Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

Love Like Her: Empathy

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

“Oh, it goes beyond sympathy. Sympathy is to understand what someone feels; empathy is to project your imagination so that you actually feel what the other person is feeling: you put yourself in the other person’s place. Do I make myself clear?”

Funny Face. Directed by Stanley Donen, Paramount Pictures, 1957.

If I could have any superpower I would sprout a field of flowers that would give people empathy once a flower is picked. Empathy is a selfless gift all people need to possess, yet most do not. It’s a social intelligence people should learn when they’re small: to treat people how you want to be treated

“I don’t want to have sex with someone, unless, they’re my boyfriend,” I’d tell him, “we don’t have to be in love. I just want to make sure it’s worth it, I guess.” It was a rule I made for myself when I decided I was ready, but it was a rule I let slip. Nearly a week later, he would write in the essay I was helping him with: “my girlfriend is annoying.” I decided to ignore it. People should vocalize the people they want? He kept it up though, he would suggest in little ways I was already his girlfriend without ever communicating it. Maybe he was afraid? Maybe, even though I vocalized that I wanted to be in a relationship with him, he was still insecure? I kept extending myself to him in that way, collecting more and more flowers. Perhaps, some part of him thought I would change my mind. I understood how scary that is and so I let him in. Once I did, he changed. I would always think of him in some capacity. I thought of how my every word, action, and mood would affect him. I wanted him to be happy and I wanted to make sure I was making him happy, that’s all. When that was not reciprocated, I could taste the way things would end before they did.

During the evening of my mother’s and father’s relationship, my dad was incarcerated, my brother was on his way, and my mom was tired. Before he went away, for what was the next five years of my life, there were no more blockbuster dates. My dad had his own apartment and my mom and I lived in the same house just a few floors higher. She went to work a lot and sometimes I’d even go with her. The clues of separation only come to me now. I saw my dad less and less, but after a long week, he was my weekend vacation. I was in sweet little kid bliss. Even when we all hung out separately everything was okay. When my dad was arrested I saw their closing come to a halt. Whatever happened between them was now in a back pocket. When my dad needed someone most he knew who was in his corner, despite everything.

I knew the boy stopped thinking of me when I was no longer something to have. It was as if we were no longer friends. He didn’t want to hang out and play video games, talk, or watch movies anymore. He would only come around for two things: sex and empathy. He would always make up excuses that were tailored in an effort to get what he wanted. I knew I would never let him feel the way he was making me feel, but I stayed. I couldn’t understand why the relationship was changing the way that it did. From there, we were on a rollercoaster that was just in for a loop when we decided to quarantine together those first covid months. He had nothing to prove when it was just us but he never stopped being apathetic. When he became so naturally codependent on me and I decided I would never allow myself to depend on someone like him. “I don’t need you,” I’d tell him in the kindest way possible. “I can take care of myself,” I’d remind him. “I just want you, not need” he had to remember. During our true finale, when I told him, “you always said such mean things to me, I didn’t deserve that.” He would respond with “and you did too.” When I asked him to name examples he’d bring up those old conversations of how I never needed him, how he did me, and how I told it to him.   

I learned that undoubtedly from all the women in my family, especially my mother. Caring comes naturally to a woman in a relationship otherwise she couldn’t call it her own. Regardless of herself, she is supposed to tend, water, feed, and love so fiercely. My mother, she showed enough care and love for both of them to exist as parents. She wrote letters and letters reminding him of how much love he had.  She couldn’t bear the thought of being taken away from her daughter’s first day of kindergarten and her son’s first day of life. She wrote all the things she wanted and would want to hear if her mistakes had pulled her away from the things she loved most. Her heart broke in all the ways she thought his heart was. She put so much time and energy into her empathy. Her only remedy for being taken for granted was to never need in return. To take care of herself second and to depend on no one because how awful would it feel to receive love the same amount of love you give for it to be taken away. 

When she was finally on the outside, having that free time she then thought of herself instead. Picking flowers and actually smelling them. He was so far away now taking up less space and there was finally room to breathe and become. To become someone who wasn’t a pile of everyone else’s feelings. That is when she learned to dance. 

I never believed that everything he did and said was what I did not deserve. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t good enough and that was the best excuse he wore. I was angry at myself all the time and when I wanted to be hurt I’d call him. I didn’t love him. I wouldn’t ever love him in that way even if we were happy. But, I knew then I thought that was the love I thought I deserved. I let him treat me the same way I treated myself and the way I have always been treated. 

