Don’t let fear hold you back from taking chances and don’t let fear control your perceptions. I almost passed up one of the greatest opportunities of my life because I was scared and I let fear justify my negative feelings. 

That being said, choosing to attend BU and move over one thousand miles away from my home was one of the hardest decisions and transitions I’ve ever made. At the time, life only seemed to get worse, but writing this now I can look back and appreciate all of the challenges and hard moments for how they’ve shaped me today.

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

For over 20 years, theCampus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a specialcoupon bookletand theOfficial Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At theCampus 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 ourwebsite for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during theWelcome Week of 2015.

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Dessert Always Comes Last

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

“But Senior year is going to be amazing,” I say. 

Any time I’m asked about how I’m handling online classes and being away from the NYU campus and my friends, I give the usual answer. It’s okay, could be better, I just wish I was with my friends and could learn in person again. But I always end with what I’ve been clinging to for months now – I’m going to make my Senior year the best it can possibly be.

With a few finals and the spring semester of this year to push through before I get there, I am slowly putting together plans for my last year at NYU with my friends. Lamenting over our lost Junior year this past summer, my friend Leslie and I decided we’d have to put in a lot of effort (and savings) into our last year. 

“If we don’t have the best Senior year, I don’t even know what I’ll do,” Leslie said to me on multiple occasions.

I have to agree. We both felt our freshman year was uneventful and after our time on campus during Sophomore year was cut short by the pandemic, there is a gaping hole left in us, a desire for the New York life that we’ve yet to start living. There is an urgent need to have all the fun we could have had this year, to visit all the places we wanted to but never did. But with a little less than a year to go before we’re there, all we can do is plan.

So far on the agenda: concerts, photoshoots, a quick trip to Canada, and our favorite – lots of going out to eat. When talking with Leslie about the first place we’d go when we’re back in New York, the only place that came to mind was Max Brenner.

Located on Broadway near campus, Max Brenner remains my favorite place to go for dessert. Frankly, I doubt that will ever change. Always in the know about the best restaurants in New York, Leslie first introduced it to me during our freshman year. I fully believe it is one of the places I’ve felt the happiest while living in New York. My first visit there undoubtedly marked one of the happiest moments of my fall semester that year. 

“We’ll go after our History of the Universe midterm, as a treat!” Leslie said, and that is exactly what we did.

As we walked in that night, we took in just how nice the restaurant was. It wasn’t the kind of place you’d need to dress up for per say, but almost everyone there looked well- put together, stylish, and even polished. When we were shown to our seats, we looked at each other and hesitantly shrugged off our coats to reveal our university sweatshirts and jeans. We sat down, trying not to laugh. We had decided to only order dessert and scoured the menu (the very long, very tempting menu), and it was another twenty minutes before we chose what to eat. After taking our order, the waiter left and we spoke about our relief about nearing the end of the semester. Before long, the stress of the midterm we’d taken earlier in the day had faded away and we sat laughing and joking with each other. Then the food arrived, and we felt as though we were in heaven.

I swear I’m not joking. Leslie’s tiramisu came in a small mason jar with a tiny beaker of chocolate syrup on the side. She took one bite and quickly exclaimed, “Oh my god.”

Munchies Waffle from Max Brenner in New York.

The munchie’s waffle (as named on the menu) that I had ordered brought out the same “Oh my god” from me a second later. Two soft waffles topped with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and hazelnut sauce drizzled over. A small beaker of chocolate syrup. On the side, a bowl of tiny, crunchy chocolate balls to sprinkle over. A light dusting of powdered sugar on top. After dressing the waffles with the sides, I took my first bite. It melted in my mouth.

If anyone heard our loud proclamations about the delectable desserts we were eating, they didn’t say anything. If someone thought we were being paid to act, they wouldn’t have been without reason. Maybe we were just too stressed or maybe we were simply starving, but either way we could not stop gushing about how good it was. It became a night to remember, and ever since I’ve considered Max Brenner one of my happy places.

“That’s how I want to feel all of Senior year,” I told Leslie recently when we were making more additions to our plans. 

It’s a high expectation to have, but one I’ll do anything to fulfill. After such a hectic past few months with the pandemic and online classes, it is all I can do to keep myself going and have hope. But what can we do while we wait for that special time? Here are some tips I found from the Self website:

  • Have a Calendar – The Self website recommends having a calendar and writing down anything you think you would look forward to. This can be small things like the airing of the next episode of your favorite TV show, or the release of your favorite musician’s album.
  • Special Events – Create special events for yourself, and these also don’t have to be big! Something like saving a certain food or movie for weekends or for a day when you know you’ll need them can help.
  • Entertainment – Keep yourself occupied with those favorite shows, movies, music, books, video games, or anything else you thoroughly enjoy. While we pass the time during the pandemic by avoiding unnecessary outings, keeping yourself happy through these things is essential. 
  • Looking Ahead – At this point almost everyone has plans for what they’ll do when the pandemic ends, but if you don’t I highly recommend you make some! Having something to look forward to, even if you get a bit of tunnel vision about it like I sometimes do, is essential. Whether it’s just looking forward to graduating, or maybe a vacation, or maybe even a concert – find a future event to plan and hold onto it. 

