Posts Tagged ‘growing up’

Don’t Take Home For Granted

Friday, May 31st, 2024

Whenever I tell people I’m from California, I usually get a range of surprised and intrigued reactions. “Oh really, Norcal or Socal?” or, “I’ve always wanted to go to LA” are frequent responses. My revelation is usually followed by the disclaimer that I come from the Central Valley, where it isn’t all flashing lights and sunny beaches. With that being said, I’ve always recognized that the Central Valley has a beauty of its own. It’s home to a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables, producing ¼ of the nation’s food according to the U.S Geological Survey. The towns that surround me boast the titles of “Raisin Capital of the World” and “The Nation’s Salad Bowl”. These small towns aren’t as glamorous as big cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, but they still maintain their own qualities that make them noteworthy.

A photo of the vineyards in my backyard at home.

Social interactivity is another one of California’s endearing qualities. It’s not uncommon to walk down the street and greet other passersby with “goodmorning” or “how are you doing?”. Common courtesy extends to strangers, and hospitality embraces neighbors, friends, and loved ones. The plethora of produce available also functions as a bridge between people, forming and fostering relationships. Looking back on my childhood, I remember going over to my neighbor’s house to pick up fresh eggs and squash from their farm. Other times my neighbor would come over and we would eat cookies together. The sense of community and hospitality was so natural, it was second nature. Little actions like acknowledging each other, saying please and thank you, or gift-giving were customs that I grew up with. These interactions occurred on an individual level and served to foster a greater sense of community statewide. I never noticed that these manners were particular to the region that I grew up in until I left it. I can recall my first time on the subway, and immediately being aware that this wasn’t the place to ask “how’s your day going?”. Even though this would be completely normal in California, over time I’ve adjusted to the unspoken rules of the city.

Accessibility and connection were the things that I took for granted back in California. While I can only describe my personal experience in detail, I know that these feelings are natural and universal. I’ve bonded with so many classmates over reminiscing on the little features of our homes that we miss, most notably our favorite west coast coffee shop: Dutch Bros. However, this nostalgia is not limited to the small, agricultural towns that I’ve described so far. The value in changing one’s environment can apply to city natives as well. In a city like New York, you can especially differentiate your home on the regional scale as opposed to the state scale. A neighborhood like Harlem, which features a median age of 36, is predominately Black, and a median income of $58,489 is starkly different from a neighborhood like Riverdale, Bronx, which has a median age of 41, is predominately White, and a median income of $77,840. The important difference is not based on geography, but rather culture and experiences. By putting yourself in a new position, you’ll learn a lesson that is easier said than done: to not take your home for granted.

 Every home has aspects of it that are simply irreplaceable. It’s hard to leave them, but in my opinion it’s necessary. There is so much value from leaving everything you have ever known for something new. Regardless of your upbringing, the experience of moving to a new place with different foods, people, and customs will make you a better person. Not only will you be more knowledgeable about the world, but you’ll be able to appreciate your home from a fresh perspective.

By Thomas Stewart

Thomas currently attends Columbia University and plans to double major in creative writing and human rights. At Columbia Thomas is a staff writer for the City News section of the Columbia Daily Spectator, where he publishes articles that concern the West Harlem community. In his free time, you can find him practicing music or trying new vegetarian recipes.

While it may not be as fresh as the Central Valley, students and faculty can get up to 20% off on produce at Uptown Whole Foods.

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.


Love and Other Problems: Fading Nostalgia

Monday, June 27th, 2022

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Fading Nostalgia

After walking away from home to travel to an unfamiliar, towering city, I wanted to figure out what to do, what I wanted, what type of love I wanted. While I did try to brush old dust off my hands, put ‘figuring things out’ in a casket and let life take me wherever it wanted, I’ve realized that while I met someone new everyday, I never had a connection with someone that made us more than casual friends. My life became full of friends you see occasionally, friends you’d grab a coffee with but it would be too much to get serious, to vent about trivial things, to share your fears because, well, now everyone’s uncomfortable. These friends were like holding a lit firecracker between my teeth; fun, explosive, painful and with me for a minute. 

After watching another blank smile, another the-one-that-‘walked’-away, an age old story, the sound of cold footsteps becoming fainter and fainter was a rhythm I became all too familiar with. So I thought about the most intense form of love I could experience; romantic. I’d had three relationships in the past, three very different ideals and experiences, three different lessons learnt—and I came out of them with three different understandings of what type of love I wanted. 