If I could have any superpower I would sprout a field of flowers that would give people empathy once a flower is picked. Not only would they learn to treat others how they’d want to be treated, but they’d learn to have empathy for themselves. When I  take the time to understand my feelings and give myself room to feel those feelings without shame, that’s empathy. I am going to be stuck with myself for the rest of my life. And as I grow older I find I would never treat someone the way I do myself. I can be unkind, ruthless to my brain and body, and still push myself to do and be in situations that steal from my person. The first step toward receiving what I deserve from the world is by creating a blueprint. 

Edited by Jackson Bailey
Take some time to self-care at Enail in NYC, where you can receive healthy and high-end nail services. Save up to 15% with this coupon and your student ID or 20% during happy hour.

By Melodie Goncalves

Melodie Goncalves is a rising senior at Rhode Island College pursuing her degree in English/Creative Writing and Sociology. She has passions for reading, writing, caring for others, and music. Spending lots of her time with friends and family.

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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friendship: low risk, way higher reward

Monday, July 4th, 2022

On one fine September evening of my freshman year, my ex and I were strolling around Porter Square. It was balmy late-summer, we’d settled into an easy stride beside each other and, on the surface, it seemed like a perfect evening. We were talking about something loosely related- college life, moving in, classes. Then she made an admission: “I just don’t have the easiest time making friends.”

I glanced over at her, eyes wide in bewilderment. “Yeah?” 

“Yeah. I feel like everyone’ll think I’m weird.” Her voice was light but her eyes had dimmed, the corners of her smile dipping towards the sidewalk- it was clear the thoughts behind her confession were taking a toll on her. 

This struck me as ridiculous, because 2018 Ness thought she was the sweetest person in the world (and it wasn’t just blind adoration or anything- 2022 Ness still thinks she’s a standup gal!). So I decided it was time for some incentive. We, and so many other Bostonian college students, had swiftly become loyal customers to many of the local eateries, so I honed in on that as the prime motivator. “Okay, let’s make a bet,” I began. “If you don’t make a friend by the end of the semester, I’ll treat us to dinner at that one really good ramen place.” 

I paused, reconsidering. 

“Actually, I’ll treat us to dinner if you do, too. As a reward,” I amended.

“So either way, you’re buying?” she asked, her smile picking back up.

“I guess so.” We both had a chuckle, continued on our merry way back to campus, and probably had a great rest of our night. But my ex had brought up a relevant point, universal not just to new students, but to anyone. 

How does reaching out and building friendships work?

I think the answer can boil down to simply “putting yourself out there.” Way easier said than done, especially when factors like social anxiety or time limitations come into play. There are so many ways to shoot yourself down; maybe people are just being fake-nice, or maybe they don’t know how to just say no to hanging out, or maybe, as was my ex’s big fear, they’ll find you weird.

It can be super easy to let fear of rejection get in the way of anything, especially friendship.

But before getting into a tailspin over everything that could go wrong, I think it’s worth digging into the benefits. 

At the very least, ECPI University suggests that friendships can provide a networking opportunity (Why Friendship is Important for College Students). For any budding professional, that’s already a highlight. That said, networking potential probably isn’t the first thing to look for in a potential companion, so it’s a good thing there’s oodles of other benefits.

In her 2016 article from Dartmouth Together, researcher Janice McCabe took inventory of the social connections at an unspecified university, interviewing a total of 82 students (How Your College Friendships Help You– Or Don’t). Her findings revealed that, while some close-knit friendships in the college setting can be academically distracting, many actually academically elevate each other. Colleges are big- it’s easy enough to find people who share your values, and if that includes your success as a booksmart icon, you’ll likely attract friends who will not only help you achieve your potential, but achieve it to its fullest capacity. 

Additionally, these close-knit friendships provide people to lean on. One of the students interviewed by McCabe, addressed as Alberto in the study, had been a victim of racist remarks from peers and professors. Through his close friendships, he was able to receive support and know there were allies in his corner. Friends are a place to process, a place to work through strife; a symbiotic, reciprocal friendship also provides opportunity for empathy. 

