Posts Tagged ‘college life’

Love and Other Problems: The First Step

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

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The First Step

I hadn’t really planned for my life to go in this direction, though I guess I should have expected that, because life and expectation have a discrepancy. It’s not supposed to necessarily be a bad change, but my life now is a cutting contrast to when I used to sit in the dingy, dry cafe outside of school, gossiping in hushed tones with the soft faces I had known for years. Now I sit in aptly-sized and aesthetic cafes with their overpriced coffee, and notably alone. I never gave extensive thought to how things would change and how strange that would feel. Now sitting here as I am on my cold, marbled floor, surrounding me are unseeing strangers with lips stretched around unfamiliar smiles and roads and alleys I could take one step into and find myself lost even with every map in the world. 

In hindsight, I should have known that the thrill I felt to leave the place I had walked through for 18 years to go to college, would grow into the gnawing dread that had come to possess my lungs when I stepped foot in the airport the first time. The airport was like a limbo, the place people stopped to look through tall windows overlooking larger-than-life planes, looking at other people flying off to better or worse lives and wondering which one they’d belonged to. High school was a simpler time even if it had felt like university was the key to figuring everything out all at once. It had been the same people, same building and same structure for years, and though I felt like a dancer then, performing one routine over and over and ready to step out of the cradle of my stage, it was still a comfort. I didn’t think about how much of a comfort it really was until I started to feel the absence of my shiny rehearsed performance and polished stage floors and the faceless crowd cheering me on. 

One thing that had felt difficult in particular was love. Love in all its forms and with all its nuances felt more out of reach. Youthful love and hate and heartbreak and drama had existed in a buzzing sort of confinement, not dissimilar to an agitated bee hive, and had been easier to find and keep. Moving to another city and leaving it all behind just felt like it meant letting go of every attachment I had with my favorite restaurants, my favorite spots at my favorite time of day and my favorite people. It was strange because even the kids I never really liked were part of a constant I had stickily attached myself to, and being uprooted from that was disorienting. Of course I had been merrily packing my whole life and never thought about it, until I was at the end of a hastily written chapter and facing my two best friends who seemed a grave sort of upset to my eerie calm. The moment I stepped through the gate and looked back at their weary faces, I knew we had taken our last picture together, smiling and heavy-hearted, because they would be moving soon as well. With that thought, I got through immigration blankly, a silent cacophony dancing in my head until I was at the gate, and then waited for my flight crying in the bathroom. 

And then I sent my friends pictures of me breaking down to poke fun at myself as some sort of odd, ludicrous way of coping. 

The flight overlooking my city

Perhaps it will get easier as I slowly integrate myself into the structure of this new community and the challenges and new comfort it brings. Maybe there will always be a part of me that will miss the ease that came with knowing what to expect and being told what to do, and the unadorned confidence in the knowledge that the people around me would stay the same. I had time back then, to get to know these people. The time we thought about was never in the context of workload, it existed with simple routines and little choices. Back then, my routine and method in befriending or getting to know someone was entirely based on knowing when and where I would see them; and that usually just consisted of either class, lunch, or after school. Now, that range is broader, so broad I could never list out every place or time or possibility if I tried –– and it makes keeping someone a constant harder, because one day you may see them regularly, but then the semester is over and you don’t have the chance again. Both of you forget about each other. 

I recall going through notes for my chinese exam in a line at the Starbucks inside university during my first semester, and a tall, soft-eyed guy had struck a conversation with me on the course. It was a nice conversation, until afterwards when I had gotten my drink and walked to my table and promptly realized I forgot to ever get a name or anything, and being as bad with faces as I was (am), I knew I could be found looking him right in the eye and not have a lick of recognition. If this was school, I could ask anyone about who that was (because everyone knew everyone) and strike an easy friendship. Mildly disappointed, I had huffed and sat down, sipping miserably on my overly sweet frappe. Tough luck. 

