Posts Tagged ‘Student Life’

Chapter 6- Returning to Boston and My First Internship

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

I feel like it would be too bold (and perhaps slightly cheesy) to say that studying abroad changed my life. It doesn’t feel like I was in London that long ago, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has warped my sense of time, so it’s hard to view that experience retrospectively. However, I can confidently say that studying abroad influenced how I approached my following spring semester at Boston University when I returned.

I wanted to be more outgoing and adventurous in Boston, like I had become in London. So, I decided to seize more opportunities to do activities outside of campus. For example, I went to two Beanpot games with a friend. Beanpot, for those not familiar with the Boston area, is a hockey tournament between BU, Northeastern University, Boston College and Harvard University held at TD Garden. I had seen hockey games on campus, but never fathomed going off-campus to see a game during a weeknight when I had class early the next day because I’m not a huge hockey fanatic. I thought it might be fun to go to a Beanpot game at least once, though, and it was. I’m still not the world’s biggest hockey fan, but I did enjoy watching the game intently and cheering on the BU team.

Beanpot game at TD Garden

A week after the Beanpot tournament, I went on a weekend trip to Philadelphia with some friends. I had been to Philly before with my family and we typically just went to the same places repeatedly, so when my friend invited me to go, I agreed. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends, be a little touristy and go to some spots I had never been to before. We saw the Liberty Bell, ran up the Rocky Steps (well, I half-jogged), ate Philly cheesesteaks, etc.

The best part of the weekend was definitely going to Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, which is an outdoor mosaic art gallery. It was stunning, and being surrounded by an array of intentionally-placed art pieces in the labyrinth was incredible. 

Exploring the labyrinth that is Philadelphia’s Magic Garden

I wasn’t just outgoing in terms of going out and exploring the city. The spring semester was also when I started applying for my first internships. Finding an internship was always something at the back of my mind, but I was so busy and stressed by classes that I decided to focus on my academics. By the spring of my junior year, though, I felt like I had learned how to manage my time well enough to handle having an internship. 

Also, it began to dawn on me that after the spring ended, I would be entering my final year before graduating. I wanted to start figuring out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. I had become an English major because I loved reading and writing and they were things that I thought I was pretty good at. This did not mean that I knew what I wanted to pursue as a career. There were people around me who had internships and knew exactly what they wanted to do after they graduated, which did, admittedly, put pressure on me. However, I was mostly eager to find out what direction my life would take. 

I worked hard on creating the perfect resume and cover letter and had a lot of help from the Internet. I Googled examples of both and tried to use them as guidelines to perfect mine. I spent a lot of time reading, reviewing and revising these application elements until the perfectionist in me realized that I was obsessing too much over tiny details. Then, I finally applied to a few internships that I found on Handshake.

I think that the freshman version of myself would have been panicking all day, every day, until I heard something back. I would have worried about whether I was good enough and fretted over the fear of failure. Fortunately, junior year me had a distinct mindset. Of course I would like to have an internship yet overthinking things that were outside of my control was not going to help me in any way. Even if it was challenging to do so, I just had to focus on the aspects of my life that I could control.

I was soon accepted into an internship with a literary agency. Basically, the internship entailed me reading over submitted manuscripts and providing my feedback. It was interesting to read the stories of various writers. It also reminded me how much I love reading for fun. Since I had to read so much for my classes, I really didn’t read for pleasure in college during my spare time. Looking through the manuscripts, though, it felt as if I was back in high school, when I used to read to pass the time. The internship also showed me how much I value storytelling. People have so many worlds, experiences and ideas to share in their writing and the thought of helping writers publish their works appealed to me. So, the internship certainly made me feel like I was taking a step forward in figuring out what I wanted to do with my future. 

If you are looking for an internship, my best advice is this:

  • Make sure to double-check your resume and cover letter. There are many examples of both online that you can check out. Also, your college’s career center might offer some helpful services, such as appointments to review your resume and mock interviews.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply to a variety of places. 
  • If you get an internship, seize the chance to make connections, network, learn new things and ask questions.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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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Chapter Three: Exercise & Mental Health in the Big Picture

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

I have had a complicated relationship with exercise since I was a child. I began swimming when I was six years old at the behest of my mother. I am not a competitive person, and being forced to competitively swim through elementary, middle, and high school wore significantly on my mental health, past even the point of depression. My mother had no sympathy for me when I explained to her how horrible competitive swimming made me feel, and accused me of “laziness” among other things. I quit the day I turned 18 and now, at age 23, I still have not stepped in a pool since.

Seeing Simone Biles’ journey during the Tokyo 2021 Olympics has been incredibly validating because she respects the seriousness of mental health and recognizes how difficult it is to maintain as a serious athlete. Simone withdrew from part of it because of the physical danger her mental health posed toward her ability to complete her routine without becoming injured. When the (potential) injury is physical, it is often easier for others (not speaking for Piers Morgan) to understand the implications of poor mental health. When there are simply ambiguous ideas of depression or anxiety, one’s mother or coach can thoughtlessly reply: “Stop being so negative.” This gaslighting is incredibly infuriating, but mostly hurtful. 

