Posts Tagged ‘onHealth’

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! 



  • 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.


Giving Back When You’re a Poor College Student

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The worst type of guilt trip is the one that slowly layers ever so sweetly on your shoulders piling more and more until it’s all you can think about. When Natural disasters strike, we see the hotline number at the bottom of our TV screens and immediately feel the burden to donate, but instead click past the channel, not wanting the weight of feeling pressured. Or those dang commercials, where the SAME SONG whispers through the speakers, triggering your memory. At first you don’t remember what it’s for but then BAM, puppy eyes stare from behind the bars of their cages begging to be adopted. “With just one dollar, you can…”- change the channel. Between the struggle of scavenging through your couch –if you’re lucky to have one– for change to buy textbooks, or your 5th day in a row of mac and cheese dinners, it’s easy to ignore the ads.

"In the arrrmss of an annngel"


Yet, as often as we apathetically stroll by the ads on the subway or avoid the homeless begging between transfers, there is a guilty feeling that creeps into our souls.


As a former college student, I know how easy it is to dismiss these feelings. Trust me, I have used every excuse in the book. Speaking of books, “yeah I don’t have any money to give bro, sorry, I need to save for text books…ya know, English major and all.” Oh and if you don’t think that worked, I was a student finishing up college AND getting married mid-semester. Forming excuses based on money and time can be very easy. However even as these excuses grew, my desire to help people pushed through and emerged.


So I did something about it.


I started with the little things, like helping my mom around the house, to gradually getting involved in different groups mentoring young girls. As my giving grew, my passions grew stronger and expanded to different fields. I began to experience life in a different way, seeing it from a different viewpoint and understanding its true meaning.


My cute students and me in Haiti circa 2009. Being an adult, clearly...

I am writing this eBook with the hopes of encouraging you to be open to a new way of life. A life not focused on the little aspect, called “me”, but focused instead on the good of mankind. It can seem to be overwhelming at first, but I assure you that with a little direction, and self-actualization, you can become involved in your community and experience a greater life than you ever expected.



Samantha Bringas

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Relaxation: A Past Time

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

A sigh of relief, left my body, as I rested my head on my soft pink pillow and flipped the channel to Criminal Minds (even though I’ve seen every episode at least three times). New to the 21 club, not to mention I’m just four months away from graduation aka the real world, one would imagine that I would jump at the chance to immerse myself into the facade of Friday night. With adulthood heading my way, one would say that my future includes college loans and nights out which are far and few in between. Yet instead I found myself longing to be in a place that didn’t include bright lights, colorful flashes, loud music, a dance floor or big crowds in numbers I couldn’t even attempt to count. I wanted to be in my bed, a place which has become very foreign, to do something that has become rare, relaxing.

From the moment we step out the door onto the streets of New York, The hustle and bustle of the city is engraved in our minds at an instant. We are constantly on the run, trying to match the heartbeat of the city that never sleeps, all in an attempt to find our own pulse. And then you turn 18, and off to college you go. We sprint into “college student” mode desperate to fulfill all which makes the experience: education, work, and oh yes, that thing called fun. You turn into an adolescent determined not to cheat yourself in either area because as students we work hard, and whoever said you couldn’t have it all?



We have time for everything else, juggling school and work, and of course a night on the town with the girls. But why not time for relaxing? Is it a fear that it may provoke laziness or is it a fear that we may actually enjoy it and long to make it a hobby. Relaxation is a thing which often seems to be apart ofAmerica’s past time. It has been written out of the routine of our daily lives. Something that is essential to our well being has become the rarest of them all. For some, relaxation is sitting in a quiet place with no outside interruptions, or brushing off the dust on the piano that hasn’t been played in years, or simply indulging in a hobby that has gotten away from them. And then you have good old fashion resting: laying in bed, lounging around, easing your mind, and relieving the stress from your body. Why not take it even further and venture out to a spa, a place that not only puts your mind at ease but your body as well. Besu Salon and Day Spa offers a great package for students which includes a free relaxing Swedish massage, with the purchase of BeSu Signature Spa Facial, a free mini “pick me up” spa facial with the purchase of a full leg and bikini wax and tons of other packages at a discounted rate for students.

It is easy to feel lost, overwhelmed and stressed throughout one’s journey of college and on the road to adulthood, but through it all we mustn’t forget to find time to relax and create a pace that allows us to do so. I was a little more than half way through my third episode of the mini marathon and I have never felt more satisfied with my decision to stay in on a Friday night. I rolled over to go to sleep, and the final words I released into the night’s air were “I should do this more often”.

Samantha Williams, State University of New York College at Old Westbury, 2012

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Keeping in the Know is Tweet

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

There are a number of medical and psychological studies that tell us how helpful our pets are. Sure, you may not consider your dog eating a new pair of shoes and drooling on your pillowcase while you’re at work to be beneficial, but they will make you live longer. While most dogs aren’t the Lassie type, I know mine is afraid of boxes, tape, the vacuum, broom, mop, crinkly bags, the iron, plates, and a variety of nonsensical household paraphernalia, but studies show that they lower blood pressure and pet owners tend to live longer than non pet owners. This isn’t why most people decide to get a pet, but it’s a definite perk. Even a fish, however small and seemingly insignificant, can feel like company in an empty apartment.