NYU Campus at Abu Dhabi

Since I realized how hard it was to keep in touch with people, and realizing how little people liked to follow routines, never being able to make friends or getting close enough to someone to love them has gradually grown into a crawling fear. Love, in all its forms of romantic and platonic and everything in between, suddenly wasn’t so simple. It was a challenge, a challenge I wasn’t exactly sure how to deal with. I was prepared to adjust to homesickness, to the difficulty that accompanied high-level academia, but I didn’t think love would be something that I found difficulty in. It had always come so easily to me. 

I understand that love as a concept is complicated –– like the life that I shouldn’t expect to keep to a routine, love is like tides refusing to bow to the pull of the moon; rebellious, exhilarating and unpredictable. I thought it was something that would easily fall into place, that it would find me as easily as it did before, but I felt lost when it didn’t. But, as I knew about the discrepancy between life and expectation, I should have known of the discrepancy between love and it too. Love in all its appearances has been unexpectedly hard but taking control of it has been the solution that I have discovered. Leaving love up to fate does not seem to be the answer, so I am taking love out of fate’s palms and trying to do the best I can with it in every way available to me.

Like I used to have good food with my friends at cafes and restaurants, you can use this coupon to do the same and save money with a student coupon at the same time:



Mahrukh Shaikh is a student at New York University studying Business and Finance with a Marketing concentration. She has been writing and creating literature for years and is fond of various artistic mediums and social issues.


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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Hindsight is 2020: Starting College in a Global Pandemic

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

On March 14th, 2020, I was on an Amtrak train headed from Philadelphia to Providence. Usually, the train is bustling with life, to the point where you’d think that finding a seat is impossible and your arms start to shake from the weight of the luggage you are hauling home (or maybe that’s just me—I tend to pack heavy). However, this time the train was nearly empty, desolate. When I finally did see people, they sat across the aisle from me and proceeded to clean every surface in sight with a bottle of hand sanitizer. This was only a small glimpse into what the next two years (and counting) would be like.

Just a week prior to this, I was at home and on spring break. Just four days prior to this, I was in my philosophy class passing around a huge bottle of hand sanitizer—the first line of defense. Just two days prior to this, I had turned 19, a sort of irrelevant birthday in the moment, but still the first one I had celebrated at Villanova University. I remember being homesick, but when I stepped off that train, it was the first time that I was not excited to be home. When my parents picked me up, there seemed to be a mutual understanding that I was not supposed to be there. Previously, I had only returned for holidays or breaks under the pretense of fun or relaxation awaiting me, but this time I had no expectations.

My friends and I celebrating my 19th birthday during our freshman year of college.

At that point, nobody knew how long we would be home—our administration projected that we might be able to return to campus by April 14th, a prediction we now look back on and laugh about. The reality is, when I stepped foot in my house that night after a six-hour train ride, it would be a long time before I would be able to step out of it without the lingering, irrational yet somewhat rational thought that just saying “hi” to a neighbor might result in exposure to an incredibly infectious and devastating disease.

At college, I was independent. I felt like I had a purpose, a place to be—whether it was at class, in the library doing work, or hanging out with friends. I had a somewhat consistent routine in place, and even if it was not always smooth sailing, I was enjoying being at college. When I was at home, I was back to being dependent on my parents, back in my small town, and back to my room that—per my own design—was cluttered and not as organized as my dorm. It all felt unreal, and it all happened so fast.

Villanova COVID-19 Timeline, March 2020

With companies switching to remote work and universities transferring classes onto Zoom, there were suddenly four people in my house all trying to get their work done. Things did not always go perfectly, but everyone tried their best to stay out of each other’s way, be mindful of our responsibilities, and keep things lighthearted. Of course, my dad’s version of this was to throw a snowball at me while I was on a Zoom call for class, but I have since forgiven him.  

The first month after being sent home was, in one word, wild. People were stockpiling items like we were entering an apocalypse, nobody quite understood what was going on, and the death toll kept climbing exponentially. It was a difficult time to be a college student, but more broadly, a human being.

