Posts Tagged ‘student’

Be Wary of Placing Limits and Expiration Dates on Friendships

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

The idea for this chapter came to mind as I was talking to one of my good college friends, who happens to be two years older than me, about her experience with friendship “expiration dates.” That was the very first time I had heard anyone describe the all-too-familiar way in which we inadvertently place people and potential friends into very defined and limited categories, steering away from what we see as “expired” (or soon to be expired) relationships. I thought back to all the people I’d met in the last few weeks of middle or high school whom I’d given up on before even getting to know, all because it was simply “too late” (spoiler alert: it really wasn’t). I remembered how I’d labeled people as too cool, too old or too young, or, quite simply, too different to approach.

My friend, whom we’ll call Abby, had come into her freshman year of college with a very similar attitude; that is, until she realized there were only a few weeks left in her first year, and she hadn’t figured out her place in college yet. When she turned to her fellow first-years, they seemed to be in a very similar boat, which is when she realized she needed to change course, and quickly. With graduation looming not so far ahead, these wise, older students would soon fall in the “expired” category. Abby decided that she’d meet each senior student once, if only just to touch base and extract whatever they had to say about their own college experience, and then leave her coffee appointments smarter, wiser and all the better for it. This impromptu, speed-friend-dating escapade of hers, however, would bear very different fruits than she could’ve possibly imagined. It was during what was meant to be nothing more than a one-hour coffee break, Abby told me, that she’d met one of the girls whom she now considered one of her best friends. To this day, they take the time to speak (or text or call) almost every week, keeping themselves in the other’s life via simple but frequent updates. Although the nature of their friendship has made it so that they’re rarely in the same place at the same time, Abby and her friend have learned how to make space for their friendship in their respective lives. And if that isn’t a sign of true friendship, I don’t know what is.  

“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” by katerha is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As Abby shared this with me, I felt like my mind was going a thousand miles a minute. Over the course of my own freshman year, I had experienced first-hand what it felt like to get caught-up in a bunch of “surface” friendships, to be constantly surrounded by people and still feel stranded on my own personal island of loneliness. It was by talking to Abby, however, and after realizing that I had been able to make genuine and long-lasting connections near the end of the year, that I began to see how that feeling had been partially my own fault. From the very beginning, I had come into college with the idea that my first-year friends were something temporary, people that would only last for a certain phase of my life, relationships that I had to form because I hated being alone, and as a result of that, I hadn’t truly given each friend a chance. Because of my fears (of being left behind, of failing to assimilate), I had been in a sort of friendship paralysis, where I focused on making “realistic” friends, and placed people into attainable vs. unattainable categories. In short, I forgot about the fact that behind each friend, there’s a very real and unique human being, who has very real and unique things to bring to my life, even if it’s not always in a way that I’m familiar or already comfortable with. And that’s what made me realize that it’s kind of ridiculous to put an expiration date on people, because no amount of distance, time differences, or personal differences can spoil the type of connection that forms between two people who are dedicated to letting friendship bloom between them.

Main Takeaways (If this chapter evoked something in you that says “Oh yeah, I do that,” or if you’re currently experiencing that weird “not-alone but lonely” stage of life (we’ve all been there), I’d encourage you to do one of two things): 

  • Reach out to that person you’ve been hesitant to hang out with, whether it’s because you think you’re too different, or you don’t see the chance of a long-lasting friendship; you never actually know what can happen unless you try, and worst-case scenario they say no (and you’re right back where you started).
  • Take steps to deepen one of your current relationships by being more intentional with each other; set the standard for a deeper friendship, whether it’s by being more open in communication or changing the usual setting of your relationship. 

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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You Can’t Live in the Honeymoon Phase (And You Probably Don’t Want To)

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

You’ve probably heard of the Honeymoon Phase, a term generally used to refer to that special moment right after you meet someone where it all just feels so new and exciting that you’re willing to overlook any annoyances or red flags. It’s likely you’ve experienced this feeling yourself, as well as the staunch disappointment that comes with the (at times) harsh transition out of this phase — it’s important to remember, however, that the Honeymoon phase is, by its very nature, not made to last and that is actually very good news.

