Posts Tagged ‘college life’

From New Delhi to New York

Sunday, February 25th, 2024

Living in New Delhi, India, offered me a lifestyle that many would envy. The vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and close-knit community made it feel like home. But despite the comforts of my life in New Delhi, I knew that there was something more waiting for me beyond its borders.

The decision to leave everything behind and move to New York City was not an easy one. With just three suitcases in hand, I embarked on a journey that would change my life forever. While the prospect of attending Parsons School of Design was exciting, the reality of leaving my family, friends, and pets behind was daunting.

Arriving in JFK Airport, I was hit with a wave of emotions. The hustle and bustle of the city, the towering skyscrapers, and the diverse crowds were overwhelming yet exhilarating. It was a stark contrast to the familiarity of New Delhi, but I knew that I was exactly where I needed to be.

As I settled into life at Parsons, I found myself grappling with challenges I had never encountered before. Making friends, navigating a new city, and exploring my identity became my daily struggles. It was during this time that I realized the importance of resilience and adaptability.

I often find myself contemplating the concept of neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s remarkable ability to restructure itself by forming new neural pathways over time. I can’t help but feel a sense of detachment from my own brain. It seems to adapt and evolve at a pace that sometimes outstrips my ability to adjust to my changing lifestyle. 

As I navigated the complexities of life in New York City, I got to experience different cultures, and perspectives. For instance, mastering the intricacies of the New York subway system became a pivotal moment in my adjustment to city life. Each interaction, each moment of discomfort, was shaping me into a more open-minded individual.

Despite the initial hurdles, I began to embrace the transformation that was taking place within me. I learned to appreciate the cultural differences, to cherish the friendships I made, and to embrace the uncertainty of the journey ahead.

This journey from New Delhi to New York City was not just about geographical relocation; it was a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. It taught me the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone, of embracing change, and of remaining true to myself in the face of adversity.

As I reflect on my time in New York City, I realize that this chapter of my life will forever shape who I am and who I aspire to be. 

In the end, this journey across continents is not just about the places I visit or the experiences I have—it is about the person I become along the way. And for that, I am forever grateful.


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By Kimaaya Khanduja

Kimaaya grew up in New Delhi, India and is currently studying at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York, pursuing a degree in Product Design.


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 10: Not Goodbye Just See You Later

Monday, November 20th, 2023

I suck at goodbyes. I always cry or make inappropriate jokes to get everyone to laugh instead of being sad. With that being said, I’m absolutely terrified to say goodbye to some of my best friends at the end of my senior year займ 10000 рублей.

Luckily, I am a part of my university’s five year Master’s program and a few of my other friends are as well. But there are still a few that I’ll have to say goodbye to that I’m worried will likely end in all of us sobbing hysterically.

Not that there’s anything wrong with crying. Crying is an extremely healthy way to let out emotions and anyone who says otherwise is jealous of the way we are capable of portraying our emotions. The only reason I’m scared to cry when saying goodbye is because I’m a very ugly crier, but that’s just me.

I learned throughout my years at college that crying is seen all around campus. Which may sound depressing as hell, but it’s really not. Sometimes I’ll just be walking to the dining hall during finals season and I’ll hear someone sniffling and no one bats an eye because it’s so widely accepted. This was much different than my experience in highschool, but it was a new kind of difference that I was excited to welcome into my life.

Anyways, back to saying goodbye.

This isn’t my first time having to say goodbye to my friends. When I left high school, all of my friends and I went different ways. It was scary, but we knew it was for the best. Specifically when saying goodbye to my best friend of 16 years (at the time it was only twelve years), I knew there would be some tears. Her school was online for the first semester due to COVID and my school was open so I was moving to my new home for the next four years. We spent almost every day together during the summer, even with the pandemic going on. We found ways to hang out outside and wore masks so that we were still safe while taking in all the time we had left together. But when the day came where I had to leave, we still cried.


My best friend and I our senior year of high school, before COVID

I realize now that it was a bit foolish of us to cry. We still see each other and keep in contact all the time. It wasn’t really a goodbye, but more of a “see you later!”. The only difference in our friendship was that we weren’t seeing each other everyday, but even still we can text each other whenever.