Bleak as the times were, I think there was one important lesson to be learned, and that was the importance of being flexible. People across the globe had to redefine their definition of “normalcy” and adjust to a new world, one faced with a global health issue. As much as students like myself did not want to go to college online or at home, and as much as professors likely did not want to teach in these ways, we all nonetheless worked together to make the best of the situation. Life can change so drastically in just one instant that we need to lean into those changes, reevaluate our routines, and rethink the way that we do things to better serve our needs. Most importantly, we need to be flexible with others, and understand that we are all just trying to do our best to get by.

I guess if I had to pick another lesson, I would say that if you have the option of attending class every day in your pajamas, definitely take it. Or, find small ways to treat yourself each day, such as visiting Pavement Coffeehouse at one of its locations in Boston and using this coupon: 


By: Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a senior at Villanova University studying English and Communication. She is in utter disbelief that she just admitted to being a senior. She loves to read and hopes to enter a career in the editing and publishing industry. She is also patiently waiting for Volume II of Stranger Things 4 to come out on Netflix. 


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

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The Curtain Opens

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

In the past three semesters, I have considered no less than twelve separate majors. It is mind-boggling how many programs universities offer, how simple it is to change your entire career trajectory, and how I’ve somehow begun to find this incredible freedom absolutely paralyzing. There is no mystical “sorting hat” of any kind to point you towards your affinities, no warning that you may not be cut out for physics but might excel in something you’ve never even tried. Instead, I am left to sort through the 270+ majors my college offers and decide for myself which will define my entry into adulthood.

My “major of the month,” as my friends call it, happens to be English—something I enjoyed in high school and found easy to fall back on. My Shakespeare class is a breath of fresh air, a room in which I can return to a time when my impending career choice was not quite as impending. In my absence, however, I had foolishly forgotten how human the world of literature is. Reading requires intense self-examination. It forces you to ask questions like: do I agree with this message? Why do I empathize with this character? What about myself do I recognize in these pages, and why do I feel the need to return to this piece again and again and again?

The piece that brought me crashing and burning back to reality, that pried open my eyes and told me to look, no really, look at the state of my paralysis was Hamlet. While the tragedy of the Prince of Denmark had been a somewhat enjoyable read in high school, it was not a piece I had thought of very often in the months since. In fact, I had found its titular character decently aggravating at the time. It was frustrating to watch Hamlet dedicate his time to moaning about how difficult decision-making is instead of actually making decisions. To find myself utterly obsessed with the play only a few months later was a bizarre experience, to say the least, but it forced me to consider what exactly had changed. I found that what struck me most upon my reread was the horrible realization that I knew exactly how the play would end; I knew the clock was ticking down scene by scene, word by word, and that Hamlet’s indecision was, in the end, his choice. Every moment spent deliberating is a decision for the status quo. There is no stopping the clock. 

A busy month of reading for me!

As I enter into adulthood, constantly deliberating which major, which job, which club, which internship, my sympathy for Hamlet increases more and more. Every day I’ve spent idly floating through my classes, contemplating the various paths in front of me, is another step down the path I’m already on. If every morning I wake up and decide to pursue English, why does it feel so much more daunting to wake up the next day and decide on something new?

Hamlet is not only a college student in name but an enduring figure of the dilemma of the student. He’s also a guy you definitely don’t want to be, seeing as his indecision leaves him pretty miserable. Hamlet teaches students a lot of things, like iambic pentameter and the difference between thee, thou, and you, but the most important thing a student can take away from this four-hundred-year-old play is that sometimes you just have to take the leap. Maybe it’ll go perfectly, maybe it’ll crash and burn, but that’s a risk you’re already running no matter what you decide. Or, to put it in the simplest possible terms: decisions are rarely as big of a deal as you think they are. College is a world of exploration and opportunity—don’t let the paralysis of choice limit your horizons.

