Posts Tagged ‘self-improvement’

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 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.

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): 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.



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

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