And with that, I’m reminding myself all throughout my senior year that things won’t be completely different to how it was last time. Even though we won’t be living on the same campus, only a few minutes walk between each other, I know I will still see my friends and my roommate again. We’ve already discussed how we’ll meet up whenever we can and will aim to continue our tradition of a “Friendsgiving”.

Like I said before with my high school best friend, we also can text each other whenever. Thankfully we live in a technology based society now and it is much easier to keep in touch with friends than it used to be. We can send each other TikToks or funny videos on Instagram just to let each other know that we are still thinking of one another. We can also keep up with fun things happening around us and make plans to meet up at such events. For example, my friends and I are both fans of the same book series and one of us discovered there’s a themed ball/gala to celebrate that book series happening after graduation. We all are excited to see if we can go to celebrate the start of continuing our friendship after school.

When my friends and I finish walking across the stage with our diplomas we won’t say goodbye. We’ll just be saying see you later.


Some great memories of me and my friends!

Summary:

  • Saying goodbye has always been difficult for me
  • Crying is normal and healthy!
  • I had to say goodbye to my best friend after high school, but we still kept in touch so it wasn’t really a goodbye
  • How to stay in touch with friends after college

Go out to eat with friends and enjoy some free drinks with this coupon and student ID!

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 9: Interview with Writer and Professor Dr. Vyshali Manivannan

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023
A brown-skinned woman with black glasses, pink lipstick, and a black faux hawk grins at the camera. She is wearing a bright blue sleeveless blouse, a gold chain, a nose ring stud, and brass triangular earrings with a patina. Photo Credit: Sara Fuller.
Photographer’s Website: https://sarafuller.com/

Last week I discussed the importance of forming a relationship with your professors. I have gotten close with a few of my professors throughout my student career at Pace University and I’m so thankful for all that they have helped me with. This week, one of my professors that I have had several classes with was willing to help me out and take part in an interview for this week’s blog post. I interviewed Dr. Vyshali Manivannan, Dr. Mani for short.

Dr. Mani is an assistant professor in the department of Writing and Cultural Studies at Pace University on the Pleasantville campus. Her research focuses are both creative and critical and specializes in medical rhetoric, disability studies, decolonial studies, and online teaching and accessible design. I thought Dr. Mani would be the perfect person to interview for this blog because a lot of my posts are about how I managed my first year of college throughout the pandemic and Dr. Mani is a professional in regards to online modality in a classroom setting.

I started off by asking her what started her interest in writing and how old she was. Dr. Mani informed me that she has been writing since she was young and at the age of 11 wrote her very first fantasy novel (although she claimed it was not super well written since she was only 11). She sent the “fantasy epic” to a publisher and received a response from a publishing agent to “keep writing”. By fifteen, she had written her first proper novel and after a few years managed to get it published. Since then Dr. Mani has had numerous other projects published throughout her career.

I then asked her how she manages to stay motivated with writing and how she managed to keep in contact with peers/coworker/and students during the peak of COVID. Dr. Mani’s response was extremely real and motivating at the same time. She claimed that, “it’s not possible or normal to stay motivated, let alone productive, all of the time. And sometimes a lack of motivation is actually a form of productivity that we just haven’t translated for ourselves yet.” And I genuinely couldn’t agree more.

The start of quarantine took place in the middle of my senior year of high school and any motivation to get work done felt impossible. I had to learn to be patient with myself for not being able to get as much done as I used to or anticipated at the beginning of my senior year.

Dr. Mani also brought up the method of socializing online and how, at least for our generation, it is not such a strange thing to interact with groups online. Dr. Mani is a part of different online communities, specifically online scholarly communities, disability communities, and advocacy groups. Because of this familiar concept, it was a bit easier to remain in contact with people during the peak of quarantine, which, in a way, “kept me motivated while unmotivated” as Dr. Mani stated.

She then mentioned a special issue of a rhetoric journal she co-edited with a group about how COVID has impacted their life and their writing. Having read this special issue, it was an incredibly eye opening and motivating piece. It was written by several people who struggled to continue writing while also trying to take care of their families, and even themselves, during COVID. Dr. Mani mentioned how helping some of her peers edit/write this project had also helped her stay motivated.

