Posts Tagged ‘self-improvement’

You’re Not a Mind Reader, and Neither Are Your Friends (Probably)

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

In my last chapter, I talked about metaphors—now, I’d like to address the irony that lies in many of the processes tied to friendship-building. The greatest, and probably most obvious one is what I’ll call the “You Should Know That” phenomenon. This refers to the all-too-familiar thought process that we all have a tendency to fall into at some point during the friendship-making process, where we start to believe (and expect) that our friends are mind readers, who have the ability to deduce, without being told, everything we need and require of them.

In the early stages of friendship, we are not at risk of falling into this trap. In one of my Communication Studies courses this year, we went over “Uncertainty Reduction Theory”; the idea that at this point in the friendship formation process, the uncertainty in your relationship is at its peak height, and that the focus of all communication efforts is therefore placed on uncertainty reduction. You realize that you have to be explicit and clear about what you mean and need, and you never seem to run out of questions or anecdotes that may draw some piece of information or knowledge out of them that would help you get a better picture of who they are. 

Slowly (but surely), you get more comfortable around your friend, and start to (at times mistakenly) believe that there really isn’t that much you don’t know. Instead of asking them about every single detail of their life, you’re more focused on finding “natural flow”, and start to fill in the gaps of your knowledge about them with assumptions. These assumptions, whether positive or negative, will have a pretty big impact on the way in which your friendship evolved from there. 

In my own personal experience, assumptions such as these led to the deterioration of a friendship which might have otherwise survived. After a couple of weeks of meeting this friend, I had a whole list of assumptions, ready to soothe whatever uncertainties blatantly existed in our relationship; I assumed that when they didn’t respond to my greetings, they were probably listening to music very loud and didn’t want to be disturbed. I assumed that when they stopped telling me everything about their day and weekends, it meant they just needed a little space. I assumed that we were fine, doing good, and that they could see that I was just eager to get to know them better and all I needed was an indication from them that they wanted the same…and I was wrong. This whole time, I had been assuming that they knew what I was thinking, and that I had stopped approaching them as much because I had noticed (or perceived) a slight withdrawal, and taken that to mean that they wanted space. All the while, they had seen my sudden lack of questions and interest in their life as a form of judgement, of disdain and disinterest.

“[ C ] Francis Hyman Criss – Mind reader” by Cea. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The hard-to-swallow truth is, you (probably) aren’t as good at “reading minds” as you think you are—even your friends’. It’s only natural to start letting assumptions rule your view of others, and it’s true that with a certain amount of time and friendship formation, some things can become more implicit than they previously were. However, it’s also important to remember that no matter how well or how long we get to know someone, we are never truly capable of seeing and understanding how they are feeling, at the very least not without communicating directly with them.

So what can you do? I guess the Golden Rule comes in handy here: treat others the way you want to be treated. It is important to learn to ask for what you need, and to make it clear to your friends that they can do the same with you. If you’re to build a long-lasting and fulfilling friendship, you both need to feel comfortable enough to tell each other how you really feel; you can do that by setting a standard for open and honest communication early in the relationship. Otherwise, you might be missing out on several friendships which you may assume failed out of an incompatibility between the two of you, and not the real, root cause:misunderstandings tied to a lack of clear, direct, and honest communication. 

Main Takeaways: 

  • As we get more comfortable around our friends, we stop relying on verbal communication as much and let our messages become more implicit—this can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and tense moments. 
  • It’s important to remember that feelings don’t always reflect reality;it’s important to talk to your friends about your feelings and learn to ask for the affirmation and confirmation you need from them. This will help you grow in your relationship and set the standard for an honest and long-lasting friendship.

By: Chiara Jurczak

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


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.

