Posts Tagged ‘friends in NYC’

Don’t Let Ice Breakers Break You

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

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

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

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

By Jensen Davishines

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


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Potlucks, Picnics & Pesto Pasta

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

My apartment–all 350 square feet of old wood floors and mostly functional appliances in the middle of Alphabet City–can comfortably fit about five people. Any more than that and it’s stuffy, crowded, bordering on claustrophobic. But we do it.We cram 10 people around the little dining room table (scored for free on the corner of 10th & 1st Ave) for dinner. We use mugs as wine glasses and we eat out of big bowls of pasta and salads and homemade pumpkin soup.

Juuuuust enough space at the table

The saving grace for a lot of this has been my roof. Most buildings in the Village have roof access and some of my favorite memories from school have taken place on top of buildings rather than inside them. The East Village is a great place for a rooftop party because the views can be pretty hard to beat (though, yes, I see you, Brooklyn). But from mine we can see the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, we can see Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn and also my favorite bar around the corner. Now that the weather is beautiful again, there’s nothing better than a picnic or potluck style dinner on the roof.

Rooftop dinners are our favorite tradition as friends (look at how cute we are up there!)

Potlucks are a great option for college students, because everyone can make one dish for pretty cheap. I love when friends of mine from other countries and cultures make food they grew up eating and introduce us to how they prepare and celebrate meals. I remember a couple years ago when I cooked schnitzel and hummus for everyone, one friend made vegan alfredo pasta, and another homemade empanadas. We each had a story behind our dish, and we all got to learn and enjoy the food. Cooking for people I care about and allowing them to share their food and culture with me has deepened my friendships, expanded my cultural knowledge, and taught me more about cooking than I could have imagined. Call your friends up and plan a potluck! You can choose a theme for the dishes, or just let everyone bring what they’d like. I’ll cook the pasta, she’ll bring the salad, you bring the wine!

Take your friends and food to picnic at Washington Square Park!

I have two easy, potluck-friendly dishes I want to share. They’re both things I’ve put together on my own, inspired by pasta dishes and salads my mother used to make for me. The first is a roasted butternut squash salad. Start by peeling and cubing a whole butternut squash (don’t forget to get rid of the seeds, and if you’re doing this for the first time check out this WikiHow on how to cube a squash). Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and roast at 400०F for about 30 minutes. You can also roast whole beets (wrap in tin foil and cook on a sheet pan), or buy and cube cooked beets from the store. While the veggies are roasting, chop up a shallot and let sit in water; this cuts the bite of the raw onion. When everything is ready, toss with baby arugula and crumbled goat cheese, then top with a homemade vinaigrette or just a splash each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Feel free to throw in anything else that looks good: sliced fennel would be delicious, or crushed walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

The other crowd favorite dish is pesto pasta. This is another great recipe to customize and it’s easy to make vegan, gluten free, dairy free, or whatever other restrictions you need. Cook your pasta to the directions on the box. While they’re cooking, heat chopped onion and garlic over olive oil with salt and pepper. From here, you can add whatever you want. My favorites are baby zucchini, kale, and diced chicken thighs, but you can add any veggies and protein you’d like. When your extras are done cooking, add your drained pasta to the same pan with pesto (homemade is always delicious, but nothing wrong with store bought). Stir until combined and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan! This is one of the easiest meals I make and a lot of my friends say it’s their favorite thing I’ve ever cooked for them.

A blurry look into my most recent potluck: pesto pasta, roasted asparagus, French mussels, and chicken in wine!

I hope these recipes inspire you to get cooking for others. And if you’re really not the cooking type, offer to bring the wine!

Dive in!

Cora Enterline is a senior at NYU studying law, ethics, and religion. She’s studied and worked in Paris and Tel Aviv, where she loved biking, traveling, dancing, and teaching English. She has a love for foreign languages, sad novels, themed dinner parties, and red wine by candlelight. This summer, follow her blog to learn easy, student-friendly recipes and find inspiration from around the world for your own dinners, picnics, and culinary adventures at home!

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.


Finding Your People

Saturday, July 8th, 2017


My friend Paris and I chilling in my dorm after a photoshoot.

My friend Paris and I chilling in my dorm after a photoshoot.

College undoubtedly brings change. Life before college is largely different from life in higher education.  Post-secondary education brings a new set of challenges that provide opportunity for personal growth and emergence into the adult world. Though many challenges exist for the incoming college student, my primary focus is the examination of relationships in college, as I have a great deal of experience in this area. And while I cannot speak to the experiences of all students in college, I do know that my account of navigating relationships during my first year at NYU can provide useful reference for any college student.

Before I went to New York City for college, I lived in a place called Snellville, Georgia. Growing up in Georgia, I had a hard time finding friends with whom I could have meaningful conversations. Most of the friends I made in Georgia were formed more out of circumstance than choice, since I was more concerned about fitting in socially than finding friends that would help me develop as a person. As a result, I had a lot of different friends before college, but very few seemed to excite and invigorate in the way I desired.

