Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Chapter Three: Exercise & Mental Health in the Big Picture

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

I have had a complicated relationship with exercise since I was a child. I began swimming when I was six years old at the behest of my mother. I am not a competitive person, and being forced to competitively swim through elementary, middle, and high school wore significantly on my mental health, past even the point of depression. My mother had no sympathy for me when I explained to her how horrible competitive swimming made me feel, and accused me of “laziness” among other things. I quit the day I turned 18 and now, at age 23, I still have not stepped in a pool since.

Seeing Simone Biles’ journey during the Tokyo 2021 Olympics has been incredibly validating because she respects the seriousness of mental health and recognizes how difficult it is to maintain as a serious athlete. Simone withdrew from part of it because of the physical danger her mental health posed toward her ability to complete her routine without becoming injured. When the (potential) injury is physical, it is often easier for others (not speaking for Piers Morgan) to understand the implications of poor mental health. When there are simply ambiguous ideas of depression or anxiety, one’s mother or coach can thoughtlessly reply: “Stop being so negative.” This gaslighting is incredibly infuriating, but mostly hurtful. 

These days, I crave a routine, when I used to detest it. The book Nausea by John Paul Sartre gave me the words to describe how I had previously felt in a creative writing piece: “I felt disgust and disappointment toward myself and toward everyone. Why can’t everyone just do what they want? Why must we play roles and condemn ourselves to routine? I need routine; my need for the right way to live is despicable.” 

My well-used and cherished copy of Nausea.

But now I’m not so weirdy resentful: routine helps me feel more in control of my daily life rather than suffocated by it. In your daily life, as long as you feel, and you are affected by the consequences of your own and others’ actions, everything you do matters. I love that notion because, while it used to make me anxious (since how I exercised was dictated by others), it now bolsters my individual agency. I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance. All I know is that only you know how you feel; even your therapist does not live in your mind. Neither do your parents, coaches, or teachers. Although ideally these figures should want to help you, sometimes they can’t because they don’t think the same way, and their lives have been informed by different circumstances. 

It’s okay to take your time and experiment with a routine. Mine still changes year to year. With COVID-19, it has been a particularly difficult year of coping, especially after my routine was entirely upended from one day to the next. I had been going to the gym for three days a week consistently over the prior year. I felt confident in my strength and endurance, and I was proud of myself. 

They usually draw a funny comic on the whiteboard at 404 (to get your workout started with a smile?): “Hey, dude, when I said ‘curls might help’ that’s not what I meant.”

Without a gym, I have no desire to exercise. During my year in isolation I lost all of the aforementioned progress and now have to start over. It’s okay, though: day by day. 

If you’re like me, and prefer to work out independently without instruction, colleges usually have a free gym you can attend as a student. My go-to gym at NYU is 404 Fitness, near which you can also find a Rumble boxing studio, and SoulCycle. If you want to be part of a club team in college, you can join intramural sports. If you want to do something more competitive you can look for sports within college divisions. If you don’t feel quite ready to take a class or go to the gym, or you just need a break from building your intensity, taking walks offers a more casual, but effective form of movement. 

 It’s okay to not “seamlessly” transition your lifestyle into going to the gym three times a week instead of none, or toward becoming a vegetarian, for example. Sometimes you will step outside of those goals simply because the world is not currently allowing for it, or you want to do something more, or maybe the transition doesn’t feel good anymore, which is okay. When you cannot control things, that is when it’s fun to simply be along for the ride (a passenger, as I like to say). In the big picture, your mental health should have a mutualistically symbiotic relationship with when and how you exercise. 

A brief summary of advice:

  • During college, take advantage of free gym memberships/ collegiate club sports
  • I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance; it occurs on a rolling basis throughout your life. 
    • Being a “passenger” is my way of describing my most reliable mode of self-preservation; you are not at fault for what you can’t control
  • Check out Jameela Jamil’s social media (Twitter/Instagram) and her podcast “iWeigh” through both of which she deeply and personally discusses a multitude of topics with individuals with personal experiences/experts regarding mental health, eating disorders, working out, feminism, etc. 
    • This has grown to largely inform a lot of my mindset regarding the language I use to discuss exercise, physicality, and nutrition

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.