Here’s the Sparknotes:

  • Don’t waste three years agonizing over changing your major because, by the fourth year, you’ll be walking out with whatever degree made you want a change in the first place.
  • Don’t fear change! College is all about trying new things to see where you fit, and you can’t do that without challenging the status quo.
  • Go apply to that club or that internship you’ve been too nervous to try. Yes, right now. As they say, “If you never try, you’ll never know.”

By Evelyn Ogier

Evelyn Ogier is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is studying English with a minor in Game Design. She is currently applying for co-op jobs in editing, archiving, and game writing for the spring semester. In her free time, Evelyn enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and figuring out creative ways to layer in the Boston cold.


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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You’re Not a Mind Reader, and Neither Are Your Friends (Probably)

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

In my last chapter, I talked about metaphors—now, I’d like to address the irony that lies in many of the processes tied to friendship-building. The greatest, and probably most obvious one is what I’ll call the “You Should Know That” phenomenon. This refers to the all-too-familiar thought process that we all have a tendency to fall into at some point during the friendship-making process, where we start to believe (and expect) that our friends are mind readers, who have the ability to deduce, without being told, everything we need and require of them.

In the early stages of friendship, we are not at risk of falling into this trap. In one of my Communication Studies courses this year, we went over “Uncertainty Reduction Theory”; the idea that at this point in the friendship formation process, the uncertainty in your relationship is at its peak height, and that the focus of all communication efforts is therefore placed on uncertainty reduction. You realize that you have to be explicit and clear about what you mean and need, and you never seem to run out of questions or anecdotes that may draw some piece of information or knowledge out of them that would help you get a better picture of who they are. 

Slowly (but surely), you get more comfortable around your friend, and start to (at times mistakenly) believe that there really isn’t that much you don’t know. Instead of asking them about every single detail of their life, you’re more focused on finding “natural flow”, and start to fill in the gaps of your knowledge about them with assumptions. These assumptions, whether positive or negative, will have a pretty big impact on the way in which your friendship evolved from there. 

In my own personal experience, assumptions such as these led to the deterioration of a friendship which might have otherwise survived. After a couple of weeks of meeting this friend, I had a whole list of assumptions, ready to soothe whatever uncertainties blatantly existed in our relationship; I assumed that when they didn’t respond to my greetings, they were probably listening to music very loud and didn’t want to be disturbed. I assumed that when they stopped telling me everything about their day and weekends, it meant they just needed a little space. I assumed that we were fine, doing good, and that they could see that I was just eager to get to know them better and all I needed was an indication from them that they wanted the same…and I was wrong. This whole time, I had been assuming that they knew what I was thinking, and that I had stopped approaching them as much because I had noticed (or perceived) a slight withdrawal, and taken that to mean that they wanted space. All the while, they had seen my sudden lack of questions and interest in their life as a form of judgement, of disdain and disinterest.

“[ C ] Francis Hyman Criss – Mind reader” by Cea. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The hard-to-swallow truth is, you (probably) aren’t as good at “reading minds” as you think you are—even your friends’. It’s only natural to start letting assumptions rule your view of others, and it’s true that with a certain amount of time and friendship formation, some things can become more implicit than they previously were. However, it’s also important to remember that no matter how well or how long we get to know someone, we are never truly capable of seeing and understanding how they are feeling, at the very least not without communicating directly with them.

So what can you do? I guess the Golden Rule comes in handy here: treat others the way you want to be treated. It is important to learn to ask for what you need, and to make it clear to your friends that they can do the same with you. If you’re to build a long-lasting and fulfilling friendship, you both need to feel comfortable enough to tell each other how you really feel; you can do that by setting a standard for open and honest communication early in the relationship. Otherwise, you might be missing out on several friendships which you may assume failed out of an incompatibility between the two of you, and not the real, root cause:misunderstandings tied to a lack of clear, direct, and honest communication. 

