Posts Tagged ‘college’

Starting College, Roommates, and Italian for Dinner

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

Before me is a white plate cradling little pockets of ravioli with a layer of parmesan, like snow dusted on top. The green of the sage just barely peeps through. My mouth waters and I look over to my friend Leslie whose face must mirror my own. Her plate of pasta speckled with pepper and pecorino beams up at her, same as mine does at me. “SO worth the wait,” she says. We dig in. 

Ravioli Burro e Salvia from I Sodi.

Months prior to this, Leslie and I met in our History of the Universe class. I noticed one of the girls I was waiting outside the classroom door with was wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt. I thought to myself, This girl is cool, I’m going to make sure to sit next to her. And thanks to our professor who loved to assign group work, we ended up working together because we were seated next to each other. Only about a month into the semester, I was waiting for the elevator in my residence hall when I bumped into Leslie taking out the trash one day. We both started apologizing profusely for the run-in before we realized who the other person was. “Wait, you live on this floor?” I asked, and she nodded. It turned out she lived just a few doors down from me (and it also turned out that this would be a huge blessing for me during my freshman year).

The more time passed, the more uncomfortable I got with my living situation. As Leslie and I got closer, I would spend more and more time in her dorm studying or just hanging out until I absolutely had to go to sleep, or she or her roommate did. Many times I would show up to class and she’d ask for updates on how it was going over in my dorm. I’d sigh and update her because there was always something to tell.

The issue? My roommate.

Or maybe it was me. Likely, it was both of us. The strangest part of it all was that when we were texting over the summer before the semester started, we got along really well. I actually had very high hopes for the school year and was thrilled that I was roomed with someone who was so friendly and who had all the same preferences I did on the housing application. So when things started to go south, I did my best to smile through the pain. She missed a week of cleaning? It’s okay, I’m not always good about remembering either. She had her boyfriend over and they were being too loud? That’s fine, I can handle it. He’s sleeping over now? It’s okay. I’m fine. He’s here again? Okay. Maybe it’s just a few days in a row. It will stop. Wait, he’s here again

Truthfully, it got worse. The amount of time it would take to tell every incident, to detail what life in the dorm was like, would be immense. There was yelling, a lot of it, then the strained moments in which we tried to compromise, then ultimately silence that was not just awkward, but filled with tension. We were definitely both at fault. I was used to my living situation at home, where I could be left alone in peace and quiet, and she was used to being able to have people over whenever she wanted. There were times we lost our tempers with each other, but we also tried to be civil with each other the following day. Countless discussions about what we could do to make the other feel more comfortable often came to nothing, and we even went to our RA for guidance at one point. At the end of the day, whether we had come to an agreement or not, we were left unhappy.

Since then, I’ve chalked it up to us being victims of circumstance. I am almost certain that if we hadn’t had to live together we would have been friends. We were just highly incompatible when it came to our ways of living. And unfortunately, it got to the point I’d do anything to be out of my dorm. 

“I know what we can do,” Leslie said one day as we lounged on her bed. Her eyes had lit up all of a sudden as we watched a movie on her laptop in the dark. We’d been dying for a break in routine lately and she knew I needed something to take my mind off of my living situation. “I Sodi,” she said excitedly.

I blinked. “What’s that?”

“I Sodi. It’s a super fancy Italian restaurant. You have to make a reservation, like, months in advance to eat there. But after our History of the Universe final, we should go there to celebrate!”

So we made the reservation (two months in advance) and saved the little money our parents sent us to be able to have a fulfilling experience come December. When the day finally came we threw on our nicest looking sweaters and coats and braved the cold wind, walking the streets of New York to finally arrive at the steps of I Sodi. And yes, it was worth it. Of course, it was nice to be out of the dorm, but it was also one of the few times that semester I genuinely enjoyed being in New York. We still felt out of place sitting amongst people who certainly looked like they didn’t have to save money to eat there, but the meal has lived on in our memories as one of the best New York has gifted us thus far since living there. Worries fell away, the food melted in our mouths, and I could forget about what awaited me back at the dorm.

