Posts Tagged ‘college experience’

In Sickness and In Health: Balancing Work and School Under The Weather

Thursday, February 29th, 2024
A picture of during freshman orientation frolicking the city at night for the first time.

It seems that no matter how hard you try, sickness always creeps up on you in the worst moments. My first semester of freshman year was one of the busiest times of my life and I was terrified of getting sick. I was juggling a heavy course load, a staff writing job, and dance team rehearsals. Because of all this, being sick and out of commission for days didn’t feel like an option for me. All around me friends and classmates were falling victim to the “freshman flu,” a sickness with no cure, no timeline, and no perceived end that always made its way around freshman dorms during the fall semester. I heard stories from classmates in years above me of catching it during orientation week and fighting it off until Thanksgiving break which only worsened my health anxiety. 

I did everything I could to avoid it. For weeks I wore a mask everywhere, washed my hands constantly, and took loads of immunity vitamins. Then one morning I woke up with a tickle in my throat and an ache in my head. By that afternoon I was bedridden with a fever, so I dragged myself to the health center the next day for tests. Flu, COVID, and strep all came back negative and I felt relief wash over me. But in the glimmer of hope that came with negative results, I saw the truth; I had the freshman flu. 

My CVS haul post freshman flu diagnosis.

I fell ill on a Friday and had a mandatory dance rehearsal on Sunday and a paper due on Monday. I was already stressed to tackle this workload as it was, so my sickness only caused more anxiety for me to manage. I decided to take all day Saturday to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take some medication. Then, by Sunday I’d be able to go to my rehearsal and write my paper for Monday. I spent my Saturday in bed trying my hardest to rest, but my mind couldn’t stop racing about all of the things I’d have to tackle on Sunday. I tried to ignore it by reading or watching movies, but as the day went on my stress built and built. After my attempt at a day of rest, I woke up on Sunday better, but nowhere near perfect. I got up early to write my paper before rehearsal to ease my anxious mind. I worked so hard I forgot to eat breakfast and by the time it was lunch time I had to run off to dance. I danced for three hours, then had a quick dinner before I went home and revised my paper all night. 

My eyes barely cracked open Monday morning. I rolled over and groaned as my alarm went off. My roommate saw my rough condition and asked if I was ok. When I went to respond my throat burned with pain. I could barely croak out the word “No.”

Sickness, whether it be the freshman flu or strep throat, is unforgiving. It doesn’t reason, or accommodate, it demands your time and attention. Prioritizing work and school is important, but if you’re too sick to think straight you can’t prioritize anything. I learned the hard way that when rundown with sickness, the most important thing to do is take time for yourself. I spent that next week feeling a little bit better, then pushing myself to get up and work until I couldn’t anymore. Each time I’d force myself to get up and work, my anxiety about falling behind was soothed, but my health would get worse. What you have to understand is that resting and taking care of yourself is not a waste of time. If you don’t take the time to eat right, get proper rest, and prioritize your health, you won’t be able to do any of the things that are important to you. Your health always has to come first, when you’re rested and healthy you’ll be ready to deal with all of the challenges and obstacles college throws your way. 

By Sidnie Paisley Thomas

Sidnie is a Sophomore at Emerson College in Boston studying creative writing and post-colonial literature. In her free time, you can find her hitting up her local thrift store, playing her favorite records, or reading a new book.

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.

One of my favorite sick day treats is Le Macaron, use this coupon for 15% off your next purchase!

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People You Hate

Friday, November 10th, 2023

If there is one thing that is for sure going to happen in college, in life, it’s that you are going to meet people that you just don’t like. I go to a pretty small college, and for the most part I like to think that I can get along well with anyone. That being said, even in my small community, I have some opposition. There are a couple of people that I just do not like, for whatever reason.

My first year of college was online because of Covid, so my first year in the dorms was my sophomore year. I decided to go random for a roommate, and was matched with someone I seemed to have nothing in common with. I moved in without talking to her at all, with the exception of a five minute phone call discussing if the rug she wanted to buy would fit ok in our small shared space. I had a feeling that we wouldn’t be best friends, but that was ok with me. I thought we would at least be able to cohabitate.

Wrong. I’m going to skip the details, for my sake and yours, but we did not get along at all. We had some problems that we could not resolve without getting residential life involved, and it put an extreme strain on our already foundationless relationship. I ended up moving rooms two weeks into school and we hardly saw each other after that, but once in a while we would run into each other on campus. No words were ever said, but every look we exchanged was charged with strong mutual dislike. In truth, I hated her. 