My Vegetarian Story

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Coming to university brings about changes in one’s character as well as in one’s way of thinking. For many, it is the first time we are living by ourselves, the first time we are in charge of every aspect of our everyday lives: from doing homework, to what we eat, to choosing to go to class, to deciding whether we brush our teeth. It is stressful to suddenly make this transition, but in my experience, it has made me all the more conscious of myself as a person, my needs and my desires. People tend to focus on different things, depending on who they are. When I came to university, I found that my focus was my relationship to food.



I had always enjoyed eating well. “Well” as in healthy and delicious, as my mother had taken up the task of teaching me about the effects of food on my health from a young age. Nonetheless, coming to university was the first time I became truly conscious of what I was putting into my body. I had always known that eating a salad was better than eating a cake, and I was aware of the benefits of each vegetable and food group, but the idea that what I was putting into my body impacted my being in such a strong way hadn’t settled in too much. You could say I was superficially aware of the importance of a good diet.

This all changed when I arrived in New York City and was forced to make all the choices myself. Perhaps this development sprung from having to cope with leaving my mother’s kitchen, where everything was cooked with the freshest Greek ingredients in a healthy way. To go from that to my school’s dining hall, whose salad bar was tasteless and whose prepared dishes all usually contained meat and ten times the amount of oil and/or butter necessary was a rude awakening.

I realized that since I was now in charge of myself, I soon had to be more conscious of what was in my disposition. Upon having this epiphany, I started watching documentaries and reading books on health. Soon enough, I realized that for who I am as a person, being healthy and aware of my nutrition meant giving up meat and a lot of dairy. I became convinced that a whole food, plant-based diet was the best thing I could do for myself. And surely enough, all the benefits people from the vegan community boast about became relevant for me too.

Most of the documentaries and books I read were targeted at people trying to make the switch to a vegan diet. Though I am not fully vegan, I am fully vegetarian and eat vegan about 70% of the time. I found that what resonated with me was not simply the health benefits of a whole foods diet, rather, the compassion the community argued for when it comes to animals. Adopting a whole food, plant-based diet was not only crucial for my health, as I felt my energy levels rise, my skin clear up, my hair get stronger and my mood improve, but it was also crucial for my sense of wellbeing and self-esteem.

After being exposed to the atrocity of what is the meat and dairy industry, I felt a lot of guilt when I engaged in activities which contributed to these disastrous causes. That’s when I realized that what I put into my body was not only important for my body’s health in regards to protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, nutrients and minerals but also to my mind for the person I wanted to be. So, I made the choice to try to do my part for our planet and the animals and try to do the least “bad” I could. For me, it meant giving up meat completely and minimizing my dairy intake to only a few times per week (usually weekends).

I struggled with the idea that I wasn’t doing the most good I could. I told myself that my ultimate goal was to be completely vegan and in that way, be “perfect”. However, I soon realized that these thoughts were holding me back, as I was not seeing that what I was doing was already a positive change. What I realized was that there was no one way to eat and that actually, what was needed were people who were aware and determined to make the right choices most of the time. My lifestyle and diet were my way of reacting to the information I was given. Chances are, you will have a different experience, and it will not be better or worse than someone else’s, as long as you remember to show compassion and strive to be aware of your body to make the right choices, whichever they may be.

Interesting reads:

  • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Helpful documentaries:

  • Forks Over Knives
  • Cowspiracy
  • Food Matters
  • Food Choices


By Marina Theophanopoulou


Marina Theophanopoulou is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying Philosophy and Sociology as a junior at NYU. Passionate about healthy, food and wellness, Marina aspires to make others think of food in a more holistic way. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

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


What to Eat Before and After Working Out (and a fantastic college discount!)

