Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Chapter Three: Exercise & Mental Health in the Big Picture

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

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

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

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


My well-used and cherished copy of Nausea.

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

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


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

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

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

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

A brief summary of advice:

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


By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.


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

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The Creative Mind in a Chaotic World: Balancing Mental Health, Art, and Political Involvement

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021
https://www.instagram.com/chann.smith/

Channing Smith is a woman of many talents: filmmaking, photography, and screenwriting being a small few. I spoke with her one on one about how she balances her artistic inclinations with her mental health and political involvement as a student. 


TC: Can you give me the official rundown of your major? 

CS: I am a senior film major. I’ve really concentrated on documentary [film] just because I think it’s a really amazing social justice tool to teach and inform other people about issues that they might think is not a concern to them. Documentary film tells you, Hey, this is happening. And you might not know it, but you should know about it now. And here’s why you should know about it.

So currently–you’re kind of getting a new exclusive here– my senior thesis is going to be about women’s experiences in solitary confinement. And I’ve actually been speaking with women for months now who have experienced solitary, whose wives are in solitary, whose mothers, sisters, and daughters are in solitary. Because I think that the narrative around incarceration, especially working with Re/Creation is really centered around men, which there’s nothing wrong with that because there are disproportionately a lot of Black men that are in prison. But I think we also need to not forget women. As a woman myself, I would want to be included in that story. So it’s about women in solitary confinement and the treatment that we don’t see. 

TC: I think the project that you’re describing is so necessary in the representation and the work that it does. It reminds me of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and how heartbreaking it was to read. It’s reporting live and it’s giving these people humanity. 

How does your art relate to your political stances? 

CS: So first I would like to say one that I am Black. I am a woman and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. And all of that is already enough to make a statement when I’m in the room, you know? I am a masculine presenting woman. I don’t conform to what women should do or what women should say or how women should act [according to] patriarchy and racism. So with that being said, my being is political. My personhood is being policed in multiple ways every day. And so in order to combat that my work has to be political because that’s my life.


https://www.instagram.com/lightandsmith/

TC: How does your art relate to your mental health?

CS: In terms of mental health I definitely will say that there’s kind of a bifurcation between helping and hindering. Meaning, [I’m often] stuck on something for so long and I’m just beating myself up about it when it’s not perfect yet, but then really when is a piece ever finished? When is a piece ever perfect? When will it ever be exactly the way I see it in my head? Probably never; it never really ends up happening that way. And I just have to have someone tell me to stop and just put it down. 

My mind is really full all the time, racing all the time. And some of that is in my control and some of it isn’t, but I will say that art, my medium specifically, really helped with being able to relieve that sense of busy-ness. Even if I’m writing a script and to a normal person it may seem like there’s a lot going on, [for me] that’s the most still my brain can be. I feel the most energized after I’ve done a shoot with someone. I love being on sets. I feel like my mind is most still when there’s chaos going on around me which is very hard to explain to people who don’t understand or have some sort of mental illness.

TC: How would you say that you manage stress and anxiety as it relates to your work? And then also as it relates to world events? Because I personally could only imagine working in a field that relates so closely to heavy subjects like mass incarceration and inequality. At some point it can weigh on you.

CS: One, I will be completely transparent and say medication. [It’s important to] just take care of myself first. And if that means medication, if that means therapy, if that means working out [that will help me] to optimize myself. Also, probably the thing that I’ve found to be most important is finding community in those areas.

I definitely have different sets of communities. When I’m dealing with mass incarceration work, I have my Re/Creation family. And we’ve all been in the thick of it since the very beginning of Re/Creation. And then I have my film community. So that has really helped.

Because it is a tough thing to also learn that a lot of artists in any medium deal with anxiety and depression. It’s kind of a weird reality to live in where some of the most beautiful art or the most thought provoking or the most emotionally provoking art in whatever medium was made by someone who had a mental illness. I can still create art in the mental state just exactly how I am. So that’s also kind of cool, but in a creepy cool kind of way. 


https://www.instagram.com/lightandsmith/

TC: Do you have any advice for other artists and other creatives about how to balance mental health, art, and political involvement? 

CS: One day at a time, honestly. I feel like people with depression and anxiety often think about the world on a much broader level. And it’s just like, man, everything kind of sucks. 