Me and my new roommate get along much better!

Now, I understand that maybe hate is a strong word, but in my case it is accurate. When everything was fresh, seeing her would rile me up. Heart rate increased, face hot, stomach turning–the whole thing. Laying eyes on her fired me up to the point of significant distress, and I fed into the toxicity that is hatred. I talked bad about her to my friends, I gave her dirty looks, I blocked her on instagram. I am not proud of the way I handled our conflict, but because I felt that my feelings were justified, I didn’t realize how my own negativity was poisonous to my mental well being. Why should I carry all this anger with me over something that had long been over?

Time, as it does, diluted those strong feelings greatly, and now, in my senior year, I do not really think about her at all. Or at least, I hadn’t in a while, until we ran into each other in the bathroom at a local bar. The two of us made eye contact, but our eyes didn’t hold any tension or malice anymore, it just felt awkward. It seemed that we had both moved on. We sort of smiled at each other, and said a polite hello as I washed my hands. Sitting in that politeness for a moment, I complimented her boots and started to dry my hands. 

“We don’t have beef anymore, right?” she asked. I wasn’t really sure. It all felt so far away now, we had both moved on. My hatred had turned to apathy.

“No, we’re good.” It was time to let go. Even though I hadn’t been thinking about her much lately, it felt good to have some closure. Hate is just not fulfilling, and I didn’t have room in my heart to carry it anymore. We chatted for a few more minutes in the bathroom, and though we will probably never be friends, it felt good to let go of all of that anger I didn’t know I was still holding on to.

Sometimes you have to feel your hate, and that is totally ok, but you cannot let it overpower your joy. Hate is a parasite. It is draining, and heavy. You do not owe anyone your affection or friendship, especially when they have wronged you in the past, but hatred is ugly and wastes energy. It’s one thing to not want to be around someone, it’s another thing to let them live in your mind constantly. Protect your peace and don’t waste your time in anger. You have better things to do.

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By Erin O’Brien


Erin is a student based in Boston, MA studying Communications and Studio Art. She is drawn to telling stories about love and friendship, with themes of humanity and connection at its core. In sharing her personal truths, she hopes to provide readers with nuggets of learned wisdom and college survival skills


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 8: Why Seeking Adult Validation is Actually Beneficial: How to Befriend Your Professors

Monday, November 6th, 2023

In high school, classes were relatively small and you had the same teachers pretty much everyday, making it easy to form a bond with those teachers. You never really had to put that much effort into getting to know your teacher and as long as you did your work, they pretty much liked you.

For me, I was a very quiet kid and way too anxious to talk to all of my teachers. There were some teachers I managed to get close to who have helped me get to where I am today, but with others I just had a normal student-teacher relationship and nothing special. I knew that when I went to college it would be important to try and form a bond with at least some professors like I did in high school. However, college is much different than high school.

Thankfully, I chose a typically small school so my classes are never too big, but even still, it is different from high school. Instead of seeing these professors everyday, I would see them once, maybe twice, a week and the semesters are much shorter than a whole high school year, so you only have a few months to try and make an impression.

It was difficult for me at first, to try and open up to professors. I often seek adult validation and would always be too afraid to ask questions to my professors in fear that they would think I’m too dumb for their class. Now though, after a few years, I’ve discovered that asking questions when confused adds a new layer to your professor’s perception of you and they even feel grateful that you can admit to being confused. My sophomore year was one of the first times I took a class within my new major and I was beyond confused.

No one else seemed as confused and I honestly felt stupid. However, slowly I became more comfortable and at some points would just say out loud to my professor “I’m so confused and have no idea what this means”. Any time I do this, no professor laughs despite what my overthinking mind may think. Instead my professor and I worked together to understand my confusion and I worked hard to become a better writer and student.

Two years later he is one of my favorite professors and has helped me gain many opportunities. I have won an award for writing and I’m able to apply lessons and tips that once confused me to other classes to improve my writing and discussions in class.


The title and cover page of the paper I won an award for

It is so important to befriend at least one of your professors so you can always count on at least one adult to help you out in the future. And in order to do so, you don’t need to bring a fruit basket or something to their desk and essentially be a suck-up (no hate to suck-ups, I applaud those who can do it).The best way to form a connection is to be honest. Tell them how you feel about their lessons, ask questions, and participate. They will admire you and your attitude and will look forward to seeing you in other classes in the future.