We dog lovers tend to border on obsession. I know that my fiancé and I have to check ourselves on how much we talk about the dog (our spunky Husky mix, Hera) to our friends. Being away from home for twelve hours a day sometimes, I have to say I miss her terribly. When I get home, she has been fed, walked, and is now passed out by the front door waiting for my arrival. I hate missing out on all the daytime fun. Maybe the best way to quench this dropsy like thirst is to attach Mattel’s recent seller, the Radica Puppy Tweets.

Puppy Tweets is a water resistant, motion detecting key chain like device that attaches to your dog’s collar and transmits to a USB device you plug in to your computer. Set up a twitter account for your dog with the device, and it will draw from a database of responses (albeit sometimes hokey) that correlate to your dog’s movement, or lack thereof. Check it from your computer at work, or follow your dog on your smart phone’s twitter app.

If you can’t have a pet, due to dorm living, a cranky landlord, or an allergic spouse, or a lack of funds, you can always log on to watch a few of the constantly streaming puppy cams. These are surprisingly popular, and reduce stress and anxiety for quite a large population. So, if you’re having a bad day and can’t make it to a local shelter to pick up some puppies, why not log on to streaming puppies all day!

Written by Ashley Teal, Campus Clipper Blogger

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The Importance of Being Counseled

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Let’s face it, college can be an emotional rollercoaster. While you’re studying for tests and working on papers, you also have to deal with issues like friends, family, and your own happiness. I think people forget that college students are more likely to feel depressed than any other age group and that college is, for many, the first time of so many things. Some experience new academic pressures, and some feel the anxiety of paying for school. Some must finally confront the concept of “independence,” and some first begin the journey of who they are. During my first few months in college I got really down and spoke to my parents a lot. They would come visit me often since I went to school about thirty minutes away and they were sad that I wasn’t feeling my best. I got through that time by myself, but I started feeling down again during my sophomore year. I ended up going to the counseling center at my school just to check it out and see what my options were. I walked into that building feeling like every eye was looking, studying, and judging me and that I had some major problem that I needed to seek help for. After speaking with a intake counselor so they could get a sense of who I was (which, by the way, felt extremely impersonal and uncomfortable), I discovered that every student at my school was entitled to twelve free sessions a year with a graduate student studying in the masters of psychology program and I set up my first session. I began these sessions with hesitation, as I wasn’t sure how therapy was supposed to go. Was I supposed to just start speaking about my life with a total stranger? What if someone found out that I was in therapy? What if I hated the session and realized I just wasted an hour of my life? The truth was that these were and are valid concerns before starting therapy, but since this experience I have become an ardent supporter of therapy, if just for the sake of talking to someone else about what’s going on in your life. You don’t need to have something “wrong” to go to therapy. Therapy is a fantastic way to flesh out ideas, feelings, and opinions with an objective listener and if you also happen to have some issues that you’re dealing with what better setting is there than with a person whose job it is to listen and try to help? In an ideal world everyone would be in therapy and the stigma of being in therapy would disappear. We go to the gym to take care of our physical health, so shouldn’t taking care of our mental health be equally as important? Most schools have counseling centers and it doesn’t hurt to see what kind of options your school has to help with mental health. You have enough exams and research papers to deal with so check out some ways to make sure you’re feeling at your best.
Counseling is a different experience for everyone and it may take time to find a good person that you feel is actively listening to you. Let me know if you’ve ever seen a counselor and how the experience was.

-Roni Tessler

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STD’s and Germ Freaks!

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

The other day I spent some time with a long time friend of mine. It was a long yet blissful day; we ran all over town, touching down in each borough for at least an hour, well all of the boroughs with the exception of Staten Island. By the time we returned to my apartment, we were exhausted, drained, and well filthy. We had been running the streets of New York, riding the trains, sitting in public places, and using public restrooms. We were both due for a hot shower and a long night of sleep.

My friend, being the germ freak that she is, immediately ran to the bathroom, not only to wash her hands, but to scrub her face with soap and hot water as well. She then sat down to eat her food. While she ate, I asked her if she would take a picture of me. I was so in love with my outfit that day, that I felt the need to take as many pictures as possible in my lovely get up. At first she didn’t want to do it. She complained of touching the camera and then touching her food. She didn’t want to spread germs to her food. “But what about when you have unprotected sex”, I asked? She stopped and looked at me. “I only have unprotected sex with one person,” was her reply. I stared at her in amazement. “How do you know that he’s not having sex with anyone else,” I questioned? Her response, “he’s not.”

This got me thinking, deep, real deep. How could someone be so afraid of getting germs, but not as afraid of putting their life on the line? I mean she had been with this guy for over three years, but still.

I remember being a student in undergraduate school, and doing a project for my Black Studies class about sexual health and how so many young people are misinformed about the dangers of having unprotected sex. Thankfully, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an abundance of information about Sexual Transmitted Diseases, including, prevention, causes, and treatment. While some diseases have noticeable symptoms, there are other diseases that don’t show symptoms. Some diseases are silent, slowly ruining the health of its victim until the victim decides to go and get themselves checked out.

According to the CDC, each year, there are approximately 19 million new STD infections, and almost half of them are among youth aged 15 to 24. This shows that many young people don’t get checked out. Maybe they think that they are invincible, or are afraid, or they may simply be ignorant about the importance of knowledge of their sexual health status. Fortunately, there are places throughout the five boroughs, where male and female students can get tested for STD’s. So what will you do? Will you become a germ freak or a freak about the safety of your sexual health? I suggest that you choose the latter!

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Shana H

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