If that’s not reason enough to branch out and invite a new pal into your life, there’s also the reality that you probably won’t have to do it super often. After checking in with her interviewees post-college, McCabe found that about 30% of people had maintained their connections for at least five years. That’s a hypothetical three out of ten people that you could potentially get super close with and have in your life forever. Albeto, McCabe’s interviewee, had called his friends his family. Why would you want to let brief, hypothetical embarrassment scare you out of finding family?

And once a group starts, it doesn’t stop- people multiply. Maybe it’ll start with a peer you met in that Illustration 101 class, or someone in the dining hall. Then you’ll have dinner with them and they’ll bring their roommate. Maybe their roommate has a cool new friend, who gets invited to the next thing you decide to do. And so on and so forth- you never know how real the “six degrees of separation” theory is until you see it in action.

That’s certainly how it went for me, my ex, and our friend group during my freshman year. I don’t think we ever did get that ramen, but it didn’t matter- the real reward was the friends we made along the way.

There’s literally nothing as great as support from people who care!

tl;dr: these are people who are probably very much like you! Reach out to them!


It’s definitely not ramen, but if you’re looking for the perfect incentive to get your partner to make friends, maybe suggest some mouthwatering Indian food and pop over to Punjab Palace (I can absolutely vouch for this place- it’s amazing)!

With your student I.D. and your Campus Clipper coupon, you can get 10% off on your next takeout order. And it’s fairly shareable- perfect for you and any new pals!


By Ness Curti

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


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

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Love Like Her: Movie Kisses

Friday, June 24th, 2022

As a little girl, every so often, my teenage parents and I would go to a Blockbuster, buy snacks, and escape the world to watch a movie together. We would return home to a room just below three apartments, occupied by my mother’s parents, their children, and their children’s children. As a three/four-year-old, I grew up constantly running upstairs, fighting with my cousins, hopping fences, singing Keyshia Cole with my mom’s baby sister, crying, running, and dancing. It was so loud all the time – except for our little room in the basement where I first met love. Just like many others, my first love manifested in the first home I can remember. In that home with the scraggly carpet and the coldest air, love was the personification of two people: my mom and dad. Every detail of the love they gave to each other and gave to me illustrated the way I would soon love. With that, I learned there were parts of loving that were meant for movies, and then there were parts that hid in basements. 

I did not become interested in boys until I felt I truly had to. I was a kid busy being an adult for most of my life. I was always told I was so mature—so socially intelligent for my age, and I was never worried for. During my second semester in college, I was all the way down in Florida, purposefully far from that first home and all the people that occupied it. I was able to try on different versions of myself and be a kid in that way. I had only myself to think about until I met someone familiar. We met in a weird way; his best friend and I were interested in each other, and because this familiar boy and I were both part of the low sum of brown kids at this Florida college we quickly became friends. We hung out all the time, we talked, and we played video games. Our personalities aligned well, and again, something about him was just so familiar. I was convinced that the familiarity was something meaningful, so I stuck around. I got into fights with my friends about him, even letting an important friendship slip away, but I counted on that feeling I had with him. I protected him in all the ways a person could and began to care deeply. One night alone with him, we watched movies, got snacks, and escaped the world for a little while.  He never offered me a conversation with my own spotlight—everything was always about him. I mustered up courage anyhow and told him how I needed a friend because everything I knew so far about college made me sad. It was too different, and I wasn’t connecting the way everyone else was. I explained that as a first-generation, I had always wanted to go to college, never really understanding what it was. And when vulnerability poured from me, a gate opened for him, and things started to play like a film. 

My dad always wanted to be the favorite and my mom always wanted to make sure I was okay. In our little home, they had horrendous fights. My mom would always be sure that he was cheating and they’d scream back and forth. If I knew anything about love then, it’s that it was all about loyalty. Since my mom was the one who I was with the most, I knew she was as loyal as they came. She completed little acts of service with such love and effort that even in her complete exhaustion, she would still prioritize the person she loved. She’d give and give so much to my dad and be returned with clues that he was with someone else. Because my mother made me brush my hair into tight ponytails so I wouldn’t get head lice, and because he bought me a new toy every week, I was loyal to him too. “Mommy, you crazy,” I’d say. “Stop yelling at daddy.” It was so natural of me to take his side because it was the side that was always taken by her, too, even when she was hurt. That kind of loyalty, I learned from my mother, and it is the kind of loyalty I carry into my relationships, today. 

