Posts Tagged ‘college life’

An Honest Discussion About Therapists

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

In recent years there has been a lot of  talk about normalizing therapy, coinciding with the recent uptick in mental health awareness, and for good reason. In this world of climate change, political hell, literal plague, and the hundred other disasters going on globally, I’m pretty sure that everyone can use a good therapist. You don’t have to suffer from mental illness to see a therapist; everyone’s life is full of daily anguishes– even if they seem “minor” or “petty,” they can still linger in your thoughts. The world of the college student is especially susceptible to this;  problems that seem manageable on their own quickly and frequently gather until you are overwhelmed. But, a therapist can help you get through them! They should be someone who you are comfortable confiding in because they are isolated from all other facets of your life. The unfortunate catch with therapy, however, is that you have to be comfortable with them.

Not all therapists are created equal. Finding the right one can feel like going on a blind date, because you can never be quite sure what you’re going to get. A therapist can have the best credentials in the world, sometimes, your personalities just don’t quite mesh. In fact, it seems that many people tend to be unsatisfied with their therapy. Anywhere from 20 to 57% of patients don’t come back after their first visit, and of those who come back, 37-45% of them don’t come back after the second visit. Unfortunately, the number one most cited reason for client termination is dissatisfaction with their therapist. While that dissatisfaction could stem from any number of sources, the indication is clear: therapy is a service with high turnover, and you should expect to have some negative experience with your therapist/therapy. I don’t say this to discourage you from exploring therapy, because proper therapy with a well-fitting therapist will always be beneficial. Improving your mental health is an active process that requires dedication, a desire to better yourself, as well as someone or something to help guide you. For many, that person may be a therapist! That being said, here are some tips I can offer to those looking to enter the world of therapy.

Fader, Sarah. “Difference between a Therapist and a Psychologist” 24 Nov 2020 https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/what-is-the-difference-between-a-therapist-and-a-psychologist/
  • Don’t be afraid to keep your guard up. Therapy is a strange thing; there are not many times where you have a conversation with a total stranger about your inner thoughts and feelings. It’s uncomfortable– and it’s entirely valid to not want to immediately open up to your therapist. Most will understand this, but some will egg you on to let your guard down. Remember that you are the one paying for this service, and you should be comfortable vocalizing your desired pace with your therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, then perhaps it’s time to look for a new one. 
  • Beware the sunk cost fallacy. One reason people will stay with a therapist is that they believe that, because they’ve already invested so much time and money visiting one therapist, they should just commit to them– regardless of the quality of the therapy. This is known as the sunk cost fallacy, and while it generally refers to economics, it absolutely applies here. Opening up to a therapist about deeper traumas is an exhausting thing, and many will stay with their therapist only because they know so much about them. If, over time, you feel that your relationship with your therapist has changed for the worse for whatever reason, remember that therapy is supposed to be a beneficial process, but it can’t be beneficial if you don’t like your therapist. 
  • The path to recovery is never linear. This isn’t to say that, if you’re in therapy, you’re “damaged” in some way. Rather, “recovery” can refer to any difficulty you’re having, and discussing with your therapist. As you attend therapy you will discover aspects of yourself you’ve never noticed before, and sometimes that will be an unsettling experience. You will have highs and lows as you perceive yourself and your experiences in new lights, and it’s important to remember that just because you are feeling particularly “low” does not mean that your therapy is not working. Try to keep that in mind when and if you feel frustrated with the process. On the opposite side of the coin, if you have been feeling worse about your issues consistently, then maybe the process is not working for you.
  • Your college probably has resources for you. Use them! Many college students can’t afford therapy. For me, therapy would cost $50 per session thanks to my incredible health insurance. As a result of that, I am ironically not in therapy at this moment. Thankfully, my college has counseling sources, as do many colleges across the states. If you can’t afford therapy, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to these sources; they will help you! 
  • Therapy might not be for you. But you should at least try it! In my opinion, the increased presence of therapy in popular culture is a great thing. Taking care of your mental health has tragically been stigmatized for a long time, but it has finally gained its legitimacy in the court of public opinion. As more people call for the normalization of therapy, it’s important to remember that not everyone is at the point where they will benefit from therapy. And that’s okay, too! But be careful not to use this as an excuse to avoid therapy. At least give it a try and see how you feel; if you’ve never tried it, how do you know it’s not for you?

