Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

hot potato but make it a metaphor for zoom university 

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Picture this: you’re playing Extreme Hot Potato for the first time. 

You’ve never played before. You don’t automatically know what makes it extreme- you just know that you signed up, so now you’re playing. You’re a little nervous, a little excited. You bounce on the balls of your feet; you put your hands up like a baseball star, ready to play. 

Suddenly there’s a flaming lump being launched at you. 

Your eyes widen in shock. It’s coming fast, but your brain is faster. 

As the potato, hurls towards you, you process a few things. The first is that this is the potato you are supposed to catch. It is literally on fire, blackened at this point. Definitely overcooked.

The second is anger, because no one told you the “extreme” part of the game would be literally catching something on fire. You would’ve said no, or worn a catcher’s glove, or waited to say yes until you knew how to approach such a weird, wild concept, or something. There were a dozen ways to have handled it but now, with no way to prepare, you’ll probably end up with a hell of a burn.

But you don’t have time to be angry and, as the air around you gets warmer, you brace yourself for the incoming pain, your hands rigid in front of you, and prepare to catch the fiery starch. 

It’s too late to turn back now.

orange lineart drawing of a potato on fire
That is one very hot potato!

Sometimes that’s life- a game of Extreme Hot Potato, with twists and turns you never saw coming. Adolescent life, especially, can be capricious in all the worst ways. There’s dozens of coming-of-age films and books that’ve been written with the sole purpose of reminding fully-grown taxpayers about just how hard it was, and teaching up-and-coming adults how hard it will likely be. Between trying to balance autonomy with still needing support, learning to take care of yourself, doing schoolwork, making friends, holding a job, financing your education, and classes all at once, sometimes it feels like there’s barely time to breathe. Then, worse than any flaming potatoes, 2020 threw in a global pandemic. 

When COVID-19 hit an ill-prepared United States, no one was ready for it. It destroyed peoples’ lives and health, wreaking havoc on the country’s most vulnerable and marginalized citizens. For the people who weren’t dying or struggling with a weakened immune system, it was incredibly isolating. 

While not nearly as tragic as the numerous deaths it caused, the pandemic intensified the difficulties of young adulthood. It was disruptive to the college experience, leaving numerous students without housing or resources they thought they would have. A struggle it caused- that I can speak to more accurately- is how lonely it was. Best friends went from being neighbors to only being able to talk from six feet away, if you were lucky enough to live nearby. I was recently talking to my friend about some of the stuff I’d gone through over the pandemic, which had been a wild ride and a half. I’d broken up with my ex, gone through a few different jobs, dated, and tried to make new friends. My friend, one of the closest people to me when I’d been living on campus, only knew the parts of my life I’d shared online. We lamented the distance quarantine had created, the way the intricacies of social connection had been lost to distance. Not being able to be around one another on campus prevented us from being able to support each other as closely. You can’t really lean on someone from states away.

We were a single case study. Research conducted for the Children and Youth Services Review found that the impact of COVID-19 made students in India more “likely to suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression” (“COVID-19 and its impact on…”)) in addition to negatively affecting their scholarly habits. In the United States, the Center for Collegiate Mental Health found that of 43,098 students who sought mental health counseling, 94% reported that at least one part of their life had been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19 Impact on College Student Mental Health”). The most affected part of life for the students interviewed, at a resounding 72%, was their mental health; at a barely-lower percentage of 68% were their feelings of isolation. Considering the CCMH report only acknowledges the responses of students who had the resources to seek treatment, it’s safe to assume the pandemic left its mark on the vast majority of us; it changed the course of our college experience.

I haven’t touched on everything else- the difficulties of staying focused in Zoom University, or the way the pandemic prevented students from accessing the facilities or materials necessary to do their work, or the way not everyone had a place to go or a family they could be around safely when it came time to evacuate campuses. Without any need for elaboration, I think it’s clear that all of it, compounded, created a hostile learning environment in an already-tumultuous period of life.

Perhaps the best thing to come from the COVID-19 College Experience was resilience. As someone who stuck through Zoom University, I was able to get a place off-campus, in the same town as my friends from school, and have a semi-normal senior year. Things got better. Proximity allowed me to be closer to my chosen family, to have people around me that I could go to for support, and to have access to my college’s resources. I saw the world start to heal, starting with the little community of Lesley University. For some people, persistence took a different form. Whether it was a gap year or the realization that a traditional college education wasn’t the path for them, the pandemic encouraged people to branch out, finding creative solutions that fit their needs, growing like plants through cracks in the pavement. We all found a way to keep going.

orange lineart drawing of two folks having a talk on a park bench
Sometimes you need a good heart-to-heart with the friend you got separated from at the hands of a global pandemic.