And so I was thinking about that and [talking with] my friends and they were just like, you just got to be gentle with yourself. You just gotta take it one day at a time and one project at a time, one idea at a time. 


To learn more about Channing’s prison abolition work with Re/Creation, visit: https://reslashcreation.com/

To see Channing’s latest artistic projects, visit her art Instagram page @Lightandsmith


By Taylor Custis

Taylor Custis is a recent graduate of NYU where she made her own major because it sounded like a cool thing to do. She enjoys stories of all kinds, ethnic foods, and spiritually charged candles. She is currently in Queens embarking on a career in written and visual storytelling.


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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Staying Sane in NYC: Tips for De-Stressing Beyond Your Apartment

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

When I first moved to New York City in the Summer of 2017, wide eyed and ready to take on the world, I was ill equipped for the stressful, constant movement and the expectations that the city enforces upon its youth. A freshman with an intense romantic passion for literature, philosophy, and religious studies at The New School, I immersed myself in as much school reading and classwork that I could; after all, I had never had such resources available to me before. The stimulating content on one shelf alone in the List Center library was overwhelming; who knew there could be so many books under Queer New York Literature? Even though I had visited the city often and had lived with my family in nearby New Jersey, the city always thrilled me to no end both on paper and in the real world. As a bibliophilic child, I had grown into a romanticist who wanted nothing more than to experience the streets that Patti Smith had called her stomping grounds, that Joan Didion had marked a perishable dream, and that James Baldwin had portrayed time and time again. Even Percy Jackson had fought his most gruesome battles in the city streets! I needed to make the city my own now. Meanwhile, an idealistic mentality drove me to further excel in my classes because I understood that my time in such an institution and location was a privilege and something I wanted to be proud of when I reflected back on my time spent there. Located just on the border of the East and West Village, The New School gave me the opportunity to walk around the neighborhoods I had once merely read about, to experience the freedom that I did not realize I craved so badly. And best of all, to create my own legacy beyond the pages I had already read.

And then came the burnout from classes. By the time midterm season rolled around, I was exhausted from spending time in the library hunching over my laptop to write papers. I could not blame anyone but myself, for my hunger for literary excellence forced me into perfectionism and my drive to experience everything all at once left me terribly overstimulated. I needed a break from the rush of student life in New York. It did not help that once I stepped out of the University Center on 13th and fifth ave, I was hit with the scramble of New Yorkers moving on with their own lives. How could I deal with this mad rush without being holed up in my freshman shoebox dorm room? It was midterm season and there was no time to revel in this so-called “self-care” that I heard whispered around by students and faculty alike. Or was there?

This was the year that I discovered the quieter side of New York; the lush green of city parks, new neighborhoods, and the realization that I could step back and still feel like a participant of city life. 

Washington Square Amidst a Protest

Taking Advantage of Green Spaces

The Pond

One of my favorite relaxing after class activities was to visit the dog park in Washington Square, just a few much-needed steps away from the jumping atmosphere of the main square. As the sun began to set following a tiresome day in the library or a particularly heated debate in the classroom, I would find myself tucked into the back right of Washington Square watching the dogs frolic in their own designated space. As a student, it is almost impossible to have a dog in a shoebox apartment or communal dorm and as a dog person, this space is the next best thing! One of my close friends would often text me after she got out of class on a particularly anxious day to meet her at the dog park so that we could sit together and watch the puppies for a while while we cleared our heads. Afterwards, try having a late lunch or hot drink at the famous Cafe Reggio, home of the original cappuccino and just steps away on MacDougal Street or getting ice cream on that same street at Van Leeuwen.

Harlem Meer

My favorite park to relax solo in has always been Central Park. Relaxing alone is important for my self care regime, as it allows me to sit with my thoughts before I journal my feelings in order to relieve stress. Never ignore your feelings, this can lead to a build up of anxiety that will be difficult to relieve all at once later on. When you are overworked from school, it is okay to admit when you are at your limit and need a break or some alone time! The key to finding the perfect secluded location to enjoy my own company is proximity to water. Wildlife like ducks and remarkable birds are more likely to inhabit areas that are not oversaturated with people and that have natural resources like streams and lakes. If you forgot your blanket, don’t worry! The best location for sitting and enjoying your book on a bench would be The Pond, which is just a short walk away from the Fifth ave and E. 59th street Central Park entrance, right across from the famous Plaza Hotel. The Plaza Hotel also has a food court in the basement, which is open to the public! Even on cool afternoons, this location is ideal because it is not too secluded so as to feel lonely, nor is it overpopulated. There is also a tiny bridge that you can take photos from with the New York city skyline behind you! I have spent many afternoons reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt here to clear my mind after a busy school week. 