Main Takeaways: 

  • As we get more comfortable around our friends, we stop relying on verbal communication as much and let our messages become more implicit—this can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and tense moments. 
  • It’s important to remember that feelings don’t always reflect reality;it’s important to talk to your friends about your feelings and learn to ask for the affirmation and confirmation you need from them. This will help you grow in your relationship and set the standard for an honest and long-lasting friendship.

By: Chiara Jurczak

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


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

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

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My London adventure had commenced! 

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

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

By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Chapter One: Welcome Week

Friday, August 13th, 2021

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Beginning your freshman year, I recommend you:

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


By: Anna Matefy

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


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

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Chapter 3- Getting to Know Boston

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

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

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

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

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

Outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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

Inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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

BU’s Agganis Arena.

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

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

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

By: Monica Manzo

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


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

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Acceptance: Becoming a College Student

Friday, July 30th, 2021

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

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

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

Photo Credit: www.instagram.com/umntwincities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Confessions of a Recent Graduate: What Am I Going to Do with My Life?

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

The college years are supposed to be the time when you figure out who you are and who you want to be—or at least that’s what I thought when I was 18 years old and headed to my first class at NYU in a blouse-pants combo that tried and failed to come off as business casual. I knew I wanted to apply to NYU’s International Relations Honors Program and that I would double major in Spanish. (At the time, to graduate with an International Relations degree at NYU you had to be admitted in the honors program. Current undergraduates can choose to do the major with or without the honors component). I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with these degrees. I knew I was interested in expanding my horizons in the literal sense; I wanted to learn about the political and cultural complexities of places I had only read about growing up in a conservative Nebraskan town. I also knew I wanted to help people, which I admit is a vague goal, but I felt an almost tangible empathy for the people I met and the people I read about that I couldn’t ignore.

Graduating in my backyard!

I was sure that answers, or at least some sort of clarity, would come to me. I certainly didn’t expect to feel even more unsure of what I wanted to do with my life when receiving my diploma than when I was walking to my first class. I was about to graduate, yet I was reading articles and taking personality tests trying to figure out what type of career might spark my youthful spirit (or at least not smother that spirit under a pillow) and earn me enough money to live in an apartment that’s up to code. After three years of internships, I was still no closer to deciding my career path than when I fumbled to my first interview in ill-fitting heels.

However, I’ve realized that I don’t need to find or choose a career path. I’m already on a career path; it’s right there on my resume. I have years of workplace stories to share from at least three different industries. My eclectic ventures, swinging from job to job, have shown me sides of the world that I wouldn’t have encountered at a small college where the only available jobs are at the library or student center. 

Through this series of articles, I will attempt to connect the dots between my odd jobs, from New York City to Spain, and from public relations to public defense. At first, I wanted to shape foreign policy at the State Department. Then I wanted to fight for justice and work to end mass incarceration as a top-shot attorney. Through these experiences, however, I often felt a creative urge when I least expected it. There was a love for film and literature that I couldn’t satiate no matter how much I consumed. I still want to advance a global mindset, like a UN Ambassador, and contribute to the fight for justice, like an ACLU attorney, but I want to do it through the art of storytelling. 

I resisted this conclusion for a long time, as I was tempted by the increased stability of a more straightforward career path. Through plenty of practice (and years of mental health care), I have learned to accept and even embrace uncertainty. I am constantly discovering what I am interested in, what I am skilled at, and who I want to be. I believe that going to college in New York City is one of the best ways to open yourself to the array of possibilities that is your career and your life. I will share how I navigated the competitive internship market, the setbacks of rejection, and the brilliance of finding something you love to do. I hope to convey that it is more than acceptable to feel uncertain about your future during college. In fact, that uncertainty might propel you somewhere better than you ever expected.

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By Marisa Bianco

Marisa graduated from NYU in May 2020, summa cum laude, with degrees in International Relations and Spanish. She grew up in Nebraska, but she is currently living in Córdoba, Spain, where she works as an English teacher. You can find her eating tapas in the Spanish sun while likely stressing about finding her life’s purpose.