Here’s the thing about making friends, especially in college; not every friendship is created equal, and you have to learn very quickly to prioritize. Every week, day, and hour, you’re meeting someone new who lives within a 5-mile radius of where you live, and with whom you are likely to have at least one thing in common, even if that is only that you both go to the same school. The possibilities of friendship are endless, which, although exciting, can very quickly lead to social burnout or the accumulation of a whole lot of what I like to call “surface friends.” These are acquaintances who have moved into the “friends” category by default, without any true intentionality from either party. These types of friendships, while serving their purpose (and doing it well) in certain situations, cannot be the core of what you consider friendship to be. A true friend is someone who, as in every other relationship in your life, you are willing to invest time and effort into. They’re people whom you can trust with a secret, those who you can spam with messages without worrying about how that will change their perception of you by making you seem too needy, too careless, too attached…

This brings us back to the topic at hand—the honeymoon phase. At this point, I find it helpful to think of the types of friendships you’re looking to form in college as extensions, or at the very least close replicas, of the relationships you have with close family members, such as siblings, cousins or even parents. If you can truly say you never fight with these people in your life, I suggest you think of writing a book on the matter (and please send me an advance copy). More likely, however, you are no stranger to the daily, at times hourly, tussles or disagreements that come with close cohabitation or relationship with people—and the type of conflict negotiation that comes when abandoning the relationship is not even an option that crosses your mind. That is what you’re looking to replicate when forming friendships in college — at least the core, close ones. When you think about it, your friends become your new family: your home away from home. I’m not suggesting they can replace your family (my mother would kill me), but you do need to see them as the new nucleus to your life at college. And, as you do not shy away from conflict or disagreement in your related family, you should not do so in your new, “adopted” family.

“Honeymoon Sunset…” by douea is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In my own experience, I’ve found that approaching certain friendships with a renewed sense of commitment (one which I communicated with them) despite not always “clicking” with people on every level, has led to incredible growth in my personal as well as professional life. It’s normal at the beginning to focus on the quantity of friends – life moves fast on a college campus, and freshman year especially feels like a race for stability. Something I found useful was to, after the first couple of weeks, choose which group/club/activity I was willing and wanting to dedicate more of my time to. There, I got to know a small group of people very well, and began looking for ways to see them in different settings and situations during the week. Instead of seeing them only in large group meetings, I reached out to individual people (or they did me) and asked them to grab coffee, lunch, study together or go on a walk to that place on campus everyone had been talking about.

This was truly a turning point for my college experience – it not only taught me more about commitment and responsibility to others, but gave me enough faith in my ability to form deep, true friendships that I became more open and confident even in my “surface friendships.” True, committed friendships are life giving, because they do not focus on using each other for convenience—rather, they are a balance of give-and-take, in which you learn to grow and experience life as independent adults together.

Main Takeaways: 

  • The “Honeymoon Phase” is great for making new friends and should be taken fully advantage of when you’re in it, but you shouldn’t be afraid of moving past it to get to the core, real and honest side of friendship.
  • Forming a nucleus of close friends is an important part of finding stability in college, and teaches you important values such as acceptance, accountability and conflict resolution.

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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Friendships, A Puzzling Affair

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

If you’re anything like me, you like to use metaphors to try and make sense of the world around you. And if you’re nothing like me, all the better; sometimes, metaphors are most appreciated by those standing outside their wily bounds, looking on with a critical and unconvinced eye.

Without further ado, I’d like to present to you the Friendship Metaphor (FM)(I hope you’ll excuse this unimaginative title, but too much creativity can be a bad thing). As indicated by the title of this chapter, this metaphor revolves entirely around one of the most controversial pastimes known to man: puzzles. Some people love them, some people hate them (yours truly), but I think that generally, most people derive a certain satisfaction from the process of finding pieces which only moments before being joined into a seamless design were little more than individual units floating in a sea of possibilities and wrong roads.

      There are two ways to go about the metaphor from here. First, you can think of yourself as one of the puzzle pieces; this option is not entirely appealing to me. Firstly, it assumes that you are some unchangeable, fixed piece, and we all know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Think back to the person you were ten, five or even one year ago. You probably don’t approach life (and therefore friendships) in the same way as you did then. Secondly, this view of the metaphor assumes that you can only be connected to the pieces right next to you, those that resemble you the most. I think you can see why that might be an unrealistic visualization.