In the meantime, we have to make do with remote learning and meeting up with friends over FaceTime. I keep telling myself that dessert always comes last, but it comes. It just requires patience. For now we’ll hold onto those special moments and our future plans. My mind keeps coming back to Leslie and I in our gray NYU sweatshirts, laughing in Max Brenner and eating little bites of heaven. We’ll get there again.

If you’re eager to have your dessert now though, Campus Clipper offers some helpful coupons such as the one below! Click here for the link.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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

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

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The Era of Comfort Food

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

The first time my friend Maria and I shared a meal together we went to a Mexican restaurant on University Place. Truthfully, neither of us remember the name, likely because we never felt compelled to return there later on. The food was decent, perfectly acceptable, nothing without flavor. But we were both looking for something else. Maria wanted more of the traditional cooking that her Mexican parents, particularly her mother, would make for her. I was looking for more of the Tex-Mex angle that I favored, being from Texas. We were inevitably disappointed because either way, the restaurant could not provide the comfort Maria got from her mother’s cooking and I from my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants back home.

Comfort foods are named for their helpful properties, for their ability to provide just a little relief from whatever stressor may be occupying your mind. In these past few months since the pandemic started, it only makes sense that we might all be craving our favorite comfort foods more than usual. 

Talking with Maria recently about it, I learned more about how she has noticed a change in her relationship with her comfort foods. 

“What do you think constitutes a comfort food?” I asked her first. 

On the small screen of my phone I watched her pause to look up at the ceiling before answering, “Probably something that makes you feel, like, warm inside physically, or in a way that brings back fond memories,” she said, “any foods that take you back to a time when you felt good.”

I agreed completely. The point of comfort foods is to do exactly this – make you feel comforted, make you feel warm and of course happy memories are probably attached to a lot of these.

“What are some of your favorite comfort foods?” I asked her next.

“Anything my mom makes, for the most part. Actually, a lot of breakfast foods that she makes. Chilaquiles, or eggs with chorizo or potatoes. They’re all simple foods. Sometimes just a tortilla spread with beans, then some cheese and salsa can be amazing. A lot of times it’s just whatever we eat whenever there’s nothing else.” 

In Maria’s words: “Huevos rancheros con chilaquiles, y frijoles fritos con chorizo.”

We both laughed at that, and I completely understood what she meant. One of my own favorite comfort foods is what my mother calls “estrellitas,” “estrellita” meaning “little star.” It’s a simple, light tomato soup with star pasta, but it never fails to warm me.

“Okay, and how much access did you have to your comfort foods while we were on campus in New York?” I asked.

Maria gave me a look and I laughed. 

“You know,” she said, and I laughed harder.

“Yeah, I do,” I said, recalling a time she dragged me with her on a long subway ride to Queens.

“Yeah, to get the good stuff, the real stuff, I have to go to Brooklyn or Queens. I have to find a panaderia there, and somewhere I can get chorizo, too. So in other words, not a lot.”

“What about the pandemic? How has your relationship to food changed during the pandemic?”

She frowned for a second but then shrugged. 

“Honestly, it’s just nice to be able to have my mom’s cooking again, to be able to eat those comfort foods every day. But then also, since I recently moved in with my friend it’s kind of like New York again, I don’t get it as much. Sometimes though she has my brother send some over. And sometimes I just beg her to make someone send me some.”

I nodded along, then asked, “Have you noticed yourself craving your comfort foods more during the pandemic?” 

“Hmm, not necessarily? But also, I’m just really appreciative of the fact that I can eat my mom’s cooking. Obviously I normally wouldn’t be able to during the school year. I’m just trying to savor it in the limited time I have. And it saves me a lot of stress, time, and money to be able to eat what she makes.”

Comfort food, as I learned after this brief conversation with Maria, is oftentimes food that is not easily accessible. This could very well be the case for you, too. Whether it be the resources or the chef, it usually takes an outside factor to help provide the beloved meal. When craving something you enjoy that you are unable to get to, especially during a highly stressful time such as now, it can then be difficult to cope. I decided to include a link to an article on some other ways you can comfort yourself, such as talking things out, meditating, and even things as simple as taking a shower.

Remember it is okay to take the time you need to comfort or care for yourself. In fact, it’s necessary. To avoid burnout and overall exhaustion, check in on yourself and make sure you give yourself the breaks you need. If you find yourself wanting to order take-out to do so, Campus Clipper has a variety of coupons to pick from to help you out, such as the one below! Click here to view the coupon, and make sure to go to the Campus Clipper website to explore more. 