Later on that movie-esque night, we turned on some music and tried out some goofy dance moves until the gate opened wider and our dancing slowed. I was never interested in any boy like I was interested in him. I wrote a plot in my head about how this night could end perfectly, and he followed it perfectly. I wanted to see where the night could go, and eventually, we kissed. It was a comfortable kiss. I didn’t want anything less and certainly not anything more, because that sort of thing didn’t happen in movies—not in moments like these. He looked at me and said, “I think I’m falling in love with you.” I couldn’t say anything back, of course. I just kind of looked at him, shocked. No one had ever said those words to me before. It was scary and special, and he was giving me everything I wanted. Oh, how familiar it was. 

It wasn’t very cool to live in a basement, according to everyone and their kid. They explained that it was more of a sad thing, but I never minded their judgment because my dad bought me the coolest of things. My dad prioritized wants over needs, and because I always had the things I wanted, life was euphoric. And since my mother would give and give, she would also never need. After all, it wasn’t good to need or depend on someone else. 

Soon enough on that night, the boy would ask for something that would lead me closer to his true intentions. Even though no one had ever wanted me like this and I had never had a night like this, it was disingenuous, and I couldn’t admit that. I was desperate for this story—desperate to be loved—and he reminded me so much of home. I found out later in our relationship that he was not the kindest person, but I didn’t need to be told I was beautiful. I learned that he was not the most truthful, but I didn’t need him to be genuine. I knew he wasn’t the most empathetic, but then again, I didn’t need to be cared for. 

Somehow and somewhere I found myself giving more to the boy than I did to myself because I just wanted him around. I counted on those movie nights because I was convinced that was really all I needed. I was trying to replicate a fragile love between my mother and father. That was all I knew love was. 


La Lanterna Caffe in NYC is a great spot for a date night or a night out with friends. Save 20% with this coupon and your student ID.


By Melodie Goncalves

Melodie Goncalves is a rising senior at Rhode Island College pursuing her degree in English/Creative Writing and Sociology. She has passions for reading, writing, caring for others, and music. Spending lots of her time with friends and family.


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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Am I a Good Friend?

Monday, June 20th, 2022

I think, often, within my friendships, I search for a constant and consistent kind of validation. A certain type of validation that’s able to offer reassurance and justification that I am, in fact, a good friend. 

Recently, a friend of mine had been experiencing some anxiety over some recent big changes in their life. While she was talking to me about her feelings and thought processes, I felt that I didn’t really have the capacity to handle the emotional state of the conversation, and I felt that I wasn’t offering enough support. Even if she did just want a listening ear to rant about a current situation that was happening to her, my replies to her stories and shared feelings were usually short and came across as detached, consisting of “that sucks” and “Yeah, oh my god.” Beyond that, I wasn’t really sure I was doing much to be a helpful friend, which led me down a spiral of questioning my ability to actually be a good friend. 

Dealing with emotionally charged conversations or feelings has never really been my strong suit in friendships, and I have become increasingly aware of it. I tend to avoid leaning toward my emotions and instead try and distance myself from the person and the situation. It’s not that I don’t feel any sympathy for my friends; I really do share in the awful things they are feeling and I want to make it better for them. But, at the same time, it makes me uncomfortable and that feeling of discomfort makes me feel like I am falling short as a friend. I just wish I could express in some way, “Hey, I’m glad you feel like you can talk to me about this stuff. But, I’m not the best at handling emotional situations. I’m here for you though and I will continue to support you.” At one point, I actually did reach out to my friend to apologize for my lack of helpful responses and for the insincere tone that came across. I did really care about what she was going through, and I tried to convey that to her.

Image Credit: https://clipart.world

I wanted to delve into why I continue to react in a short and distant manner when it comes to emotional issues or discussions with friends. I strive to understand why this detachment feels like it is out of my control at times. Kimberly Holland, the author of the article “Emotional Detachment: What It Is and How to Overcome It” for healthline.com, describes this idea of emotional detachment as sometimes being voluntary or involuntary and oftentimes used by individuals to set up boundaries within friendships. Holland then goes further in-depth to discuss how emotional detachment can be enacted by choice or as a result of abuse. This detachment can, at times, be a normal method that people use in friendships to conserve their energy. However, it can sometimes be a more severe form of detachment and lead to commitment issues or substance abuse. 