      We arrive, therefore, at the place I believe the FM maximizes its full metaphorical potential for helping us understand friendship formation: rather than seeing yourself as the puzzle piece, view yourself as the master, and the pieces as the various relationships and connections you are building. Here, you are the one putting the pieces together, taking different approaches to how you build friendships and relationships in every area of your life. Just like when assembling a puzzle, you are motivated at the start–the possibilities are endless, and you’re confident in your ability to complete this puzzle. Then, frustration–you realize finding matching pieces is not as easy as you’d thought, and that the pieces and approaches you’d counted on are failing you. In desperation, you may put the puzzle aside for a while and tell yourself that this “hobby” isn’t for you after all, only to pick it up again,letting the entire cycle restart.


“Puzzle” by INTVGene is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As a college student, as you move away from home and feel lost in a sea of new people, keep this in mind: you’re not restarting the puzzle at every friendship you forge, just working on a different section. In a way, you’ve been assembling the puzzle your whole life. When you were little, maybe a loved one helped you out with the hard parts. Now, they’re giving you space to figure it out.

So, if the Friendship Metaphor can help you approach friendships in college in any way, I hope it’s by reminding you how capable you are of completing this puzzle, your puzzle. I’m not saying it will be easy, nor will it always be pleasant. But what I can guarantee is that if you let the fear of failure stop you, your unfinished puzzle will just become an annoying reminder of all the friendships you could’ve forged and that are just waiting for you to accept them into your life.

Main takeaways:

  • Forging friendships is like putting together a puzzle, where you’re the assembler and the pieces are all the connections and relationships you are forging.
  • It’s normal to be overwhelmed or even frustrated when assembling a puzzle – and it’s no different with friendships. In those cases, it can be helpful to remind yourself that you’re not necessarily starting over, just working on a different part of the puzzle (and your life).

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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Surviving College: The Cycle of Exhaustion

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Sometimes we just feel too beaten down to care anymore. We allow ourselves to fall into unhealthy patterns, making bad decisions at every turn. I miss feeling healthy and in control of my life. Homework and the freezing weather of NYC have beaten me down. But I want to feel healthy and in control of my life again. I want to wake up early every single morning and jump out of bed like the old days. I want to go to the gym and spend hours working off the calories from my meal plan. I want to have time to do my hair or put some makeup on in the morning instead of running out of the room ten minutes after I wake up because I am late for class again. I want to paint my nails and go on cute dates around the city. But most of all, I want to feel happy and confident in myself again.

I have been wanting all of these before I set foot in New York. I remember talking with my closest friends about how mature and productive we were going to be in college, what we would accomplish, and how well we would manage our time doing everything we wanted. When you fantasize about college, you never fantasize about the crippling workload, the constant loneliness, the thousands of miles between you and your friends, the deprivation of beautiful home-cooked meals now reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas, or the exhaustion.

Everyone has experienced lethargy from lack of sleep. But college elevates exhaustion in a heightened, torturous form of sleep deprivation. For many other college students like me, the unhappiness over the sudden changes in your life is the main source of this tiredness. Your unhappiness keeps you awake at night and keeps you asleep throughout the day. Not an actual state of sleeping, but in a foggy middle ground of daydreams so you can’t really say you’re awake but you also can’t just fall asleep because you only wrote one-hour worth of your three-hour art theory lecture with a ton of work left. When I’m unhappy with my lack of control, I escape into my dreams.

However, life keeps moving while I am asleep so I always feel like I need to catch back up when I wake up. This is the exhausting part. You rush to catch up to life, worrying and stressing even more, and then just as you’ve caught up and the angst fades, the exhaustion has caught up to you as well, and the cycle repeats. I’m stuck on this Ferris wheel of being jaded and sad, but at least I have noticed it. I have seen my mistakes, my missteps, and now I know how to fix them, right? Naturally, that is where this conversation should go since I am giving my advice to whoever is reading this, but I can’t make that claim.

Life isn’t about having all the right answers and living in a perfect world where you never fail. Nobody has all-knowing power, but we can make guesswork at how to find happiness. I want to be happy as I was when I was eight when I was playing sports, venturing through the forest, building forts with my brothers, swimming at the beach, or crafting sandcastles. Nowadays when I have free time, I watch an episode of Bojack Horseman or The Office, scroll through Instagram, or laugh at Key and Peele skits on Youtube, but I no longer play outside.