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By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Someday, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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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Wait a Minute, Who ARE You?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

How often do you check in with yourself?  Oftentimes, college life goes at such a fast pace that students will “leave” themselves behind, putting deadlines ahead of their well-being. It definitely doesn’t help that many professors like to think that students can afford to devote 100% of their time to their class, but when you have five classes, the math doesn’t quite add up. Considering most can’t afford to devote 100% of our attention to education in general- let alone a single class- one can very easily feel overwhelmed. Without a doubt, stress is a frequent and unfortunate element of college culture; more than 40% of college students experience an above-average level of stress, as reported by the National College Health Assessment– though, anecdotally, I suspect the number is much higher than reported. 

When you can’t relieve your stress in a healthy way, it builds up within you and quickly you can find yourself experiencing burnout, which is a miserable thing. Personally, when I am burnt out, I dissociate– it feels like you’re watching yourself from the first person, as though you were merely an observer in your daily life, rather than an active participant. The advantage of this state of “autopilot” is that I can push through daily life, even if I am overextending myself. The obvious consequence, though, is that it can be easy to lose yourself in your daily routine. Do note that dissociation is a common thing, and just about everyone will experience it at least a few times in their life. But, if you feel that way all the time, that is when it becomes a problem. It took me a very long time to realize that I had a problem with dissociation as it was (and still is) a coping mechanism of mine. While not everyone may relate with dissociating as a reaction to burnout, everyone will develop coping mechanisms to deal with burnout and daily strife. The important thing is that you must be able to identify when you are using these coping mechanisms, and then be able to be honest with yourself; is this healthy?

The ability to check in with yourself is an important life skill that often gets swept under the rug. Certainly, nobody, throughout all my years, of education taught me to ask myself, “Hang on a minute. Who am I? Is this what I want?” and I expect that many will relate to that notion. From a young age, many feel pressured to do well in school, and while education is an important thing, it’s almost important to understand why you do the things you do in life. Don’t just go to college because it’s the expected thing to do, go to college because it’s what you want to do. It can have a sizable difference in the actual quality of your education; a study from 2018 found that students who engage an activity out of their own free will were less likely to be exhausted and cynical, and are more efficient when compared to those who engage in an activity due to external pressures (such as parental pressure). Unfortunately, the reality is that many students are unable to pursue what they want because of external pressures, and so are subject to higher levels of burnout. Therefore, here are some tips I can offer on how to deal with burnout.

https://www.abreva.com/amp/how-to-avoid-burnout.html
  • Recognize how burnout feels for you. It’s an important level of self awareness to have, to acknowledge when you are feeling run down. It will help you pace yourself and will, in the long run, benefit your mental health, which will translate into more productivity. Burnout can be procrastination, a loss of motivation, imposter syndrome, general exhaustion and depression, or really any number of things. It’s a general sense of resentment towards your work (or study) that impedes your daily function. Remember– it’s totally normal; nobody can devote 100% of themselves to something 100% of the time. 
  • Find something to break up your daily schedule. Oftentimes burnout can result from a monotonous schedule. Thus, introducing something new will keep things interesting and can be a good distraction from a busy schedule. It could be a new hobby, or impulsive plans with your friends, or just anything different; but it will help energize you and make you more productive. 
  • Avoid negative people. It’s a pretty general thing, but the thing with burnout is that it drains your energy and your motivation, and dealing with toxic people will only waste the energy you have left. 
  • Get some sleep. We’re all guilty of it; sleep deprivation is a pretty regular thing for most students. For most people in general, too. But the impact a good night’s sleep can make is woefully underrated. There’s a point of exhaustion where studying just won’t help anymore, and you’re better off getting some rest instead. 

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


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Some day, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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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Procrastinating! We All Do It.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Show me anyone who claims they never procrastinate, and I’ll show you a liar. And, if you’re one of the unicorns who doesn’t, then you are a lucky person indeed. Certainly, throughout my high school career, I’ve had teachers lecture me about how to manage my time better in order to avoid procrastinating. 

Then, in college, if I ask a professor for an extension on a deadline, there’s a real chance that I’ll get a snide remark about time management and procrastination. I’m certain that I’m not the only one with this experience, either; the common train of thought in the academic community seems to be that procrastination results from the student’s time mismanagement. While not entirely false, it is not the full story: there’s something irrational about procrastinating. 

