Posts Tagged ‘college students’

Duality of “Student-Athlete”

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

Student-athlete: a term that has set the tone for my college experience thus far. This defining term sounds self-explanatory, but this phrase holds more weight regarding the larger context of managing coursework, fostering and building relationships, and forming lifelong memories that define college life.

Students are more than taking notes in lectures, studying for their next exam, and crossing off that assignment on their never-ending homework list. College is a chance to explore your interests, step outside your comfort zone, and reinvent yourself as you grow into adulthood. It is easier said than done, especially when there is a looming deadline over your head, on top of everything else outside the classroom. 

Post-practice views at 8 am.

I’ve been searching for the sweet spot of balancing school life with activities for as long as I can remember. Like many of my peers, there was always a sports practice, music lesson, or tutoring session to attend, creating a well-rounded perspective on all activities. Starting in middle school and to this day as a college student, sports practices consumed my after-school time. These sports, ranging from swimming, soccer, softball, lacrosse, tennis, and track to finally, rowing, became my passion and my teacher. The countless hours traveling to races, working on improving my performance during practice, and catching up in the locker rooms have taught me more than I could have ever learned about my relationships with myself, my teammates, my time, and more.

Stepping into the role of a college student-athlete was natural and unnatural in all aspects. As a student, there was a strict schedule I knew how to follow: going to class, doing homework, and learning new material. As an athlete, there was a similar strict schedule I knew how to follow: going to practice, setting aside time for recovery, and fueling to do it all over again. Combining the two in newfound ways with the freedom of being in college was something I was not used to. Not knowing when or what to sacrifice in my already growing schedule became an odious task. There was always difficulty in compromising, a fear that I would give up performing to the best of my ability in one aspect of my college career for another. There were times when I did not know whether I should take the extra hour of sleep and go to bed early to wake up for my 6 am practice or take the extra hour to study for my exam the next day. These are compromises that I still struggle to make, yet it has become easier with time and practice, learning when to stay focused and disciplined for a given time and when to relax and experience the true meaning of college life in all its various reflections. 

Being a student-athlete has given me a different perspective on college life that I did not foresee. Even with all the extracurricular activities growing up, stepping into the role of a full-time student and a full-time athlete seemed daunting. But I would not trade this experience for any other, just as there should be no such thing as trading one identity for another. There is room for all versions of yourself, your passions, and your talents that make you who you are. College is a time to explore these opportunities to your liking, and through some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, I hope it becomes clear that there is a way to achieve balance and lead with conviction and passion.

Use this student discount to enjoy a free coffee with a $5 purchase!

By Lecia Sun

Lecia is a student at Tufts University studying Classics and World Literature. When she is not reading, she can be found attempting the New York Times Games, trying out a new creative hobby, and dreaming about her next great bake. 

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.  

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on classroom camaraderie

Monday, July 11th, 2022

Let me set the scene: It’s 2018. I’m a freshman. I’m in a foundations class, the kind where we’d learn basic art student stuff- rudimentary color theory, composition, how to create a focal point. It’s mid-September. By now, a quarter of the class has distinguished themselves as Good Artists, a quarter’s revealed themselves as Artists So Bad We’re Wondering How They Got Here, and the other half of us are just… average. 

A few rows ahead of me sits this absolute whiz kid. Their work has style, it has voice. They use layers. They make digital art like it’s nothing, their Apple stylus sweeping over the current assignment they’ve started up in Procreate. Our professor, making laps around the classroom, takes a pit stop at their desk. “Great job,” he says, before going on to compliment their use of space. 

They are a Good Artist. 

I look down at my own paper filled with loose sketches. I think about Whiz Kid those few rows ahead of me. Their work is a Renaissance masterpiece and mine is incomprehensible. I feel the usual twinge of jealousy settle into my stomach and, in that moment, I can’t help but think, “I’ll never be on that level.”

a person watching a peer a few seats ahead.
Staring down the competition from afar…

Flash forward to 2022.

Whiz Kid is having a graduation party and I’m invited. When I show up, all the best students of the class are there, and we eat fondue and laugh and have a grand old time. It’s amazing. At one point, I say to them, not for the first time, “You know, freshman year, I thought you were so intimidatingly cool.”