Extreme Hot Potato burns, but you make it out alive.

tl;dr: the only way out is through.

You did it! You survived quarantine and made it all the way through college. You- and your chosen family, made up of a ragtag group of college pals- deserve a sweet treat. 

With your student IDs and the help of a Campus Clipper coupon, you can get just that at Pavement Coffeehouse- and all from the comfort of your own home! By using the promo code specified in the advertisement, you can get five dollars off of your first mobile order.

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.


It’s Time To Start Writing

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

So you’ve amassed enough raw ideas and information to start actually writing your novel (or maybe not. You might work better just free-writing and then fact-check-editing all at once. I don’t know your life). The task of sitting down to commit your ideas to paper can be a tough one, I know. It’s like writing a final term paper; you chose your final topic based on your greatest interest (maybe strategically planning to hold off on this topic until the final paper) and it’s actually a fun time doing the prep work—but you still have to write the paper.

At this stage, you should experiment with your writing environment and figure out what works best for what mood. A café might be great for regrouping your thoughts. A silent library might be best for sitting down and grinding out a chapter or two in a few hours. Or perhaps you’ll find that like Virginia Woolf, you work best in your own room. Make a working playlist. Try writing out your initial draft by hand. Maybe borrow a typewriter. Your novel doesn’t have a concrete deadline. Spend a few days just optimizing your productivity.

Places for Writers in New York

Café’s: ‘Snice (45 8th Street), Hungarian Pastry Shop (1030 Amsterdam Avenue), B Cup Café (212 Avenue B), The Tea Lounge (837 Union Street, Brooklyn), Outpost Lounge (where I write, 1014 Fulton Street, Brooklyn)

Workspaces: The Writer’s Studio at the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction (17 E 47th Street, by application and with membership fee), Paragraph (35 W 14th Street, by application and with membership fee), Brooklyn Creative Lounge (540 President Street, Brooklyn, by application ad with membership fee), New York Public Libraries…your…campus libraries?

If you are not terribly distractible when working with other people, it could help to join a writers’ salon so that you can discuss your writing or perhaps motivate yourself to write with other people.

Sidebar: Writing habits or haunts of various authors

Joyce Carol Oates writes in longhand for six to eight hours every day.

Truman Capote wrote while lying down, drinking and smoking cigarettes.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote his novels all on index cards.

Tom Wolfe writes ten pages every day, regardless of how long it takes for him to finish.

Edgar Allan Poe as well as Jonathan Franzen spent some time at The Writer’s Studio at the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction

Joan Didion consistently rewrites her novels from the beginning (or almost beginning) every day.

Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac both wrote in the Village bar, Kettle of Fish

By Robin Yang

Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! 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 last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!


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

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Getting to the pot of gold on the other side of awkward

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

“Get to the pot of gold on the other side of awkward”

I said this to someone once without noticing, and she was thoughtful enough to remember it and even quote me later. That’s when it really made sense to me and stuck. I say it to myself all the time now before digging into something that makes me want to hide under a bed and hibernate for the season.

Here’s what it means to me: most things that are really, really worth getting are really, really hard to get. This goes for money, love, fame, fortune, success, diamonds, you name it. There’s a reason that a very small percentage of people attain what they truly want: it’s tough as a two dollar steak and the process is just about as appetizing.

There’s little point in pretending that asking someone special out, making that first sales call, or going to an interview for your dream job are going to be easy. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to sweat like you’re running a marathon and chug Pepto-Bismol like you’re life depends on it.

But here’s the good news. Once you cross that muddy river, there’s a beautiful shore on the other side. If you’re not willing to get dirty and make that trip, then you’re stuck on your little island. Clean and mopey. Yeah, you’ll be more comfortable avoiding your fears, but what’s the point of that comfort if it’s keeping you from getting what you really want? When you have more wrinkles than you can count and more to look back on than look forward to, will you think to yourself:

“Gee, it’s a good thing I didn’t take that risk 20 years ago.”

Or will you think:

“I wonder what would have happened if I…”

I bet you $5 that it’ll be the latter. (I’d bet a lot more, but my checking account wouldn’t like it).

The point is, we miss so many opportunities because going after them is just plain awkward. My philosophy is, face the awkward, get through it. It’ll be over quicker than you think, and the reward will be well worth it. And hey – even if you don’t get exactly what you want, I promise you’ll feel good about yourself for taking that risk. It’s addicting, and it gets easier and easier with practice.

So quit reading and go get to the pot of gold on the other side of awkward — whatever that means to you.

Find out more about Academic Discounts!

Download our NEW App on iTunes!
Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on twitter!

Don’t forget to sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter for student promotions and coupons and download the coupon booklet NOW!