Logically, we should all be motivated to complete our work, because that is more conducive to happiness. Instead, it seems that nearly every college student participates in procrastination; possibly because it is influenced by psychology. Our innate “fight or flight” reflexes have adapted to the societies we live in; long gone are the days of having to run or fight for your life, rather, our battles have become more “mundane.” The issue, though, is that our survival instincts have remained as sharp as ever, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. 

What it does mean is that parts of the brain will see a problem– for instance, let’s say you have a lot of deadlines on the same day — these instincts will interfere with your cognition. There’s two options here: you can “fight,” or work through until your assignments are complete, or you can “flee,” avoiding your work until it’s absolutely necessary (see: procrastinating).

Another way of thinking about it is, we are driven to do the things we do thanks to motivation. A number of factors weigh into your sense of motivation, and they work against demotivating factors. If there are more demotivating factors than motivating factors in a decision, the result is procrastination. As your deadline approaches, the motivating factors gain strength until you overcome your procrastination. Unfortunately, this process does not always leave enough time to actually do whatever it is you needed to do. The best way to avoid procrastination, then, is to consider what is “demotivating” you and figure out how to resolve these demotivations! Listed below are some examples of factors that can discourage your sense of motivation.

https://www.mindful.org/11-ways-to-finally-stop-procrastinating/
  • Anxiety and Depression. It’s pretty obvious, but they are two major factors that will weigh heavily on your motivation. Mental health is one of those things that, unfortunately, you’re  going to have to work around. After all, there is no way to just “cure” either anxiety or depression. One thing to be weary of is setting off a feedback loop of anxiety. Oftentimes, I will find that large tasks impose a ton of anxiety on me. In response, I procrastinate,  which only builds up my anxiety, because I know I have to do it. It is important to be aware of this phenomenon so that you can identify it in yourself, and act accordingly. Step back, take a deep breath and organize your thoughts so that you can at least consider your next steps. 
  • You’re a perfectionist. This  is common in creative work: oftentimes there might be  a disconnect between what you are visualizing and what you are creating. Certainly, it is something that I struggle with– especially when writing. It is a frustrating thing, when you can’t properly verbalize what your ideas are. Try not to let your desire to produce high-quality work impede your process; instead, use it as a driving factor to do a good job. Recognize that, especially in schoolwork, perfect is simply unnecessary, and the anticipated standards may actually be much lower than your own standards. 
  • “This is future me’s problem.” Again, I am very guilty of this one. It can be very easy to see a task as unnecessary because it can be done in the future. It can also be easy to slip into, because it applies to the very mundane; sometimes I won’t make my bed simply because I know it won’t be a problem until I try to go to bed, or I push off putting my clothes away properly because I know I’m just gonna put them on later at some point, so instead I’ll just throw them on a chair. 

While things might be inconvenient to do now, it is important to recognize that part of taking care of yourself is taking care of your future self, too. Try making things a little easier on your future self, sometimes. 

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


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Some day, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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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Trying to figure out… When to Get Help

Friday, July 12th, 2019

I remember towards the end of this past semester I had one of those days, where all I wanted to do was to stay in bed and shut the world out. It was a Sunday. I woke up, stayed in bed and cried for an hour. After which, I sat up on my bed staring out the window. I blankly watched the cars drive down my street, trying to figure out what I was feeling. 

Clips of the days before started playing in my head. The day before I did something odd and had an email exchange calling into question the commentary a professor had made in a social media post. I got upset on Friday because of canceled plans to get ice cream. Stupid, I know, but it evoked feelings of loneliness and felt as if no one cared about me. The connection between canceled plans and abandonment didn’t make sense, but it was what I felt. Later that night, I cried again after a text exchange with a friend, who was speaking about her email conversations with individuals from her potential graduate schools. Overall, it was a weird two days.

It didn’t hit me why until the day after, on Monday. I was sitting in class and people were conversing about the future and plans after college. They were talking about the application process and possibly applying to NYU grad school. They asked me if I would include NYU as a place to do my graduate studies. I thought why would I want to continue to be at a place that holds memories of one of the worst periods of my life. There it was.

The subtle look back on my college experience the process of planning my future was hurting my heart. I can’t say college was hard because the coursework was hard or the people were difficult to get along with. The first two years of my college experience was a time where it took energy to just breathe, let alone think critically about the developmental stages of human life. I had a notion of what I wanted in my experience of college and within the first week, I realized that would never happen.

