Posts Tagged ‘passions’

Defining the Next Step

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

I am officially in my last month of college. As the weather warms and Union Square fills up with people who yearn for sunlight, I’ve come to reflect on the last four years of my life. While I have spent many hours thinking about my college experience this semester, the frequency of these thoughts has multiplied tenfold. At 23 years old, it feels as though something in my life is coming to an end. 

I’m trying to think of it less as something concrete and harsh and instead as something fresh and challenging… A new chapter, so to say. But that doesn’t feel quite accurate. We spend a large amount of our lives in academia; from when we first step out of our parent’s arms and onto the playground to when we walk across a grand stage to receive our diploma, we are in a state of learning. What comes after, if you don’t pursue grad school, is a different kind of life. I feel, to some unnerving degree, overwhelmed by the concept of a “career”… I am scared by the idea of taking my first few steps into an industry I’ve dreamt about since I was a child. 

Steps in the snow that caught my eye!

In past chapters, I’ve written about how intimidating it is to have a passion. This applies to having dreams as well. When you grow up dreaming of something, of working towards it, it can feel as though the moment you can start working in that dream will never come. Suddenly though, as you’re filling out graduation forms and job applications, it hits you. You realise that you’re done building your tools… Now, you have to use them. A lifetime of mounting pressure becomes real and you understand that you’re standing at the starting line of a career you’ve always wanted to pursue. 

This has, unfortunately, various detrimental effects on the psyche. It roots up points of uncertainty and self-doubt, preying on questions that grind at your mentality. It begins to make you wonder if this is what you want to do– if you’ve dedicated the last four years of your life to the right thing. 

What helps with this kind of wobbly footing? I’ve found myself searching through my own archives for solutions, for as often as these questions crop up, so do reminders of my love for literature. What I’ve come to realise is that I am not beholden to one single path. Just as I’ve explored and expanded my interests in school, I can do this again with my work. I’ve realised that this starting line isn’t for any kind of linear race; rather, it is simply a point of departure for a new adventure. It opens up my world to new opportunities, experiences, questions, ideas, and interests. Whatever I choose to do next is not something I am stuck with; instead, it is something I can learn from as I move through the world. 

Something else I’ve accepted is that this is not the end of my academic life– at least, not if I actively fight against it. I want to keep learning. Four years is not enough for me to feel adequately fulfilled by academia… But I realise that I don’t necessarily have to pursue grad school right away to continue my education. We are all humans who can choose to continue learning every day. We have an endless universe of knowledge right at our fingertips, not just via the internet but by the conversations we can cultivate in our lives. We can read novels, articles, and blogs. We can attend talks and plays and social events. We can meet people at book clubs or sign up for a class in something we’ve never tried before. The possibilities are endless… And so are our connections with other people. 

As we move through the world, pages of our individual stories get turned. What feels like the end is the start of something else. By expanding our view and access to the world, we expand our knowledge. Each step we take is a step toward a new experience… And perhaps new passions and dreams as well! 


By: Ehani Schneiderman

Ehani Schneiderman is a senior studying literature and anthropology at The New School. She hopes to connect with others through writing, poetry, and cultural exchange. When she isn’t nose deep in a book or word document, you can find her paddle boarding in a bay or scuba diving out at sea.


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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Who You Are in the Books You Read

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

What does it mean to see yourself in a book?

As a gay South Asian woman, this is a very important question to me. As a writer, this question is, in a way, a central focus of my life. Representation is vital; as someone who grew up with limited representation, I want to help facilitate a different future for the children growing up today. As we take each step into an unknown future, we should at least know that we are trying to positively change things for the next generation. 

There have been various books that have touched me, but there are three that truly impacted me in my adult life. Ada Limon’s The Carrying, Danez Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead, and Kabi Nagato’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness all shaped my early college years. When I read each of these books, there was a certain point that I would have to set it down because my tears would be overflowing. It is through the words etched onto off-white pages that I felt seen by someone. These writers didn’t know who I was but had nonetheless found a way to reach out and remind me that I exist– that I’m alive with my own stories to tell the world. 

Cover of The Carrying by Ada Limon

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what it was that was in those books that jolted my emotions so vividly. Was there something notable about the vocabulary? Was there particularly elegant use of punctuation or cadence? Was the imagery intensely vibrant?