The professors I have gotten close with have helped me find internships, be references for internships/jobs, and have written some letters of recommendations that I needed to get into grad school. They also help you become more confident in yourself and your work. At least that’s what happens to me when I seek adult validation.


After becoming known in the community within my major, I have been given opportunities like being an opening reader for my schools literary magazine! Here’s me reading one of my short stories

Summary:

  • Forming relationships with high school teachers is different than professors in college
  • It may seem intimidating at first to speak with professors, but slowly you discover they are humans too and not scary
  • It is best to be honest with them and communicate how you feel rather than just act like you know what’s going on
  • Befriending professors will essentially help you in the future

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By Mia Ilie

Mia Ilie is a student at Pace University, graduating in May 2024 with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric and a focus on publishing. She grew up in Rockland, New York and is currently living in Westchester, New York where she attends school and works at a local bookstore. You can always find her with her nose in a book or screaming to Taylor Swift with her friends.


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

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

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Chapter 1: Where Do I Go Next?

Monday, September 18th, 2023

The date is October 4th, 2019. Just a few months before we’re forced to remain inside our homes and the only way we would talk to our friends would be through a screen.

I was a senior in high school and freaking out every day about where the hell I should go to college, what I would major in, or if I should even go to college because the idea of not living in the same vicinity as my dog was terrifying (note to self: after four years it is still very difficult not being with my dog everyday).


Me and my dog Coco graduating high school! (We have a co-dependent relationship)

I knew that the best decision would be to go to school because if I stayed back home while all my friends moved on, my already not great mental health would get even worse. So, with that in mind, I spent almost all of my free time researching different colleges, debating how far I should go, and deciding if I should actually listen to my mother when she said I would prefer a smaller campus compared to a big one. I was 17 so naturally that teenage angst told me that my mom didn’t know what she was talking about. Now at 21, I realize she knew exactly what she was talking about. Further proof that mother’s always know best, but that’s not the topic right now.

By the time application season rolled around, I had applied to about five or six schools with two schools on the top of my list. One was a school in Massachusetts that I visited once and thought was cute and despite being far from home, was still close to one of my brothers who lives in Massachusetts. The other school was Pace University, only thirty minutes from home with an alternate city campus if I wanted to go further.

On October 4th, 2019 I went on a tour that I didn’t know then, but would ultimately be the tour that made my decision to go to this school.

It started off as a regular tour with the generic tour guide claiming this is the best school ever while walking backwards and constantly reassuring the parents that this is the safest campus in New York and your child will be taken care of. Needless to say, I was bored out of my mind waiting for the tour to end so the actual fun part would begin.

I had a family friend who always felt like a sibling to me at this school who would give me the actual realistic tour and let me hang out in their dorm while my mom went to watch the baseball game (coincidentally my stepbrother’s school was playing against Pace that day). Together my friend and I walked around campus, sat in the dining hall (I took a bite of the french fries, they weren’t great but there’s a McDonald’s down the street), hung out with some of their friends, and then went back to their dorm to watch stupid YouTube videos. You know, the routine of almost every college student.

On December 10th, 2019, I got the acceptance letter to Pace University. By January 2020 I had heard back from all the schools I applied to and got into both of my top picks. I had no idea how I was going to make this decision because I struggle just deciding what I’m going to eat for lunch, so figuring out the next four years felt impossible. But, thankfully, my mom told me we could visit both schools again just to get a feel for each. I was hoping I could get a more personal tour of my second school so I could compare it to the one I got from Pace. However, before I got a chance to do so, we were locked into our homes.

Being a class of 2020 student affected me more than I thought it would. If it wasn’t for COVID, I honestly couldn’t say I’d be in the same position I’m in currently. When decision day came in I reflected on both schools and knew that Pace was the place for me. I already had a distinguished relationship with someone I trusted and knew that would help me find the courage to break out of my shell in school.


Me and my friend Cayleigh this past summer in 2023

With this friend close by, I could contact them for any questions I had, felt encouraged to actually go out, and just genuinely have someone there for me when needed. I’m forever so grateful to this friend for all they have done for me and I hope one day I can return the big favor they’ve done for me. (Hey Cayleigh, if you’re reading this, let’s go get some drinks with our moms and I’ll tell you how much I love you again).