These days, I crave a routine, when I used to detest it. The book Nausea by John Paul Sartre gave me the words to describe how I had previously felt in a creative writing piece: “I felt disgust and disappointment toward myself and toward everyone. Why can’t everyone just do what they want? Why must we play roles and condemn ourselves to routine? I need routine; my need for the right way to live is despicable.” 


My well-used and cherished copy of Nausea.

But now I’m not so weirdy resentful: routine helps me feel more in control of my daily life rather than suffocated by it. In your daily life, as long as you feel, and you are affected by the consequences of your own and others’ actions, everything you do matters. I love that notion because, while it used to make me anxious (since how I exercised was dictated by others), it now bolsters my individual agency. I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance. All I know is that only you know how you feel; even your therapist does not live in your mind. Neither do your parents, coaches, or teachers. Although ideally these figures should want to help you, sometimes they can’t because they don’t think the same way, and their lives have been informed by different circumstances. 

It’s okay to take your time and experiment with a routine. Mine still changes year to year. With COVID-19, it has been a particularly difficult year of coping, especially after my routine was entirely upended from one day to the next. I had been going to the gym for three days a week consistently over the prior year. I felt confident in my strength and endurance, and I was proud of myself. 


They usually draw a funny comic on the whiteboard at 404 (to get your workout started with a smile?): “Hey, dude, when I said ‘curls might help’ that’s not what I meant.”

Without a gym, I have no desire to exercise. During my year in isolation I lost all of the aforementioned progress and now have to start over. It’s okay, though: day by day. 

If you’re like me, and prefer to work out independently without instruction, colleges usually have a free gym you can attend as a student. My go-to gym at NYU is 404 Fitness, near which you can also find a Rumble boxing studio, and SoulCycle. If you want to be part of a club team in college, you can join intramural sports. If you want to do something more competitive you can look for sports within college divisions. If you don’t feel quite ready to take a class or go to the gym, or you just need a break from building your intensity, taking walks offers a more casual, but effective form of movement. 

 It’s okay to not “seamlessly” transition your lifestyle into going to the gym three times a week instead of none, or toward becoming a vegetarian, for example. Sometimes you will step outside of those goals simply because the world is not currently allowing for it, or you want to do something more, or maybe the transition doesn’t feel good anymore, which is okay. When you cannot control things, that is when it’s fun to simply be along for the ride (a passenger, as I like to say). In the big picture, your mental health should have a mutualistically symbiotic relationship with when and how you exercise. 

A brief summary of advice:

  • During college, take advantage of free gym memberships/ collegiate club sports
  • I am not telling you what I think you should do to make your body feel better or stronger or more yours. There is no “secret” to total self-acceptance; it occurs on a rolling basis throughout your life. 
    • Being a “passenger” is my way of describing my most reliable mode of self-preservation; you are not at fault for what you can’t control
  • Check out Jameela Jamil’s social media (Twitter/Instagram) and her podcast “iWeigh” through both of which she deeply and personally discusses a multitude of topics with individuals with personal experiences/experts regarding mental health, eating disorders, working out, feminism, etc. 
    • This has grown to largely inform a lot of my mindset regarding the language I use to discuss exercise, physicality, and nutrition


By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.


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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Chapter 4- Applying to Study Abroad and the Nerves that Came With It

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

I’ve previously mentioned that studying abroad was something that interested me when I initially applied to Boston University, particularly the opportunity to do so in London. Fortunately for me, BU actually had programs in London specifically for students studying English. For some reason, even before I started my freshman year at college, I had this whole plan laid out: I would get to know Boston during my first year, then I would study abroad the following year, and afterwards, I would dedicate myself to finding internships and figuring out what I really wanted to do after I graduated. 

However, I also experienced a lot of homesickness when I moved to Boston, as I discussed in previous chapters. It took me a while to adjust and I felt like I finally started to find my footing during the spring semester of my freshman year. Therefore, when the application deadline to study abroad in the fall of my sophomore year began to creep upon me, I knew that I should postpone my plans to study abroad.

I am not one to typically deviate from plans I have set in my mind, but I was confident in my decision not to study abroad my sophomore year. I felt like I was truly getting to know Boston that spring and I didn’t want to suddenly leave in order to study abroad. Also, I wanted to have more experience being independent and self-sufficient before going to a different country. I ended up spending my sophomore year getting more acclimated to BU and Boston, and I consequently also got to know the joy of trudging through thigh-high mountains of snow in order to get to my 9:30 a.m. class.