I readjusted my mindset of college, by working on myself. I first gave myself the allowance to feel and prioritize what I truly wanted. I had to connect to myself. I did the things that had always given me comfort, which was books and music. I started carving out times for myself to read and put it as an event on my calendar. I put in buffer hours in my day to just do nothing. But I didn’t just do it by myself. I took the first step in getting help from others but quickly found others joined in me in my journey. Especially in this academic world, it’s easy to feel alone, but that’s not true. If for nothing else advocate for yourself because you are paying for this education and experience with money, time, and work. Those investments mean nothing if you are not present emotionally and physically in your life. It doesn’t hurt to get support in your endeavors. Take care of yourself.

Resource List of Mental Health services (if you aren’t up to talking face to face with someone I’ve listed two resources that allow for call, text or chat online)

Additionally, if you want dedicated support for the transition of high school to college life visit the JED program: Set to Go site for tailored advice for you and your family. 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call or Text: 1-800-273-8255

Call NYC Well Today: 

English: 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355), Press 2 

Call 711 (Relay Service for Deaf/Hard of Hearing)

Español: 1-888-692-9355, Press 3

中文: 1-888-692-9355, Press 4

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By Sanjidah Chowdhury

Sanjidah is a rising senior at NYU Steinhardt majoring in applied psychology. She aspires to become a mental health counselor to understand intergenerational dynamics and better serve the needs of women, Muslims, and the South Asian community. She currently works with NYU’s Office of Alumni Relations. Throughout the academic year, she works on a research team under Professor Niobe Way and volunteers for Nordoff -Robbins Center for Music Therapy. Most of the time you can find Sanjidah with her nose in a book and music blasting through her headphones. 

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 encourage 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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Roommate Horrors

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Her laughter would annoy me as she was approaching the door. I would be even more annoyed if there were a second laughter that harmonized with hers–she loved to bring friends over at night. These are just some of the complaints I had about my roommate, who I will name Tory. My other roommate, with the pseudonym of Ally, was fairly quiet. I remember hesitating as to whether or not I should live on campus because I already lived in NYC. My number one concern was having an awful roommate that I would be stuck with–and although Tory wasn’t necessarily terrible, I consider myself unlucky for being bombarded with an inconsiderate person. Despite her thoughtlessness, I established strict rules on drinking in the room–I had been admitted on a scholarship that stressed that any of its students caught drinking would have their scholarship confiscated. After all, a full scholarship is a sweet student deal and I’m all about student discounts.

Looking back, NYU was not strict at all when it came to room checks, but I don’t regret emphasizing that rule to my two roommates. I was only a freshman who wasn’t aware of NYU’s leniency, and I was simply looking out for myself and definitely my financial wellbeing. Speaking up was never an issue for me, but I didn’t want to seem like the mother of the room. Even though I had the right to peacefully speak up about certain factors such as cleaning the bathroom, keeping the noise down when guests come over, and not slamming doors in the morning, I didn’t want to overdo it. On the other hand, I can only keep my mouth shut for so long when it comes to living with someone. Tory had proposed a rule to me and Ally, called “sock on the door.” We all agreed on it, and Tory tested the system for the first sometime during the spring semester. I was with my friend when I saw Tory’s text and about an hour later, we went to check if the sock was still in place–of course, it was.

When I ran into Ally later that day, she admitted that she was also annoyed by the inconvenient timing of Tory’s occupying the room which went on for an hour and a half in the evening the day of a residential floor meeting. When the actual confrontation took place with Tory, Ally was silent as a mouse. I was the only one to speak up during the uncomfortable conversation. Although there was some tension in the room afterward, the situation passed. Some of our other issues with Tory still persisted, and I couldn’t rely on Ally to say anything because of how timid she was. There was always a competition as to who would take out the trash as it would pile day by day. Thank goodness I had my own trash can, my Zzzquil for those noisy nights, and my apartment nearby to help me keep my sanity. Still, we all got along for the most part and the living situation could have been much worse, because I know not everyone can tolerate me. I’m happily moving in with my best friend next year, and I know I  might become annoyed by things she does, but I am proud to know that I have the guts to speak up about whatever issues may arise.

By: Tiana B.


Tiana is a sophomore at NYU concentrating on journalism and creative writing. She seeks to display the representation of African Americans and Latinos by providing her own experiences and illuminating marginalized issues in her own writing. When she’s free from her stressful college life, she likes to listen to rap music, binge watch on anime, splurge on Kmart deals, and cook her Hispanic cuisines. Tiana also runs another blog called True T which also highlights not only her personal experiences, but her genuine and unfiltered opinions on today’s matters.