When I questioned what Dr. Mani thinks the best way to make connections with students through online learning is, she once again mentioned how communicating online is not an unfamiliar concept. We discussed that especially for my generation (Gen Z), we grew up online so it’s easy to get to know people through an online classroom. Dr. Mani teaches in a unique way and uses Discord for her classes rather than relying on our university’s class instruction portal website. Through different Discord chat channels, we can comfortably discuss our class readings and work as a team to decipher what is going on in our assigned texts. I have found myself interacting with students more effectively in Dr. Mani’s classes than some of my in-person classes. Of course, all students are different and may feel differently, but Dr. Mani has always managed to make the most out of online classes and makes sure that all students feel comfortable within the classroom environment.

A lot of this interview was eye-opening and almost like a breath of fresh air. To see someone as successful as Dr. Mani honestly states that they were essentially not motivated during COVID, and how that is okay, was a relief to me. It is important to value how you feel and if you think you need a break in your work, then it is best to listen to yourself and take that break. Having alone time or talking to people, online or in-person, can help bring you back to your work and feel that passion again. I admire Dr. Mani’s skill of reminding everyone that we are human and we simply cannot do everything all at once. Dr. Mani has published many different projects and repeatedly mentions that it is a long process that requires connections with people, but a process that is worth it.

Summary:

  • Dr. Vyshali Manivannan is a professor at Pace University and a successful writer
  • She has published a novel, several lyric essays (one of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize), interactive nonfiction, scholarship, and performance art
  • It was difficult to stay motivated during Covid, but by reaching out to people it helped
  • A list of questions I asked:
    • Your name, career, and anything else you would like to add
    • What got you started/interested in writing?
    • During the peak of COVID and lockdown, how did you manage to keep your motivation with writing and how did you stay connected to your peers/co-workers?
    • What do you think the best way to make a connection with students is through online learning?
    • Why is making connections, online or in person, important to you and your career and what advice would you give to your students/aspiring writers?
    • If you wish to know more and read more of Dr. Vyshali Manivannan’s work’s her website is here: https://vyshalimanivannan.com/ 

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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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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 7: Balancing It Out: How to Have Fun and Still be Organized

Monday, October 30th, 2023

If I’m being completely honest, I’m the absolute worst at staying organized. Time

management skills? Those don’t exist in my world. I just do things when I remember and hope for the best. At least that’s what I used to do.

My freshman year of college, I was interested in majoring in psychology and took a few psych courses. I noticed through those courses that I fit into some of the definitions of ADHD and further researched it. By my sophomore year, I got the diagnosis and things started to make more sense. Turns out your brain is supposed to think in full proper sentences and people are actually able to sit down for hours and focus while studying? Crazy concept.

Anyways, for the first two years of college I was doing mostly alright with a high GPA, but was always stressed and often procrastinated  things to the last minute. Figuring out how to have fun with my friends and also find time to do homework was nearly impossible. Once  I also got a job, my brain was about to burst.

Every year before the first day of classes, I would buy a planner and swear to myself that I would use it and stay organized. Now, if you also have ADHD, you know what it’s like to have everyone suggest buying a planner only to spend money and never use it after the first week. Every year I would spend a day writing out my week and marking when important dates are in the semester, only to forget about it and never open it again. I’m sure for some people, planners are a great way to stay organized and on top of things, and I definitely recommend it for people to try. It just wasn’t the right fit for me.

I then tried different tips people have given me like adding things to my calendar on my phone and getting notifications. However, I couldn’t even figure out how to set up the notifications on the calendar/reminders and every time I tried I would just end up forgetting all about whatever was planned. If you are a tech savvy person, this is probably the best thing for you, but I’m like an old woman and suck at technology. I do like Google calendar though, my boss uses it for work and that at least keeps some part of my life organized.


Meg and I hanging out before the semester starts

It wasn’t until my junior year when I met my friend Meg till I found out what worked for me. My friend Meg is incredibly organized and even schedules their own naps. I had no idea how they did it until one day they showed me a simple checklist they made on their notes app of things they need to get done before the end of the semester. At first it seemed overwhelming, but then I remembered the trick my old therapist told me to do things day by day.

So with both of those things in mind, I opened my notes app and wrote down the things I needed to get done each day for the last two weeks of the semester and it actually worked! I broke down assignments so I wasn’t overwhelmed telling myself to get the entire thing done in one sitting. For example, I would write “Monday: Create essay outline. Tuesday: Write first two paragraphs. Etc.” This way, they were smaller tasks that led to completion. It also helped that every time I checked something off it was super satisfying, especially to see my list get smaller.