Photo taken during a Nor'Easter in 2018; the sidewalk is covered with snow as figure in jacket walks down. Snow falling blurs the image.
Image credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/anticipating-major-snowfall-charles-river-campus-to-close-monday-remote-classes/ 

When spring of 2019 rolled around, I started working on my London application: I contacted BU’s study abroad office to ask questions, got my advisor to fill out a form, reached out to a former professor for a letter of recommendation, answered the application’s questionnaire, etc. I, at long last, submitted my application in March, and was then left to wait.

I clearly remember the day I was accepted into the London program. It was a Friday and I had returned to my dorm, ready to collapse and take a nap after a long week of classes. Just before doing so, I checked my email and saw the email congratulating me on my acceptance into the program. Then, I immediately called my mom. When she answered, I blurted out the news and started crying, partially because I was sleep deprived, but mostly because I was so happy. 

Even as the novelty of my imminent travels wore off a bit, I was mostly ecstatic. I had some nerves about studying abroad, though they weren’t as prominent as the nerves I had towards initially moving to Boston. There were three things I was most anxious about regarding going to London:

  1. I had never gone somewhere foreign to me on my own. In the past, I had voyaged outside the United States, but only to Guatemala and always with a family member to see other relatives.
  2. I wasn’t completely sure if I would like London, despite always having wanted to go there. When it came to Boston, I at least had the luxury of visiting the city both before and after being accepted into BU, meaning I had seen the area prior to deciding to undertake my undergraduate studies there. Conversely, with London, I would be seeing the city for the first time when I arrived in September to start my classes. Essentially, I had no way of knowing whether I would like London until I was actually there.
  3. I would be very far away from my family. I’ve stated before that I am close with my family and they are an important support system for me. Even though Boston is certainly a distance from my hometown, I was able to return home for holidays and long weekends throughout the semester. I did have some relatives who said they wanted to visit me when I was in London, but I still had to reckon with the thought of not seeing my mom or other close family members for an entire semester. 

When I started overthinking and overanalyzing these small details, I reflected back on my time at BU up to that point. All those worries I initially had about BU had slowly evaporated and I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else. I understood that I had to go into traveling with a positive mindset. Besides, visiting London had been a dream of mine and three months wouldn’t be too long. If I kept worrying about everything, I wouldn’t enjoy my study abroad experience.

Still, on August 31st, 2019, thousands of questions about the future rushed through my mind as I arrived at JFK and boarded my flight to Heathrow. I couldn’t even sleep as the plane cut across the night sky and flew over the Atlantic Ocean. As I watched episodes of Friends and Parks and Recreation in hopes of dozing off, I wondered what the next few months would look like.

Hours later, the plane landed on the surprisingly sunny morning of September 1st.

My London adventure had commenced! 

Picture of the London Eye and River Thames from my first full day in London.

Ultimately, if you are interested in studying abroad, do so when you feel ready (going to a new country for the first time and living there for several months is certainly a change!) and make sure to research various different programs. Contact your school’s study abroad office to ask any questions you may have, ranging from classes to living arrangements and try to learn more about the country you might potentially be studying abroad in. 

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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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Chapter One: Welcome Week

Friday, August 13th, 2021

I love flying into New York City at night. I always choose the aisle seat on airplanes because of my motion sickness, but I can never resist peeking through the plane’s windows in my periphery; one of my favorite views is that of the glittering lights beneath New York City’s night sky.


Bird's eye view of NYC at night
Bird’s eye view of NYC at night

In August of 2016, I flew from Colorado to New York in order to get settled in prior to beginning my college career. Once the plane landed, my stomach flipped over in excitement. My mom had come with me to help me move and I couldn’t believe that my dream of attending NYU had become a reality. 

Of course, I was also terrified. I knew that no one else from my high school class would be coming to NYU, and after my mom left I had no choice but to confront my newfound alone-ness. I sardonically thought to myself, “Well, welcome to Welcome Week.” 

I felt like a failure and my first semester had not even begun. One of my assigned roommates, whose name was also Anna, was a drama student in the Tisch School of the Arts. Off the bat, Tisch’s performing arts medium provides a tight-knit cohort community you’ll know for years, and I did not have that luxury as a Media, Culture, and Communication student since we were not placed into cohorts. I really liked the other Anna, and we made plans to hang out at one of NYU’s Welcome Week events: Drag Bingo, which featured contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. It seemed cool, and I nostalgically wished that one of my closest high-school friends was there because he would’ve loved it. He even made up his own drag name in honor of the show: “Shaneeda Bronze” (as in, “She needs a bronze.”). 

While I wallowed in nostalgia and loneliness on the second night of Welcome Week, I knew I needed to play a more active role in my own life. Unfortunately, I arrived at Drag Bingo well after the other Anna, and there were no more seats available near her (and no one was allowed to save seats). At that point, I was still standing in a stairwell in a line (or on a line for all the “real” New Yorkers) spanning across multiple floors. When I reached one of the landings, I noticed a pair of tan double doors to my right as someone threw them open to go through. I wondered aloud to the two girls standing in front of me, “Do you think we could go up that way?” They both shrugged and we continued standing in line. I stood with the girls at the back of the room during the event, and afterward they invited me over to their shared dorm. And that is how I met my best friends.