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 encourage 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 Diary of a College Student: Adjusting to Life Off-Stage and into the Lecture Hall

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

In having been an actor for over 10 years of my life the adjustment that I experienced in not pursuing acting further in college was interesting, to say the least. Before that, life had been a world of opportunity in the sense that anywhere could have been a stage upon which to demonstrate my craft, my commitment, my skill, etc..

Upon arriving in New York City as a freshman college student, I found myself searching for something new around which to center my life. Something that could fill the void I felt inside me. I wanted to substitute something for the hours of intense training, detail-oriented rehearsals, and a creativity that was conditioned to image the sufferings and joys of human existence. I was in the process of reimagining my life, adjusting to my new life off-stage, in lecture halls, and among unfamiliar peers; in the manner that I would live, the activities that I would pursue daily, the motivation that I felt that pushed me toward always becoming better than what I was the day before, etc.. I believe that this time, a time of life re-imagined, can relate to, and is shared by, those who experience a dramatic shift in their day-to-day routines, their sense of limitation, and their sense of liberty when choosing what to prioritize in life.

This especially applies to college students, namely Freshmen, who recently removed themselves from a familiar environment full of routine and safety. In attending an out-of-town, an out-of-state, or international university, students are faced with the difficult task of taking what they knew as life and drastically reimaging it to suit their needs in their new localities. The difficulties arises from temptation. Temptation that is reinforced by the general newfound liberty of independent living. Spiderman taught me at a young age that “with great power comes great responsibility,” and it is a fact of human existence that ameliorating one’s liberty of choice, freedom of expression, and right to self-determination is directly relatable to one’s sense power.

So in here lies the subject of responsibility. What this essay aims to make palpable is the difficulty that exists in maintaining one’s sense of responsibility and pragmatism during this time of life re-imagined. Before, we discussed the opportunities college students have in trying to find the best student deals, spark new relationships, curate better hygiene, etc. when in an unfamiliar place, such as attending a new school. However, it is this greater realization of the individual’s power of choice that is the true subject of this discourse. I don’t want to sound cliché, but for new college students, there is no greater excitement then determining exactly what it is that makes you happy and using those sources of happiness to your advantage.

Image Credit: http://www.scei.edu.au/news

The overwhelming nature of arriving in a different city, into a situation where there are no longer limits on the things you can try, or finding where those things will begin generally brings anxiety with it. It is good to feel that anxiety, because it means that you value what your life is and your happiness in living it. If I could go back and tell myself a tidbit of advice freshman year, I would tell him this: there is no greater opportunity missed than living a life that prioritizes your health, your happiness, and your ability to make patient deliberated decisions. That may seem like an Olympian sized feat, but it begins with the littlest of things. For example, when one prioritizes their health and ability to focus and deliberate, than drinking the night before a test perhaps wouldn’t even enter one’s mind as a viable option.

Image Credit: https://www.pragmait.com/therapyboss/blog/short-term-or-long-term-goals-still-required/

It may seem a little extreme. However, when I was adjusting to my life off-stage there were many decisions that I see now as being nothing but a hindrance on my overall goal of being happy. I was more concerned with my momentary happiness and less concerned with prioritizing my long term goals.  It is easy to try and find the most exciting thing to do as a young new college freshman or sophomore, but it is all too easy to get caught up in the overwhelming liberty that comes with newfound independence. Always prioritize the life you want to be living and don’t simply live in the moment, and I promise that your life re-imagined will be a rewarding one to live.

By James Rodriguez


A Texan born and raised, James Rodriguez grew up in San Antonio TX, and has recently graduated from New York University, having studied corporate and political publicity. He sings, plays guitar, studies French, etc. in his free time, and when given the opportunity to share advice that he thought noteworthy with future or current college students, he jumped on the chance. He believes that there is something incredibly important in obtaining knowledge from those who are going through or have recently finished dealing with the difficulties one is seeking advice on. Which is exactly the aim of the Campus Clipper: to share the best advice possible in order to better the experiences of students who are struggling now. Because he was once that lost college student who was searching for instruction and who felt out-of-place and in need of direction, he hopes that his words can relate to someone’s struggle and help along the way. 

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 encourage 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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What is Wanderlust and How Can I Cure It?