I saw the Ted Talk “Why you should take time to play.” As a high schooler then, I didn’t connect to the video the first time I watched it, but now that I am in college with barely any free time, I should watch it again. Realizing you’re unhappy and not in control of your life will not automatically restore happiness. But realizing that you need a change and actively committing yourself to it will form a new, healthier cycle.

Remember

  • Check in with yourself
  • Discover what has changed about you and how this makes you feel
  • Make conscious decisions to change, out with the old and in with the new

 

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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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The Diary of a College Student: Adjusting to Life Off-Stage and into the Lecture Hall

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

In having been an actor for over 10 years of my life the adjustment that I experienced in not pursuing acting further in college was interesting, to say the least. Before that, life had been a world of opportunity in the sense that anywhere could have been a stage upon which to demonstrate my craft, my commitment, my skill, etc..

Upon arriving in New York City as a freshman college student, I found myself searching for something new around which to center my life. Something that could fill the void I felt inside me. I wanted to substitute something for the hours of intense training, detail-oriented rehearsals, and a creativity that was conditioned to image the sufferings and joys of human existence. I was in the process of reimagining my life, adjusting to my new life off-stage, in lecture halls, and among unfamiliar peers; in the manner that I would live, the activities that I would pursue daily, the motivation that I felt that pushed me toward always becoming better than what I was the day before, etc.. I believe that this time, a time of life re-imagined, can relate to, and is shared by, those who experience a dramatic shift in their day-to-day routines, their sense of limitation, and their sense of liberty when choosing what to prioritize in life.

This especially applies to college students, namely Freshmen, who recently removed themselves from a familiar environment full of routine and safety. In attending an out-of-town, an out-of-state, or international university, students are faced with the difficult task of taking what they knew as life and drastically reimaging it to suit their needs in their new localities. The difficulties arises from temptation. Temptation that is reinforced by the general newfound liberty of independent living. Spiderman taught me at a young age that “with great power comes great responsibility,” and it is a fact of human existence that ameliorating one’s liberty of choice, freedom of expression, and right to self-determination is directly relatable to one’s sense power.

So in here lies the subject of responsibility. What this essay aims to make palpable is the difficulty that exists in maintaining one’s sense of responsibility and pragmatism during this time of life re-imagined. Before, we discussed the opportunities college students have in trying to find the best student deals, spark new relationships, curate better hygiene, etc. when in an unfamiliar place, such as attending a new school. However, it is this greater realization of the individual’s power of choice that is the true subject of this discourse. I don’t want to sound cliché, but for new college students, there is no greater excitement then determining exactly what it is that makes you happy and using those sources of happiness to your advantage.

Image Credit: http://www.scei.edu.au/news

The overwhelming nature of arriving in a different city, into a situation where there are no longer limits on the things you can try, or finding where those things will begin generally brings anxiety with it. It is good to feel that anxiety, because it means that you value what your life is and your happiness in living it. If I could go back and tell myself a tidbit of advice freshman year, I would tell him this: there is no greater opportunity missed than living a life that prioritizes your health, your happiness, and your ability to make patient deliberated decisions. That may seem like an Olympian sized feat, but it begins with the littlest of things. For example, when one prioritizes their health and ability to focus and deliberate, than drinking the night before a test perhaps wouldn’t even enter one’s mind as a viable option.

Image Credit: https://www.pragmait.com/therapyboss/blog/short-term-or-long-term-goals-still-required/

It may seem a little extreme. However, when I was adjusting to my life off-stage there were many decisions that I see now as being nothing but a hindrance on my overall goal of being happy. I was more concerned with my momentary happiness and less concerned with prioritizing my long term goals.  It is easy to try and find the most exciting thing to do as a young new college freshman or sophomore, but it is all too easy to get caught up in the overwhelming liberty that comes with newfound independence. Always prioritize the life you want to be living and don’t simply live in the moment, and I promise that your life re-imagined will be a rewarding one to live.