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

When trying to get fit, your diet is just as important as exercise, if not more.  The two go hand in hand.  A great workout routine coupled with a poor diet will not get you very far.  Let’s zoom in and explore the foods you should eat before and after your workout.

Think of your body as a car; food acts as gasoline to keep you going.  By ingesting the right foods, you set your body up for a successful workout.  Timing also plays a role in nutrition.  Avoid eating a full meal directly before a workout.  If you must, eat a light snack 5-10 minutes prior to exercise, something under 100 calories.  Ideally, you should consume a meal an hour and a half to two hours before a workout.  The meal should be light so it doesn’t drag you down during a workout.  Keep in mind that different foods take different amounts of time to digest, so you want foods that will digest rather quickly.  Some suggestions:

-Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas

-Greek yogurt with granola and cinnamon

-Oatmeal with fresh fruit

After a workout, you have a small window of time to ingest and replenish the proper nutrients.  Between 20 and 60 minutes after your workout is when your meal should be consumed.  Bringing prepared food to the gym in a bag may be a good option.  Also, protein shakes come in handy when you don’t have much time.  It will probably take too long to prepare a meal at home after a workout.  You may miss the time frame.  Here are some suggestions for post-workout meals:

-Grilled chicken and mixed vegetables

-Salmon with sweet potato

-Turkey and white American cheese on 9-grain wheat bread

Changing your diet comes as a challenge to most people, myself included.  I tend to fall in and out of a steady healthy diet.  Sometimes, you only have certain options, especially in a college dining hall.  Make wise choices and think about your goals before everything you eat.  Check out my upcoming post, “the cheat meal,” for more nutrition tips.  With a student ID and Campus Clipper coupon, you can walk into the Garden of Eden Marketplace and receive a special discount on healthy groceries.  Stock up!


Joey Silver, University of Delaware. Check out my Twitter!

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Gym Etiquette (and an appetizing college discount)

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The gym resembles a small community, and as a member, you must know the rules.  Usually, signs on the gym wall have rules listed, but I compiled a list of do’s and don’ts when you’re training to better yourself.  Displaying proper gym etiquette will keep everyone around you comfortable and safe.


Return the weights to where they belong — If you are using dumbbells, put them back on the rack in the designated holder.  If you are using a bar, take all of the weights off when you’re done.

Keep clean and wipe down your machine — Not wiping down a bench or machine that you just used irks everyone around you.  You can usually find a spray bottle and a paper towel very close by.  Keeping clean also means picking up everything you brought with you (i.e. wrappers, bottles, bags, towels, etc.).

Use deodorant — Working out next to a smelly person is never pleasant.  Smell good, no problems.

Dress appropriately — See my previous post.

Spot someone if they need — Sometimes, you will see a person without a training partner, and they go to lift some heavy weights, but they struggle.  To avoid injury, jump in and offer a spot.  This goes for men and women.


Don’t occupy a machine for too long — You can be a ‘gym rat’ but don’t be a ‘gym hog’.  Spend 20 to 30 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical for cardio.  Share machines and work in with others.

Don’t drop weights — Not only can a weight bounce and hit something or someone, but it disturbs those around you.  Place the weights back in the designated positions.

Don’t talk too much — The gym is not a social gathering.  You are there to work out, not to chat with friends.

Don’t use your cell phone — Quick texts won’t distract you, but taking phone calls, playing games, and long texts are not for the gym.

Don’t grunt loudly — It is disrespectful to those around you.  People don’t want to hear you screaming to push out one more rep.  Try exhaling; it has a similar effect.

Don’t walk between someone lifting and a mirror — Personally, I like to watch myself in the mirror to make sure I utilize proper form.  It distracts me when someone walks right in front of the mirror, so just be careful of that.

Don’t go to the gym when sick — For the health and safety of those around you, it’s okay to take time off from the gym.

