Posts Tagged ‘self-improvement’

Reflecting Friendships

Friday, July 29th, 2022

I like to think that my worldview has grown a lot in the past few years. Once I took the first steps necessary to become more independent and responsible, beginning with my journey into a foreign country for college and continuing as I make my way towards different travels and milestones, I came to realize many lessons and values that I failed to before. Most particularly, I learned how to reevaluate my relationship with the people around me. 

I often hear about “red flags” or “warning signs” in any kind of relationship on social media, and though these warnings aren’t always reliable, they prompted me to start considering my personal boundaries with others. There were tiktoks and tweets that I came across that made really general statements about interactions, categorizing slow texters or people who use a certain kind of emoji as being “bad” or undesirable. While I know I shouldn’t take these posts too seriously, I began wondering if I had traits that others considered to be “red flags” or absolute boundaries, or just how others viewed their relationship with me in general. Of the faults that I could readily list about myself, I must admit to being a terrible texter. Not because I don’t want to respond, but oftentimes I just forget to, or I get way too in my head about it and end up feeling unnecessary anxiety about my replies instead. I wondered if these “failed” interactions were my fault, or if I was allowed to expect my friends to be more or less accommodating of these faults. 

As with most people, I’ve had my fair share of difficulties in navigating relationships, particularly with friendships. I grew up in a small community amongst a rather static group of peers. Few people entered this circle, and fewer people really left. It’s safe to say that my social circle never experienced major ups or downs, and as time passed everyone kind of just got used to being around each other. While I was fine with this as a child, I started feeling more and more alienated as I grew older and my interests developed differently from my peers. Quite a few of my friendships came to pass in this manner — maintained as an extended familiarity, but fading away without any real attachments. 

As a result, I held a lot of rather naive expectations about socialization when I grew older and started stepping out into a broader community. I figured that with an increased population size I would find my place somehow, and I definitely believed I did, but it was only as my freshman year of college came to a close that I realized that my “place” was just temporary. As this first year progressed, my peers began to shed their early orientation-driven enthusiasm and with it, many friend groups collapsed and faded away. I found myself at a loss as conflicts erupted in the groups around me, and my own relationships with these people grew brittle, and eventually broke away. I was deeply upset that those I had trusted and believed to be close confidants had so easily let go of our friendships. 

In the two years since then, I’ve grown and found comfort in my own goals and interests, but I often recall the naivety I held in my first year, and wonder if there was anything I should’ve changed to keep hold of the people who I thought were important. But at the same time, without these continuing attachments, I’ve had the time to reflect on myself and really focus on my own growth. I’ve come to appreciate being alone most of the time, much unlike the way my old friend group was adamant about doing everything together. I think I’ve found that keeping to myself works a lot better for my personality, and in this time I spent focusing on myself, I’ve also found several very valued friendships that I’m comfortable within and that I trust to be respectful of my boundaries. Most importantly, I’ve come to accept that there are some people who are only meant to be in my life for a period of time, and though they no longer hold that position, I should just be thankful for the joyful memories we shared and let them go without resentment. 

Exploring shared interests is a great way to spend time with my friends without feeling overwhelmed or fatigued — this was from a trip to Dia Beacon!

My younger self was perhaps too dependent on the idea of the glorified “best friend,” the media-marketed ideal of a tight-knit group where everything functions perfectly and no one ever gets hurt. While this may be a reality for many people, it simply hasn’t been for me, and I understand now that this expectation may have prevented me from really being a good friend to others. I convinced myself that the issue was just that we weren’t a fit, and while that may have been the case as well, this selfish belief kept me from putting in as much effort as I perhaps should have. But as I’ve matured and cast aside such habits, I think my greatest lesson throughout these many failed friendships is that there really isn’t a reason why I should need a perfect friend group. More than anything, I’ve learned that I’m perfectly fine and happy even without, and this ideal that I chased all throughout childhood only served to make myself miserable as I compared every relationship I had to “perfection” and found them wanting. There were definitely many connections that I mistakenly let go of due to these misconceptions, but as a wiser (as I’d like to think) version of myself, I trust that I have grown enough to be happy as I am, and hope that in this way, I can foster much healthier relationships with the people I come across in the future. 


One of the best ways I’ve found to catch up with others is to meet up for a meal or a cup of coffee and chat. Use this student discount and treat yourself and a friend!


By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


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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(Cultural) Spaces

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

One of the greatest takeaways from my time in college has been my understanding of cultural literacy. Knowledge and curiosity about other cultures has fundamentally altered the attitude and actions I take when interacting with the people around me. 