Overall, if I’m aware that I’m not responding to a situation in the best way, to avoid spiraling I remind myself to check in with my friend to make sure I am at least helping them in a way that supports them. But, I also know I need to conserve my own mental health without letting their situation and emotions become my own. And by checking in with myself, I am not allowing the emotions to overwhelm me, and simultaneously, I am showing up for my friend in a way that works for both of us.

A great place to go and maybe have these conversations about boundaries with your friends is Colomba Bakery! And use this coupon to get 20% off your coffee order, when you bring your student ID!


By: Ashley Geiser

Ashley Geiser is a Junior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Pace University. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and Co-President for Her Campus at Pace. She loves reading and editing. And when she is not reading or editing, she can be found baking in her kitchen.


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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Don’t Get Too Comfortable

Friday, February 25th, 2022

Comfort is, as humans, something we all crave. We want to feel secure in order to feel comfortable in new environments. Despite this, comfort is not your friend on your first day to a couple of weeks on campus. The biggest mistake that incoming college freshmen can make, a mistake I made myself, is allowing yourself to feel overly comfortable.

The first friends that I made in college were my suitemates. Originally it was the four of us and I was comfortable with that. Who else would I really need to be friends with if I was best friends with the people I lived with? Despite this, within a week we agreed that a complete friend group required more members and we looked to expand. So, I made friends with a girl that was in all my classes. Who better I thought? A good friend in every class? Sounds good to me. Eventually, her group of friends and my suitemates, and I became one big group. BAM! College friends = Complete. A group of 8 people was enough.

The problem is that I gave up even looking for other friends. It never occurred to me that even though this worked it didn’t mean it was for the best. What I gradually learned over the entirety of my freshman year was that I was wasting my college experience because I felt I needed nothing more than what I already had, I was too comfortable with where I was. That’s not the point of college, the point is to truly find yourself and others who compliment who you are. Allow yourself to be a little choosey when finding your “college friends”. High school is a time for friendships of convenience, people that you will see every school day for 12 years, your options are usually significantly more limited than a college campus. Branch out! Try everything you can! Anything that sounds remotely interesting, try it. The worst that can happen is that you lose an hour of your life. The best? You can find a new part of yourself that you never considered before that you never had the opportunity to uncover. 

How would I do it differently if I had the opportunity? I would do everything I could to meet as many people as possible. You never know who your group will consist of, or where you’ll find them. Most colleges have sites that detail the clubs that can be found on campus. Make a list of the ones that sound interesting and try to make it to at least two meetings for them. The first meeting is to see if it’s even a club dedicated to something you want to invest your time into, and the second is purely for meeting others. Talk to the President, the Vice President, the Treasurer, the Social Media Coordinator, or anyone you can get your hands on. Try to feel the vibe of the people within the club. In an unexplainable way, each group of people will feel different, see what the feel of each group is. After that the next step is easy, there are only so many hours in a day, and you can only spread yourself so thin. It’s better to be able to give each thing you pick the attention it deserves. Don’t over choose or over-commit; only take on as much as your schedule and your mental health limit you to. Prioritize the groups with the most people that make you feel special and appreciated. Long term, those are the most important factors for long-term friendships. You should always feel that the group believes your presence is not just welcome but additive. Find the people that make you feel that the group wouldn’t be the same without you. Those will be the college friends you look back on later in life!

With all the new friends you’re going to be making you’re going to need fun activities to do, check out Boston Paintball and get 100 free shots!

By Cameron Maurice

Cameron Maurice is a Northeastern Senior studying Business and Communications. His passions lie in Television and Movies and he hopes to work in the Entertainment Industry in the near future.


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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Be Wary of Placing Limits and Expiration Dates on Friendships

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

The idea for this chapter came to mind as I was talking to one of my good college friends, who happens to be two years older than me, about her experience with friendship “expiration dates.” That was the very first time I had heard anyone describe the all-too-familiar way in which we inadvertently place people and potential friends into very defined and limited categories, steering away from what we see as “expired” (or soon to be expired) relationships. I thought back to all the people I’d met in the last few weeks of middle or high school whom I’d given up on before even getting to know, all because it was simply “too late” (spoiler alert: it really wasn’t). I remembered how I’d labeled people as too cool, too old or too young, or, quite simply, too different to approach.