If you would rather sprawl out on a blanket and are located further uptown, I recommend the Harlem Meer, which is located just off of the 2 and 3 train 110th street subway stop. There is both a perfect mix of bench seating and grass that surrounds the peaceful lake. Here you can even find turtles swimming in the water! I loved to run through the park starting in this location because it affords me the fulfilling view of a calm landscape that eases me into my daily jog. When you want to sit and relax, there are wonderful, well maintained spots to sit in the grass and enjoy the day!

City Walks

New York city is also the perfect location for people watchers! Whether it be to gain writing inspiration or even just to wind down, people watching is a fantastic pastime for me in the city. Try walking around a new neighborhood to see different things; soon you will be able to tell the different communities that are present all across the city. While I was living on the upper east side as a student from my sophomore to junior year, I loved walking down Madison Avenue to people watch and window shop. This allowed for socialization as I was still immersed in city life while not necessarily forcing myself into social situations. As someone who creates best in their alone time, city walks like this have been particularly healing to me on stressful days and has helped me gain inspiration for my fiction writing. When you need to take a rest, try the Great Lawn just behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 86th street. In the summertime, the Delacorte Theatre, which is located a few paces away, hosts free Shakespeare in the Park events! 

___

Overview: 

  • Find some alone time amidst the rush of constant city activity to decompress after classes!
  • Try: the dog park in Washington Square, The Pond and Harlem Meer in Central Park.
  • Stop by Cafe Reggio and Van Leeuwen  after a day in Washington Square.
  • Have a meal at the Plaza Hotel Food Court before going to The Pond. 
  • Take city walks and discover new neighborhoods for both inspiration and to unwind!
  • Try: walking down Madison Avenue before visiting the Great Lawn and Delacorte Theatre.

These are just a few examples of places I like to go when I need to slow down after a grueling day as a New York city student. Eventually, you will be able to find which neighborhoods you like the most, thus opening up new communities for you to discover and be a part of! 

____________________________________________________________________

Helisoa Randriamanana is an aspiring writer, academic, and recent Spring 2021 graduate of The New School with a BA in literary studies and a double minor in philosophy and religious studies. She is interested in jump starting a career in the world of book publishing and most of her work, both fiction and non-fiction, reflects the humanist philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas.

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Quarantine Contemplation: We’re all just doing.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

At the close of 2020, I promised myself that I would take a gap year. After four years of juggling my academics, extracurriculars, relationships, and well-being, and considering the tumultuousness of the past year, I figured that everyone could use a break. I started planning my summer. Wake up, eat, eat, eat, sleep, repeat—the closest that humans can get to hibernation.

Then came January, February, and March, and upon a string of fortunate events, from becoming a mentor, to landing my first part-time job, to applying to graduate school, to entering an internship, to volunteering with an organization, to landing my second part-time job, to becoming a mentor (again), to accepting a fellowship, to being invited to present at a research conference, I decided to accept an offer for a third part-time job. I thought I’m already wearing all these hats, might as well fill up the closet.       

You don’t have to be a nurse to appreciate these busy-bee nursing memes. You just have to be…busy.

The dominoes fell, and my mind whirl winded.

Advocate in more spaces. Volunteer with more organizations. Pursue a remote global internship. Apply to the Fulbright program. Enroll in a TEFL certification course. Learn a new language. Join a research lab. Run a virtual marathon. Look for a fourth part-time job.

By mid-March, I was the most involved I’ve ever been. Feeling like I not only was capable but obligated to take on every opportunity I was extended, I cast myself a vote of confidence. No doubt I could balance these responsibilities and achieve my quality (and quantity) standard all the while maintaining my physical and mental health.

Super-busy-girl memes can be very helpful when you’re too tired to express how tired you are.

Right!

Right?

Certainly!

Uncertainly.

With summer inching closer by the day, I’m filled with what I can only describe as a bidirectional spiral of invigorating uncertainty. Over these last three months, I have thought more about my future than I ever have before, and yet, I still feel like I have no idea why I’m doing what I’m doing or what it even is that I’m trying to accomplish. On top of the shakiness of simply being a graduating senior and young professional, the blow and the blur of the pandemic only exacerbate this uncertainty.