Share

Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 1: Relax from Reality

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Foreword

Living in a modern society that is dependent on technology and the Internet, can sometimes be challenging for us to find and maintain positive energy through virtual means. There will always be controversial debates as to whether technology and the Internet are good or bad for us, however, we shouldn’t be preoccupied with settling this never-ending dispute. Rather, it’s up to us to utilize devices and engage online in a way that brings new meaning to our lives. From finding new interests to connecting with people, the virtual world doesn’t always have to lead to negativity. When plugging into the technological world, the key to helping to avoid an unhealthy mindset is to go in with good intentions. Ensure that you step into the cyber realm with purpose and set yourself up to receive fulfillment.


Chapter 1: Relax from Reality

Oftentimes, we say that we desire an escape from the obstacles and chaos that we experience throughout our daily lives. With such ease of accessibility and instant entertainment, it’s no wonder why we constantly absorb ourselves in the digital world. Still, it’s important to note that we shouldn’t exclusively resort to our devices as an ‘escape.’ Instead, modify our mindset to focus more on relaxation. You may need a little distraction from matters in your life and that’s okay. It’s all about setting boundaries and treating yourself to some digital entertainment. Despite going on your phone with good intentions, sometimes logging on to social media can dampen the mood. This is where certain phone apps can help shine some light on your day.

Meditation

Lately, I’ve been switching between a couple of self-care apps that have helped me through rough patches in my life. If you are new to self-care, there are two meditation apps that provide tools and remedies to support your journey to feeling better — Sanvello and Headspace. 

These two apps are great if you like simple check-ins on how your day is going and need guides to mindfulness. Both apps contain activities, ranging from breathing exercises to journaling, that can be completed within just a minute, or even an hour, of your day. If meditation doesn’t seem like your niche,  Headspace contains guides on physical activities such as cardio and yoga routines.

Now, you might be thinking that such meditative and therapeutic practices are not for you. Well, don’t fret sometimes I don’t even want to immerse myself into a state of deep relaxation or guided workout. So, this is where another app comes into play — #Selfcare.

As the name suggests, #Selfcare is all about focusing on you and creating a space tailored for your well-being. Essentially, the app is a virtual bedroom to resemble a ‘stay at home’ or ‘lying in bed’ kind of day. There are numerous simplistic tasks including, putting away laundry, watering plants, and lighting a candle, that are available whether you choose to do so or not. You can even just open the app and listen to its soothing soundtrack and imagine you’re in bed if you aren’t already. Again, it’s all about you! This app gives you space to simply relax and focus on the present moment.

Of course, I couldn’t leave out minimal mind games that are more ideal if you are the type of person that needs to keep your brain busy. Games such as 2048 and 1010!, are great if you want straightforward objectives and calming conditions. 2048 is all about combining numbered tiles to reach the number 2048 and 1010! revolves around merging puzzle blocks to clear the board. Below are actual gameplays from my phone.

In the end, these apps are accessible from a phone or tablet and contain various methods for relaxing from reality. Whether you prefer meditations, aerobics, a virtual space for winding down, or simple games to keep your mind busy, it’s always good to take some time to relax from reality.


Do:

~Log on with a positive mindset

~Relax with self-care apps

~Play simple mind games

Don’t:

~ Rely on technology as an escape

~ Engage with platforms that may trigger negativity


If you’re in need of some major relaxation, then check out IL Girasole for a day at the spa!


By: Sydney Ly

Sydney Ly studies Communication with dual minors in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is currently working in retail and has experience as a tutor. Her passions include but are not limited to reading, listening to music, and watching The Office.

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.