By contrast, the friends I made after moving to New York City are some of the most interesting and special people I have met in my entire life. While they are all different from me in some ways, all my closest friends in New York City have a common passion for taking advantage of the opportunities life offers and an eagerness to delve beyond surface-level conversations. How did I find these people? I simply made the decision to choose my friends based on who excited me, as opposed to letting friendships develop merely out of coincidence. Whenever I met someone who excited me, I did everything in my power to develop a friendship with them.  Still, sometimes, the ones who excited me were also the ones who intimidated me. It took some courage to approach and pursue friendships with people who intimidated me, but the people who intimidated me were intimidating because they possessed something that I did not have or understand. To access the immense value of such people, I dedicated myself to not let fear get in the way of forming life-changing friendships.

To solidify the friendships I desired, I made sure to show a genuine interest in those whom I wanted to know more closely. I took time out of my schedule to adventure the city with newfound friends and let them know why they mattered to me. In doing so, I showed them why I should matter in their lives, as my investment in them indicated that I could be there in whatever supportive capacity they may need in the future. So, as I let new friends into my life, I spoke into their lives, representing my honest self, since I did not want to make friends with those who did not accept me for who I am.

To solidify such friendships, I had to make emotional room for my friends to influence my life. Indeed, it is quite a scary thing to be so emotionally vulnerable to other people.  In some cases, a few people with whom I shared my vulnerabilities used those vulnerabilities to hurt me later down the road.  However, such negative experiences should not dampen the pursuit of deep and honest communication with others. Rather, the negative experiences were a means to inform me of the signs that indicate a disloyal friend.

At the end of the day, I know that I’m not perfect. I need other people around me to open my eyes to different perspectives about the world, and my place in it. Every person is limited in their capacity to understand life. Yet, by sharing friendships with tremendous people, one can get a glimpse into a larger world of possibility and have support through times of hardship. After finding my closest friends, my squad, I noticed that an incredible burden had been lifted off my shoulders. Before finding my people, college frightened me. The start of college marked the first time in my life that I had to independently endure responsibility. After creating meaningful friendships though, I have taken immense comfort in knowing that I have a family in college with whom I can experience anything and find encouragement.

By Matthew Evert

Matthew Evert is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English and Philosophy as a sophomore at NYU. Passionate about poetry, people, and adventure, Matthew aspires to live an explorative and artistic life. 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.



Arrival: Freakout, panic attack, wait are those the Olsen Twins?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013


      You’ve just graduated high school, leaving prom night behind, and that comment you wish you took back but didn’t really because you felt it was rightly deserved, and are now ready to begin your new life in the city. You’re giddy because you hope you’ll be caught in a photo beside an A-star celebrity eating a light salad and sipping sparkling water at your favorite hole-in-the wall restaurant you read about. On arrival, however, you noticed no celebrities, chic restaurants:  just random people either playing music for money or those playing music but  being paid because others have assumed they’re only there for money.

          Hopefully, dorm life is the same as shown on brochures, campus tours, and other miscellaneous google image searches you did beforehand. Hurrah! Dorms are fantastic with enough space and lighting that makes you feel it’s not jail-cell B. You’ve traveled far, maybe crossed the Atlantic, and now you’ve arrived in the Big Apple. Parents are helping you unload bags, boxes filled with snacks, and then treating you to a rewarding feast for graduating high school and marking the next big chapter of your life, college. They leave. Now what? There is one scenario that pops in your head: people will start drinking, gorging on jello shots, and parading in the dorms until 6 a.m the next day. 

         Real scenario: you’re laying on your bed thinking how many calories did I just inhale and what to do next?  Should call parents, pops in your mind, but that will make them think you severely miss them and are ready to leave college to become the next pop musical sensation or viral Youtube star. Should call friends is another option you ponder. That decision also has its setbacks, you think, because friends will see it as you trying to live in the past and being overly clingy. Who else to phone then?  Former partner?  They’ll think you’re absurd. Only person/non-human near you are either your dog or that chubby cat meowing ferociously outside for food even though it clearly needs to stop eating.

        Have no fear. The worst things most new New Yorkers accomplish is to over analyze simple decisions. Moving away from home, leaving where you grew up, knocked that kid off his bike and then lied about it, is difficult for anyone. Call your parents immediately (well, wait until they’re on the freeway) to tell them you’ll miss them and promise to either call, video chat, face-talk, Facebook message, Line, etc, that night to update them on your new day.

        Don’t fear phoning friends because they’re in similar shoes as yourself, or worse, they’re hyperventilating and looking at graduation photos yelling “Why me?!!” Instead of staying in your dorm waiting for orientation, explore the local neighborhood; if you find a store you like, you can later discuss and recommend it to your new friends, it will make you seem knowledgeable like a native New Yorker; you even find a surprising discount for new students on the Campus Clipper, the local booklet that helps you save those extra bucks, on textbooks. Now you have both a new street-smart mentality and you can rent out a Chemistry textbook for a bargain at Shakespeare & Co Textbooks which up to today was only a dead guy who wrote amazing plays; but now he also offers stupendous offers to students.If you left the comfort of your hometown, city, or neighborhood, surely you can take those extra steps to acclimate to New York City. After all, no one is really a true New Yorker. Most of us fake it ‘til we make it.


Sergio Hernandez, Skidmore College. Tweet Sergio on Twitter

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