While I’m determined to bat at nearly every pitch, I have friends who are ready to build their careers in full-time positions with laser focus. Some friends are preparing for medical school and higher education, wracking their brains, and wrecking their sleeping schedules. Others are siphoning their resources into self-care, determined to dedicate their summer and immediate post-grad plans to self-development and nurturing their passions.

All of these plans and proposals, all of these actions and initiatives, and yet, the question persists in so many people’s heads—now what?

Through all the spaces that I’m involved in, I’ve come to two (One-and-a-half? One? I’m not sure, I’ve never really been good with numbers) revelatory realizations. I do my best to avoid blanket statements, but here’s a comforter for you—no one knows exactly what they want to do or what they’re doing.

We’re all just doing.

And that’s okay.


Thoughtful consumption and self-care have never been more important — try some clean eats at LifeThyme Natural Market

by Christianne Evasco

Christianne is a senior at New York Univerity, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS) and Creative Writing. Christianne’s endeavors are fueled by her passion to use her voice to help others harness the power of their own voices through therapeutically-creative means and to connect people through language and cultural exchange. In her free time, you can find her catnapping with her cats.

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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An Honest Discussion About Therapists

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

In recent years there has been a lot of  talk about normalizing therapy, coinciding with the recent uptick in mental health awareness, and for good reason. In this world of climate change, political hell, literal plague, and the hundred other disasters going on globally, I’m pretty sure that everyone can use a good therapist. You don’t have to suffer from mental illness to see a therapist; everyone’s life is full of daily anguishes– even if they seem “minor” or “petty,” they can still linger in your thoughts. The world of the college student is especially susceptible to this;  problems that seem manageable on their own quickly and frequently gather until you are overwhelmed. But, a therapist can help you get through them! They should be someone who you are comfortable confiding in because they are isolated from all other facets of your life. The unfortunate catch with therapy, however, is that you have to be comfortable with them.

Not all therapists are created equal. Finding the right one can feel like going on a blind date, because you can never be quite sure what you’re going to get. A therapist can have the best credentials in the world, sometimes, your personalities just don’t quite mesh. In fact, it seems that many people tend to be unsatisfied with their therapy. Anywhere from 20 to 57% of patients don’t come back after their first visit, and of those who come back, 37-45% of them don’t come back after the second visit. Unfortunately, the number one most cited reason for client termination is dissatisfaction with their therapist. While that dissatisfaction could stem from any number of sources, the indication is clear: therapy is a service with high turnover, and you should expect to have some negative experience with your therapist/therapy. I don’t say this to discourage you from exploring therapy, because proper therapy with a well-fitting therapist will always be beneficial. Improving your mental health is an active process that requires dedication, a desire to better yourself, as well as someone or something to help guide you. For many, that person may be a therapist! That being said, here are some tips I can offer to those looking to enter the world of therapy.

Fader, Sarah. “Difference between a Therapist and a Psychologist” 24 Nov 2020 https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/what-is-the-difference-between-a-therapist-and-a-psychologist/
  • Don’t be afraid to keep your guard up. Therapy is a strange thing; there are not many times where you have a conversation with a total stranger about your inner thoughts and feelings. It’s uncomfortable– and it’s entirely valid to not want to immediately open up to your therapist. Most will understand this, but some will egg you on to let your guard down. Remember that you are the one paying for this service, and you should be comfortable vocalizing your desired pace with your therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, then perhaps it’s time to look for a new one. 
  • Beware the sunk cost fallacy. One reason people will stay with a therapist is that they believe that, because they’ve already invested so much time and money visiting one therapist, they should just commit to them– regardless of the quality of the therapy. This is known as the sunk cost fallacy, and while it generally refers to economics, it absolutely applies here. Opening up to a therapist about deeper traumas is an exhausting thing, and many will stay with their therapist only because they know so much about them. If, over time, you feel that your relationship with your therapist has changed for the worse for whatever reason, remember that therapy is supposed to be a beneficial process, but it can’t be beneficial if you don’t like your therapist. 
  • The path to recovery is never linear. This isn’t to say that, if you’re in therapy, you’re “damaged” in some way. Rather, “recovery” can refer to any difficulty you’re having, and discussing with your therapist. As you attend therapy you will discover aspects of yourself you’ve never noticed before, and sometimes that will be an unsettling experience. You will have highs and lows as you perceive yourself and your experiences in new lights, and it’s important to remember that just because you are feeling particularly “low” does not mean that your therapy is not working. Try to keep that in mind when and if you feel frustrated with the process. On the opposite side of the coin, if you have been feeling worse about your issues consistently, then maybe the process is not working for you.
  • Your college probably has resources for you. Use them! Many college students can’t afford therapy. For me, therapy would cost $50 per session thanks to my incredible health insurance. As a result of that, I am ironically not in therapy at this moment. Thankfully, my college has counseling sources, as do many colleges across the states. If you can’t afford therapy, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to these sources; they will help you! 
  • Therapy might not be for you. But you should at least try it! In my opinion, the increased presence of therapy in popular culture is a great thing. Taking care of your mental health has tragically been stigmatized for a long time, but it has finally gained its legitimacy in the court of public opinion. As more people call for the normalization of therapy, it’s important to remember that not everyone is at the point where they will benefit from therapy. And that’s okay, too! But be careful not to use this as an excuse to avoid therapy. At least give it a try and see how you feel; if you’ve never tried it, how do you know it’s not for you?