I Sodi in New York City.

But many times when I look back on my freshman year, especially that first semester, I wish I’d done better. What if there was something I could have done to make my situation more tolerable not just for me, but for my roommate?

Here are some steps you can take to try to improve your relationship with your roommate:

  • Take a Breath – Maybe you are like me and you get overwhelmed by what is bothering you and want to fix it immediately. There were times I know I was a little too quick to get on my roommate for something when I should have calmed down first thing. So breathe. Sometimes it’s a case of having to choose your battles. If you think you can handle it, try to do so, especially if there is more than just one issue at hand. 
  • Talk to Them – Can’t take it anymore? Sometimes you have to start that awkward conversation. Make sure you know what you’re going to say first and make sure you have a positive attitude before you talk to your roommate. They will likely hear you out and try to fix the situation if you are nice about it. In other words, don’t be my roommate or me who many times just snapped at each other. 
  • Give Them a Chance – College is overwhelming. It doesn’t take long to realize that. So it is likely your roommate may forget (again? Yes, again! It’s okay, take another breath) that it’s their turn to clean, or that they promised they would take out the trash. Give them at least a week before you bring it up again. It can take a while to implement something into your routine.
  • Talk to Your RA – If you are still having issues, do not be shy to knock at your Residential Assistant’s door. They will more than likely smooth over the situation and will be a neutral voice that you can count on to help you and your roommate reach a true compromise. 
  • Take it Easy – It’s possible more issues will arise, likely a few of the same ones. I made the mistake my freshman year of getting too hung up on these things, of letting them eat away at me to the point I couldn’t enjoy my time in New York. Do your best to shrug these things off. Do things that you enjoy to take your mind off it. You cannot control your roommate, but you can take care of yourself. 

And if all that doesn’t work? Find your Leslie and your I Sodi and plan something amazing that you can look forward to. Spoil yourself. Do it. You need it. 


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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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Why food is a love language

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

Growing up, I understood food as a love language. 

Dr. Gary Chapman describes a “love language” as the way we feel loved and appreciated. I love food — I think putting two things together that taste good to create another thing that tastes even better is the best thing humankind has accomplished besides literature and art. I would jump in front of a train for the guy who delivers my Chinese takeout every Friday Night; I think the guy who works the Halal cart in front of my apartment is my best friend, even though he does not know my name, who I am, or any of my interests outside of the food he makes every day. 

My parents love food. At the supermarket near my house, my mom would wink at me and say “don’t let me buy too many” as she raided the bakery in the dessert aisle. She would bring steaks home for my dad to cook, and he would pour a generous amount of cooking wine in the skillet before he fried them up, seasoning them with an almost careless amount of garlic, sesame oil, and peppers.

My mom loved my grandma’s cooking the most: my grandma would cook all my favorite dishes before I came home from school, and my mom would pick away at them without her looking. My grandma would gently smack her hand away from the food, shaking her head and smiling: “Those aren’t for you.”

My family also used food as a love language. When I was nervous before a big test, my grandma would cook for me so I “had enough energy to think.” Before I left for college, my parents cooked meals that stacked all the way until the end of the dinner table, and we laughed over tofu, fish, and dumplings until I had to board my flight. 

Why food is a love language
Without fail, at the end of every grocery round, my mom would make me an ancient, traditional Chinese dish called “ke le ji,” or “Coca-Cola Chicken,” which, if you guessed is just chicken marinated in Coca-Cola, you’d be correct. It’s delicious.

As college students, we come up with a lot of fun tricks to scrimp around meals. Personally, I am a fan of waking up at 1 pm so I don’t have to make or pay for breakfast. I’ve been with friends who study so hard they forget to eat dinner. I’ve seen my friends skip out on meals for a day or two before a date.

As a country, we have an unhealthy relationship with food. The University of Michigan Health System released a study correlating poverty, income inequality with higher rates of obesity. And while bulimia and anorexia are the most identifiable eating disorders, a survey released by the Eating Disorders Coalition revealed that at least one in every 10 Americans struggles with disordered eating: whether that be dieting, skipping meals, over-restricting certain food groups like protein versus fats and carbohydrates, or using poorly tested dietary supplements to control weight. 