It was serendipitous as much as it was the effort we put in to socialize with other students and get to know our college community at various events. Certainly don’t hesitate asking your roommate(s) to hang out, and seeing if you can be friends! 


Playbill at Sunday in the Park with George. (Before we knew Jake Gyllenhaal “doesn’t shower often.”)

Since we are required to live in dorms for our first year, I wanted to make the most of my dorming experience as well. NYU offers “Themed Engagement Communities,” wherein specific floors in respective dormitory buildings will schedule activities pertaining to that theme. When I applied for housing I threw my hat in the ring for the “Laughing Matters” comedy-themed fourth floor of the Weinstein building. I have loved comedy since I was in elementary school, and decided to study Media because of my reverence for political satire. Applying to the special interest floor gave me wonderful (cost-saving) opportunities to view an array of Broadway performances for $10 each. We went to see plays including Avenue Q, Sunday in the Park with George, and Dear Evan Hansen, as well as professional improvisation shows. 

Regrettably, I only joined a club, College Democrats, in senior year. I regret having waited that long to be more involved in the clubs on campus, especially because my senior year ended up being truncated due to COVID-19. NYU, like many colleges, hosts a Club Fest in both the fall and the spring, and trust me, there is no shortage of clubs to choose from, whether it’s political, athletic, improv, or food-related, etc. 

Of course, the college experience and New York City are two of the most overly-romanticized notions you may hear about. I still cried myself to sleep during those first few nights as I second-guessed my abilities to make friends. Yet, you are drawn to whatever city you end up in for a reason. You don’t have to figure it out right away. Find solace in your comfort mechanisms, like comedy is for me, and in the meantime, don’t be a passenger in your own life.


We encountered this sign outside of a restaurant (Gran Electrica) in Dumbo

Beginning your freshman year, I recommend you:

  • Do research about special dorming opportunities while selecting a dorm. Mine was the cheapest and we got to go see Br’dway shows for $10! (kudos if you get that reference)
  • Look for activities to do that are hosted by your school (after you cry a little bit because you’re overwhelmed and alone)
  • Get to know your roommates!
  • Have some adventures with said roommates. Even if it means accidentally ending up in Far Rockaway because you missed your subway stop. (I get lost nearly every day of my life; I call it sightseeing.)


By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.


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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Chapter 3- Getting to Know Boston

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

As I began to overcome my homesickness, I started stepping out of my comfort zone, which was also a challenge for me. One of the first things I did in order to accomplish this goal was look at clubs and organizations that Boston University offered. BU has something at the beginning of each semester called Splash, which is a student group recruitment fair. It was here where I wandered around aimlessly for a while at the start of my freshman year and signed up for any club that looked remotely interesting. 

You never know what may happen when you join a club, even for something you have no experience in. For example, in the spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to check out BU’s knitting club, even though I had never knitted in my life. I signed up for the club’s email list at Splash in the fall, but never got around to checking it out. However, as my first spring semester at BU commenced, I decided to do so. The first meeting in the student union lounge  was pretty crowded, but the club provided me with some supplies and I was taught the basics. Unfortunately, the first few rows of my knitted square looked like a mess. Still, the desire for improvement motivated me to show up the following week. After that, attending knitting club meetings became a fairly regular routine for me. I would get a beverage from Starbucks, go to the lounge, pick up my square from the bin of yarn of supplies and knit a few rows.

What I enjoyed most about the knitting club was that not only did I have the satisfaction of learning a new skill, but it was such a calming distraction after a day of classes. I could relax, knit, and talk to the other club members. For two hours we would talk about how our week’s were going, share stories from high school, and discuss classes, TV shows, anime, restaurants, books, etc. I was able to get new recommendations and suggestions, like that I should check out John Mulaney’s comedy specials on Netflix. The knitting club was enjoyable and, by May, my messy square transformed into a decent looking rectangle.

The end of my first semester with the knitting club also brought a surprise: the e-board asked me if I could be vice president for the following year, since the existing members would be graduating. I never thought I would be suited for a leadership position, but it was one of those moments where I thought “why not?” So, I agreed to take on the role during my sophomore year and I, once again, had a fun experience with the club. I taught new attendees the basics (since I was by no means an expert) and conversed with both them and existing members alike. This was an outcome I would have never anticipated, yet it certainly assisted in pushing me out of my shell. 

Outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Aside from clubs, I emerged from my comfort zone by doing activities off-campus. I had classes that required me to go to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (to which BU students had free admission). Art was never a strong passion of mine, but I always decided to make days of these trips. I would spend a few hours walking around and checking out the countless works of art while imagining a different time period.

Inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Another way I got to know Boston during my first two years was by making plans with friends that I met at BU. These plans ranged from simple, spur of the moment stuff like going to see a movie or eating out somewhere, to more organized outings such as going to Anime Boston, trying out an escape room, seeing a ballet, and attending a hockey game. Even though I would classify myself as an introvert, planning activities with friends gave me something to look forward to throughout the semesters. This was especially important during the periods when I needed a break, signified by the multiple essays I would simultaneously write and the mountains of reading I was drowning under. 

BU’s Agganis Arena.

When my family drove to Boston to visit me, that meant we could use the car to easily drive to areas outside of the city and explore other parts of Massachusetts. For instance, in the spring of my sophomore year, my relatives from Guatemala flew to see my family in New Jersey. During their visit, we took the opportunity to visit Salem for the first time, which turned out to be a really fun outing where we walked around the historic city.

Essentially, the three things I recommend in order to get to know your city/campus more are:

  • Joining a club/organization because you can meet people, try something new and pick up a hobby.
  • Taking advantage of free/reduced admissions that you are offered as a student.
  • Accepting/making plans with friends and family.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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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Chapter 2- The First Week at University (Full of Homesickness and Doubt)

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

In the time between accepting my offer to attend Boston University and actually moving there from New Jersey in September of 2017, I underwent a spectrum of emotions. There were certainly times when I was ecstatic to be starting my undergraduate studies at BU. For instance, I had an overall positive experience during my freshman orientation at the end of June. On top of that, my family was proud of me and other people outside of my familial circle were excited about this change on my behalf. While I eagerly looked forward to September, I didn’t necessarily feel their level of enthusiasm. 

At random times, like when I went shopping with my mom and aunt to pick out some stuff for my dorm room, I felt nervous about going to Boston. Gradually, these feelings of anxiety continued to grow and linger, even as my family packed all my things in the car and drove to Massachusetts, so that I could officially start my first semester.

When it came time for my family to return to New Jersey, I remember crying and having difficulty saying goodbye. I clearly recall the overwhelming sensation of loneliness after seeing them leave as I stood alone, surrounded by the unfamiliar urban landscape that would be my new home for the next few years. This loneliness didn’t suddenly evaporate after a few days. Although I enjoyed my classes during my first week at BU, I couldn’t shake away my homesickness. I knew that moving from my small hometown to Boston wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t expect it to be so challenging to adapt to my new environment and independence. I felt like I was the only one that was struggling, which made me feel even worse. Everyone around me seemed to form new connections effortlessly and seamlessly integrate themselves into their new setting. This eventually led to me thinking: If I am missing home this much, maybe choosing Boston was a mistake. Maybe I wasn’t as ready for change as I thought I was.

View from my freshman dorm room

In coping with my homesickness and doubt, I was honest with my family about how I was feeling, which was the best thing I could have done. I knew that if I had acted as though everything was alright, I would have been detrimentally bottling up my negative emotions. I was fortunate in that my family not only sympathized with me, but encouraged me to give BU a try. They instilled me with confidence during this period of my life when my self-esteem wasn’t too high. They urged me to not give up on Boston so readily because I might end up liking the city. Deep down, I also knew that if I ended up giving up, I would probably regret the decision and be left thinking “what if?” for a very long time. 

In my endeavor to give Boston a try, I decided not to rely on family so much. During my first (and also subsequent weeks), I called my family nearly every day. Although keeping in touch with friends and relatives from back home was important, I realized that this constant communication was preventing me from getting to know my new environment. Therefore, I tried limiting myself to texting and making a few phone calls a week.

I also attempted to stop myself from being cooped up in my dorm room constantly. Being confined within that comfortable space heightened my feelings of loneliness and homesickness. So, I started taking walks, even if they were to nearby places, like to Brookline Booksmith (one of my favorite bookstores) or a coffee shop. Just going somewhere outside of my room helped immensely, whether it was doing homework in the lounge of my dorm, BU’s library or a coffee shop. These small steps made me start to feel more part of the community instead of a spectator. And this was only the beginning of my adjustment to life in a city after living my whole life in a small town, where my high school graduating class was smaller than some of my lectures at BU. 

Image credit: https://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/about 

Everyone’s experience with starting college is different. Some people face more homesickness than others and homesickness can be handled in various ways. Here are some websites that offer more tips on how to deal with feeling homesick: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-to-handle-homesickness-in-college , https://www.hercampus.com/life/how-deal-homesickness-freshman-year/


By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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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An Ode to Chicken: Chapter 4 — Finding Delight in Cheap Eats

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

My favorite food has been, and most likely will always be, chicken. 

I love chicken there is no denying that. My attempts at being vegetarian in the past have all failed at the sight of chicken tenders. It’s America’s favorite protein and the key to my heart. It’s chicken

Growing up in a family of five, there were many nights my parents didn’t have time to prepare a meal. Juggling full-time jobs and three kids, there were many evenings that we called upon our favorite cheap and easy restaurant: The Flying Chicken. The unsuspecting little restaurant, with orange walls and just a few tables, was known for selling out quickly, with only a few chickens left at the end of the day but only if you were lucky. 