I hope you are able to take something away from this post.  By implementing this etiquette into your gym time, it ensures the safety and comfort of your peers.  After your workout, come by Slane on Macdougal Street for an awesome student discount when you present the Campus Clipper coupon and your student ID.

Disclaimer:  Coupons valid before expiration date and while supplies last.


Joey Silver, University of Delaware. Check out my Twitter!

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblrand Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!


Workout Music (and a super college discount!)

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Music can have a profound effect on your workout.  When I first started working out, I didn’t listen to music; I preferred the sounds of the iron clinking, and the grunts of people lifting weights.  One day, I decided to bring my iPod to the gym to see what would happen.  I was surprised to find that I easily lifted more weight.  The music energized me.  Below, I have created a short playlist for YOU!  Different people prefer different genres of music, so the list is divided into Rap/R&B, Rock, Heavy Metal, Electronic, and Pop.  I have found that these genres are particularly effective for working out.


Jay-Z and Kanye West- Power

Hoodie Allen- The Chase is On

Usher- Caught Up

Biggie Smalls- Hypnotize

G.O.O.D. Music- Clique


Europe- Final Countdown

Journey- Separate Ways

Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit

Rush- Tom Sawyer

Sum 41- Fat Lip

Lit- My Own Worst Enemy

Heavy Metal

Metallica- Enter Sandman

Drowning Pool- Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

Pantera- Walk

A Day to Remember- Downfall of Us All

Avenged Sevenfold- Bat Country


Laidback Luke & Steve Aoki- Turbulence

Avicii- Levels

Afrojack & Steve Aoki- No Beef

Ellie Goulding- I Need Your Love

Adrian Lux- Teenage Crime (Tonic Dutch Bootleg)


Imagine Dragons- Radioactive

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- Can’t Hold Us

Rihanna- Where Have You Been

Icona Pop- I Love It

Major Lazer- Watch Out

Of course, the genres overlap quite a bit, but I used my best judgement.  Go ahead, download, listen, and get pumped!  After your workout, be sure to replenish your nutrients by taking your tunes over to Bleecker’s Finest Deli with your student ID and Campus Clipper coupon for a special discount.

Disclaimer:  Coupons valid before expiration date and while supplies last.


Joey Silver, University of Delaware. Check out my Twitter!

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblrand Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!


Lifting Weights: The Importance of Proper Form (and a cool college discount!)

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Although you can break a sweat during a workout without even touching a weight, this post covers the importance of proper form when lifting weights.  Often, students start lifting weights for the first time in college, but this can be valuable information for experienced lifters or first-timers.

When I was a college freshman, I frequented the gym.  I was a self-proclaimed gym veteran.  Each week, the weights on my bar were increasing.  The more weight I lifted, the better I felt about myself.  At my university, the gym offered a free personal trainer, and being as confident as I was, I knew I could improve with tweaks to my diet and workout regimen.  So, I decided to schedule an appointment with a trainer.  We began our session, but I learned that my lifting technique was way off.  He showed me the proper form for each exercise, forcing me to drop down my weight dramatically.  I was crushed that I had to start all over again, and my self-esteem dropped.  For weeks I felt like a failure every time I went to the gym, but eventually I was able to improve towards the level I previously operated. This time with proper form, the results were evident.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to lift with correct technique.

Back squats, also known simply as squats, are one of three big lifts for increasing strength.  Squats target the muscles of your thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings), gluts, lower back, and core.  Basically, with a straight bar resting low on the back of your neck, you squat down, and stand up.  Sounds easy, but there’s a lot to keep in mind.  Feet should be about shoulder-length apart and turned outward very slightly.  Your back should be curved inward or straight, so that your chest sticks out forward, and your rear protrudes backward.  This stance takes some getting used to.  When you’re ready to squat, bend at the hips first, then at the knees.  Try not to let your knees go past your toes (if you were to draw a vertical line down from your knees).  Keep your back in the same curved or straight position, and your hamstrings/quadriceps parallel to the floor. Then stand straight up, pushing off the balls of your feet.