My friend, whom we’ll call Abby, had come into her freshman year of college with a very similar attitude; that is, until she realized there were only a few weeks left in her first year, and she hadn’t figured out her place in college yet. When she turned to her fellow first-years, they seemed to be in a very similar boat, which is when she realized she needed to change course, and quickly. With graduation looming not so far ahead, these wise, older students would soon fall in the “expired” category. Abby decided that she’d meet each senior student once, if only just to touch base and extract whatever they had to say about their own college experience, and then leave her coffee appointments smarter, wiser and all the better for it. This impromptu, speed-friend-dating escapade of hers, however, would bear very different fruits than she could’ve possibly imagined. It was during what was meant to be nothing more than a one-hour coffee break, Abby told me, that she’d met one of the girls whom she now considered one of her best friends. To this day, they take the time to speak (or text or call) almost every week, keeping themselves in the other’s life via simple but frequent updates. Although the nature of their friendship has made it so that they’re rarely in the same place at the same time, Abby and her friend have learned how to make space for their friendship in their respective lives. And if that isn’t a sign of true friendship, I don’t know what is.  

“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” by katerha is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As Abby shared this with me, I felt like my mind was going a thousand miles a minute. Over the course of my own freshman year, I had experienced first-hand what it felt like to get caught-up in a bunch of “surface” friendships, to be constantly surrounded by people and still feel stranded on my own personal island of loneliness. It was by talking to Abby, however, and after realizing that I had been able to make genuine and long-lasting connections near the end of the year, that I began to see how that feeling had been partially my own fault. From the very beginning, I had come into college with the idea that my first-year friends were something temporary, people that would only last for a certain phase of my life, relationships that I had to form because I hated being alone, and as a result of that, I hadn’t truly given each friend a chance. Because of my fears (of being left behind, of failing to assimilate), I had been in a sort of friendship paralysis, where I focused on making “realistic” friends, and placed people into attainable vs. unattainable categories. In short, I forgot about the fact that behind each friend, there’s a very real and unique human being, who has very real and unique things to bring to my life, even if it’s not always in a way that I’m familiar or already comfortable with. And that’s what made me realize that it’s kind of ridiculous to put an expiration date on people, because no amount of distance, time differences, or personal differences can spoil the type of connection that forms between two people who are dedicated to letting friendship bloom between them.

Main Takeaways (If this chapter evoked something in you that says “Oh yeah, I do that,” or if you’re currently experiencing that weird “not-alone but lonely” stage of life (we’ve all been there), I’d encourage you to do one of two things): 

  • Reach out to that person you’ve been hesitant to hang out with, whether it’s because you think you’re too different, or you don’t see the chance of a long-lasting friendship; you never actually know what can happen unless you try, and worst-case scenario they say no (and you’re right back where you started).
  • Take steps to deepen one of your current relationships by being more intentional with each other; set the standard for a deeper friendship, whether it’s by being more open in communication or changing the usual setting of your relationship. 

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


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

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You Can’t Live in the Honeymoon Phase (And You Probably Don’t Want To)

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

You’ve probably heard of the Honeymoon Phase, a term generally used to refer to that special moment right after you meet someone where it all just feels so new and exciting that you’re willing to overlook any annoyances or red flags. It’s likely you’ve experienced this feeling yourself, as well as the staunch disappointment that comes with the (at times) harsh transition out of this phase — it’s important to remember, however, that the Honeymoon phase is, by its very nature, not made to last and that is actually very good news.

Here’s the thing about making friends, especially in college; not every friendship is created equal, and you have to learn very quickly to prioritize. Every week, day, and hour, you’re meeting someone new who lives within a 5-mile radius of where you live, and with whom you are likely to have at least one thing in common, even if that is only that you both go to the same school. The possibilities of friendship are endless, which, although exciting, can very quickly lead to social burnout or the accumulation of a whole lot of what I like to call “surface friends.” These are acquaintances who have moved into the “friends” category by default, without any true intentionality from either party. These types of friendships, while serving their purpose (and doing it well) in certain situations, cannot be the core of what you consider friendship to be. A true friend is someone who, as in every other relationship in your life, you are willing to invest time and effort into. They’re people whom you can trust with a secret, those who you can spam with messages without worrying about how that will change their perception of you by making you seem too needy, too careless, too attached…