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By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Someday, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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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Social Media, & Why It Sucks

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat are the main mode of communication among college students. Most (myself included) are so ingrained in the culture of social media that we couldn’t imagine life without it; in some industries, if you aren’t actively on social media, you are at a tangible disadvantage compared to your peers. It’s inescapable, and understandably so; social media is a powerful tool, a great way to connect with your friends, share your life, and it can even be a solid tool for venting. I know that, for me, randomly tweeting complaints into the void is a good way to get things out of my system. 

I’m not gonna patronize any potential readers here by going, “oh but did you KNOW that social media is actually bad?” At this point, I feel the fact that social media can severely damage your mental health in a number of ways is well known. However, people tend to only focus on certain dangers of social media, like addiction, oversharing, or cyberbullying. While others remain lesser-known. For instance, warnings about cyberbullying are plentiful, but people also don’t talk as much about “echo chambers” that can occur in communities over social media. By “echo chambers,” I am referring to the fact that you are more likely to surround yourself with people who have similar beliefs to you, which means that your beliefs are also more likely to go by unchallenged. This reinforces your beliefs and can entrench you within them, making you more stubborn and unwilling to listen to anyone who might disagree. It’s this concept that drives the growth of developing anti-intellectual movements on the net, such as COVID-19 deniers or anti-vaxx, but it can also subconsciously affect anybody on social media. When you’re on social media, you need to make sure that you aren’t reinforcing your own biases by engaging with sources outside of your “bubble.” I think social media has failed to encourage this kind of behavior, which results in a lot of tribalism where people attack anyone who disagrees with them; this makes social media a toxic environment for everyone involved. While everyone inevitably falls into this behavior, it’s important to be aware of it so you can recognize it and avoid it. 

https://world.edu/6-ways-to-protect-your-mental-health-from-social-medias-dangers/

Social media, much like anything else, can also burn you out if used in excess. As social media continues to take more of our attention it is easy to slip into an obsession, which is terrible for your mental health for so many reasons. It can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety; when I spend too much time on social media, I feel a sense of hopelessness. Especially on Twitter– many people tend to focus on the negatives of life, with doom and gloom news spreading more frequently than anything else. And while that is understandable, given the state of, well, everything, that doesn’t make it any less exhausting. It’s important to be aware of social media burnout so you can recognize it; oftentimes I find myself so immersed in social media that I don’t realize the negative impact it’s having on me until I step away from the screen and detox. That’s really the best response to it; many apps have the option to temporarily deactivate your account in order to motivate you to take a break and ground yourself in reality. 