Flat bench press is another big exercise; it targets the pectoral (chest) region and the triceps.  When lying on the bench, be sure that your feet are planted firmly on the floor, and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.  Your back should also have some curve in it.  Grab the bar a bit wider than shoulder length and lift.  Once the bar is lifted off the rack, bring your shoulder blades together; this puts the emphasis on your chest.  Bring the bar down to the middle of your chest.  Different people say different things about how far down to bring the bar, but I prefer to bring the bar to my chest so it touches but doesn’t bounce off.  Others prefer to bring it down until their arms are bent at a 90-degree angle.  Both are effective techniques.

Deadlift is the third big exercise, and it primarily targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.  With the bar on the floor, the middle of your feet should be directly under the bar, shoulder-length apart, pointing straight.  Bend down to grab the bar right outside your legs.  Your shins should touch the bar.  There are a few different grips for this lift, but I prefer both hands in front of the bar when the weight is low.  Straighten your back, stand up, and thrust your hips upwards and forwards.  Keep your shoulders back so your chest protrudes throughout the whole lift.  When ascending, you want to drag the bar up your shins and over your knees to the upright position.  Bring the bar back down close to your body and drop the

weight.  Often, you will see people bounce the bar off the floor and go right into the next repetition.  I see this as cheating.  It’s called a deadlift, so the bar should start in a “dead” position for each repetition.

Form will make or break these lifts.  One thing to keep in mind is your breathing pattern.  Make sure you inhale before the lift, and then exhale when you ascend.  Without proper form, you can seriously injure yourself on these lifts.  Protect your body, and make sure your form is correct.  Never be afraid to ask for help, if you have a question.  Always have someone spotting you or have crash racks in case the weight is too heavy.  After your workout, it is important to replenish nutrients, so go to Cafetasia for a hearty meal.  Go to for college discounts.


Disclaimer: Coupons valid before expiration date and while supplies last.


Joey Silver, University of Delaware. Check out my Twitter!

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblrand Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!


3 Motivating Reasons to Hit the Gym (and a delicious college discount!)

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

You want to go to the gym, but you always have an excuse.  “It’s too hot outside.  I’m too tired.  I’ll go tomorrow.”  You need a motivation booster.  Going to the gym has numerous physical and psychological benefits; it will improve your quality of life.

In the past decade, obesity among college students has grown tremendously.  Phillip B. Sparling, a professor of Applied Physiology at Georgia Tech, says, “Food is everywhere, and it is generally inexpensive, flavorful, large-portioned, and high-calorie. In addition, we rely on energy-saving devices and technology throughout the day, and most of our waking hours are spent sitting.”  Making healthy food choices is one of the hardest parts of being a student.  Going to the gym can be a great way to combat our unhealthy eating habits.  Alternatively, drop by Fresh & Co. with your student ID and a coupon from Campus Clipper for 10% off your order.

Sparling mentions energy-saving devices and technology as a cause for obesity in college students.  Small changes, like walking up the stairs instead of taking the escalator or elevator, make a difference.  Additionally, sitting at your desk or in the library all day is detrimental.  Get up and stroll around Washington Square Park or a park in your area.

Working out provides far more benefits than burning fat to battle obesity.  Physical activity increases oxygen and blood flow in the body.  It improves stamina and flexibility, and prevents lung and heart diseases.  Unfortunately, these things do not happen overnight.  You need to invest time in this process, and you will gradually see results.

The next two motivational reasons to work out go hand-in-hand.  Look better, feel better.  Our bodies are malleable; we can sculpt them, making them solid and chiseled, or perhaps soft and rotund.  You have the power to change the way your body looks.  Of course, we all have genetic limitations, but for the most part, we can control our bodies.

Think of the gym as your workshop.  Each exercise affects your body and causes change.  This gives you a lot of power when it comes to shaping your body.  But, like Uncle Ben shared in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  We hold responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying physically fit.  Give your body the respect it deserves.