When I first moved to Abu Dhabi for my freshman year of college, I held a lot of preconceived notions about what living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) might be like. Prior to my departure, many of my friends and family worried about whether the country would be safe or accepting of foreigners like me. At that point, I had done a bit of research on the country, so I was relatively confident that I would adjust well, but it was only after my arrival that I understood the importance of cultural acceptance and open-mindedness. As someone who had never been in the region before, I found cultural expectations and religious considerations to be confusing at times, especially because unlike my home country, religion plays a major role in the UAE. During my orientation we learned about some general customs and norms within the country, including local religious holidays and practices, differences in the work week (Sundays to Thursdays!), and even ways to show respect for the culture in our public presence. In one of our first orientation seminars, we engaged in discussions about ideas of religion, secularity, and government. The orientation committee told us about religious and cultural taboos, and asked us, very politely, to refrain from wearing anything overtly revealing in public spaces. While most of these considerations were not strictly enforced or punishable, they reminded me to be mindful of the different customs of a foreign place, and this reminder became very important as I began to adjust to my new environment. 

On my first visit to a mosque, I wore skinny jeans and a t-shirt, but was told at the entrance that such clothing would not be appropriate. The staff directed me to a changing room where I put on an abaya, a full length robe often worn by Muslim women in the UAE, that came with an attached hood as a replacement for a sheila, which is a headscarf worn to cover a woman’s hair. Quite frankly, I thought I looked ridiculous, but my appearance was much less important than actually visiting the mosque in the grand scheme of things, so I put on the garment and went inside to admire the grand architecture and detail put into every space. I came to understand that abiding by dress codes or other policies wasn’t so much an issue of obeying rules, but a way to pay proper respect to a sacred space. 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque located in Abu Dhabi

Over time, experiences like this have revealed the importance of being open and considerate about the needs of others, and highlighted that the major comfort and due respect of others far outweigh actions that may cause minimal inconvenience to myself. Our student body is composed of people from various cultures and backgrounds, and it rapidly became apparent that I couldn’t simply apply my previous experiences or “common sense” to others because they might interpret situations very differently. At one point, I asked a friend of mine what wearing a hijab meant to her, and I learned that she believed the practice to be a show of faith and religious empowerment rather than the restriction some forms of media often make it out to be. I learned to respect their identities beyond basic courtesy, and paying attention to these cultural differences became a priority from then on.  

When I began to travel more often, these experiences with cultural literacy helped me stay mindful and open to the traditions and practices in various countries, and ensured that I learned as much as I could during my temporary stays. It became essential that I visit at least one museum or gallery in each place that I explored, whether that be an art exhibition, or historical center. I’ve found that these institutions are a great avenue for learning about the local history, as well as the intersections between the locale and other sites, and I’ve often delighted in seeing signs and symbols of my own background represented abroad. Once I grew the confidence to navigate new environments with relative ease, I tried visiting these places and even exploring the cities on my own, and I’ve found these excursions to be periods of great reflection. 

Visiting these institutes or seeing popular historical sites and landmarks often makes me think about aspects of humanity that seem to remain unchanged despite temporal and geographic differences. There is an appreciation and respect for the same subjects in art through every country and period regardless of the style or medium used, just as there are shared documentations of conflict and warfare locked in the glass display cases of every historical museum. There are mementos of the greatest achievements, just as there are relics of the periods of deepest suffering. 

Being alone in a foreign place feels like zooming out of my own head and realizing how big the world is around me. It gives me time to take everything in quietly, without feeling the need to force conversation or constantly engage with others, and it has pushed me to renegotiate my comfort zone and my relationship with myself. Learning to be alone in a foreign place has taught me to take the time to appreciate differences in background and ways of living, while taking comfort in the moments or gestures that echo the familiarity of home. Being alone in a foreign place means immersing myself in a cultural space and allowing myself to take in the atmosphere, to learn about the backgrounds of others, and to grow into an individual more considerate and aware of the people around me. 


Use this student discount for a taste of another culture with some Egyptian Street food!


By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


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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Valuable Lessons

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

One of the Disney movies that I remember watching a lot while growing up was Bambi. It was one of my younger sister’s favorites; she loved watching the animals run by on screen. Her favorite character was the rabbit: Thumper. One of his quotes from the movie that was repeated a lot in my house was “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”. It quickly became an important value for me and my sisters and still is to this day.

Values are incredibly important in life. They can add purpose and guidance where there might not be any. The principles or values someone holds can say a lot about that person. According to Jarrod Davis, they can also help us shape the future into what we want it to be. In a blog written for the Barret Values Center, Davis explains the four areas of values: individual, relationship, organizational, and societal. Each area showcases how a person or an organization uses values to operate and guide their life. Things like loyalty, sustainability, creativity, teamwork, caring, etc. are all examples of values that people can have. 