The first was foolish and exciting. I never wanted to think about the relationship too seriously and never thought about why I didn’t want that—this love had fumbled somewhere, I didn’t know its purpose anymore and so it was an inevitable end. The second was a blazing meteor and maybe my karma for the nonchalant mess of the first—it was a crash-and-burn-and-run scene, a rehearsed speech and anger and pettiness, a gaslighting, nauseating mess; in hindsight it was for the best that it ended. The third was less intense and exciting than the others, it was healthy and good and pretty, it was comfortable, but we had no chemistry. The contrast between the previous excitement and current calm became boring and my words had lost their meaning somewhere between my heart and mouth. There was no point in lying to myself and forcing it, so I ended it. We did stay friends, but then I changed and he changed and we didn’t get along anymore. 

These feelings and experiences molded what I looked for in others — I knew more about myself as a person and what I wanted out of people, not just partners but also friends. Some of these attributes seemed obvious, but I apparently needed them slapped across my face to see clearly. Looking back at every lesson I’ve learnt and every moment that was spent learning loudly through tears or screaming or quietly through silences and overthinking (all silly things now and I skirt from recalling them too often before unpleasant memories can fully form, before they can bite) I comprehended a large reason as to why it was becoming so hard to grow close to someone in college: fear. I comprehended this through a fourth almost-relationship that I had. He was perfect, with a pretty eye-smile and was sweet and funny, but I was scared of timing and life (it didn’t seem like the right time, being so new to the city, but when I got that there was no ‘right time’, it was too late), so I rejected him and it was something I ended up regretting. Fear took this from me and gave in return a lot of mediocre could-have and would-haves. 

I made mistakes and I learnt, people made mistakes and I learnt too. Love in college was harder than I expected (where my expectation was borne from books and other fiction). I wanted the same things as these rose-tinted fantasies but it hasn’t been easy. I don’t have a storybook arc, I don’t face a challenge to come out ‘stronger’ or anything remotely similar, love and life in reality doesn’t like to be so straightforward.

out with my friends for our last new year together!

I did not think of these challenges when I started classes at NYU, and then I made the aforementioned mistake of just ‘watching, not trying’. I did like people, people I saw across the room, people who were in my classes, pretty, smart, gorgeous and fun people. I talked to them too, I got to know them superficially but that was it. I talked to them when I had an excuse, but that was also how I talked to any new friends I had made…and they all stayed like that: friends. This wasn’t a terrible life-ending situation to be in, but it got exhausting when everything seemed to be going well and then there was a halt, a stagnant sort of space where nothing became of our talking or closeness. Then we fell out of touch.

That was when I thought back to just a year ago, how all of my experiences had shaped who or what I wanted. There’s a lot of people who think everything that happened in high school was supposed to stay there, but I disagree. I liked who I was in high school because it shaped what I want today, and everything that I had experienced wasn’t as irrelevant as people made it out to be. In the excitement of moving from one stage of my life to another, it was really easy to forget what I had figured out from my time there, and easier even to claim a fresh start instead. That didn’t help me, it just set me back.

This comprehension came later though, a semester-into-my-freshman-year later. There was a lot I sat through in that first semester which made me think back to high school, and ultimately the contemplation shaped me into a person better prepared for the rest of the years I had left in university and even after. It made me learn how to tackle love and friendships in a way that would result in the outcome I wanted, an outcome that would leave me happier for it.

dinner with new friends in the city!

While attempting to talk to people there were a lot of restaurants I visited with different people, I used to visit Bareburger with a coupon that I found really helped override the costs that came with eating out so often! Take the opportunity and grab this coupon for Bareburger for a great lunch with your friends too!

By Mahrukh Shaikh

Mahrukh Shaikh is a student at New York University studying Business and Finance with a Marketing concentration. She has been writing and creating literature for years and is fond of various artistic mediums and social issues.

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.


new beginnings and piercings as self-love

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Every time someone asks about how I picked Lesley University, I have a tendency to joke that I was following my ex-girlfriend. 

On one hand: this isn’t entirely true- the school had plenty of what I was looking for, including both of the majors I wanted, a supportive and queer-friendly environment, and a campus stretching across Cambridge. On the other: I do think going into higher education knowing someone who was both my best friend (at the time) and very dear to me did a lot to boost my confidence. 

I had a built-in friend, a way to start off the first of four years with a sort of social safety net. I had someone to talk to about the hardships of starting the higher-education portion of adulthood and the anxiety of moving into a new place. I had someone to do homework with, late into the night on scratchy dorm room carpeting. I had someone to complain with about the occasionally-questionable dining hall food. I had someone, and that made the nervousness of being in a new place slowly, surely, ebb into the background. This didn’t stop either of us from making friends as we both found our places within our new community, but it got us through the first few months as we began to build up new relationships. 