Our conversations surrounding food cannot exist without discussions about affordability, body, beauty, and consumerism, and how our obsession with food as a form of control has obscured one very simple fact: we need food to survive. 

Food is a labor of love: countless times my roommates have made dinner for me without me even asking. When my friend was having a bad day, I made sure to stop by a sandwich shop before going to her apartment so she’d at least have something to eat. 

There is also the fact that I was a complete mess for most of college until I finally understood how to start cooking for myself, to discover it wasn’t this horrible, unthinkable task my brain tricked me into thinking it was. 

Food is a love language because we need it to survive. 


By: Jessica Xing

Jessica is a senior at New York University majoring in English Literature. She has bylines in Vox, EGMNOW, and Electric Literature, and in her free time, she loves watching bad T.V. 

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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Alison’s Lu Rou Fan

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

The smell of sizzling pork and shallots wafts through the hallway, and I eagerly follow the smell by stepping into Room 914. My friend Alison is making Lu Rou Fan 滷肉饭–a beloved Taiwanese pork stew. I am eager to learn how to make the dish, which I have researched a bit beforehand. 

The origins of Lu Rou Fan are disputed, however, most people claim the Han and Hakka people from China’s Fujian province brought this style of pork stew to Taiwan. In the 1850s, there was an influx of Fujianese settlers in Taiwan. These immigrants were mostly poor farmers who were creative about using the least appetizing animal parts. They discovered mincing pork and boiling it in soy sauce did the trick, and this was likely the beginnings of Lu Rou Fan. 

There is a sensory overload in the kitchen. Alison’s roommate chats on the phone while carving a Jack-O-Lantern. A guest speaker for one of her engineering classes lectures about computer security. On top of this, a small speaker hums lofi music. This is an amount of multitasking I can’t wrap my head around, and I ask how she does it. 

“Oh, ya know. I figure the class doesn’t take up much of my attention, and cooking doesn’t take much. So if I only did one thing it would just be a waste of time.” 

Fair enough. I hope my interview will not be a task too many! 

Alison is from the bay area in San Francisco, and I met her during my freshman year at NYU Florence. The first time we talked she told me she wanted to be an electronic music festival light designer. She is very hard-working, creative, and intelligent–I can hardly imagine her doing anything less innovative. However, as an overly modest person, she would likely refute my claims. 

 Turning the conversation to the cooking process, I ask what recipe she is using. Alison’s Lu Rou Fan is a combination of five or six recipes. She tells me it’s best to look up as many recipes as possible when making something new. By comparing different methods, you can distinguish the most important elements, and refrain from unneeded or unusual steps. This is particularly helpful for undergraduate cooks, because you may not need to buy all of the ingredients a certain recipe calls for (a great way to save money).  

While Alison didn’t choose one recipe, she has written out guidelines on a sticky note pasted to her kitchen cabinet. 

This is the recipe Alison used. It is a combination of five or six different recipes for Lu Rou Fan.

The pork, garlic, and mushrooms are cooking in a tall silver pot above the stovetop, and I watch as she takes the regular and dark soy sauce out from the cabinet. Alison encourages me to smell both. While the regular soy sauce has a familiar tangy smell, I recognize a sweet fragrance of the dark soy sauce (reminding me subtly of molasses). 

Despite the precise measurements written on her post-it, these were estimates. Alison takes the lid off the pot and adds an amount of soy sauce that seems to look about right. She then turns to the prep work and throws in the spices and water.  

This is the prep work Alison did for her Lu Rou Fan.

After a few minutes of watching the pork bubble, we taste a piece to see how it is coming along. The pork is extremely flavorful, but Alison decides to add more dark soy sauce.

I comment on how confident she is with her cooking. In the past I have always mimicked my father’s style–he prints out recipes, lines up ingredients, and follows each step exactly. He used to tell me “you can’t make changes to a recipe until after you have made it five or six times.” While I find the organization very helpful when cooking, Alison has me questioning the mantra. She tells me cooking is about the feel. It is about your taste buds.   