Share

Encouraging Positive Talk and Confidence in Your Friend Group

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

“Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.” There’s been a fair amount of research on how people are affected by their environments, and that largely means how they’re affected by the people with whom they interact. Have you ever noticed a friend of yours start using a phrase you use? Have you picked up certain habits from your friends? You’ll probably be hyper-aware of it after reading this! Some even argue that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Much of what I’ve read on this subject warns about the influence of toxic people and emotional vampires, like this cautionary article from https://medium.com. A lot of these self-help articles advise readers to rid themselves of friends and acquaintances who just aren’t feeding their lives in a positive way. I’m not disputing that advice. Cutting ties with draining people is important for your overall wellbeing. But if you’re influenced by the people around you, there’s also a lot you can do in turn to be a positive influence on them—and ultimately that’s beneficial for everyone.

https://twitter.com/mathsnsw

https://twitter.com/mathsnsw

Negativity doesn’t just come in the form of explicit rudeness or friends who deliberately put you down. Some of our most supportive, funny, valuable friends can unintentionally and indirectly propagate feelings of self-criticism and negativity by the way they talk to and about themselves. Author Mark Manson writes a lot about how we measure worth. Take this article for instance (it’s a short read): https://markmanson.net/how-we-judge-others. His logic is that the way we judge others is also how we judge ourselves. In his words, the yardstick by which we measure our own worth is also the yardstick by which we measure the worth of others. Often we aren’t conscious of how exactly we measure worth, but Manson points out that we can choose to be conscious, and from there we can choose our yardsticks. So if you obsess over your grades, chances are you also judge your friends by how high their GPAs are. If you have a friend who is constantly worrying about her appearance, you can deduce that her primary measuring stick is attractiveness. Most likely without meaning to, that friend then judges other people by their attractiveness. By “judging,” I mean ascribing worth or value.

https://me.me/

https://me.me/

These behaviors can wear on us. If someone close to you obsesses over their physique and level of fitness, it’s hard not to wonder how they view and judge your body too. I urge you to point our negative behaviors that you see in your friends and encourage them to be kinder to themselves. For example, I used to have a hard time taking compliments; I always felt like accepting them meant I was cocky. In response, I would make self-deprecating comments, finding faults in myself to counteract anything positive. Eventually, when I would make these comments one of my friends started scolding me, “Don’t be self-deprecating.” And it wasn’t a playful admonishment either. There was a bit of annoyance and a real sense of chastisement in her tone. I didn’t take offense. On the contrary, her criticism of my own self-criticism brought me to see my comments about myself in a more accurate light: not as politeness, but as an unhealthy habit. I learned to catch myself in those thought patterns, and I learned to accept compliments. And you know what? Compliments feel good! That’s how they’re supposed to feel!

So when you see your friend poking their stomach and saying they feel fat, ask them, “What’s something you like about your body?” When your friend does poorly on a test and says they are stupid, tell them, “You know, you’re really good at ______. Be an example; be gentle with yourself and gentle with your friends. Compliment them, and accept their compliments graciously too. If you admire something, say so. When you’re proud of them, show it. It’s often easier to hold on to the negatives, but you have the power to highlight the positives. If what Business Insider says is true—that you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with—then your positivity has the power to make them more positive. And in the end, that positive energy will feed you too.

 

https://www.theworkher.com

https://www.theworkher.com

By Sofia Lerner


Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. 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.

Share

Having Good Study Habits, Naturally

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Whether you’re just out of your freshman year or you’ve already been through a few years of college, school is nothing new to you. We’ve all been doing it for as long as we can remember, and that is both a blessing and a curse. With our deeply ingrained study habits comes the feeling that they can be impossible to improve this late in the game. Our habits define who we are as students: some of us do schoolwork the moment it’s assigned while some of us save it until the day of, some of us stress about retaining knowledge while some of us stress only about grades, and some of us don’t stress at all. Some of us–most of us–lie somewhere in the middle of each spectrum, pushing ourselves to work harder and smarter but falling just short of our goals. If you’re like me and you want to make working hard feel effortless, a few simple changes will make organizing your academic life seem infinitely more manageable.

https://depositphotos.com/

To improve your study habits, you need to first improve yourself. It’s hard to quickly churn out that essay or cram for that test if you aren’t accustomed to pushing your limits, and it’s even harder to plan your work in advance if you aren’t accustomed to planning your life. Here are some quick and easy improvements to your daily life that will make effective study habits come more easily.