KC Gourmet Empanadas Coupon on the Campus Clipper website.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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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Missing Life in New York (Especially the Pho)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Displacement, disappointment, dissatisfaction. It’s fair to say that I am not the only one experiencing these feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mid-semester of my sophomore year I was sent home to do online learning like many other students this past Spring. The virus took everyone by surprise, but its impact on college students is a unique one. For many students, learning at home is not only difficult but also dismal. No longer on campus, one misses out on the most vital aspects of college – lively discussions with peers, spending time with friends, and the chance to explore the city. Miles from New York, missing my friends from NYU and struggling to stay on the ball with classwork, I’ve found that this semester cannot be described with words. Instead imagine a very deep, very tired-sounding sigh. 

But I’m trying to change that.

After a particularly busy past week (two novels to read, an outline for a paper due, and starting on a presentation for Spanish class, so on), I decided I’d order Vietnamese this weekend, pho in particular. We are nearing the end of the semester which means papers, projects, and other major assignments are flooding in, all due within days of each other. Food of course being my favorite way of treating myself, I let myself have at it. Having recently moved from home to across the state, I’m not familiar with many restaurants where I am now, but I’ve been craving pho and have been on the search for a reliable pho restaurant. As it turns out, one wouldn’t expect it but the second-best pho I can now claim that I’ve had is from a small eatery in the food court of a nearby mall, Pho Kitchen. Second-best. 

Maybe I’m lying a bit to myself. To be completely objective – the pho was absolutely delicious. I sat in the food court, mask placed to the side and socially distanced (which was a good thing, or people probably would have heard me slurping up the noodles and soup), and added a little Hoisin sauce and sriracha to the broth, mixing it in alongside the noodles, beef, onion, and cilantro. I squeezed a lime over it to top it off, stirred a little more, then dug in. The beef was perfectly tender, the broth flavorful and warm, and the noodles not too hard or too soft. All and all, completely satisfying. Why was it second-best then, you may be wondering?

It wasn’t PhoBar. PhoBar, which my friend Leslie introduced me to in our Freshman year, is located very close to Washington Square Park and was conveniently only a little ways away from our residence hall. I had had a cold and at that time it was just slightly more socially acceptable to go out to eat when visibly sick. We sat at a shared table and having only tried pho once before and disliking it, I wasn’t sure what to order or how to feel. 

“Just get the classic beef pho,” Leslie said, and I followed her orders.

Classic Beef Pho from PhoBar in New York City.

It turned out to be the cheapest item on the menu, which made it even better, but truthfully, it couldn’t have possibly gotten better. Even through my congestion and with what little ability I had left to taste, I was floored by the flavors of every part of the soup. Very quickly, just after a few bites and sips of broth, I became a passionate fan of pho. Leslie and I returned to PhoBar frequently after that and it is still one of our favorites.

When I was craving pho last week then, maybe it was more than just the soup I was yearning for. After all, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal I had, so all that was really missing was the fact that I wasn’t at PhoBar with Leslie. I wasn’t in New York.

Pho here will never be as good as pho in New York for that very reason. And on the same lines, online classes will never be as fulfilling as going to class on campus. Life in New York will always feel at least slightly superior to life anywhere else.

One could say that feeling discontent with this semester would be inevitable due to all that is happening, namely the pandemic. But in another attempt to try to grin and bear it, no matter how tiring it may be to keep grinning, I am doing my best to push through online classes and keep up with what is due. However, this is undoubtedly difficult. A few friends of mine themselves are going through rough patches and find themselves unmotivated. If you find yourself in the same position, here are a few helpful tips from U.S. News on dealing with online classes: 

  • Form a Schedule – Oftentimes having a solid structure to your day can help with keeping things in line and therefore getting more work done. Try writing out or printing a schedule, hang it up somewhere you will see it, and do your best to adhere to it throughout the day. 
  • Find Your Space – If you have a very busy home, it’s best to find a quiet area in your house to minimize distractions. If this isn’t possible, try going to your local library or somewhere you can get away from whatever may be pulling you away from your work.
  • Eye on the Prize – It may be difficult, I know for a fact that it is very difficult for a few friends of mine, but it is important to have a goal you want to reach and therefore a reason to get yourself to do work. “I’m just trying to get this degree,” is something a friend of mine says all the time, and I think it’s a simple but important mantra for many of us to take up during this time.
  • Stay in Touch – As for missing out on social interaction, use FaceTime or something of the like to keep in touch with friends from college. My friends and I use an app to send video updates to each other and it’s proven to help us a lot. Not only do we get to hear about what’s going on in each other’s lives, but it’s nice to see the faces and hear the voices of the people who I lived with for almost a year, who I care about deeply.

For more information, click the link above. Keep in mind that these things may not come easily or could be difficult to implement in your life. This is perfectly okay. It is more about the effort you put into doing better than how far you may actually get. I myself feel that it’s rare to have an actual productive day, but when I do I let myself savor the moment. It’s these moments that help me get through the semester. When you have that day (and you will), make sure you savor the moment, too.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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