They laugh. “Dude, I always thought you were so cool!”

The night goes on. We socialize, we party- we even do a few little drawing games (you can graduate art school, but you never stop being an art student). Someone brings up the idea of maybe starting a collective, doing big group projects, moving forward as a team.

As we celebrate the culmination of these four years, I find myself wondering: how did I let myself miss out on being close to such a cool group of people?

The answer is simple, clear, and ultimately unsurprising: academic competition. 

It sprouted in kindergarten, where I just had to be at the highest reading level for a five-year-old. It plagued me in high school, where an A- just wasn’t a good enough grade. So, of course, it followed me to college too. The thing is, it follows everyone. 

In a study done by Julie R. Posselt and Sarah Ketchen Lipson, the duo found that heightened academic stress and perceived competition had increased the rates of mental illness in college students (“Competition, Anxiety, and Depression..”). According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 25% of college students were diagnosed with or treated for a mental illness- and that’s just the ones who could afford to see a therapist. When you’re surrounded by a myriad of great minds, it’s easy to feel like the least capable among them. Imposter syndrome is a very real struggle, and once it sets in and tells you that you’re not good enough, anxiety is swift to follow, because what if everyone else thinks you’re a fraud, too?

When you’re in the throes of feeling like the worst, it’s easy to forget there’s other people who feel the same way about themselves, too. 

There’s no catch-all solution to imposter syndrome and the pressure of academic competition, but therapy and peer support are a great place to start. In an article from the Journal of Food Science Education, Shelly J. Schmidt hones in on how friendship actually boosts academic success at the college level (“The importance of friendships for academic success”). Students were “approximately 16 times more likely to become study partners with a friend than a nonfriend,” which indicates not a preference of social life over academics, but a preference to learn alongside people that provide an environment of encouragement. They were ready to engage with new material; it just helped to do it with friends.

a pair of friends studying from a comically-large book titled "textbooks 101."
It’s easier to get stuff done when working through it with a pal!

By bonding with peers and developing a sense of camaraderie, students were able to foster connections that made them better learners. Doing work alongside people you care about makes it feel way less like work- it turns it into an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s scary to befriend the competition, but you’ll feel way better once you start building each other up.

From an art student perspective, it’s so easy to envy different abilities. But no one’s going to do what you’re doing. Just because someone else develops work with an amazing voice, it doesn’t mean yours is inherently worse- it just means you and your peers are doing different things. Do you in a way no one else can, and be proud of your peers for doing the same. Who knows? Maybe if you get really close to them, you’ll get to go to a grad party with fondue.

two different styles of art with the subheading "good... aannd also good."
Skill has so many different looks.

tl;dr: different isn’t always better or worse- don’t let competition stop you from making friends!

Wanna create some interesting new art with the cool peers you just learned how to approach? Check out Blick Art Materials! 

By presenting your student ID and your Campus Clipper coupon, you’ll score 10% off your purchase. Check it out- they literally have everything, and it’s always so much fun to poke around and look for new mediums.

By Ness Curti

Ness Curti is a freshly-graduated illustrator from the Lesley College of Art and Design. A part-time bobarista and full-time New England adventurer, they hope to one day tell stories for a living, whether through art or words. They enjoy doodling, procrastinating, and saying hello to the dogs they pass on the sidewalk.

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.


Giving Back: Be Prepared

Thursday, April 10th, 2014


Now that you have recognized your strengths and passions, and you understand the importance of researching, we should discuss expectations and how to get started. Unless I have become the J.K. Rowling of the “how to” eBook world, which would be an awkward title, you are probably reading this alone. There is no fan club picking this up, so you are probably sitting at home and reading this because 1. I know you and made you, or 2. You have a personal interest in volunteering, but do not have an available organization or club to tell you step-by-step guide on options and expectations. Hopefully these tips will help you feel more comfortable, flexible, and prepared to begin serving in your community.