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

When you think of the word “travel,” most people think of going to a faraway place by catching a bus, train, plane, or driving for hours outside of town. They are overwhelmed by the thought of saving money, clipping coupons, and living off of ramen just to see a new concrete jungle. However, once they come back, they are suddenly overcome by the “travel bug,” otherwise known as wanderlust. But can wanderlust only be fulfilled by going away? Is there a way to satisfy this craving for adventure without leaving the confines of your own town? I would argue that you can.

The definition of wanderlust by the Merriam-Wester Dictionary site is a “strong longing for or impulse toward wandering.” What this definition doesn’t capture is paired illusion of feeling stuck where you are, both in your location and in your routine.

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/city-woman-exercising-outdoors

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/city-woman-exercising-outdoors

When I came back home from studying abroad in South Korea for a semester, I almost immediately felt trapped. Suddenly access transportation was slow, I couldn’t make it to the other side of the country without a lot of money or even more time, and the burden of a new, rigorous quarter at school made it impossible for me to mimic the freedom I had almost 7,000 miles away from home. “Wanderlust” had become a prison that no one warned me about in the pre-departure presentation months before.

One thing I’ve learned in my time in college is when life gives you lemons, you don’t just make lemonade; you make lemon tarts.

There are three options you have when it comes to handling wanderlust. One is simply ignoring it, which is kind of like eating the lemons. The second, the lemonade, is taking a vacation during a break and exploring as much as possible. My favorite option is the third: adopting the explorer’s mindset, and turning everyday life into an adventure. Lemon. Tarts.

https://flic.kr/p/cwd1Q9

https://flic.kr/p/cwd1Q9

What do people do when they travel? It’s not all about the Statue of Liberty, the Space Needle, the Reading Terminal Market, or Time Square. People look for new experiences that they don’t normally have in their day-to-day routine. By acquiring the explorer’s mindset, that there is an adventure hiding everywhere, you can work on your wanderlust every day. Take a new route to class, check out new restaurants, or go on a date in a new neighborhood. You don’t have to become a tourist to shake up the monotony.

Humans are resistant to change, and I’m completely guilty of this. My first few months home were just me stuck in my old routine before traveling to Korea. But one day I decided to visit a friend in a neighborhood I had never been to. Then I went to another part of the city for happy hour with my best friend from middle school. And yes, I did make a couple of bus trips to nearby cities during long weekends over the summer. As time went on, I found that the bugging wanderlust that had cornered me was getting what it wanted.

I’m not saying that you don’t need a big trip to Europe or a backpacking road trip across Southeast Asia. At some point, you will want more than whatever you’re doing. If watching videos on YouTube is like a bandage, scaling your hometown is a painkiller, then that big trip abroad is the trip to the doctor’s office.

I hate to say this, but wanderlust is completely incurable. In my travels, I’ve met people who have explored the world and still feel that pang to keep moving. The best strategy to keep wanderlust at bay is to constantly challenge yourself to see new places, experience new things, and maintain your thirst for knowledge. And maybe bake a tray of lemon tarts.

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By Jada Gossett

Jada is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is majoring in Psychology and working on a Certificate in Creative Writing and Publishing at Drexel University. After traveling to South Korea for study abroad in the Fall of 2016, she has undertaken a new side venture as a lifestyle blogger determined to get college students to get out of their comfort zone. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter or Instagram. 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 encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings.

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New York, I love you

Monday, October 9th, 2017

“I know my New York City by heart,” she screamed over the phone; sliding her fingers between her black curls with a force that lead me to believe, she could at any moment, rip them apart. Rest assured, she didn’t hurt herself at any point but stood up, took deep breaths and walked towards the observation deck. I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

She may be gazing at the ripples or rejoicing at the sight of Staten Island from afar, breathing in the silence of the chaos. Whatever she may have chosen, wherever she was headed, her sudden declaration of authority, self-declaration of possession of the city, made me wonder how much of it was mine if all of it weren’t hers.

And then I remembered that each person makes her own New York. The 70,000 passengers that the Staten Island Ferry carries everyday make their own New York. The 60 million tourists that come flocking into the city live and relive the fantasy that is New York. And no matter how different your New York is from mine, we are all united, in the exact moment when someone utters the word, “New Yorker.”

 

Onlookers gaze at the skyline

Onlookers gaze at the skyline

I have been living in Manhattan for about three years now but had never been able to get myself to take the Staten Island ferry – the only form of free transportation in New York that runs around the clock – or explore even a little bit of Staten Island, the “forgotten borough.” But when I did, there was nothing like coming back home, to my Manhattan.