“According to that person from Epicurious, don’t be scared to taste test something in case it’s bad. You can always fix it while it’s cooking but it’s hard to fix it after you’ve cooked it.” 

While waiting for the pork to become more tender, I ask her why she likes to cook. Alison tells me she cooks because sometimes she’s craving something that’s not in New York. For being such a diverse city, it seems almost unimaginable that a cuisine is unavailable. 

“Lu Rou Fan reminds me of Taiwan. You can go to a night market and get this on rice for like a dollar fifty.” 

“When you are in Taiwan, do you get a homey feeling? Or is it just a relaxing vacation?” I am curious about her drive to be closer to her parent’s home country. 

“I definitely feel like it’s a homey feeling, but also it does feel like a vacation…So it’s like the perfect medium.” 

This homey comfort is exactly what is inaccessible in New York City as a college student. Only you know what home tastes like–and cooking gives you the power to recreate it. 

As we sit scrolling through culinary Facebook pages, I pause to consider the things Alison has taught me over the last few hours: 

  1. Compare Recipes. This will allow you to understand the fundamentals of a dish better and will prevent you from buying ingredients you don’t need.
  2. Taste test. It is easier to fix things before food has cooked versus when it’s done. 
  3. Trust your gut! You are usually cooking for yourself, and the only person who knows what your taste buds are tasting is yourself. Feel free to deviate from your intended instructions. 

Using a fork, we fish two pieces of meat out of the pot. The pork has become extremely tender, and the entire apartment smells like soy sauce, cooked pork, and fragrant spices (even my clothes have absorbed the smell). Alison gives me a small container to take home, and I leave thinking about how much you can learn from your peers. 

The final product.

Sources: 
Jeffrey Lin “The Origin Story of Taiwanese Lu Rou Fan aka Minced Pork Rice” (滷肉飯). Foodamentals, 21 Feb. 2018.


By: Erin Zubarik

Hello! My name is Erin Zubarik and I am a Junior at New York University majoring in Global Liberal Studies and minoring in Chinese and Italian. Over the last few years, I have been lucky enough to study abroad in Florence and Beijing, where I enhanced my language skills and became acquainted with lovely people. This fall I am primarily holed up in my apartment taking online classes, and playing with my hamster pork chop. I am very excited to share my cooking and relationships series this fall on Campus Clipper! 

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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Senior Year

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Senior year—what a weird time. Your last year of college is so many things: exciting, different, stressful, sentimental. In my last semester ever as a college student, I have felt every feeling known to man. And now that I begin my job search, I am excited. I am also nervous and scared. Excited because of the idea of fending for myself and starting the next chapter of life is riveting. Scared because I have to put myself out there; I have to be confident and fight for the career I want. That can be scary. What if I try my hardest but still don’t get the job I want? 

As I am just beginning this process, I am realizing that I am going to get rejected—but that is okay. The company that rejects me wasn’t meant to be the company I work for. I could compare this to what I have learned about relationships. If the guy you like does not show or tell you that he wants you back, then brush it off. And move on. There is no point in fighting for someone who doesn’t want you. Just like if after interviewing for a position you want and trying the best you possibly can, you don’t get another call-back, then it’s okay: brush it off, and move on. Your career is out there. You just have to find its beginning point.

Besides starting the job hunt, I am realizing in my senior year how much my perspective of college has changed. I used to walk around campus feeling so small; as I have made many connections over the years, the campus began to feel even smaller and smaller.

Now, I feel at home. I feel as though I found my people and my confidence has skyrocketed. I believe in myself as much as my friends and family do and that is something that took working on, but it became easier once I began to grow and learn here at James Madison University. Today, I walk around campus feeling as if I know what to expect. As a senior, I cherish all the memories I have made here. I have not only been taught academics—I have grown up here. I have learned how to be on my own. I have learned how to make connections that will last a lifetime. And I have learned how to be happy on my own.