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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Dating Etiquette across the Globe

Monday, March 8th, 2021

I’m sure you all know that things operate differently depending on factors such as culture and location. We all walk a different path in life, that’s what makes us distinctive individuals. The meaning of love and the way you express it may be perceived with disapproval or repugnance by others. All of these ideas tie into good manners, which can be applied into more than just love scenarios. You want to be viewed as a good citizen who is well-informed and educated; otherwise, people will think negatively of you and believe that you weren’t properly taught. This topic of dating etiquette is also analogous to love languages, since we exhibit affection and delineate love in different ways. Another important concept that should be enumerated is interracial dating—a controversial one indeed as it is looked down upon by those not condoning of it. When there is a romantic relationship between two people stemming from contrasting cultures, they are essentially embodying each other’s culture, customs, and family history. We’re in the year 2021 and interracial dating is not abnormal. In fact, it’s becoming more generalized especially here in the United States. The Pew Research Center found that the percentage of interracial couples living together increased from 7.4 in 2000 to 10.2 around 2016.

When witnessing how various cultures interpret love, we may initially think to ourselves “oh that’s weird” or “how is this even romantic?” The irony is that people from different backgrounds may find our own love expressions preposterous, or even disgusting. What I’m trying to say is that we all think similarly because we’re just not accustomed to foreign dating customs and our values don’t line up with theirs, and at the end of the day it’s a new experience for everyone. I can even speak from personal experience; my parents met in China and have been married for over two decades. You would believe that their marriage is healthy, right? Truth be told, I don’t see a connection or a romantic interest in either one of them. I also find it funny and peculiar that I’ve never even seen them do anything intimate like giving a quick kiss. I don’t know if people in China are embarrassed about love or they get married just for the sake of it; as a matter of fact, I can’t recall any memories of my family members demonstrating any romantic attraction, and the discussion of sex is considered taboo. Keep in mind that love is subjective and it doesn’t have to meet another person’s standards—just do what’s right for your own relationship. Who cares what the next person thinks, his or her opinion shouldn’t affect you much. Human beings are judgmental, let them make comments. You should be proud of your rendition of love.

https://lovedevani.com/dating-culture-in-brazil

Here is a list of countries and their respective dating protocols that I compiled that may leave you astounded.

Japan:

  • Although sex is not necessarily shown as taboo, public affection is not permitted.
  • First dates typically occur in a group meeting (goukon).
  • If you become the Bachelor or get stuck on a group date then I recommend kicking off the date with sweets! You can use Campus Clipper coupons like the one below for some enjoyable cookies and cupcakes. Click here to view the coupon and make sure to go to the Campus Clipper website for more savings.
  • PDA isn’t taken lightly, negatively viewed – the most you would get after a romantic date is probably a stiff hug.
  • Shy away from direct feelings & expressions, much prefer subtle signs.

France:

  • Like Japan, most first dates take place in a group setting.
  • Going on dates or seeing someone and displaying affection typically indicates that you’re committed to someone.
  • More romance in dating.
  • A good deal of PDA.
  • Serious eye contact.

India:

  • Casual dating isn’t well received.
  • End goal is marriage.
  • There is a notion that women have to always be pursued and pampered.
  • Arranged marriages still exist but take form online through dating apps, rather than the traditional way. There are apps available for Indians parents to match their children to anyone they find compatible with. 

China:

  • Actual dating schools exist for men due to the gender imbalance in China (because of the one child per family policy).
  • It is fine to call and text frequently, even if the relationship just started.
  • The Chinese take marriage quite solemnly, there’s a pressure of getting married; once you reach your 30s and you’re still single then you’re classified as a “leftover.”
  • Strays away from verbal affection due to various reasons like awkwardness and cultural traditions.

By: Alex Huang

Alex is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Advertising & Marketing Communications. He used to major in psychology because he didn’t know what to do with his life and now wants to be in the business world. He gets distracted easily by all of the pretty girls in New York City and hopes to become a PR or Marketing manager someday. One of his favorite things to do is going out for bubble tea.

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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