I am quite a frequent traveller and the same annoying economy class passenger you might encounter every now and then, who continues to fight for her right to occupy the window seat, even before standing in line for the check-in counter.

Yet, I had never gotten weary of staring out of the window, waiting for New York to approach me, or maybe reject me. With New York, you never know, you can never be sure. But today the sight I witnessed, I had never seen before.

Traveling in an airplane or in a subway is quite unlike traveling in the Staten Island Ferry: the struggle, the wars, the history, you see all of it looming over the sea. And then you see the Liberty. “It is gorgeous,” says the middle aged-woman from Texas.

It indeed is, for her and for thousands of tourists like her who visit everyday quite easily seduced and compelled by the city’s charisma. For immigrants like me, it is what New York is: a symbol of hope: an open invitation that reminds me that I can mold it, make it my own.

 

Manhattan Skyline from the Ferry

Manhattan Skyline from the Ferry

I have never had a bad narrative to offer after moving to New York. I have been catcalled, yes. I have had mice problem in my house, yes. I have waited for the subway for more than 20 minutes, yes. I avoid Times Square, yes. I think I should move to LA, get a car and a big house, yes. But does that ever make me love New York any less? NO. “It’s a bitter sweet love affair,” my classmate had said.

And the fact that she called it an affair instead of a melancholy one-sided love story, tells me she knew the city loved her back. Just like I do and just like the millions of others who come to the city and engage in an ever lasting love affair.

By Sushmita Roy

Sushmita Roy is a Campus Clipper intern and a junior at NYU majoring in Journalism and Psychology. Her research interests includes immigration, human interest stories and social psychology. When she’s not studying, Sushmita enjoys catching up with friends, binge watching TV shows and cooking for anyone and everyone. 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 encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books; we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings. 

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How to Navigate White Identity

Friday, September 8th, 2017

When I was first exposed to racial justice work, I went through a serious white-guilt phase. I was learning about institutional racism and other obstacles people of color faced, and I became uncomfortably aware of how I might be indirectly contributing to oppression. I dealt with that guilt by trying to distance myself from other whites. This of course wasn’t really possible, given the amount of white people surrounding me on a daily basis, but my friends started to notice. In response to my denouncement of white culture, my friends would say, “Anna hates white people.” I would weakly deny it, but they did have a point.

As a 14-year-old, I was confusedly trying to compensate for white privilege by clumsily embracing other cultures. It was a little misguided, but I was on to something. By distancing myself from white culture, I was able to better understand other cultures. Being stuck in white guilt was debilitating, but it was a necessary step in my growth as an ally. If I had stayed in that phase, bitterness and a skewed sense of the world would have kept me from forming friendships with not only whites, but with everyone. I had to come to terms with my whiteness because it was something that was never going to change. At the same time, because I had distanced myself from white culture, I was able to see more clearly the parts that were problematic. White culture becomes problematic when it is so dominant that all other cultures become the “other,” standing in contrast to the “norm,” white culture. The “othering” of non-white cultures results in the alienation of people of color, leading to stereotypes and discrimination.

During college, I realized that I could claim the majority of my white culture, while dismissing the problematic aspects. For example, I could acknowledge that I was white, but challenge the privileged way I was treated simply due to skin color. I could protest when my friends of color were mistreated, and use my privilege to help rather than hurt. Of course, this is a broad commitment which is difficult to enact in concrete ways, and I’ve struggled to find a way to respectfully do this work. For example, I reject the idea that the only acceptable form of “family” is a nuclear (mom, dad, fewer than 4 kids) one. However, it would be playing into stereotypes to assume that all Latino families are extended (including grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) or that all black families have only one parent in the home.

As you can probably tell, there are several lines to toe here. If you’re a wypipo (white person,) the best guiding bit of advice is to do a lot of listening. Every one of your friends will have a different opinion, and it’s a good idea to gather knowledge from each of these perspectives. Also, prepare to be uncomfortable! Part of the white privilege I try to surrender is always being the majority. This involves putting myself into situations where I’m in the minority. Although I’m still protected by my white privilege, I need these moments in order to understand what it feels like to the outsider. If you’re uncomfortable, you’re doing something right.

My apartmentmates and I poked fun at white culture with our Basic White Culture shoot (note the pumpkin)

My apartment mates and I poking fun at white culture with our Basic White Girl shoot (note the pumpkin).

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year Master’s student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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 encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books; we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings. 