College is not only about learning what is taught in your classes. It’s about setting you up for the real world, which I believe this school has done for me. College is a special place with special opportunities. If I were to give any advice to the underclassmen and incoming freshmen, it would be to take advantage of all of those opportunities. Colleges offer so much and it is all to better your life and your career. If you spend 4 years just trying to pass and just get by, that’s okay, but if you take your four years and jump on any and all opportunity presented to you, you will come out of school with a stable head on your shoulders, ready to take on the real world.

Be excited, be scared, be nervous. Senior year is pretty cool.

 

By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah is a rising Senior at James Madison University majoring in the School of Media Arts and Design with a concentration of Broadcast Journalism. She works for her schools weekly newscast called Breeze TV as a reporter. Her dream is to become a reporter but she also enjoys the entertainment production industry. One of her favorite things to do to relieve stress is dancing. 

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

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

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Trying to figure out… Dealing with Academic Struggles

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Honestly, looking back at my first two years of college I realized there were steps I wish I was able to take if I had known them and had the time to minimize some of the struggles I already faced in the academic sphere. The day before my first day of college, I received news that my cousin’s diagnosis was terminal. In the coming weeks, I was required to engage in classroom discussions, socialize with others all the while I was hearing the shortening timeline of my cousin’s life. I was emotionally drained, but I used my school work as a distraction to get through the reality of what her death meant to me and my family. I was lucky that the first semester was an easy and non-challenging classload. Surprisingly, I ended up doing really well.

The second semester of freshman year, my uncle passed away suddenly. For me, it was a hard shock to my system. He is part of the reason I am on the path to becoming a counselor. In fact, my college application essay was about him. To say I was shattered to hear another person I loved passed away doesn’t really capture how I felt. But I dealt with the brokenness and lack of hope in an unhealthy way; I again delved deeper into coursework.

When fall semester sophomore year rolled around, I was not prepared for how the grief and loss would hit me with my cousin’s death anniversary. I started off that semester pretending I was okay and able to handle it, but my grades gave me my reality check. I was barely passing exams and completing assignments. That’s when I started to register my thoughts: I did not want to show up to class or hear what my professors had to say. When I got my grades for that semester, I passed by a narrow margin a course required for my major. 

During winter break, I knew that simply getting a head start on tasks would help me in the future. I joined a research team. I emailed a bunch of professors off my program site and waited for responses. I eventually got one and found a stable circle of people to interact with in my academic life. The stability of having people who I could talk to about coursework, professors and potentially personal matters became a game changer. 

Looking back I wish someone would’ve given me the advice my advisor gave me when I interviewed her about this post. She said you have to self-advocate from the beginning of your college experience to build a foundation to fall back on whenever you need it.

From my conversation with my academic advisor Amanda Holda, she wanted students to keep the following in mind before they get to a point where they can’t anymore with academics:

From NYU Steinhardt: Applied Psych Advisor Page

  • Make sure you build support systems in your academic world from the beginning even if its informal networks like fellow club members & co-workers
  • Make it a habit to reach out to those individuals you feel comfortable with and start building a relationship with your advisors
    • Take it from academic advisor Amanda Holda. She stated that it’s their role on campus to be students’ support systems, so utilize them. They may not have the answers, but they can definitely guide you where you want and need to go. 
  • Be open to making connections (Professors probably aren’t going to be the main connection)

 

If there is one thing you should take away from this piece, I want it to be an urgency to help yourself when you are in a healthy positive state rather than stuck in a tragedy forced to make changes. Start easy with email exchanges and build to face to face meetups with individuals. With Professors, say hi before and/or after class eventually, start going to Professors’ office hours to talk. 

If you are someone who started off college without having time to build connections, remember “it is your right to reach out and ask questions.” Work to overcome the internal messaging that you have about connecting with staff and faculty. Take care of yourself and allow faculty and staff the opportunity to support you. They won’t know what’s going on without you telling them!

_______________________________________________________________________

By Sanjidah Chowdhury

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

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

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

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Back at School: What To Do About Winter Blues

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Especially in the frosty city of New York, winter is sticking around. The cold can get really depressing for me.