By James Rodriguez


A Texan born and raised, James Rodriguez grew up in San Antonio TX, and has recently graduated from New York University, having studied corporate and political publicity. He sings, plays guitar, studies French, etc. in his free time, and when given the opportunity to share advice that he thought noteworthy with future or current college students, he jumped on the chance. He believes that there is something incredibly important in obtaining knowledge from those who are going through or have recently finished dealing with the difficulties one is seeking advice on. Which is exactly the aim of the Campus Clipper: to share the best advice possible in order to better the experiences of students who are struggling now. Because he was once that lost college student who was searching for instruction and who felt out-of-place and in need of direction, he hopes that his words can relate to someone’s struggle and help along the way. 

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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Philautia

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Courtesy: Sublime360

Courtesy: Sublime360

I have often been told that I don’t love myself enough to walk away from things that generate negativity: things meaning people – people mostly harmful to my mental health. Seldom do advisors forget the phrase, “Love yourself.” But how does one love herself when she is repeatedly being told to love others and be respectful of them as soon as she walks on two feet instead of four. Her first teenage heartbreak and she suddenly hears the phrase, “fall in love with yourself first,” the same one in different voices.

Falling in love with oneself isn’t easy. You know your own flaws and imperfections and to give a damaged human being that kind of unconditional love requires a lot of patience and dedication; it requires trust.

We often don’t trust ourselves with a lot of things. I don’t trust that I can ever get an A in my statistics class. I think I am incapable of achieving that score. And if I think I am incapable, I will never be capable. I don’t necessarily trust myself to be the most satisfied human being and hence I will simply never be one.

There is no hard learned formula for falling in love, sometimes you might not even realize but you may have fallen head over heels with someone already. But falling in love with yourself requires a guidebook; a guidebook with one simple rule that quite bluntly states, “In order to love yourself, you must behave in ways that you admire (Irving Yalom).”

Courtesy: Tiny Buddha

Courtesy: Tiny Buddha

 

 

Everyone visualises an ideal self and the closer you are to your ideal self, the more likely you are to appreciate yourself. My ideal self is an extremely selfless human being: a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 but I might only be 7 as of yet. And in order for me to love myself in the purest form, I have to strive to be the 10.

Everywhere everyone around you is searching for this ideal self, not in themselves but in others. Often when we don’t love ourselves enough, we go looking for someone else to love us and show us our best selves. Often we come across people hoping they would fill up the void in our lives. And this very void that we are so desperate to fill, makes us feel vulnerable and naked.

Love for me is beyond any measure of lust or beauty. Love is what comforts you just by the thought of it. There is love in friendship and there is love in honesty. However, the brutality of love is that it ruins you. But philautia (self love) unlike any other kind of love, always uplifts you.

I have loved and lost. And I feel so scared that I’m never going to feel that way again. I am relentlessly looking for love while I’m also subconsciously waiting for it to knock on my door as a surprise.

But instead of waiting in distress, it is time I provide myself with what I am desperately searching for.

As college students we almost always fall prey to conversations that involve friends almost always talking about the people they are dating. You suddenly become the “other” when you feel alienated. You suddenly become the “other” when everyone around you is either falling in or out of love. The college environment exerts a certain pressure on you where you feel compelled to give in to what everyone else seems to be doing. If anything, you resort to Tinder or Bumble.

So stop dating that guy who abused you. Stop looking for love on websites where commitment phobics look for hook up buddies. Stop hanging around with someone who makes you his side chick.

Identify the things you love about him. List it on a sticky note. Hang it on your mirror. This will remind you that these are the qualities you adore. These are the things that you should train yourself to excel in.

When you stop looking for them in others, you will start looking for them inside you. There is no harm in being old school and waiting for love to come to you instead of trying to find it at a bar or club. Halt. Don’t rush.

We have a long way to go, many paths of life are yet to be discovered so live on with the hope of every path taking you to a better destination each time. We have big dreams, big enough to scare us. But only with belief and trust, will these dreams become realities.

 

By Sushmita Roy

Sushmita Roy is a Campus Clipper intern and a junior at NYU majoring in Journalism and Psychology. Her research interests includes immigration, human interest stories and social psychology. When she’s not studying, Sushmita enjoys catching up with friends, binge watching TV shows and cooking for anyone and everyone. 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. 

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Between Theory and Practice

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

As a student, I’ve always enjoyed reading and dissecting theory. Abstract concepts of power, race, and gender always interested me, and I enjoy coming up with creative interpretations of their inter-relationships.