A lot of values are shaped at a very young age by the people around us and the media that we consume.Media targeted at children include very simple values that the movie or show intends to teach them. Things like “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” or “a true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart” can teach a child important values that they can carry through the rest of their lives. According to an article by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser, one of the ways children learn about values is “through their exposure to the larger world”. This includes media, their friends and family, books, and anything else they might be exposed to. That is why it’s important to encourage good values at a young age- and why it can be so hard when childhood values clash with adult beliefs (and vice versa). 

I was raised in a very Christian household. Because of this, one of the first things I think of when I’m trying to define my values is a Bible verse: “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. This verse promoted empathy, kindness, generosity, and compassion, which is probably why it was so important for us to know. This idea has always been at the center of a lot of my personal values and probably always will be. However, as I got older, a lot of the Christian values that I was taught started to contradict both what the people in my church and my parents were saying. I started to question where I stood and what I truly valued in life.

This process was very difficult to go through and, for a lot of my teen years, I kind of ignored the conflict that was growing. I figured as long as I was nice to the people around me, as long as I “loved my neighbor as myself,” it didn’t matter what I believed or valued. This ignorance soon started to bother me as I found myself more and more at odds with the ideas around me. I finally got fed up with quietly disagreeing with my parents and started to truly consider what was important to me as a person. As I experienced more and became more educated, I slowly started to reconcile my own personal values with the values that were taught to me as a kid. I was able to see where bias might have come in when teaching me these ideas and started to think for myself about who I wanted to be and what I wanted from life. 

While I still have a lot of growing to do, I am now much more comfortable with who I am and how my values align with that. I have also been able to revisit religion recently and realize that my problem was never with Christianity or even with religion, but with the people that were teaching me one thing and encouraging me to do another. I started to realize the church my family was in was extremely toxic, backwards, and hypocritical. It is a relief to see my parents start to realize this too and break away from that particular congregation. I am no longer as religious as I used to be but I still value what my religious upbringing taught me. Recently they have left that church for another one and I can see them starting to ask themselves the same questions I did. Interestingly enough, these questions have taken them back to the values that were taught to us as kids. It just goes to prove that you’re never too old to go back and rewatch some classic childrens movies. 

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to move away from what you know to find what’s important.


Questioning your values and place in your community is stressful. Even if you’re comfortable and confident with yourself, we could all use a break once in awhile. Try relaxing with a fresh cup of tea from Moge Tee. Get 15% off with this Campus Clipper coupon and your student ID!


By Callie Hedtke

Callie is going to be a senior at DePaul University in Chicago and is studying Graphic Design. She loves dancing and can usually be found at her school’s gym rehearsing for her next dance show. If she’s not there, she can be found at her computer playing video or out exploring.


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. Open publish panel

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Redefining Success

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

One thing that people don’t tend to tell you when you’re young is that success shouldn’t just be one eventual endpoint. For me, at least, growing up there was a specific idea of success that everyone was expected to adhere to – college and maybe a master’s degree followed by a stable job and financial security. Apart from that, there didn’t seem to be much else. There was no guideline for how to enjoy yourself, to find meaningful relationships or just be happy, as though these parts of life weren’t aspects of  “success.” Coupled with my tendency for perfectionism, this restricted perspective of success became all I was striving for. 

I gradually fell into the mindset that life was just one thing after the other, and though I worked towards each milestone consistently, it was hard to really feel a sense of accomplishment at any point. When I graduated from high school, for example, I didn’t find myself feeling much different. There was a bit of relief, of course, and some sense of excitement, but in my mind I was going off to college, and that was just another checkpoint I had to reach before moving onto the next. I think in my pursuit of that final image of “success,” I’ve missed out on celebrating and learning from a lot of the experiences I’ve already had, forgetting all of the things I worked at to get to where I was in favor of a single-minded focus on what I had to do next. Instead of each event being an individual instance of achievement, they’ve all been routinely filed away as just another step towards that final idea of “success”. 

Not to say that this a “wrong” way of living – it’s a good thing to work towards long-term goals, after all – but it was a method that wasn’t really working for me anymore. The idea of chasing after some “final” state  of great success was wearing me down, and it made me wonder when I would actually get to enjoy myself instead. I started noticing that I was putting off many of the things that I wanted to do, telling myself that I would travel or try new experiences only once I was financially stable and “successful,” regardless of how much I wanted to do so in the present. It struck me one day that if I kept on putting off the things that I enjoy and want to do until some eventual “later,” how do I know I won’t continue to put those things off for some other sense of duty when that later finally comes? What if I end up delaying my gratification forever, until I eventually lose the opportunity to enjoy myself at all? The thought of this scared me. 