Having someone around who already knew me, accepted me, and encouraged me to be myself also made it much easier to get comfortable in my own skin- both as a new college student and as a trans and queer person coming of age. Fortunately, my school had plenty of overlap between the two, with a plethora of my freshman class being in a similar literal and physical transition. We were all looking to make homes out of our bodies, and one of the most obvious ways to do that was to get a new piercing.

About a week or two into my college experience at Lesley University, my ex decided she wanted a septum ring. Eager to work towards my own accumulation of piercings and to mark the pivotal shift into freshman year on my body somehow, I decided I would tag along. So, on one fateful student-discount Tuesday, we headed down the red line into Central Square, popping into the Boston Lucky’s for walk-in appointments. After a half-hour of sitting on some really nice leather chairs and admiring the jewelry selection by the cash register, I was escorted into the piercing room. The process itself only lasted a few minutes. A gloved hand ran an alcohol wipe around the center of my nose; a needle and horseshoe-shaped piece of metal followed suit, threaded through the cartilage without much fanfare. 

Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop. Done in layered green lineart.
Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop.

An hour after our arrival, we walked out together with our matching piercings. The new hole in my nose was all I’d hoped it would be. It looked great. My parents, however, were not on the same page. 

They called later that night. “It was a waste of money,” my mom chastised. “I don’t even think I want to come visit you on parents’ weekend.” My dad echoed the sentiment, taking the time to text me that he hoped it would get torn out. They warmed up to it as soon as they realized it could be flipped up, but the rift it caused felt emblematic. 

While a little warning might’ve done wonders to prevent any familial unrest, I did what I did for me. I love my family, but part of paving my own path meant not conforming to their standards. Rather, I was setting my own. And it wasn’t just little 2018 Ness who decided to kick off their journey into higher education with a piercing. In a 2006 article from the JAMA Network, one Lester Mayers noted that 51% of university students surveyed had piercings, while 23% had tattoos; with the destigmatization among the workplace and accessibility of body modifications, the number has only gone up (Sequential Survey of Body Piercing..). In Hallie Long’s article from the DePaulia, she interviews freshly-tatted Angie Rainey, who declares that the tattoo she got in college “caught [her].. at such a transformative and new time in.. life” ( The body is a temple, and so many people have taken it upon themselves to decorate theirs to reflect burgeoning personal style. By making the decision to kick off college with a piercing, I became one of many new students who made similar choices, a way of making their bodies feel more like a refuge among the turbulence of life. Even in periods of great change, the one thing we can control is ourselves. 

Self-expression through body mods is a fairly common, healthy mechanism for self-discovery.

Another article from the Journal of Adolescent Health deems the reasoning behind piercings to be an act of identity, rather than rebellion (Contemporary College Students and Body Piercing). Between myself and the people I knew, most of us who were modifying our bodies (whether through our piercings, tattoos, or haircuts) were doing so as a way to find a sense of community within an alternative subculture. It was a statement of self, seeking out community and building our own confidence rather than actively trying to disrupt a peace within our immediate families. It was just that now, we had the freedom to find this new place for ourselves.

I started my first year of college nervous. Nervous about my relationship, about school, about the friendships I had yet to find. I was nervous about my parents, about getting homesick, about whether or not we’d see eye-to-eye. I was worried about whether or not the new hole in my body would heal properly. But even in the wake of all the fears about the future, I knew I’d be okay.

And you know what?

I am.

Glow-up of the century.

tl;dr: be nervous if you must, but know you’ll be okay.

Sometimes making the perfect change to your look is the thing that makes you feel your best and most confident, and there’s nothing quite like a fresh cut to help you feel your best… dare I say, nothing feels quite as marvelous! 

For that life-changing, new-kid-on-campus chop, treat yourself to a place that really understands the power of looking and feeling your best, like Marvelous Barber Lounge. With the help of Campus Clipper, you can get 20% off on the ultimate grooming experience- just bring your student ID and your coupon to redeem!

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.