Once you attain the body image you aspire to, your self-esteem and confidence will increase.  Insecurities that you may have had about your body will vanish, and you will accomplish more.  I know from personal experience that after a workout, I feel good about the way I look, and it shows.

NOW is the time to be proactive about your physical fitness.  Your body is a temple, and should be treated as such.  Be responsible and take care of your body.  By going to the gym and staying active, you can lead a healthy lifestyle, look the way you want, feel good about it, and have a more positive outlook on life.


Joey Silver, University of Delaware. Check out my Twitter!

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblrand Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!


Why Work Out? Utilize College Discounts While You Can!

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, college students should get at least one hour of physical activity per day.  But for many students, working out feels like an impossible task. Between classes, schoolwork, extracurricular activities, social life, love life, and sleep, it seems that there is simply not enough time in the day.

However, making time to work out can benefit all students. Physical activity boosts productivity and clears the mind, gives positive energy and instills confidence to take on challenges. It also makes you feel good about yourself, boosting self-esteem, a serious concern for many college students.

A good workout is about balance, no matter your gender. Walking into a college gym, you usually find the women on the treadmills and elliptical machines, while the men lift weights. Oftentimes, men think that they need to lift weights and chug protein shakes in order to stay fit, while women tend to steer clear of the weight room because they fear looking like female bodybuilders. These beliefs are workout myths. Reaching a body type of a bodybuilder is unlikely without intense workouts, extreme dieting, and heavy supplementation. Weight-lifting can boost metabolism, improve posture, and build muscle, which helps burn fat faster; therefore, it can benefit both men and women. However, weight-lifting is not essential to staying fit. Alternative forms of exercise like biking and running benefit the heart and rest of the body in ways that weight-lifting does not.

But you don’t need to become a “gym rat” or a “fitness freak” to stay healthy and fit. There is a myriad of quick and easy ways to work out during your college years. Students can stay fit without even going to the gym through activities like bike rides, yoga, Zumba, swimming, team sports, parkour, or jogging outside with a friend. For those not sure where to start, Tao Yoga, Sacred Sounds Yoga, and Moksha Yoga in New York City are excellent for beginners and yoga masters alike.

The hardest part is finding the motivation to go out and get moving. It is crucial to get into the habit of working out consistently while in college because once you have a full-time job and a family to support, the motivation is more likely to disappear.

Don’t get accustomed to a lethargic lifestyle, because it only gets harder to change. Go now, while you don’t need to pay for a gym membership. If a trip to the gym consumes too much time, complete a body weight workout in your dorm room or apartment. All it takes is 60 minutes a day to get on the right path.


Joey Silver, University of Delaware. Check out my Twitter!

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblrand Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!


Soldier to Student…

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Today, life for me is a rather different matter compared to how it was just six months ago. My day used to begin at seven AM, with BBC Radio 4 news and the sensation of having just emerged from a deep freeze, as my mind attempted a mental inventory of the rest of my body. A partially effective shower later and I would be in the mess hall, shaved, smartly dressed and working through a stodgy breakfast, while my brain took a second stab at the physical inventory. By eight, I would be at my desk and just about through the fourth layer of security before I began a days work that was surprisingly dull, for all the significance it carried. Suffice it to say, those of us engaged in matters of National Security still despise MicroSoft’s Windows, still gossip like teenagers and still engage in petty contests to impress the boss… The best part of the day was my gym time in the evenings.