Positive relationships are so beneficial not just for your mental health, but physical health as well. Better Health Channel’s website has a blog about how relationships help lower one’s anxiety and depression, which was something I was worried would worsen when going to college. I had already struggled with my mental health for years beforehand and going into an unknown school not knowing anyone would definitely affect my anxiety. Thanks to this existing relationship, my overall mood was significantly better as was my confidence in getting to know people.


Me the day I moved into my dorm in August 2020

In August of 2020 I finally moved into my first dorm at Pace University after several facetimes and conversations with my roommate. By then I had two established relationships that ultimately made my first week at my new school exciting rather than terrifying.Having a connection with someone can make new challenges in your life more enjoyable which it ultimately did for me.

Summary:

  • I had been struggling for a while about what college I should go to but thanks to my friendship with a student at Pace it made my decision easier.
  • I was a senior in high school during 2020, so I was in lockdown when trying to figure out which college I should commit to
  • This friendship made my confidence about entering a new stage in my life much better and lead me to not being afraid to reach out to new people (Including my roommate I mentioned at the end)

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By Mia Ilie

Mia Ilie is a student at Pace University, graduating in May 2024 with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric and a focus on publishing. She grew up in Rockland, New York and is currently living in Westchester, New York where she attends school and works at a local bookstore. You can always find her with her nose in a book or screaming to Taylor Swift with her friends.


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

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

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Passion in a Rocky Boat

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

I’ve written about how I’ve had my dream—my dream of being a writer—since I was a child. Words have always flowed through my mind, my veins, and my heart… They’re what I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to. When someone has allotted so much time and energy to something they love, one might believe that they have all the confidence in the world. In reality, this isn’t quite true. If anything, loving something with all your heart can create uncountable pockets of self-doubt. A bitter feeling creeps up through unseen cracks, planting little seeds that sprout before you even begin to notice them. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I’m good enough, talented enough, or worthy enough to wield a pen. When something is important to you, there is a kind of ever-present mounting pressure to do it right—to do it perfectly

So, how does one deal with this? I can’t say I precisely have the answers, but my years in college have taught me a simple lesson: be kind to yourself. Looking back, I realise now that I wasn’t helping myself by being harsh on my own work. If anything, I held myself back; by feeding my own uncertainty, I kept myself from doing what I loved. I worried myself into a kind of lull, a complacency, that kept me stagnant. It was here that I lay in a pool of self-made dread. I was waiting every day for a sign to keep writing– a sign that I should keep writing. I wanted to—an ache in my bones made me feel like I needed to—but I kept this desire dormant because of my lack of confidence. It didn’t matter that I got positive feedback on my work. It didn’t matter that I was encouraged to keep going. I simply kept telling myself that it wasn’t true and that I needed to prove something more.

What I didn’t need was an external sign. I didn’t need to hear someone else’s validation. What I needed, simply, was kindness for myself. I needed to believe in my abilities and explore my writing freely. Discovering how to be gentle with yourself and your aspirations allows you to breathe. It allows you to be yourself. 

It is easy to say things such as “just do it.” We can think that, but sometimes we just don’t feel it. That’s alright; even though I am still harsh on my work, I hold onto the kernel of love—of passion—that inspired me to start writing in the first place. I remember what drove me to dedicate myself to my craft and grasp it with all my strength. When I remember these roots, they become a shining light… A beacon of sorts. They guide me back to my childish wonder, back to a time when I didn’t worry about the judgement of others (or the judgement of myself). Instead, I remember being held by the hands of characters who were my friends and realise that I want to create stories for little girls that want to see themselves in the books they read. And suddenly, when I am snapped back into my adult body, I rest easier in my bones. I let out a sigh, pick up a pen, and try to scribble a little something just for myself. Not for the world—just me and my own passions. 

It is here that I emphasise the importance of creating for yourself. As we grow older, our passions become subject to more and more eyes. This wears down on you, makes you self-conscious, and makes you wonder what your place in the world is. But in returning to yourself, to who you are to you, you can find solace and inspiration once again.


By: Ehani Schneiderman

Ehani Schneiderman is a senior studying literature and anthropology at The New School. She hopes to connect with others through writing, poetry, and cultural exchange. When she isn’t nose deep in a book or word document, you can find her paddle boarding in a bay or scuba diving out at sea.