What can you do about your college blues? Well, you need to take a break. Take it one step at a time.

Meditate

Boil some Tea

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Take a moment to read a book or comic book

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Watch Netflix – don’t binge! Take it one movie or ep at a time

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Take a Walk Outside

 

If it’s stormy outside, do some jumping jacks inside.

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What do you do to stave off the winter blues during the school year?

By Caroline Cao


Carol is a queer Vietnamese-Houstonian Earthling surviving under the fickle weather of New York. When she’s not seeing a Broadway production, she’s buried in her nonfiction MFA homework like Hermione Granger and her Hogwarts studies. When not angsting over her first poetry manuscript or a pilot screenplay about space samurais, Carol is cooking her own Chinese food instead of buying take-outs and dreaming of winning Hamilton lotto tickets. She chronicles the quirks of New York living and writing, runs writing and scripting services, and lends her voice to Birth Movies DeathThe Mary SueFilm School Rejectsand The Script Lab. She’s also lurking in the shadows waiting for you to follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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

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

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Time management is difficult to master in college. When I make time for important things like exercising and having fun, I feel like the best version of myself. Recently however, I haven’t found time to exercise or go on adventures on my weekends. I was so close to functionality. Then a trip to California wrecked my sleep schedule.

I should set a healthy sleep schedule that allows for at least eight hours a night. I am a complete mess if I receive less than seven hours of sleep, which is why it has been so hard for me to regain the sleep schedule I had before going to California. I stayed up until six in the morning on some nights in California, which is nine in the morning in New York. I would also sleep until about twelve in the afternoon over that vacation, and so I have been sleeping till about three in the afternoon since I have been back in New York. What a mess. I want to feel in control of my life again, so I have decided to make time for the things that are important to me.

I decided to spend less time scrolling aimlessly through social media for hours. Excessive exposure to social media gives me little beneficial; it doesn’t make me feel better, it doesn’t make me healthier. “Social media seriously harms your health” is a common saying. But why don’t any of us heed the warning? I no longer want to waste my time being another thoughtless zombie controlled by the rhythmic movement of thumbs on a screen, scrolling for some meaning far from reach. Instead, I want to find meaning in real life.

I have decided to do more of what I love. I want to create more, as most artists do. I have complained how I have not had the time to create my own art. But upon reflection, I have not been motivated enough to make time for my own art. You must fight for time and be smart with how you use it. Instead of wasting hours away lying down on my bed gazing into the Netflix-riddled abyss onmy computer screen, I should be clearing my bed and my head, busting out my art supplies, and immersing myself in the practice that I love most in this world, painting down my thoughts.

I also want to spend more time with myself. College is a time in your life when you are undeniably alone; no family, no life long friends, no well-acquainted community you grew up with. But that doesn’t mean aloneness is bad. When I am alone, I am more honest with myself, instead of further away from others. When I am alone, I create my best creations. I have no external distractions. When I am painting, or journaling, or sketching alone, I am graced by the company of my best self. 

As I regain my best self, I have had many realizations about the subtle changes I should make to my daily routine. I cannot stress enough how important it is to know yourself in college and throughout life. Yes, it is important to make connections and friendships with others, but other people only know the face that you show them, not all the faces you hide underneath. Also, once you are at a harmonious place with yourself, life will ease. When you are confident in yourself and what you want out of life, you can reach out and get it.

Remember

  1. Schedule your life, make a healthy routine.
  2. Make time for things that benefit you and help you grow as a person.
  3. Spend less time on activities that do not benefit you or that harm you.
  4. Spend some time alone with yourself.
  5. Trust yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else.

 

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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

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

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Maintaining Long-Distance Relationships

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

A long distance relationship is an incredible feat. There’s no sugar coating it. You’re in one place and your loved one is in another. If you’re as unlucky as me, your loved ones are across the country from you.

I never expected to meet Jack last summer while I was visiting my best friend in Huntington Beach, California but life took me by surprise. When I left Jack in California, it was like I left my heart behind. I constantly drift back into memories from that summer with him, the sun rays and good vibes floating through the dry California air.