When I started my senior year, I wanted to move from my phone to paper because holding a physical to-do list helps me take things more seriously. So instead of buying a planner, I bought an empty lined journal and every Sunday I write down my tasks for each day of the week. Now I’m extremely organized and capable of finding the time to hang out with friends rather than avoiding work or avoiding my friends till everything is done.


My to-do list from the last two weeks. I do a new color each week to keep things exciting!

It’s also important to remind yourself that some days are better than others. You may have a lot written down to do for the day, but it’s not possible to get everything done every single day. And it is also important to treat yourself and still hang out with your friends, especially if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It is always best to take care of yourself first.

Summary:

  • I struggled on how to stay organized with school work and having fun
  • I was diagnosed with ADHD but none of the tips people were giving me helped
  • I met my friend Meg and liked the idea of a to-do list
  • I became much more organized and balanced everything out
  • Remember to take care of yourself!

Have a self care day and get 20% off a sweet treat with this coupon and student ID!

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 6: Living my 12 Year Old Fantasy: Working at an Indie Bookstore

Monday, October 23rd, 2023

After my freshman year, I knew that I would need to learn more about budgeting

and that it would be beneficial for me to get a job and receive a steady income. My parents have always been helpful to me when I need money, and I’m grateful to them both for that, but I wanted to be responsible for myself and earn my own money.

I knew that I could get a job on campus, but I also knew that there was a local bookstore in town right off campus. Since I was about twelve years old, it has been my dream to work at a bookstore. Specifically, a small bookstore in the hills of England and living in a little cottage away from everyone. Then one day Harry Styles would walk in and pronounce his love to me, just like in every fanfiction ever. Now I was 19 and I knew Harry Styles wasn’t going to be appearing in Westchester, New York, but I could still get part of this fantasy by working in the bookstore!

My friend Jill that I had mentioned earlier was my current roommate at the time and we motivated each other to get the courage and go to the bookstore to ask if they were hiring together (by ourselves it was too scary). We walked into the store one afternoon and luckily they were hiring for weekend shifts. It was perfect!


Me and Jill taking a goofy selfie after our first training shift

We worked on our resumes together, prepped each other for interviews, and helped each other find a good interview outfit. The afternoon of our interview, we both got the job and started training the next week. We were both extremely excited to be able to work at a place filled with books and get paid to recommend our favorite books.

It has now been two years of  working at the store and I’m so grateful for all of the skills I’ve gained and the people I have met. Because of this job, I had no other choice but to finally learn time management skills and how to balance schoolwork and work-work. It was difficult at first, but if you are truly motivated and love what you are doing, eventually it becomes possible. I also taught myself budgeting and have become much better at speaking with people thanks to the retail part of the job. Even when there’s a mean customer, I’m able to smile and work hard until they leave. Once they’re gone, that is when my coworkers and I scream to let out the stress.


Me and my coworker being asked to take a photo with Elvis when the Elvis movie was promoting

Speaking of coworkers, I ended up meeting some of the best people thanks to this job. In my past job, my coworkers were incredibly toxic and were very “cliquey”. I was nervous about joining this job because some of these people had been working here for a long time and thought it would be the same as my last job, but thankfully it was the exact opposite. Everyone accepted Jill and I right away and were always ready to help when we were confused, and believe me, we were confused. If you’ve ever worked in a bookstore and use the computer program “Book Manager”, you know how confusing and complicated the program is. Even now I’ll still occasionally text my boss with a question.

This job has also been beneficial with my own major, as someone who is interested in publishing. I have met other publishers, have discovered some of the big publishing companies, and have learned how to sell pitches about a book soon to be published to booksellers. I strongly recommend getting a job that may be helpful towards your major. It gives you a quick glimpse into your future and is definitely a great resume booster.

Summary:

  • I wanted to get a job starting my sophomore year of college
  • My roommate and I applied to the local bookstore in town
  • We got the job and I met great people and gained important skills
  • Getting a job in sync with your major is extremely helpful 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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Don’t Let Ice Breakers Break You

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023
The view from my freshman dorm room in 2019.