Another favorite of mine in Chicago: Brasa Roja. When The Flying Chicken closed its doors for good, this is where we satisfied all our cravings. 

Pollo a la brasa, or grilled chicken, is something Colombia has mastered as a country. With perfect golden skin, every piece is just as juicy as the next. Although it might seem simple, Colombian grilled chicken is an art in itself. The chicken must marinate in a mixture of spices like oregano, thyme, cumin, and cilantro before being grilled to perfection. It’s a tedious process with results that are worth it. 

When my father would bring home white plastic bags filled with huge styrofoam boxes, I knew what was coming: pieces of roasted chicken sitting atop white rice, chunks of potatoes, and arepas made from corn flour stuffed with cheese. My brothers and I fought for whatever remained, always unsatisfied with the amount given. 

Although chicken might seem to be the focus here, the real point of what I’m talking about is how food does not need to be fancy to be considered “good.” Pollo a la brasa, albeit underrated and difficult to perfect, is not fancy food. It’s simple food that is meant to be eaten with your hands and an abundance of napkins, with oil stains collecting on the front of your shirt. Despite this, it remains one of my favorite meals because of the amount of flavor packed into a $12 styrofoam tray. 

The traditional way of cooking pollo a la brasa. Although seems like rotisserie chicken, it is considered grilled. 

I’m not saying expensive food isn’t good; I work in a restaurant with high prices and amazing meals. But, expensive food is not always attainable for college students. This has led to me exploring the hidden restaurants tucked into corners on empty streets or exploring local grocery stores for good eats. 

On the nights where I am desperately missing pollo a la brasa, I take myself to the grocery store and pick up the next best thing a rotisserie chicken. The possibilities of rotisserie chickens are endless: chicken salad, tacos, burritos, buffalo chicken dip, sandwiches, and more. All for $10. 

The flavor might not be the same, but no one said you can’t doctor up a rotisserie chicken to your own liking! Personally, I love to shred mine. Then, when I’m ready to eat I’ll season it according to what I’m craving. This is a great way to not only get the most out of what you’re paying for but also being able to experiment with a wide range of different recipes. Like I said before, the beauty of chicken is chicken. It’s easy, versatile, and cost-friendly. Don’t be afraid to prepare it in new ways! Your options are endless from fried, baked, seared, and stuffed chicken. Whatever you’re heart desires. Just be sure to share, and remember: all food is good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, or covered in spices you can’t pronounce to be considered tasty. Take delight in the cheap eats, and share the deliciousness with others! 

If you’re curious about pollo a la brasa, I recommend trying Tio Pio! They have a great roasted chicken that is similar in flavor to the real deal. Check out the coupon below for a delicious burrito from them! 


By: Allegra Ruiz

Allegra Ruiz is a junior at New York University and she is from Chicago. She studies English and is minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading books and essay collections, and cooking for her roommates. Currently, she lives quietly in New York. 

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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Chapter 1- From New Jersey to Boston: The Decision to Move to a City

Friday, July 30th, 2021

As a junior in high school, there were only a few things I was sure of. The first was I wanted to go to a college where I could major in English and writing. These were always the subjects I was most passionate about in high school and I wanted to study something I enjoyed in college, so this choice felt clear. The second thing I was sure of is that I wanted to study abroad, preferably in London. I had always been drawn to London for some reason. Perhaps it’s because the city left a lasting impression on me after repeatedly watching the 1998 version of The Parent Trap and Mary Poppins throughout my childhood. Also, as a prospective English major, it made sense to study abroad in the country where writers like Shakespeare, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters lived. However, the gigantically glaring question that I had no answer to was this: where would I go to college?

I grew up in a town in New Jersey that is approximately a square mile and my graduating class was less than a hundred people. I had seen countless romanticized depictions in movies, books and TV shows about people moving from small towns to big cities, thus the idea of going somewhere totally different was intriguing to me. I wasn’t particularly keen on applying to any schools in New York City. It was a city I was accustomed to visiting at least twice a year and I never foresaw myself living there. It was simply too bustling for me. After doing some research, I discovered a few universities and colleges in Boston that piqued my interest. This eventually led to my uncle and I driving to Massachusetts to visit Northeastern University, Boston College, Emerson College and Boston University.

When we were not taking campus tours led by eager students, my uncle and I decided to wander around Boston and part of the surrounding suburbs, like Brookline. During our exploration of Boston, it began to dawn on me that spending a few days exploring the city and living there were two distinct things. While walking around Brookline one evening and peeking into various storefronts, I realized that if I chose Boston, I wouldn’t be a tourist in the city. If I ended up in Boston, I wouldn’t be staying in a hotel with a relative and returning home in a couple days. I would be living in this urban center on my own, which was daunting to consider, yet part of me was also excited to think of all the independence, activities and resources I would have at my disposal. 

Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University campus
Boston University. Image Credit: https://www.bu.edu/bostonia/winter-spring15/us-news-ranks-bu-37-of-top-500-global-universities/ 

I didn’t let my mind set on definitely going to school in Boston, though. I applied to colleges and universities in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so that I could be closer to home. Some of these schools even fit the idea of what I pictured a college campus to look like, with their green spaces, quads and stone facade buildings. As time passed after I submitted my applications and I was just anxiously waiting to hear back from all these schools, I subconsciously began to assume that I would most likely end up staying in New Jersey. I thought that the probability of me being accepted into the more competitive out-of-state schools was slim and it would be more financially feasible to remain in-state. Also, by the winter of my senior year of high school, everything started to feel real. I would actually be graduating, no longer see the same faces everyday and go to college. If I ended up going out of state, I would have to say goodbye to my family, which was beginning to feel like another massive change I wasn’t entirely prepared for. I was, and still am, close to my family and the thought of leaving behind this crucial support system was terrifying. 

However, on a fateful Saturday morning in March of 2017, I was shocked to be accepted into Boston University, especially after receiving a rejection from Northeastern two days prior. What was even more surprising was the financial aid package, which made BU a feasible option. Boston University certainly checked off a lot of boxes for me: I could afford to go, they had programs that interested me, I could study abroad, I would be guaranteed housing for four years, etc. Of course I was apprehensive about leaving home, but as the astonishment wore off in the following weeks, I told myself that I would regret not taking the opportunity to move somewhere new and experience being on my own. Therefore, with nervous excitement, I accepted the offer to begin my undergraduate studies at Boston University in the fall of 2017. 

Quick tip: choosing a school for either undergraduate or graduate studies is a pretty monumental decision, so you shouldn’t feel afraid to make inquiries. Whether it is sending an email to someone or posing a question when touring a campus, it will help you gather all the information you need in order to decide where to apply and, ultimately, what school to select. For instance, at the end of my campus tour of BU, I asked the tour guide about the study abroad program. It turned out that he had just returned from studying abroad in Geneva and he described the application process and what it was like living in a different country. Even though it was only one person’s account, I felt more confident in and curious about BU’s study abroad program after hearing someone else’s experience. It could also be helpful to make a list and prioritize what you are looking for in a college. What is most important to you: location, financial aid, research opportunities, study abroad options, housing, classroom size, campus lifestyle, etc.?


By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


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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Potlucks, Picnics & Pesto Pasta

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

My apartment–all 350 square feet of old wood floors and mostly functional appliances in the middle of Alphabet City–can comfortably fit about five people. Any more than that and it’s stuffy, crowded, bordering on claustrophobic. But we do it.We cram 10 people around the little dining room table (scored for free on the corner of 10th & 1st Ave) for dinner. We use mugs as wine glasses and we eat out of big bowls of pasta and salads and homemade pumpkin soup.

Juuuuust enough space at the table

The saving grace for a lot of this has been my roof. Most buildings in the Village have roof access and some of my favorite memories from school have taken place on top of buildings rather than inside them. The East Village is a great place for a rooftop party because the views can be pretty hard to beat (though, yes, I see you, Brooklyn). But from mine we can see the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, we can see Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn and also my favorite bar around the corner. Now that the weather is beautiful again, there’s nothing better than a picnic or potluck style dinner on the roof.

Rooftop dinners are our favorite tradition as friends (look at how cute we are up there!)

Potlucks are a great option for college students, because everyone can make one dish for pretty cheap. I love when friends of mine from other countries and cultures make food they grew up eating and introduce us to how they prepare and celebrate meals. I remember a couple years ago when I cooked schnitzel and hummus for everyone, one friend made vegan alfredo pasta, and another homemade empanadas. We each had a story behind our dish, and we all got to learn and enjoy the food. Cooking for people I care about and allowing them to share their food and culture with me has deepened my friendships, expanded my cultural knowledge, and taught me more about cooking than I could have imagined. Call your friends up and plan a potluck! You can choose a theme for the dishes, or just let everyone bring what they’d like. I’ll cook the pasta, she’ll bring the salad, you bring the wine!

Take your friends and food to picnic at Washington Square Park!

I have two easy, potluck-friendly dishes I want to share. They’re both things I’ve put together on my own, inspired by pasta dishes and salads my mother used to make for me. The first is a roasted butternut squash salad. Start by peeling and cubing a whole butternut squash (don’t forget to get rid of the seeds, and if you’re doing this for the first time check out this WikiHow on how to cube a squash). Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and roast at 400०F for about 30 minutes. You can also roast whole beets (wrap in tin foil and cook on a sheet pan), or buy and cube cooked beets from the store. While the veggies are roasting, chop up a shallot and let sit in water; this cuts the bite of the raw onion. When everything is ready, toss with baby arugula and crumbled goat cheese, then top with a homemade vinaigrette or just a splash each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Feel free to throw in anything else that looks good: sliced fennel would be delicious, or crushed walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

The other crowd favorite dish is pesto pasta. This is another great recipe to customize and it’s easy to make vegan, gluten free, dairy free, or whatever other restrictions you need. Cook your pasta to the directions on the box. While they’re cooking, heat chopped onion and garlic over olive oil with salt and pepper. From here, you can add whatever you want. My favorites are baby zucchini, kale, and diced chicken thighs, but you can add any veggies and protein you’d like. When your extras are done cooking, add your drained pasta to the same pan with pesto (homemade is always delicious, but nothing wrong with store bought). Stir until combined and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan! This is one of the easiest meals I make and a lot of my friends say it’s their favorite thing I’ve ever cooked for them.