At least I fought for the time to see him again. I am going to California in less than a week. I would spend six months away from him for just one week with him, because he is worth it.

If you feel the same way about someone, you should fight for your time with them. If you see yourself sharing a future with someone, never let distance get in the way. Love knows no bounds, so put it to the test and love who you love. But you have to put effort. Distance is a large boundary, but love can overcome any boundary with work. I literally have a whole country between me and Jack.

Being away from friends is also difficult, but luckily our generation has Facetime and social media. Everyone is on different schedules or living in different time zones. But you can coordinate times to reach out to them. Sometimes it feels like my friends and I are always playing phone tag with one another and that can be very frustrating. But when you finally talk to each other, it is worth it. Just last week I went with someone to have our hair done and the wait time was dreadful. So instead of sitting down for another hour, I went outside and talked with my two closest friends on the phone. They filled me in on their lives, about dates gone wrong and new friends. A simple phone call made me at ease.

I do need to call my family more. It’s like a chore I keep pushing off. My mom misses me like crazy. I am her baby girl, the youngest of three, the last to leave the nest. My mom has been raising children for 25 years and I really owe it to her to call more. My father passed away in 2015 and my biggest regret is not calling him more. I don’t even remember the last thing I said to my father. Life is short, tell someone you love them.

Of course, see your loved ones in person, so get on your computer and plan a trip.  I paid for my ticket to California out of my pocket. My mom was very upset for not coming home for Thanksgiving so she said she wouldn’t help me pay for my ticket. I think she thought that would stop me but I was like “Yes, ma’am” and went online to buy my own ticket. It was crazy expensive but I have no regrets. My mom can see me at Christmas and over the summer break, but Thanksgiving is me-time, me-time to see Jack again, me-time to make new memories with Jack.

Travel tip: This year I have traveled to Boston to see a friend with a $35 round-trip ticket on Megabus. If you are trying to travel anywhere around the northeast I would recommend looking into a bus service first before your check out airfare. There are so many busses and it is so easy to catch one riding out of the city. However, if you are a neat freak or can’t handle public transportation, I would advise against bussing. It is definitely the cheapest method of traveling but it is not clean. If you prefer air travel, than just do your research to find cheap flights online. On my slim college budget, I use cheap sites like Expedia to find tickets. In college, cheap is always the way to go.

Things to Remember

  1. Make time for those you love and they will make time for you
  2. Spend your money on memories
  3. Call your family, time is fleeting
  4. Fight for love, let it win

 

 

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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

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

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Ice-Breaking With New Friends

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Coming from a small island, I kept my childhood friends close. I met three of my closest friends in kindergarten, so my adult self was out of practice in friend-making. I have had the same group of friends for so long that I doubted that others could fill the gap when I had to leave them for NYU. Meeting Eric, Javi, and others friends at the move-in party was a miracleUnfortunately though, I was friendless in my classes.

Eric, Javi, and others friends were in different classes. For a while I kept to myself in all my classes, unable to get over my shyness. I would enviously eavesdrop on my classmates’ conversations. I needed friends in my difficult classes, a study partner, a study group to survive the workload.

I thought it was unlucky that NYU Steinhardt required students to take a New Student Seminar class. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a classroom full of freshman. Ramy Ebied, my academic advisor, put all of us into pairs to break the ice with our fellow classmates. He paired me with the very tall and handsome Luke, so I became even more nervous when it came time to start the ice breaker. Fortunately, Ramy gave us three topics to get us started. 

Ramy’s Icebreaker Questions:

  1. Where you are from?
  2. What our names mean or how we got them?
  3. Something challenging about college so far or something you enjoy about college so far?

Luke and I became acquaintances, then close friends. He decided to start a study group before our first psychology exam, inviting our whole class. Only a handful showed up, but it was nice to finally be in an intimate environment where I could talk with my fellow classmates. Now I have many acquaintances in that class and one cool close friend in Luke. 