Late Night Creations

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

written by Sabina Ashbaugh

We always substitute an egg with two tablespoons of vanilla soymilk—a slight variation that leaves the dough runny and easier to mix with the cracked wooden spoon. The timer is set for 12 minutes, not 14 as the cookbook suggests, with a reminder at the six-minute mark to switch the top and bottom trays in the oven. Despite these careful discrepancies, accumulated over countless nights, our creations are never completely predictable. We speculate whether it might be the heat of the dimly lit kitchen, and that volatile summer breeze that seeps in through the windows and seems to soften the contours of the room.
Despite our many trials, my sister and I never fully plan our baking efforts, or even carefully measure out the ingredients of our amended recipes. The soymilk substitution, now a permanent step in the cookie making process, came from a late realization that the egg carton was deceptively empty. As if to support this impulsiveness, the planned desserts baked for family dinners—the pumpkin or apple pies, the blueberry cobblers, the cinnamon buns, the madeleines—are never as good as the spontaneous endeavors to satisfy late night cravings. The immediate satisfaction of these creations quickly assuaged the worries and anxieties amassed during school or work. Tasks divided and ingredients laid out, my sister and I get to work setting right the wrongs of the day.
It has been a year now since I moved away from home. Some months have flown by while others have painstakingly inched to a close, with pangs of homesickness and late night baking cravings that seemed to arise out of nowhere. Family, a concept that had seemed so natural and tangible just a year ago, has slowly been abstracted to stand for that sense of place so radically reconfigured after leaving for school. In times of stress, I often caught myself about to call the house with a confused plea of “What should I do?”
With distance I have come to realize how often I unintentionally underappreciated this form of support. I cringe at the thought that the ease and spontaneity of those nights spent baking are a lost bridge between my sister and I—treasured memories to look back on fondly but ones impossible to recapture. And yet the removal of this crutch has also forced me to examine how I will right the wrongs of the day in my own way—not by baking, but through the careers and choices that lie ahead.
Moving away is an exciting step towards independence and deciding how and what one wants to change in the world. In the midst of so many choices, the advice offered by family is a means of grounding oneself in times of transformation. Finding a niche in college involves exploring how one will contribute to society and improve the lives of others, but it also requires the recognition of the debt owed to those at home.
Growing up compels us to accept these recipes, relationships, and plans for future change. Family rituals become memories as traditions are re-made. It is important to maintain ties with those that helped us get where we are, and continue to want to see us succeed. Helping others starts by looking out for and appreciating those at home, and paying tribute to those left behind.

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I don’t wanna grow up; I just wanna be a Toys’R’Us kid.

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Today, a friend of mine’s mother passed away. I had never met the woman, but I know she’s been sick on and off the entire time my friend, one of my first in New York, and I have known each other. But platitudes like “she’s in a better place” or “at least she’s not feeling any pain” really don’t seem to do much good for anyone who hears them. It’s almost the opposite — like saying, “Hey, you’re mom isn’t hurting anymore so you really shouldn’t be so sad.” So what should you say?

I’ve never been good with comforting people, or dealing with other’s emotions at all, actually. It’s one thing to know that I should be there for my friend, should offer to go to the funeral and support her — it’s another thing entirely to do that and not get swept up in trivial things, like the Celtics clinching the Cavs’ series.

I foolishly put myself in her spot the other day, imagining it was my dad who just died and I had to convince myself not to call him, just to make sure he was okay even though I knew that nothing could have happened to him in the time since we’d last spoken. I’ve always had a strong imagination, though, and watching a friend’s grief does nothing to stop that.

I can admit to myself, and by extension the World Wide Web through this blog, that if a friend from home just lost a relative, the situation would be different. Last year, a close friend’s mother passed and there was literally nothing more important than getting back to Jersey to be there for her and her family, who I’ve known my entire life. I wonder if just the length of time one person can know another factors into that extra effort that is willingly put forth without thought, or if, as awful as it is to think, some people just matter more. I don’t like to think that, to think that one friend can be held to different standards than another — but that’s probably how it is.

Not offering any comfort may just be my own cowardice; at twenty I hate being faced with any reminders of mortality, no matter what the case is. I don’t believe it to just be a fear of death, that’s too simple. It’s more a fear of not being young anymore, of growing up and losing vitality and vibrancy and the joie de vivre. My father is turning fifty in a few weeks, and I know aging bothers him a lot more than it does my mother. I get that from him, I guess, though it is silly for someone my age to care about growing older so much unless it is a desire to finally reach twenty-one. For the record, I couldn’t care less about being twenty-one and I sometimes find myself wishing I was still a teenager.

This blog seems to jump from point, or non-point, rather, to non-point. I do have one though — a point that is.

They say the friends we meet in college are the ones that will last the rest of our lives. If that’s true, no amount of personal discomfort should keep us from being there for our friends; regardless of if it’s being there at a funeral, or letting a friend crash on the couch during finals’ week to escape a commute to Long Island. Though no longer kids, people in their late teens and early twenties still have that innate selfishness that wants everything in life to revolve itself around their comfort — but that’s not what happens. Accepting that, and being there for other people despite ourselves, is one of those first, and terrible, steps to growing up.

-Mary K

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