One of the most powerful features of the internet age, social media is inescapable. We all indulge in it because of how enjoyable it is, it’s important to maintain a level of self-awareness and metacognition when you consider your time on social media. Try to be aware of the influence social media can have on the way you think, your biases, and how it harms your productivity & well-being, so you engage in social media in a healthy way.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Someday, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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.  Paragraph

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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Wait a Minute, Who ARE You?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

How often do you check in with yourself?  Oftentimes, college life goes at such a fast pace that students will “leave” themselves behind, putting deadlines ahead of their well-being. It definitely doesn’t help that many professors like to think that students can afford to devote 100% of their time to their class, but when you have five classes, the math doesn’t quite add up. Considering most can’t afford to devote 100% of our attention to education in general- let alone a single class- one can very easily feel overwhelmed. Without a doubt, stress is a frequent and unfortunate element of college culture; more than 40% of college students experience an above-average level of stress, as reported by the National College Health Assessment– though, anecdotally, I suspect the number is much higher than reported. 

When you can’t relieve your stress in a healthy way, it builds up within you and quickly you can find yourself experiencing burnout, which is a miserable thing. Personally, when I am burnt out, I dissociate– it feels like you’re watching yourself from the first person, as though you were merely an observer in your daily life, rather than an active participant. The advantage of this state of “autopilot” is that I can push through daily life, even if I am overextending myself. The obvious consequence, though, is that it can be easy to lose yourself in your daily routine. Do note that dissociation is a common thing, and just about everyone will experience it at least a few times in their life. But, if you feel that way all the time, that is when it becomes a problem. It took me a very long time to realize that I had a problem with dissociation as it was (and still is) a coping mechanism of mine. While not everyone may relate with dissociating as a reaction to burnout, everyone will develop coping mechanisms to deal with burnout and daily strife. The important thing is that you must be able to identify when you are using these coping mechanisms, and then be able to be honest with yourself; is this healthy?

The ability to check in with yourself is an important life skill that often gets swept under the rug. Certainly, nobody, throughout all my years, of education taught me to ask myself, “Hang on a minute. Who am I? Is this what I want?” and I expect that many will relate to that notion. From a young age, many feel pressured to do well in school, and while education is an important thing, it’s almost important to understand why you do the things you do in life. Don’t just go to college because it’s the expected thing to do, go to college because it’s what you want to do. It can have a sizable difference in the actual quality of your education; a study from 2018 found that students who engage an activity out of their own free will were less likely to be exhausted and cynical, and are more efficient when compared to those who engage in an activity due to external pressures (such as parental pressure). Unfortunately, the reality is that many students are unable to pursue what they want because of external pressures, and so are subject to higher levels of burnout. Therefore, here are some tips I can offer on how to deal with burnout.

https://www.abreva.com/amp/how-to-avoid-burnout.html
  • Recognize how burnout feels for you. It’s an important level of self awareness to have, to acknowledge when you are feeling run down. It will help you pace yourself and will, in the long run, benefit your mental health, which will translate into more productivity. Burnout can be procrastination, a loss of motivation, imposter syndrome, general exhaustion and depression, or really any number of things. It’s a general sense of resentment towards your work (or study) that impedes your daily function. Remember– it’s totally normal; nobody can devote 100% of themselves to something 100% of the time. 
  • Find something to break up your daily schedule. Oftentimes burnout can result from a monotonous schedule. Thus, introducing something new will keep things interesting and can be a good distraction from a busy schedule. It could be a new hobby, or impulsive plans with your friends, or just anything different; but it will help energize you and make you more productive. 
  • Avoid negative people. It’s a pretty general thing, but the thing with burnout is that it drains your energy and your motivation, and dealing with toxic people will only waste the energy you have left. 
  • Get some sleep. We’re all guilty of it; sleep deprivation is a pretty regular thing for most students. For most people in general, too. But the impact a good night’s sleep can make is woefully underrated. There’s a point of exhaustion where studying just won’t help anymore, and you’re better off getting some rest instead. 

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Some day, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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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Retail Therapy: Do, or Don’t?

Friday, November 27th, 2020

Most of us participate in retail therapy even if you aren’t familiar with the term. It refers to any purchases made with the intention of improving your mood (think comfort food). Considering the prevalence of depression and anxiety among students (severe depression in the college student body has more than doubled over less than a decade– that’s before 2020), it’s likely that most of us have relied on retail therapy to feel better. Purchases that you justify by saying, “I’ve had a hard week,” or “today has really sucked.” 

We think  that retail therapy works because it offers a sense of control over something. Generally, sadness is a result of a lack of control over whatever situation a person is in. But, when you shop it is something you can (usually) control; “Oh wow, look at this jacket. I love this jacket. I’m going to buy it and nobody can stop me.” I’ve definitely had this thought process with more than a few of my purchases over the years. It’s a uniquely satisfying feeling, to be able to look at something, decide you have the funds, and embrace your inner Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation: Treat yo’self!