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 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 One: Welcome Week

Friday, August 13th, 2021

I love flying into New York City at night. I always choose the aisle seat on airplanes because of my motion sickness, but I can never resist peeking through the plane’s windows in my periphery; one of my favorite views is that of the glittering lights beneath New York City’s night sky.


Bird's eye view of NYC at night
Bird’s eye view of NYC at night

In August of 2016, I flew from Colorado to New York in order to get settled in prior to beginning my college career. Once the plane landed, my stomach flipped over in excitement. My mom had come with me to help me move and I couldn’t believe that my dream of attending NYU had become a reality. 

Of course, I was also terrified. I knew that no one else from my high school class would be coming to NYU, and after my mom left I had no choice but to confront my newfound alone-ness. I sardonically thought to myself, “Well, welcome to Welcome Week.” 

I felt like a failure and my first semester had not even begun. One of my assigned roommates, whose name was also Anna, was a drama student in the Tisch School of the Arts. Off the bat, Tisch’s performing arts medium provides a tight-knit cohort community you’ll know for years, and I did not have that luxury as a Media, Culture, and Communication student since we were not placed into cohorts. I really liked the other Anna, and we made plans to hang out at one of NYU’s Welcome Week events: Drag Bingo, which featured contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. It seemed cool, and I nostalgically wished that one of my closest high-school friends was there because he would’ve loved it. He even made up his own drag name in honor of the show: “Shaneeda Bronze” (as in, “She needs a bronze.”). 

While I wallowed in nostalgia and loneliness on the second night of Welcome Week, I knew I needed to play a more active role in my own life. Unfortunately, I arrived at Drag Bingo well after the other Anna, and there were no more seats available near her (and no one was allowed to save seats). At that point, I was still standing in a stairwell in a line (or on a line for all the “real” New Yorkers) spanning across multiple floors. When I reached one of the landings, I noticed a pair of tan double doors to my right as someone threw them open to go through. I wondered aloud to the two girls standing in front of me, “Do you think we could go up that way?” They both shrugged and we continued standing in line. I stood with the girls at the back of the room during the event, and afterward they invited me over to their shared dorm. And that is how I met my best friends.

It was serendipitous as much as it was the effort we put in to socialize with other students and get to know our college community at various events. Certainly don’t hesitate asking your roommate(s) to hang out, and seeing if you can be friends! 


Playbill at Sunday in the Park with George. (Before we knew Jake Gyllenhaal “doesn’t shower often.”)

Since we are required to live in dorms for our first year, I wanted to make the most of my dorming experience as well. NYU offers “Themed Engagement Communities,” wherein specific floors in respective dormitory buildings will schedule activities pertaining to that theme. When I applied for housing I threw my hat in the ring for the “Laughing Matters” comedy-themed fourth floor of the Weinstein building. I have loved comedy since I was in elementary school, and decided to study Media because of my reverence for political satire. Applying to the special interest floor gave me wonderful (cost-saving) opportunities to view an array of Broadway performances for $10 each. We went to see plays including Avenue Q, Sunday in the Park with George, and Dear Evan Hansen, as well as professional improvisation shows. 

Regrettably, I only joined a club, College Democrats, in senior year. I regret having waited that long to be more involved in the clubs on campus, especially because my senior year ended up being truncated due to COVID-19. NYU, like many colleges, hosts a Club Fest in both the fall and the spring, and trust me, there is no shortage of clubs to choose from, whether it’s political, athletic, improv, or food-related, etc. 

Of course, the college experience and New York City are two of the most overly-romanticized notions you may hear about. I still cried myself to sleep during those first few nights as I second-guessed my abilities to make friends. Yet, you are drawn to whatever city you end up in for a reason. You don’t have to figure it out right away. Find solace in your comfort mechanisms, like comedy is for me, and in the meantime, don’t be a passenger in your own life.


We encountered this sign outside of a restaurant (Gran Electrica) in Dumbo

Beginning your freshman year, I recommend you:

  • Do research about special dorming opportunities while selecting a dorm. Mine was the cheapest and we got to go see Br’dway shows for $10! (kudos if you get that reference)
  • Look for activities to do that are hosted by your school (after you cry a little bit because you’re overwhelmed and alone)
  • Get to know your roommates!
  • Have some adventures with said roommates. Even if it means accidentally ending up in Far Rockaway because you missed your subway stop. (I get lost nearly every day of my life; I call it sightseeing.)


By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.


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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