This brings us back to the topic at hand—the honeymoon phase. At this point, I find it helpful to think of the types of friendships you’re looking to form in college as extensions, or at the very least close replicas, of the relationships you have with close family members, such as siblings, cousins or even parents. If you can truly say you never fight with these people in your life, I suggest you think of writing a book on the matter (and please send me an advance copy). More likely, however, you are no stranger to the daily, at times hourly, tussles or disagreements that come with close cohabitation or relationship with people—and the type of conflict negotiation that comes when abandoning the relationship is not even an option that crosses your mind. That is what you’re looking to replicate when forming friendships in college — at least the core, close ones. When you think about it, your friends become your new family: your home away from home. I’m not suggesting they can replace your family (my mother would kill me), but you do need to see them as the new nucleus to your life at college. And, as you do not shy away from conflict or disagreement in your related family, you should not do so in your new, “adopted” family.

“Honeymoon Sunset…” by douea is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In my own experience, I’ve found that approaching certain friendships with a renewed sense of commitment (one which I communicated with them) despite not always “clicking” with people on every level, has led to incredible growth in my personal as well as professional life. It’s normal at the beginning to focus on the quantity of friends – life moves fast on a college campus, and freshman year especially feels like a race for stability. Something I found useful was to, after the first couple of weeks, choose which group/club/activity I was willing and wanting to dedicate more of my time to. There, I got to know a small group of people very well, and began looking for ways to see them in different settings and situations during the week. Instead of seeing them only in large group meetings, I reached out to individual people (or they did me) and asked them to grab coffee, lunch, study together or go on a walk to that place on campus everyone had been talking about.

This was truly a turning point for my college experience – it not only taught me more about commitment and responsibility to others, but gave me enough faith in my ability to form deep, true friendships that I became more open and confident even in my “surface friendships.” True, committed friendships are life giving, because they do not focus on using each other for convenience—rather, they are a balance of give-and-take, in which you learn to grow and experience life as independent adults together.

Main Takeaways: 

  • The “Honeymoon Phase” is great for making new friends and should be taken fully advantage of when you’re in it, but you shouldn’t be afraid of moving past it to get to the core, real and honest side of friendship.
  • Forming a nucleus of close friends is an important part of finding stability in college, and teaches you important values such as acceptance, accountability and conflict resolution.

By: Chiara Jurczak

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


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

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

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main Takeaways: 

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

By: Chiara Jurczak

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


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

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Friendships, A Puzzling Affair

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

If you’re anything like me, you like to use metaphors to try and make sense of the world around you. And if you’re nothing like me, all the better; sometimes, metaphors are most appreciated by those standing outside their wily bounds, looking on with a critical and unconvinced eye.

Without further ado, I’d like to present to you the Friendship Metaphor (FM)(I hope you’ll excuse this unimaginative title, but too much creativity can be a bad thing). As indicated by the title of this chapter, this metaphor revolves entirely around one of the most controversial pastimes known to man: puzzles. Some people love them, some people hate them (yours truly), but I think that generally, most people derive a certain satisfaction from the process of finding pieces which only moments before being joined into a seamless design were little more than individual units floating in a sea of possibilities and wrong roads.

      There are two ways to go about the metaphor from here. First, you can think of yourself as one of the puzzle pieces; this option is not entirely appealing to me. Firstly, it assumes that you are some unchangeable, fixed piece, and we all know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Think back to the person you were ten, five or even one year ago. You probably don’t approach life (and therefore friendships) in the same way as you did then. Secondly, this view of the metaphor assumes that you can only be connected to the pieces right next to you, those that resemble you the most. I think you can see why that might be an unrealistic visualization.

      We arrive, therefore, at the place I believe the FM maximizes its full metaphorical potential for helping us understand friendship formation: rather than seeing yourself as the puzzle piece, view yourself as the master, and the pieces as the various relationships and connections you are building. Here, you are the one putting the pieces together, taking different approaches to how you build friendships and relationships in every area of your life. Just like when assembling a puzzle, you are motivated at the start–the possibilities are endless, and you’re confident in your ability to complete this puzzle. Then, frustration–you realize finding matching pieces is not as easy as you’d thought, and that the pieces and approaches you’d counted on are failing you. In desperation, you may put the puzzle aside for a while and tell yourself that this “hobby” isn’t for you after all, only to pick it up again,letting the entire cycle restart.