While these books do indeed have something special to them (to be a writer who can weave words is a talent), I found the answer to my wonder elsewhere. These writers wrote unequivocally, unapologetically, as themselves. They wrote from their experiences, their lived emotions, feelings, and truths, without leaving a shadow of insincerity. Their works are raw; they touch on difficult topics and experiences. They recount the beautiful, the dirty, the painful, the joyous, and the hopeful. This hope is something personal; from the ways they were treated in the world, these creators write collections that plants seeds for the future.

I want to write as myself. I want to write for myself. I want to write for others… But I don’t want to write for others’ approval. 

I want to be the kind of writer who can be unapologetically me in my work; I want to record the macabre, the mundane, and the hope that ebbs and flows through my life. It was bits and pieces of Limon’s, Smith’s, and Nagato’s work that stuck with me; none of their life stories align completely with mine, but there were moments that fit in with moments from my own life. We are all made up of a myriad of identities, memories, and experiences. Even if we are not all the same, there are reminders, pockets of glimmering light, that can remind us that we are not alone… That there are others out there that have been through similar things and have felt similar emotions. I hope that from the various puzzle pieces of my own life, my future readers may find some kind of solace. To achieve this though, I’ve learned that I have to be free enough to put myself into what I write. In doing so, writers create stories that capture the realities of existing in this ever-changing world.


By: Ehani Schneiderman

Ehani Schneiderman is a senior studying literature and anthropology at The New School. She hopes to connect with others through writing, poetry, and cultural exchange. When she isn’t nose deep in a book or word document, you can find her paddle boarding in a bay or scuba diving out at sea.


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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Passion in a Rocky Boat

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

I’ve written about how I’ve had my dream—my dream of being a writer—since I was a child. Words have always flowed through my mind, my veins, and my heart… They’re what I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to. When someone has allotted so much time and energy to something they love, one might believe that they have all the confidence in the world. In reality, this isn’t quite true. If anything, loving something with all your heart can create uncountable pockets of self-doubt. A bitter feeling creeps up through unseen cracks, planting little seeds that sprout before you even begin to notice them. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I’m good enough, talented enough, or worthy enough to wield a pen. When something is important to you, there is a kind of ever-present mounting pressure to do it right—to do it perfectly

So, how does one deal with this? I can’t say I precisely have the answers, but my years in college have taught me a simple lesson: be kind to yourself. Looking back, I realise now that I wasn’t helping myself by being harsh on my own work. If anything, I held myself back; by feeding my own uncertainty, I kept myself from doing what I loved. I worried myself into a kind of lull, a complacency, that kept me stagnant. It was here that I lay in a pool of self-made dread. I was waiting every day for a sign to keep writing– a sign that I should keep writing. I wanted to—an ache in my bones made me feel like I needed to—but I kept this desire dormant because of my lack of confidence. It didn’t matter that I got positive feedback on my work. It didn’t matter that I was encouraged to keep going. I simply kept telling myself that it wasn’t true and that I needed to prove something more.

What I didn’t need was an external sign. I didn’t need to hear someone else’s validation. What I needed, simply, was kindness for myself. I needed to believe in my abilities and explore my writing freely. Discovering how to be gentle with yourself and your aspirations allows you to breathe. It allows you to be yourself. 

It is easy to say things such as “just do it.” We can think that, but sometimes we just don’t feel it. That’s alright; even though I am still harsh on my work, I hold onto the kernel of love—of passion—that inspired me to start writing in the first place. I remember what drove me to dedicate myself to my craft and grasp it with all my strength. When I remember these roots, they become a shining light… A beacon of sorts. They guide me back to my childish wonder, back to a time when I didn’t worry about the judgement of others (or the judgement of myself). Instead, I remember being held by the hands of characters who were my friends and realise that I want to create stories for little girls that want to see themselves in the books they read. And suddenly, when I am snapped back into my adult body, I rest easier in my bones. I let out a sigh, pick up a pen, and try to scribble a little something just for myself. Not for the world—just me and my own passions. 

It is here that I emphasise the importance of creating for yourself. As we grow older, our passions become subject to more and more eyes. This wears down on you, makes you self-conscious, and makes you wonder what your place in the world is. But in returning to yourself, to who you are to you, you can find solace and inspiration once again.


By: Ehani Schneiderman

Ehani Schneiderman is a senior studying literature and anthropology at The New School. She hopes to connect with others through writing, poetry, and cultural exchange. When she isn’t nose deep in a book or word document, you can find her paddle boarding in a bay or scuba diving out at sea.


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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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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