From my bed, to my breakfast to my workstation, I never had to leave the site; if you worked over a weekend you might not get ‘outside the wire’ in two weeks or more with a gym, a bar, a church, social activities and a life where your colleagues, are your friends, are your neighbors – it can be a true fishbowl. And I guess it was not so different from university life, in some respects – though the timings are offset by at least three hours or more! Where it does start to get different is the world around you. When I get up now I don’t start running through the strict timings of my day, I just try to recall the ones that matter. Instead of all eighteen hours of my conscious existence being accounted for, it’s two hours, every other day. The freedom gets perplexing sometimes, but it only takes about a week and half before you completely abandon your daily shaving regime, stop fussing over the shine on your shoes and even contemplate the necessity of a morning shower. Not so much de-institutionalized, rather re-institutionalized back into being a student, I have gleefully abandoned almost every element of my old life, bar one. After eight years of it, I cannot bare to miss my exercise.

With a host of options in a city like New York – only when you’ve spent ten bewildered minutes in front of three drinks coolers trying to work out the specific character of your thirst, can you really appreciate the majesty of a true consumer culture – finding a gym is technically easy and practically impossible. Normally, I would go to the university gym, but that’s not necessarily for everyone. The gym is always busy, and I’m getting past being an undergraduate by… well, I’m past being an undergraduate. As someone who’s been fit all their life, and in a professional capacity, I really wanted a little more. So, after a week of free trials and footwork, I finally settled on Crunch, near Union Square.


For me, running in NYC is almost a total non-starter. Yes, you can go out to the Park, or along the rivers, but I don’t live near any of those. I once ran a 10k in the Afghan desert, and that was less daunting, and more effective, than trying to run while constrained by New York traffic, so a good range of machines I can always get to makes all the difference. The weights more than matched my needs but the real difference was the classes. In the Army, you don’t just go out and run, or do push-ups in lines. We were always pretty good about mixing up fitness and providing different challenges and I still much prefer to vary my workout as often as possible, so getting to sign up for a different thing each week keeps me in good nick, and keeps me interested each session. It’s a lot better than just going down on your own and slogging through a routine you clipped from a magazine, or worse, just trailing round the equipment and giving it a bash. Having someone lead you through your exercise makes you work harder and better, and a trainer is just as good as a military PT – though I do get nostalgic for the name calling sometimes!


Whilst it seems a little extravagant to join a gym, there are deals to be had, particularly as a student. If it seems like something you’d want to get into, check out this deal on Crunch Gyms. They have a great offer across the summer when school is closed, so if you’re in the city over the summer, go for it.
Crunch Gym
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Relax Your Mind and Feel Good

Friday, May 14th, 2010

As a student, it may sometimes seem that stress is never-ending, especially in New York City, which, based on data from is the third most stressful city in the country. The difficulties in balancing school, work, and our relationships can increase stress to the point where it has a negative affect on our physical and mental well-being. According to WebMD, “People who don’t manage stress well can have headaches, stomach pain, sleeping problems, illness, and depression.” However, if it is managed effectively, stress can be defeated, allowing us to live a healthy and more fulfilling life.

Cost Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Workout at the Gym for Free– Many gyms offer guest passes that vary from one day to two weeks for non-members. Colleges and Universities around the city also offer students free access to their facilities. This is a great way to work out without coming out of your own pocket. Just contact your local gym for more details or click on the link below for access to another way to get fit for free.
Shape Up NY

Talk to Someone– Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Contact your school’s mental health center for details on what services are available to you free of charge. It may also help to find a clergy, relative, friend, or therapist that will listen to you; afterward you may feel relieved to have let it all out. If you still feel a sense of urgency, you can always call 1-800-LIFENET.

Meditate– Look for a quiet place to relax, put your body in any position that you feel comfortable in; stand up, sit down, or lie down and take deep breaths, keeping the focus on your breathing. Continue to do so until you feel the stress melt away. For more information on meditation courses in New York City, take a look at the link below or go to your local library for some books on the topic.
Meditation in New York

Listen to Music– Ever wonder why music is a universal language, it’s because no matter what culture or background you come from tunes can speak to you. Just turn on the radio and before you even realize it, you’ll be dancing and singing or humming and bopping your head. There are also places throughout the city where you can listen to free music. Check some of them out below:
Music at Madison Square Park
Music at Licoln Center
Music at Central Park

-Shana H

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