In the aftermath of this realization, I’ve been working on redefining what that feeling of “success” should be. While I definitely am still working towards all of those predetermined goals, I’ve been trying to move away from thinking of them as the be all and end all of my efforts. Research has shown that understanding goals and achievements as a journey, with a focus on the process that led to the goal, helps people retain motivation and positive habits they’ve built up throughout their journey. That’s the sort of mindset I want to put myself in. Instead of working single-mindedly towards a specific goal while forgetting almost everything else, I want to take it slow, working just as hard as before, but allowing myself to enjoy the things I want to do. By redefining success as sustaining my ability to work hard towards my goals, I can move the emphasis away from the achievement itself, and start to realize how the process of getting to my goals has enriched my life. 


Use this student discount for a bit of self-care in preparation for taking on another day!


By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


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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Unlearning Perfectionism

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Of all the things that people tend to find out about me, one fact stands out in particular: I am a perfectionist. It’s written in my star sign (Virgo) and in practically every personality test I’ve taken, from the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to Buzzfeed quizzes. Even if you don’t believe in personality typing or astrology or superstitions, it’s written all over my daily actions.

There are times when it’s helpful to be a perfectionist. My teachers, for example, have praised my diligence since elementary school, so I’ve earned a lot of gold stars for my efforts over the years. But more often than not, I’ve found my perfectionism to be a burden, an obstacle in my daily routines. Yes, perfectionism has led me to score well in school, but I often find myself wondering whether the time I spent triple-checking my papers could have been invested into something more worthwhile, or at the very least more enjoyable.

The thing about perfectionism is that it isn’t a choice. I don’t choose to pick at even the most subtle details and comb through my papers for typos until my deadlines loom before me or I start spiraling into stress and self-deprecation. Perfectionism is a compulsion, a habit, a state of mind that pushes me to predict mistakes in every  situation, that convinces me that something isn’t right until I’ve made sure (multiple times!) that I’ve done everything correctly, that whispers in my mind that something must be wrong if things go too smoothly. Perfectionism is toxic, and most of all, perfectionism is demoralizing. 

A table at a charity book sale that I color-coded because I couldn’t stand the disarray.

I’ve found that unlike what people tend to assume, being a perfectionist doesn’t always mean investing 200% into my work, or writing and re-writing assignments until they reach that impossible golden standard. It doesn’t mean that I ace all of my classes, or that I don’t get tired of trying to do everything without mistakes. A lot of the time, perfectionism is losing the motivation to even get started on a project out of a fear of falling short. Perfectionism is lying in bed all day, thinking it would be better not to try than to prove myself incapable or inferior to the impossible standards I’ve imposed upon myself. Perfectionism is finding myself too afraid to even apply for opportunities that I desperately want, and pretending in the aftermath of missing out that I didn’t particularly want those things anyway. Perfectionism is lying to my friends and family about my goals and ambitions, because confiding in any of them means that I have just another person to disappoint. Perfectionism is choosing inaction.

I used to think that the worst case, in any situation, was failure. Whether that was embarrassing myself in a group activity, or performing poorly on exams, I was overcome with anxiety when it came time for any kind of evaluation. I cornered myself with a projected ideal of myself, an unrealistic version of a “successful” being, and lived under the stress of never being able to measure up. As I grew older and more cognizant of the ways in which perfectionism limits my actions, however, it has become apparent to me that my biggest loss has been the experiences that I backed out of before I could even get started. There are projects, internships, classes, and even relationships that I hid from because I believed that they would spiral rapidly out of control and somehow become a “stain” on my life’s record, proving once and for all that I really am as incapable as I feared. 

I’ve been actively trying to move away from this mental state, convincing myself that things aren’t nearly as disastrous as they may seem. I’ve started with actions of little consequence: checking my papers just twice instead of three times, going on outings in the city without planning every single step, allowing myself to get lost, and assuring myself that I am capable of working things out if they ever do go wrong, though they do so much less commonly than I tend to expect. I allow myself the space to panic or to feel nervous and afraid, but I also try to be stricter about relaxing, as contradictory as that may sound. I remind myself that the world is embroiled in unpredictability, and to hope for control in the midst of it all is a fruitless endeavor. Instead, I ask myself to surrender control, to remain flexible and adaptable to the ways of the world, and to renew my understanding of order within it all. 

There is too much to lose from feeling afraid of falling short. When I expect things to be perfect, I miss out on the world, but the world isn’t going to miss me. It might take a lot of time, effort, and patience, but perfectionism is just a habit. Habits can always be unlearned. 


Use this Student Discount to find a perfect fragrance, tailored just for you!


By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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