The unfortunate paradox of retail therapy is that overindulgence, by spending beyond your means, can be a dangerous hole to fall into. Particularly when every company ever offers  a credit card, it can be easy to fall into a tragic spending spiral. If the main mechanism behind retail therapy is a lack of control over one’s life, having debt will only exacerbate that feeling, ,considering it’s already associated with increased feelings of depression. The average college student is especially vulnerable to the struggles of debt — tuition is damn expensive nowadays; as a result the majority of college students start life with an immediate boatload of debt hanging over their head, just for an education. But you can’t dig yourself into more debt just to cope with the fact that you’re already in debt, or you can fall into a dangerously deep hole. 

Having established the dangers associated, is it even worth indulging in retail therapy? The answer, like most, seems to be that it depends on the situation. One important thing to note is that unplanned purchases one makes in an effort to lighten your mood are not associated with feelings of guilt or regret. Additionally, impulsive consumers are able to practice restraint, if the goal of restraint is conducive to further happiness. Of course, this is a general rule that does not apply to every purchase, especially if the product purchased does not match the buyer’s expectations. One takeaway is that, when making impulsive purchases, guilt is less likely to play a contributing factor than you’d think. Furthermore, it has been established that participating in retail therapy is successful in treating sadness. Studies seem to suggest that retail therapy can effectively and reliably improve a person’s mood; therefore, it is a valid tool to rely on to keep yourself emotionally healthy– if you can also keep a cap on your impulses. 

It’s important to view retail therapy as a short term solution — buying things will not resolve the underlying issues that cause you to want to buy. Furthermore, you will want to balance yourself; too much buying will wind up making you feel worse, but investing in yourself is an important element of self-care and self-love. Here are some tips on how to make sure you’re keeping yourself financially balanced.

Try to stay in tune with your emotions. Retail therapy is really good at one thing: resolving sadness. Since sadness is associated with a lack of control over your environment, buying something will introduce something in your environment that you do feel control over. If you feel angry or guilty, however, buying something is ineffective because these emotions have less to do with your environment, and more to do with other people. It is important to know how to differentiate between these feelings, because they all fall under that general “not good” category, but retail therapy works best against sadness alone. 

Download a budgeting app. One popular way to stave off financial ruin is by running your financial information through an app like Cleo, which will then record all your spending and report the findings back to you. With budgeting apps you can visualize how much you can and are spending, and they will stop you from breaking beyond the rules you’ve set yourself. 

Get up and do something else.  This one can be harder in the pandemic, when we’re all cooped up indoors, but something as mundane as reorganizing your bedroom will instill in you a similar sense of control over your environment. So, when you feel yourself wanting to buy something without reason, instead get up and try to do some chores around the house, then see if you still want to buy that thing.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Some day, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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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Procrastinating! We All Do It.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Show me anyone who claims they never procrastinate, and I’ll show you a liar. And, if you’re one of the unicorns who doesn’t, then you are a lucky person indeed. Certainly, throughout my high school career, I’ve had teachers lecture me about how to manage my time better in order to avoid procrastinating. 

Then, in college, if I ask a professor for an extension on a deadline, there’s a real chance that I’ll get a snide remark about time management and procrastination. I’m certain that I’m not the only one with this experience, either; the common train of thought in the academic community seems to be that procrastination results from the student’s time mismanagement. While not entirely false, it is not the full story: there’s something irrational about procrastinating. 

Logically, we should all be motivated to complete our work, because that is more conducive to happiness. Instead, it seems that nearly every college student participates in procrastination; possibly because it is influenced by psychology. Our innate “fight or flight” reflexes have adapted to the societies we live in; long gone are the days of having to run or fight for your life, rather, our battles have become more “mundane.” The issue, though, is that our survival instincts have remained as sharp as ever, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. 

What it does mean is that parts of the brain will see a problem– for instance, let’s say you have a lot of deadlines on the same day — these instincts will interfere with your cognition. There’s two options here: you can “fight,” or work through until your assignments are complete, or you can “flee,” avoiding your work until it’s absolutely necessary (see: procrastinating).