“Puzzle” by INTVGene is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As a college student, as you move away from home and feel lost in a sea of new people, keep this in mind: you’re not restarting the puzzle at every friendship you forge, just working on a different section. In a way, you’ve been assembling the puzzle your whole life. When you were little, maybe a loved one helped you out with the hard parts. Now, they’re giving you space to figure it out.

So, if the Friendship Metaphor can help you approach friendships in college in any way, I hope it’s by reminding you how capable you are of completing this puzzle, your puzzle. I’m not saying it will be easy, nor will it always be pleasant. But what I can guarantee is that if you let the fear of failure stop you, your unfinished puzzle will just become an annoying reminder of all the friendships you could’ve forged and that are just waiting for you to accept them into your life.

Main takeaways:

  • Forging friendships is like putting together a puzzle, where you’re the assembler and the pieces are all the connections and relationships you are forging.
  • It’s normal to be overwhelmed or even frustrated when assembling a puzzle – and it’s no different with friendships. In those cases, it can be helpful to remind yourself that you’re not necessarily starting over, just working on a different part of the puzzle (and your life).

By: Chiara Jurczak

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


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

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New Cities, New Meals: Chapter 2 — Finding Home Through Food

Monday, July 19th, 2021

When moving to London, you need to pack your favorite clothes, an adapter, and as many tortillas as your bag will fit. 

I left Chicago in 2019 to study at New York University, London. I had never crossed the ocean or left the continent, let alone leave the comfort of my mother’s home for more than two days. The thought of living with people I had never met terrified me, but I knew there was one way to bridge the gap between strangers —food. 

If you ever find yourself in London, just know you will hardly find Mexican food that resembles anything found in America. For one thing, the chicken is coated in cumin and cooked with bell peppers in a thick layer of pepper jack cheese —a sad attempt at the already untraditional “fajitas.” The tortillas are always made with flour, and if you ask for corn, you will be given a look of confusion before being told, “I’m sorry, what?” The sour cream is overly thick and tastes of nothing, and the salsa almost always contains random pieces of corn. You will walk away sad, disappointed, and missing home even more. As a word of advice, stick to Indian food instead. 

I could not accept that Mexican food, my food, was nearly impossible to find — so I made my own. Slightly untraditional? Yes. Hard to source? Yes. More expensive than Taco Bell? Yes, but the outcome was all that mattered. Over plates of chicken tacos I made with naan instead of tortillas, yellow rice, and beans that definitely had not been soaked long enough before cooking, the eight girls shoved into a small, university apartment with me spoke about the lives they left across the ocean. Other students in the building, probably enticed by the smell of garlic and freshly chopped cilantro, would knock on our room door, handing me £2 in exchange for a plate piled high with whatever I made that evening. Slowly, the strangers I was so nervous to meet became my new family, and together we marveled at the differences between home and our new lives. It was as though the family dinners I had almost 4,000 miles away followed me to Central London, teaching me to form my own community with those who now surrounded me. 

Korean fried chicken and dumplings from the local food market in London. Better than the Mexican food, and cheap!

After London, and after quarantine, I found myself repeating the cycle of using food as a means of unity in New York. Sitting on the floor of my new East Village apartment with shared bowls of expensive ramen from the restaurant downstairs, my roommates and I again told stories of our mothers’ cooking and spending summers in our grandparents’ homes. These conversations led to open dialogue, then to honest and vulnerable communication, and finally unity and trust — all while shoveling steamed dumplings in soy sauce and chili oil into our mouths. Like the weekly family dinners I had in Chicago, and the £2 meals I cooked for other students to enjoy in London, I formed a small, trusting relationship with my new roommates in the East Village by sharing a meal with them. Whether it’s a few pretzels, a plain bag of potato chips, or just a bite of a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel (the best are from Sunny & Annie’s on 6th St.), sharing food shows others you are willing to share yourself — your time, your stories, the things you enjoy. 

So, the next time you find yourself unaware of how to build a community, whether in your home or a faraway land, simply open up a bag of chips and offer to share — the conversation will start soon enough, maybe over a bowl of Gorin Ramen!


By: Allegra Ruiz

Allegra Ruiz is a junior at New York University and she is from Chicago. She studies English and is minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading books and essay collections, and cooking for her roommates. Currently, she lives quietly in New York. 

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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