Set weekly personal resolutions (realistic ones!) and actually stick to them. These improvements to your life can take on any form, from eating better to saving money to spending more time outside. Tell yourself that you can keep up anything for a week, and when you actually do, you’ll have much more confidence in your ability to adhere to your own principles. I recommend making some of the examples below into weekly resolutions to improve your ability to work hard and plan ahead.

https://www.edutopia.org/

Become the kind of person who plans fun things in advance. This is the best way to make planning everything, even your work schedule, feel more natural. If you have a calendar app on your phone, use it. If not, invest in a small planner that you update at the end of every day. If your friend asks you to lunch on Wednesday, write it down, and soon enough putting due dates of assignments on your calendar will feel just as normal. Not only will you have a scheduling system that you’re used to, but you’ll be able to visualize how much of your time is already planned and manage your studying accordingly.

Don’t be late to anything. Be that one friend who’s fifteen minutes early to meet up, and be proud of it! If you try to be on time, you’ll have a better understanding of how long it takes you to get ready in the morning and how long it takes to travel around in your college environment–which is likely different from that of your hometown. If you make punctuality a priority in every sphere of your life, your schedule will become sacred. It will be hard to start assignments later than planned if you make yourself the kind of person who is concerned with time and how you use it.

Make exercising your brain a fun and regular part of your day. There are so many little things that you can do to make yourself smarter, and when you do them for yourself you’ll feel a sense of personal accomplishment greater than any that can come from schoolwork. I recommend that you try to read for pleasure a little bit every day, tackle sudoku or a crossword puzzle, memorize lists, or even just watch “Jeopardy!” when you can. You’ll feel smarter, and feeling smarter is great motivation for working hard. If you can make yourself appreciate learning, your assignments will feel less boring and more personally valuable.

It’s easy to feel hopeless in school when you lose sight of the fact that it’s never too late to improve. Nothing is set in stone–these changes will make you a better person and a better student. Remember: you can do anything for a week! And if you can do anything for a week, maybe you can do anything for another week after that.


By Madeleine Fleming

Madeleine Fleming is a Campus Clipper publishing intern and a rising sophomore at NYU.  A lover of reading, writing, and learning in every way possible, Madeleine is excited to be writing about college study habits for the Campus Clipper. 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.

 

Share

New Year, New Me

Friday, December 28th, 2012

A new year is upon us and with that brings the fresh start that so many of us desperately yearn for. We forget about what happened the year before and focus on the future and what we can do to ensure ours is the best that it can possibly be. As we start to think of exactly HOW this is going to be done, we usually end with a huge list of things and run for the hills due solely to its overwhelming nature.

 

We all strive for self-improvement (or at least I would like to think so) and we know that it’s way more than just jotting down whatever you can find wrong with you on a piece of paper, it takes a lot of commitment. Knowing yourself and your limitations is also very important.

 

 

I’ve always took a “one goal a year” approach when it comes to things like this. I think it’s important to know where you want to improve as a person and just focus on that. I know life will happen regardless but it’s more a matter of not stretching yourself too thin.

One thing I would love to focus on in 2013 is just letting people know that I care for them more and doing my best to be more emotionally available. I know, I know…that’s two things but I feel like they’re related in a sense. I’ve also learned that this is something I needed to work on based on the supreme workaholism I developed earlier in the year and in turned shunned out my friends and everyone who I care about.

Don’t worry, my family and friends understand that I’m busy, that’s not really the point. This is something that I’m doing for the betterment of ME that will in turn strengthen already existing friendships and relationship and helps create strong new ones.

So, that’s my goal, what’s yours? Whatever it may be let’s approach them with the most resolute of attitudes.

Happy 2013 from all of us here at Campus Clipper. 🙂

—————————————————————-

Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Click here to download the Campus Clipper iTunes App!

Follow Campus Clipper on Twitter or keep current by liking us on Facebook.

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

Share