Another way of thinking about it is, we are driven to do the things we do thanks to motivation. A number of factors weigh into your sense of motivation, and they work against demotivating factors. If there are more demotivating factors than motivating factors in a decision, the result is procrastination. As your deadline approaches, the motivating factors gain strength until you overcome your procrastination. Unfortunately, this process does not always leave enough time to actually do whatever it is you needed to do. The best way to avoid procrastination, then, is to consider what is “demotivating” you and figure out how to resolve these demotivations! Listed below are some examples of factors that can discourage your sense of motivation.

https://www.mindful.org/11-ways-to-finally-stop-procrastinating/
  • Anxiety and Depression. It’s pretty obvious, but they are two major factors that will weigh heavily on your motivation. Mental health is one of those things that, unfortunately, you’re  going to have to work around. After all, there is no way to just “cure” either anxiety or depression. One thing to be weary of is setting off a feedback loop of anxiety. Oftentimes, I will find that large tasks impose a ton of anxiety on me. In response, I procrastinate,  which only builds up my anxiety, because I know I have to do it. It is important to be aware of this phenomenon so that you can identify it in yourself, and act accordingly. Step back, take a deep breath and organize your thoughts so that you can at least consider your next steps. 
  • You’re a perfectionist. This  is common in creative work: oftentimes there might be  a disconnect between what you are visualizing and what you are creating. Certainly, it is something that I struggle with– especially when writing. It is a frustrating thing, when you can’t properly verbalize what your ideas are. Try not to let your desire to produce high-quality work impede your process; instead, use it as a driving factor to do a good job. Recognize that, especially in schoolwork, perfect is simply unnecessary, and the anticipated standards may actually be much lower than your own standards. 
  • “This is future me’s problem.” Again, I am very guilty of this one. It can be very easy to see a task as unnecessary because it can be done in the future. It can also be easy to slip into, because it applies to the very mundane; sometimes I won’t make my bed simply because I know it won’t be a problem until I try to go to bed, or I push off putting my clothes away properly because I know I’m just gonna put them on later at some point, so instead I’ll just throw them on a chair. 

While things might be inconvenient to do now, it is important to recognize that part of taking care of yourself is taking care of your future self, too. Try making things a little easier on your future self, sometimes. 

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem here:


By Sebastian Ortega

Sebastian is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he majors in Fashion Business Management. He’s worked behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week with the company Nolcha Shows, and in the office of Elrene Home Fashions. Some day, he hopes to be able to make his own claim in the fashion industry by starting his own business.

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

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

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Why You Should Exercise More

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Despite the stress of city life, it is surprisingly difficult to work up a sweat in New York. Exercise is something we often have to schedule time for, and whether hitting the gym, or running laps around Central Park. It isn’t always the most enjoyable part of our day.

But daily exercise is one of the most important habits in your daily routine, both for your physical and mental health. After all, even 15-30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can have drastic effects on your body, and mind, according to the Mayo Clinic. Exercising regularly can also introduce you to interesting new people in a city that is otherwise quite lonely at times. One of my best friends right now actually started off as my gym buddy. Though our schedules don’t match up enough for us to exercise together very often, we still compare statistics every now and then. (In case you were wondering, he can lift more than me.)

But it isn’t about how much weight you can carry or how far you can run. Good cardiovascular exercise 3-4 times a week decreases your risk of heart problems and extends your life expectancy drastically as a result. Furthermore, exercise is one of the best ways to cope with many mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD.

The rhythm of running, for example, is cited by many living with anxiety disorders as soothing. Meanwhile, whenever my ADHD kicks in, I go to my local gym and pump iron. Your brain releases dopamine and serotonin when you exercise, neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and joy. These not only improve focus, but also mood, and general life happiness. The Harvard Medical School has conducted studies that even practicing heavy breathing regimens can decrease your stress, though obviously with proper exercise, these results are more pronounced.

Finally, if those weren’t reasons enough for you to sign up at a nearby spin cycle class or challenge one of your buddies to a push-up contest, fitness affects a person’s body positivity and general attractiveness. The elevated mood, better sleep and focus, and increased physical prowess make you a better partner, friend, and person. Perhaps even more importantly though, the most attractive selection of people I have seen during my time in New York thus far have not been at clubs or bars in the middle of the night, nor Starbucks and diners at lunchtime. The hottest New Yorkers can be found in the gym at 6 AM.


By Victor Galov

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

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

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