As a certified introvert, I dreaded the first week of classes more than just about anything. My first year of college was easily the worst in this regard: every building, professor, and classmate was totally unfamiliar. In addition to the stress of a new environment and new coursework, there was also the overwhelming anxiety of making introductions. I once believed there was no activity on the planet more tortuous than those first day of class ice breakers. I was appalled by every aspect of them: speaking in front of a group, desperately trying to think of one single interesting thing I did that summer. I spent more time agonizing over what fun fact I would share on the first day than actually reading the syllabus for a new class. I was sure it was a circle of hell designed to punish the shy and introverted.
But somewhere around the second semester of my freshman year, I started to realize that icebreakers were actually an opportunity, not a punishment. For many of us, the hardest part of making friends was always initiating that very first conversation. I could never decide where to start. Every sentence I drafted in my head sounded so stilted and awkward spoken out loud. I also had no idea what to say to someone I knew absolutely nothing about. This is where icebreakers came in handy. They gave me something to open with, because I had all this information, like names and majors and at least one semi-interesting thing that happened to them over the summer. I felt more confident approaching people and attempting to make friends with a starting point in mind. It can be something small, or seemingly trivial, but any common ground is better than none.

One girl in my math class, when asked to share a fun fact, started telling a story about the summer camp where she worked as a counselor. I found myself getting so invested in the story, I completely forgot to rehearse what I planned to say. I was completely focused on her story, and it took all of the pressure off once it was my turn. Had the solution really been this easy all along?
The key to alleviating my anxiety surrounding icebreakers was to pay more attention to other people’s answers than my own. The more I rehearsed what I was going to say, the more anxiety inducing the ordeal became. By focusing on my peers and listening intently to what they had to say, I took myself out of my own head and was able to actually start getting to know new people. I also started to realize that everyone else was seemingly just as nervous as I had been. The more we focus on our internal thoughts, we can allow them to overwhelm us. It took me 18 years of life to realize it, but overcoming my own anxiety was a lot less complicated than I made it out to be.

It may seem too simple of a solution: listen to other people in order to take the focus off of yourself. But as it turns out, it’s just simple enough to work. When you treat ice breakers like an opportunity to learn more about your classmates rather than a punishment created specifically to drive you insane, you will get a lot more enjoyment out of them. And if you’re lucky, you’ll make a few friends along the way.


By Jensen Davishines

Jensen Davishines is a recent graduate from Pace University. They are currently living and working in New York City. Follow their blog as they attempt to help their fellow introverts navigate the intensely social years of college.


 

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Chapter 5: Service. Friendship, and Equality: Gamma Sigma Sigma

Monday, October 16th, 2023

Despite having my suitemates and a few other friends, I still felt like I hadn’t been able to get the real college freshman year experience. Thanks to COVID, almost all events were on Zoom, including club meetings. There was one campus organization, though, that I was able to feel connected with despite being on Zoom.

In my first chapter, I mentioned my friend Cayleigh who by then was in their Junior year. In Cayleigh’s freshman year of college, they told me that they had joined a sorority…and I was baffled, flabbergasted, astonished, and many other synonyms for confused. Cayleigh and I had always been very similar and, if you knew us, you knew we were definitely not sorority people. This is no hate to those in a sorority, I honestly find your social skills very impressive because I could never do that. I applaud you all (this isn’t sarcasm I genuinely am very impressed by it all and admire it).

Cayleigh and I are both…not as positive or spirited as most sorority people. The closest I think either of us got to a sorority in high school would be watching Legally Blonde (still one of my favorite movies and I watch it at least four times a year). So yeah, when Cayleigh texted me that they had joined a sorority, it was shocking. But then they explained to me what sorority they had joined.

It was then that I learned about Gamma Sigma Sigma, a co-ed service sorority. This Greek organization was not a social sorority, but was focused on service and helping out the community. In high school, I enjoyed my time doing community service and I knew I wanted to continue volunteering in college, so this was perfect. Also it looks incredible on your resume.


Me and my big at a formal event together with some other friends

So, as I was saying before, when I was a freshman, connecting to different organizations was difficult. But, because I had already known Cayleigh before COVID, they had helpfully introduced me to their friends who also happened to be in Gamma Sigma Sigma with them. Because I was able to meet all these amazing people, I felt connected to the organization and wanted to join them not just for the amazing friendships, but also the service opportunities as well.