A blurry look into my most recent potluck: pesto pasta, roasted asparagus, French mussels, and chicken in wine!

I hope these recipes inspire you to get cooking for others. And if you’re really not the cooking type, offer to bring the wine!

Dive in!

Cora Enterline is a senior at NYU studying law, ethics, and religion. She’s studied and worked in Paris and Tel Aviv, where she loved biking, traveling, dancing, and teaching English. She has a love for foreign languages, sad novels, themed dinner parties, and red wine by candlelight. This summer, follow her blog to learn easy, student-friendly recipes and find inspiration from around the world for your own dinners, picnics, and culinary adventures at home!


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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A Word on ‘Potatoes’: Chapter 3 — Cooking With What You Have

Monday, July 26th, 2021

As a struggling freshman, I often found my stomach growling in anger as the night approached. Once the sun had set far past the horizon, my feet carried me to the kitchen cupboards in my dorm, searching for old cookie crumbs. But, past the half-empty cookie boxes and stale pieces of bread remained one dorm staple: potatoes. 

My dorm in London, where all the cooking would take place after long hours in school. 

No good meal is complete without potatoes. Whether mashed with butter, roasted with garlic, pan-fried, or made into thin chips, potatoes are one of the most versatile foods and they are cheap. 

In my freshman year of college, my roommates and I often pooled money at the beginning of the week to finance shared grocery trips. Using the few bills we could scrounge up after busy weekends partying around London, we would head to the grocery store. This was the time to buy the essentials: toilet paper, bread, butter, various kinds of milk, and of course, potatoes. By purchasing these items altogether, not only did we show care by proving we would provide for one another, but we also created an unspoken rule: “I won’t let you go hungry.” These were the items we shared the things we used together as a small community. It put trust in each of us that if anyone ever needed something but didn’t have the means to get it, we would step in and help. This is one of the many ways we created a family within the dorm and built a solid foundation for a community. 

The cooking was often left to me. Having held a knife in my hand for the first time at the age of eight, one could say I know my way around a kitchen. After hours of studying, working in the university’s Student office, and speaking to my family from across the ocean, I often started my cooking process well into the evening. In a dorm with seven other girls, food goes as fast as it comes. One minute you would have seven pieces of chicken fresh off the stove, simmered in onions and tomato sauce with a hint of oregano and garlic, and the next minute you would have only the bones. The groceries did not last us long especially for me. I was known for sharing my meals, occasionally charging students from other dorm rooms for a plate of rice, guacamole, tacos, and salsa. At the end of the week, all I had left to eat were the neglected potatoes sitting in the corner of the kitchen, begging to live a little longer. Wrinkled and slightly soft, the sad spuds were eventually used to satisfy the growing growls of our stomachs. Despite them looking questionable before cooking, I never failed to create a tasty meal for my roommates, and I always knew they would walk away from a potato dinner with a smile on their face and a satisfied stomach. 

A favorite “potato meal” of mine: butter chicken and potatoes simmered together on top of white rice.

Potatoes are great because they’re versatile. They go with anything and everything. Although we originally ate them out of pure hunger and necessity, they have become a staple item in my apartment. When my roommates see me bring home a small bag of potatoes, it only takes them a few minutes to softly ask “So….potatoes for dinner?”

A recent meal I made for my roommates of roasted potatoes, breaded chicken cutlets, and an arugula salad.

If you ever find yourself in need of a quick and cost-effective recipe for potatoes, feel free to use mine! 

Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients

– Small potatoes (as many as you would like)

– 4 cloves of garlic 

– 2 teaspoons of oregano

– 2 teaspoons of chili flakes

– 2 teaspoons of onion powder

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Steps 

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Cut potatoes into halves and place into a bowl
  3. Mince garlic
  4. Coat potatoes with olive oil, spices, and garlic
  5. Once well coated, place the potatoes onto a baking tray
  6. Place into the preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Enjoy!

If you’re out of potatoes or don’t feel like turning on the oven in this heat, use the coupon below for sushi at Okinii!


By: Allegra Ruiz

Allegra Ruiz is a junior at New York University and she is from Chicago. She studies English and is minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading books and essay collections, and cooking for her roommates. Currently, she lives quietly in New York. 

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