  1. Serving can be more than a soup kitchen
    Nothing is wrong with serving weekly at a soup kitchen. But why is this always in the movies as the most popular hit volunteering opportunity? There is so much more than that! Look back at your skills and personality traits and use those to serve. If you like building and creating with your hands, jump on a Habitat for Humanity project. If you’re artsy, offer to paint or create illustrations for a nonprofit. Love sports? Volunteer to be a children’s soccer coach for a season with children. The more interests you have, the more opportunities you have to serve.

    Don't be Barney Stinson and wait until mandated Community Service to volunteer locally.

  2. Be realistic with your wardrobe
    This should be very obvious. If you are working with children or teenagers, dress in a way that you would want your child to dress. It’s awkward for parents to meet a youth leader and have to worry about “where to look”. If volunteering with a professional organization, dress to impress, despite the fact that you’re not a staff member. If you love volunteering there and they’re hiring, who would they rather hire, an outside candidate or you? More likely than not it’s fine to wear a t-shirt and jeans. Just be smart.
  3. Commitment
    No fancy way to say it, it’s a pretty important trait so there is no three word combo like “commitment ceases conflict”, although that does sound good. When you find an organization you love, you will be on fire to serve. And hopefully when you go, you will enjoy your experience so much that you won’t want to leave. But don’t dive in too deep. Be realistic with your schedule, yet tactful. If you can volunteer once a week, awesome! If you can only commit to once a month, that’s fine too. As time passes you may feel like you’re missing out, and you will find a way to make time in your schedule. Like I stated in a previous article, if you volunteer somewhere you love, it won’t even feel like work.
  4. Practice Flexibility and Patience… what everyone loves to hear!
    That was sarcasm, if you didn’t realize, or is this the first sentence you have ever read by me? It’s preeettty common in my writing. As much as I would like to encourage you to volunteer in a position that you love, the fact of the matter is that specific position may not always be open. But don’t feel discouraged; instead try a different job. As always, you never know: but you might love it. If not, hopefully you can just get your foot in the door for other volunteering opportunities in the future. For example, at my church in Jersey I serve on Sundays helping with young children…like babies… with poop and stuff. It was not my first, or second choice, but I knew the church needed the help. Now not only do I love seeing the same little faces each week, but I’ve talked to others about different serving opportunities that I can use my talents for. And now I am helping with the social media aspect of the church. Because I was willing to help in one way and waited patiently, jumping at other volunteering opportunities, I am not only enjoying working with children but also assisting 140 characters at a time.


Awe isn't this such a precious picture of changing a diaper...ABSOLUTELY DECEITFUL...but I will spare you the horrifying details...


I hope that you feel a bit more prepared, not to change a diaper, that requires real life experience, but hopefully you feel open and ready to serve where ever you are placed! You are probably still wondering why I haven’t helped you connect with an organization or tips towards that. Well, keep reading.



Samantha Bringas

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The Decision Making Process

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Now that the goals for a trip are set up, it is time to get into the gnitty gritty details on how to plan for the trip!  So the question being raised now is where should I go?

Deciding where to go

Now, this is normally not a hard question to answer because people usually have destinations in mind when they want to travel, but what about those who have no idea where to travel?  What about those who don’t think they have enough money to travel?  Well, here are some tips to consider:

-There is always the option to travel locally.
-Make sure the travel plans are within a reasonable budget.
-Use goals to help decide where to go.

For those who have never traveled before, the first suggestion I will give is to travel to somewhere close by.  Whether it is only fifty miles away or just to the next state over, short distance travelling is also travelling.  Travelling a short distance allows people to get a feel on how it is to travel.  If your hometown is New York City for example, travelling to Long Island and staying there overnight can give one a new outlook on how different somewhere so close can be.  Even going to Philadelphia and checking out their town hall and market can be an amazing travelling experience!

For those who wish to travel some longer distances, it is important that the location is within budget range.  Being a college student strictly increases the financial impact that money has on travelling.  When planning for a trip, one must always take into account how much money is available.  Realistically, it is near impossible to plan a trip to India with only two-hundred dollars.  Travel costs, accommodation costs and food costs are some of the obstacles that might get the way.  My rule, although not always applicable, is to add two-hundred dollars to a trip costs after making it.