Me and friends at a service event

Since joining, I have met so many amazing people and I am so grateful for what this sorority has done for me. By the end of my sophomore year I was voted into the position of “Membership Vice President,” which is the person in charge of recruitment. It was my job to encourage people to join our sorority and feel safe and welcomed within the process. Through this position, I met new people and gained several organization and communication skills thanks to all the super exciting paperwork that I had to fill out.

In my senior year, I’m currently finishing my last semester as Membership Vice President and passing the torch to the next person. Next semester, I plan to focus mostly on gaining my master’s degree as I’ll be entering grad school, so I intend on going inactive in my sorority. Meaning, I’ll still be a member but don’t have to attend our weekly meetings or collect service hours. It will be weird, but I feel as though Gamma Sigma Sigma has served its purpose for me.

I met some of my best friends, I got to know the community and help out with service projects, and I became more responsible. If you are stressed about making friends or having a “proper college experience”, whatever that means, I strongly recommend taking a closer look into Greek Life on campus. You may never know what you could find.


Me and my little caught driving to get food

Summary:

  • Because I was a freshman during COVID, all clubs were online and it was hard to meet people
  • My friend Cayleigh introduced me to a few people from the sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma
  • I felt close with everyone in the sorority and decided to join
  • I gained different experiences with the service projects I worked on and becoming Membership Vicepresident

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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 4: Major Decision (Literally)

Monday, October 9th, 2023

The thought of having to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life at the young age of 18 nauseated me daily. It pissed me off so much that at such a young age we are expected to know exactly what our future is supposed to look like, that in my college essay I essentially ranted about how it is all such bullshit.

Pace allowed students to go into their freshman year with an undecided major, so that’s what I did. I knew I loved writing, but to do that for the rest of my life seemed like such a daunting thing and I still had no idea what I would do with writing and how I’d make money. I also enjoyed psychology and liked the idea of pursuing that, but then also liked the idea of pursuing film. Overall, I’m an indecisive Gemini and figured going in undecided and trying out a bunch of different classes would be the best option.

My first semester schedule consisted of a lot of gen-ed classes like most freshman year classes. Almost all of my classes in the first semester were online because of COVID, so it was difficult bonding with professors, meeting my classmates, and genuinely finding a connection with  any of the classes. But, like I’ve mentioned in the past few chapters, my extroverted roommate helped me find some friends.

Through her, I found one of my best friends Jill. Jill and I are very similar in some ways, but also very different in a way that I think helps us balance each other out. For example, when I met Jill, she had this whole plan of being an English major and going into Pace’s Masters program in publishing. At the time, I had no idea what any of this meant, but I knew I was impressed with her ambition and dedication.

Jill helped me find my voice and feel more confident about my writing. I still wasn’t positive with what I wanted to do with my future, but I felt like I was getting closer to something.


Jill, Nellie, and I on Halloween our Freshman year

Together, Jill and I would host “writing nights” and spend hours writing together. Whether it was a creative piece we were working on or homework, we always motivated each other to work hard. Jill had reignited my love for writing that I forgot I had, and we would end up writing until like three in the morning most nights.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to find friends with similar hobbies as you. When working together, it makes your work stronger. Even though Jill and I would be working on separate projects, we were still able to help each other and read over each other’s work. By doing these writing nights together, Jill would help me figure out what I wanted with my future. I knew that if my future looked anything like it looks now, I would be happy.

Knowing that I was happy with what I was doing, Jill encouraged me to discuss English majors with different professors. I ended up finding Pace’s new Writing and Rhetoric program and it felt like a dream come true. All of the professors were super helpful and understanding and I finally felt like I could do something I enjoyed in my classes.

Like I said before, I encourage getting to know people with the same hobbies as you and the same major as you. Even though Jill and I weren’t really in the same major at the time, we had similar interests and I was able to learn more about Pace’s programs. She helped me find the courage to declare a major and stood with me the entire time.

Now we’re in our senior year together and we even work together! My entire experience at Pace would not be the way it is today without my friend Jill.


Jill and I our sophomore year freaking out after the new Spiderman movie

Summary:

  • I didn’t know what to do when I got to school
  • I was stressed about declaring a major
  • I found a friend with similar interests as me
  • My friend helped me discover my major and my passion for writing

Enjoy your own study/writing night with friends and 15% off pizza with this coupon and Student I.D.!