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Steps Toward Cultural Competency

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The previous week, I detailed my transition onto the Grassroots Living/Learning Community. Only a few months on Grassroots proved that I did not know as much as I thought I did. Despite my parents’ thoughtful engagement with all cultures, I needed to begin building cultural competency on my own. Here are some steps I’ve found helpful as I’ve stumbled through experiential learning:

  1. The process does not have a definitive end point. No one is ever fully “culturally competent;” there is always more to learn. This is how I think of it: when I first entered college, I was on Step 4, due to my parents’ efforts to expose me to racial reconciliation work. Those first two years on Grassroots pushed me to Step 10, and the past three years have put me at Step 12. But the number of steps are infinite, and it would be foolish for me to become proud at the measly amount of steps I’ve taken.
  2. If you’re a white person hoping to ally yourself with people of color, understanding white culture and privilege is crucial. White culture exists; because it is the dominant culture in the United States, it is often invisible. However, whites have to acknowledge that we are just as culturally biased, if not more so, than those rooted in all other cultures. In the United States, our institutions and structures were created primarily by and for white citizens (and not to mention the male, rich, and straight). This means that people like me have been benefiting from systems since before we were born, and that our children will likely continue to benefit for generations.
  3. As you gather knowledge about other cultures, use it as a means of connection, not as a way to show off. I botched this several times, and it’s all a part of the processes. For example, if I meet a Latina and assume that she’s into Prince Royce, it’d be really awkward if she’s actually into country and hasn’t listened to bachata a day in her life. Even if, on the off chance, she’s a huge Royce fan, if I use this as an opportunity to impress her with my bachata knowledge, she’ll see right through it. People of color are used to being reduced to stereotypes and having uninformed people blabber on about China to someone who looks Asian but is actually Japanese-American and knows absolutely nothing about China. On the flip side, don’t pretend like you don’t know who Royce is, but rather, if a potential new friend brings him up, use it as a way to connect with her in a normal (and not reductive!) way.
  4. On a related note, phenotypes (people’s physical features) can be very misleading if you’re trying to guess someone’s heritage. Identity is complicated, and for all you know, someone who looks African could have been raised by a white family in the Midwest. People also choose, to some extent, how they wish to identify. This is especially true of multi-racial people. Having a multi-ethnic background makes it nearly impossible to guess one’s racial make-up based on phenotypes, and creates a quandary for all involved. Unable to place said multi-ethnic person in a box, people get frustrated and try to force them to choose one identity. Of course, someone who, for example, has a black parent and a white parent can’t decide between identities. Both are essential to one’s personhood. 
  5. A caveat on choosing identities: be aware of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation can be understood as wanting people of color’s culture, but not the struggle. For example, while people at Coachella wear feathers similar to those present in Native American culture. Whites wear them because they’re pretty, or stylish, or something. But most of them have no connection to the spiritual or otherwise personal history of many Native groups, nor wish to suffer alongside Native people who continue to this day to face discrimination while fighting for basic human rights and representation in the United States. This is problematic because it diminishes Native people’s experiences and pain, all out of ignorance. Similarly, whites cannot “choose” to identify as Native American because their culture seems oh so romantically quaint compared to “cultureless” whites (see above point number 2). Again, this minimizes people of colors’ experiences and makes them uncomfortable/angry, and rightly so. A white person cannot even try to embody POC’s because with their phenotypes, they will be seen as whites and treated thus.

Again, all of this can be hard to process, especially if you’re white and just starting along the cultural competency path. A general rule of thumb is to find situations where you can respectfully listen to POC on their own terms.

Winter banquet

All those steps seem overwhelming but the friends you make? Worth it

 

Further resources:

Peggy McIntosh, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. A list of privileges you might not have considered before: 

http://bit.ly/2jSNfcn

Nell Irvin Painter, “What Is Whiteness?”: A history of the creation of “whiteness” as a social construct:

http://nyti.ms/2iZMrU9

Dr. Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism. An article on white privilege, white culture, and institutional racism: 

http://bit.ly/29DzJAH

Slavery to Mass Incarceration: A short video on the history of slavery and why it impacts us today: 

http://bit.ly/1CmPdGh

Tate Walker, “We Can’t ‘Get Over It'”: 4 Ways Understanding Past Wrongs Can Create Better Indigenous Allies: Provides insight into Native American groups’ histories and struggles for justice:

http://bit.ly/2w2AHl7

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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 encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books; we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings. 

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