Meeting Luke helped me open up. I eventually made close friends with Hannah, a senior from painting class. Last class she invited me to get food with her after. I agreed to stop at a Shake Shack where Hannah and I had our first non-school conversation, about our futures, her dog, and my anxieties. As we were walking back to Washington Square Park, she told me that I was always welcome to join her at the dog park with her and her adorable dog.

My initial mistake was that I figured college would be like high school, that people stay within the realm of their grade or class and don’t form friendships across those boundaries. I have never seen a high school senior and a high school freshman develop a mutual friendship. But I learned to stop comparing the larger-than-life NYU to my tiny high school.

College is a fresh start to go outside of your bubble and meet new people across the boundaries.

Remember

  1. Open up to people, especially if they are opening up to you.
  2. Say yes to group activities or events. There you will meet people who will have a lot in common with you.
  3. College is nothing like high school, all the grades/levels blend together into one collective, so don’t be intimidated. 
  4. Make a few close friends, those you can share an intimate chat with. 

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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

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

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Fighting The Moving Day Blues at NYU

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

When I flew from the Caribbean islands to New York City, I couldn’t bring more than my clothes in three overweight suitcases. My mom, her boyfriend, and I spent two days shopping for dorm necessities at Bed Bath and Beyond. Unfortunately, I  bought things before even seeing my dorm, so I would later discover that many items didn’t fit. 

Arriving on campus on move-in day, I was a bundle of confusion with a racing heart. Parents were scurrying to get their children out of the car and up the stairs to Weinstein Hall’s lobby. As soon as I began loading all of my stuff on to the curb, I noticed and recognized Grace, my roommate at the curb. We chatted. Seeing her nervous face reminding me I wasn’t alone in my anxiety. 

Once Grace and I arrived at our room I became more overwhelmed. Her family and my family were all cramped into our tiny dorm, scurrying around and fixing every minute detail to save us stress. It had the opposite effect for me. Seeing everyone racing around the tiny space, opening boxes, making opinions, increased my claustrophobia in this tiny room.

I needed to get out. My mom, her boyfriend, and I headed back to Bed Bath and Beyond, but we found more chaos there. The whole freshman class were rushing to find the products they needed before someone else found them first. Eventually we escaped and headed back to my dorm. Then my mom and her boyfriend left me so I could finish up the unpacking at my pace, while my roommate was out to lunch with her parents. I put on some music. Finally, I could relax in my new space and create it exactly how I wanted to, without people throwing their opinions at me.

When I finally finished organizing I laid down. I was in my dorm in the greatest city in the world, the city I had dreamt of living in for as long as I could remember. I would make the most out of my four years here.

Weinstein was holding an Ice Cream Social in the lobby.  I have never been a social person, always waiting for someone else to spark a conversation with me. From across the room I saw two freshman boys both dressed in stylish dark colors. I was too scared to approach them though, so I sat still and hoped my nerves would fade. Then suddenly, someone asked if I wanted to play Uno. I looked up to see the two boys from across the room. They were Eric and Javi. We played Uno before going to the Bed Bath and Beyond party to dance and sing the night away.

Why was I worried about making friends? Everyone is in the exact same boat when entering college with the desire to make friends. Not everyone you meet in college is going to be your best friend, but it is nice to be acquainted with people, to smile or wave as you pass by each other on the street.

Eric and I became closer in the days that followed. He introduced me to Melody, his high school friend from California, then she introduced me to Kaitlyn. Now all of us, Grace, Javi, Eric, Kaitlyn, Melody and I, hang out almost every single day. I always wondered what would have happened if Eric didn’t approach me to play Uno that night. I wouldn’t have been introduced to Javi, Melody, and Kaitlyn. Fate brought me a caring, creative group of individuals.

Remember

  1. Know your space before you try to fill it. See your dorm room before spending hundreds of dollars on it.
  2. Stay open towards new people. They share the same fears and anxieties with you on their first day.
  3. If you don’t meet a ton of people at first don’t worry about it. The friends you make will introduce you to more friends in the future.

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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

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

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