Remember the goals list?  Use that to help create the best personal plan.  A list of goals is the first step in creating the skeleton for a good travel plan.  It is the foundation and first step in creating a good travel experience.  Don’t forget that Tripadvisor is a great tool when looking for places to go.

Deciding where to go will ultimately depend on the individual.  Do not forget that although travelling can be a great adventure, the process will have some expenses on way or another.  Traveling takes time, effort and energy.  As other issues are delved upon, it will greatly impact the trip and help solidify the need for planning.



This was written by Gary Chen of Stony Brook University

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Starting a New Adventure

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

For the past decade, tuition across the spectrum has been increasing every year globally.  Over the past three years alone, college tuition has increased on an average of 3% a year! Although many college students are saving all those pennies and quarters to pay for their college tuition, it doesn’t mean there should be a ban on globe-trotting.  Travelling is one of the best things that a young adult can do for themselves.  As people get older, settle down, get a job and have more commitments to fulfill, traveling becomes harder.  Young people should seize their youth and travel to their heart’s content; many articles have shown that one of the biggest regrets dying people have is that they never got to travel while they had the chance.

College Funds can even be found in cookie jars!

Every inch of this earth holds an experience of a lifetime that can help meld one into their perfect future self.

Travelling to foreign lands can be a real eye opener to all the different things the world has to offer.  Like being tossed straight into the fire, travelling throws people into the heart of culture hotbeds different from home and forces them into new situations.  Finding new friends, uncovering new flavors, and scaling mountains higher than skyscrapers are only some of the situations which might be encountered!  Such experiences are memories that many travelers hold dear for the rest of their lives, even to their deathbed.

Having been a poor college student myself, I know the very troubles that might come along with travelling.  Accommodation, food and travel costs can take a heavy hit on a college student’s wallet.  On top of that, with the heavy course load that comes along with being a college student, students may be discouraged with their ability to travel.  In the end, these problems are nothing more than excuses.  With proper planning and guidance, traveling can be done without breaking the bank.

The process before traveling can be as daunting as travelling itself.  Still, with hard work and proper preparation, travelling is well within the average college student’s grasp.  These series of articles will show some of the best means and methods I have discovered on my travels to get the most college savings even while travelling the world.  Having traveled to South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan this year alone as a college student, I have learned not only important lessons which to build my life upon but also some of the most efficient ways to travel.


Gary Chen Stony Brook University

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Recent Grad, New Job, or So I Thought

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

When I received my undergraduate degree from Baruch College in May 2006, I was ecstatic. I immediately began applying for jobs and couldn’t wait for my phone to start ringing non-stop. Little did I know that this was a far fetched idea; my phone did ring, but not as often as I had originally hoped for, so I decided to make some phone calls myself. I contacted the human resources departments of at least three companies to inquire about the status of my applications and was told more than once that I did not have enough experience. Experience I thought, how many new graduates have experience? I believed that one industry related internship and a few years of non-industry related work experience were enough for me to get an interview, but apparently it wasn’t. At that point, I realized both the power and importance of an internship, which may have been obvious to some, but to others, such as me, it was new and enlightening information that could have helped to speed up my career.
According to, an internship is defined as “a student or recent graduate undergoing supervised practical training.” This means that as a student or a recent graduate, one will gain hands on experience in their field of choice. Most internship’s are unpaid, but do compensate students by offering credit for a specified course. For example, a student may work as an intern for the duration of the fall, spring, or summer semester. When the internship is completed, the student may then receive the number of credits for the course taken in conjunction with the internship.
There are various ways in which a student can find an internship. Below is a list of resources/tips that can help students with their search.

  • Contact your school career and internship center. These centers have trained staff members who are there to assist you with your career, job, and internship needs. Most of these centers offer career guidance, resume and cover letter workshops, and interview preparation assistance.
  • Utilize the career services that are offered by the public library. New York Public Library, Queens Public Library, and Brooklyn Public Library all offer free career services. They also have many materials that may help you with your internship search.

New York Public Library Info for Job Seekers
Queens Library Job Resources
Brooklyn Public Library EJIC

-Shana H

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