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 3: Do You Also Think Women are Hot?: Coming to Terms with my Sexuality

Monday, October 2nd, 2023

Before I had moved into college, when I first started talking to my future roommate Kathy, I had convinced myself I was straight. Yes, I knew I had thoughts in my head about women that most straight people wouldn’t have, but I just repressed them because I didn’t know many queer people in my life and didn’t know who to talk to for help.

When we were in our first lockdown from COVID, I had literally nothing to do other than think, watch movies, think again, maybe do a TikTok challenge, and then think some more. Basically, I had a lot of time to reflect on my years in high school and how I almost never had a real crush on any guys and why I really enjoyed watching the “Lay All Your Love On Me” scene from Mamma Mia!. But, like I said before, I just kept ignoring those thoughts and keeping them to myself. Until Kathy informed me that she was actually gay.

I didn’t immediately come out to her when she told me. I’m pretty sure I said something like “Cool! I’m straight though,” and then we started talking about the show Glee (which I should’ve just accepted the fact that I was gay at that point…what straight person goes through a Glee phase when they’re 14). Once Kathy came out to me, I decided I would accept the fact that I like women to myself, but I wasn’t ready to come out just yet.

I won’t lie, when I chose Pace University, I knew it had a positive LGBTQ+ community and that definitely helped a bit when making my decision. So knowing this, I experimented with the idea of being out on campus because I would be around new people and it wouldn’t really affect my home life. However, that changed one fateful night before me and all my high school friends were about to separate and start our new lives in our own schools. The five of us sat in my basement and somehow, one person came out and then suddenly everyone started coming out. Which may sound strange if you’re a straight person reading this, but this specific moment, I discovered later on, happens to a lot of queer kids and is what I refer to as a “canon queer event,” aka a rite of passage.

So, with this new sudden bravery I found from my high school friends, I texted Kathy that night like “hey! I’m actually bisexual!”. And thus began my year of accepting to myself and others that I think women are hot and I’m proud of it!

During my freshman year, almost all of the friends I made ended up being queer. My current roommate now is queer and it’s also what helped us bond! Freshman year was my first year out and it was scary but ultimately exciting.I don’t regret it one bit.

But then summer came and I was home and alone with my thoughts again. I still had never been in any relationship before, but I was talking to people on dating apps. Nothing ever happened with those dating apps though. I only ever found myself talking to guys for a week and then ultimately ghosting them for literally no reason at all. All I knew is that something felt wrong. Not wrong with the guys, but wrong with me.


Me and my roommate Nellie in stupid hats our sophomore year

So, I texted my new roommate (who is also still my current roommate), Nellie, and asked if they had any idea why my brain was like this. Nellie and I had only been friends for a little less than a year at this point, but they managed to help me when I was feeling my lowest. They were the first person I told when I discovered the “Lesbian Masterdoc” (a document discussing compulsive heterosexuality from queer women) and the first person that I said “I think I might be a lesbian” to. And if I’m being fully honest, without this friendship with them, I maybe never would have had the courage to accept it. Which may seem strange because if I had already come out as bisexual, then why is coming out as a lesbian any different? To which I will respond with, read the lesbian masterdoc and discover compulsive heterosexuality and how the strict gender roles within our society mess with the female mind. If I wrote all about that this blog would be the length of the bible.


Me my sophomore year at a Pride at Pace prom event

Coming into my sophomore year, I had the strength to come out properly because of Nellie and we even attended Pace’s pride club for students together. Then, by junior year, the two of us became president and vice president of the club! The club helped me finally become comfortable with my sexuality and eventually gave me the courage to come out to my family the next summer.

By junior year, I was writing paper after paper about what it means to be a lesbian and I found one of my passions when it comes to writing. None of this would have been possible without the friends I made at school and I will forever be grateful for them. If you’re an incoming freshman, and you’re not ready to come out, there is no pressure for you to do so. But I strongly recommend finding people that are a part of your community to give you a helping hand when it’s needed.


Me petting a dog at NYC Pride in 2022 wearing a lesbian flag cape

Summary:

  • Before I met anyone from school, I was too scared to come out to anyone even myself
  • Once I started talking to people who are also queer, I started to gain my confidence with my own sexuality
  • I joined the pride club and moved in with my roommate who helped me find courage to come out
  • Finding people within your community can help you out in the future

Enjoy a Taco Tuesday at Cafe Habana and get a great deal! Show this flyer and student ID!

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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