But talking isn’t enough. To enact social change, I must be willing to practice theory on the ground. So I’ve tried to get moving, to put what I’ve read about into action. As years of messy practice have shown, practical application is much more difficult than mere theory. I make mistakes, I feel uncomfortable, and I often just want to retreat back into theory.

I’ve developed a metaphor for my attempts to pursue social justice. Theory is like English- it’s my native language, it’s familiar, and it’s much easier for me to implement. On the other hand, practice is like Spanish. I learned it later in life, and because the sounds and words did not embed themselves in my brain as a child, they come much more slowly to mind. I will never be fully fluent, nor as confident in Spanish.

But Spanish (and practice) are a necessary component of social justice work. They stretch my mind, add to my vocabulary, and guarantee that I am not too comfortable. They remind me of my limits, and open up larger segments of the population to me. I’m able to meet people where they are, to speak their language rather than forcing them to speak mine. It’s a small way I try to right the very unequal power dynamics between Spanish and English speakers. When non-native speakers make mistakes in English, they are looked down upon, derided. But when I speak Spanish, even though I’m far from fluent, I am complimented. My attempts are praised, and my learning Spanish is seen as going the extra mile, while speaking perfect English is considered a requisite for anyone living in the United States.

Of course, pursuing justice is a lofty goal. Those who attempt to bring about justice either get overwhelmed by the impossible task, or become consumed by their own accomplishments. It’s hard to strike a balance between giving up and becoming prideful. Even though I can’t save the world, I need to at least try to ensure to mitigate the negative effects I evoke by doing nothing. Just by being on this planet, I am creating a carbon footprint. By living my relatively privileged life, I am abetting systems that perpetuate racism. By seeking my own satisfaction, I am depriving others of resources. To counter these realities, the best I can hope to do is to impact one little corner of the world as best I can.

Audre Lorde, a Black Lesbian Feminist scholar, emphasizes the potential positive uses for anger. She writes, “Anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision and our future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification” (Sister Outsider, 127). For people of color, anger is often their only weapon against the oppression they experience daily.
Whether through speaking Spanish, pursuing action, or expressing anger, practical implementation is the enactment of true commitment to social justice.

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year Master’s student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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. 

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NYC: On the Street

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

I’ve been in New York for about a month now, and what an overwhelming month it was. Between cramming everything I own into my tiny car and driving from Michigan, to meeting my ten (ten!) new housemates, to getting scammed, to getting scammed again by the stupid transit system, to navigating the New York University campus, to getting off at the wrong subway stop, to getting utterly lost while on a run– it’s been anything if not exciting.

One of the most immediately striking features of New York City is the swirl of languages, food, and dress on every corner. Of course, it would be silly for me to see this diversity as proof that NYC is post-racial or completely harmonious. New York has issues, as does every city.

A metaphor I’ve developed for thinking of the city’s culturescape is the subway. Essential yet hated by most New Yorkers, the subway is dirty, unreliable, and overall frustrating- but it’s most people’s only option. NYU is exactly 6.1 miles from my house in Brooklyn- it takes 50 minutes to commute into Manhattan, and that’s on a good day. After dodging drips from the sagging ceiling, I jump the gap between the platform and the train to squeeze in with the other haggard commuters. The subway is the great equalizer: in the dark damp, it’s hard to be superior to others when you’re lumped into a mass. Fancy clothes are at risk of being soiled, and uncomfortable shoes don’t lend themselves to the constant walking required to transverse the city.

One of the stations I frequent. Courtesy Tumblr

One of the stations I frequent. Courtesy Tumblr

 

In the subway, there are no barriers. The privileged cannot use tall gates, expensive cars, or newfangled security systems to distinguish themselves from the “rabble,” us common folk. We are the human condition, pressed into a small, shabby subway car together. We are all subjected to the same delays, the same discomfort, the same noises and smells. We all pay the same price (3 bucks a pop!) to push past the turnstile and descend.

The only method of separation available to subway passengers is a bit of flimsy plastic: earbuds that provide music, but also sound barriers against the din of the subway. Our earbuds denote a small pool of personal space- a little island of privacy in the dense crowds of people, not to mention the sometimes alarming squeal of the train on its tracks. This personal space, however, is an illusion- someone can sway into and bump you when the train jerks to a stop. Also, safety is at least at the back of each passenger’s mind- especially if the passenger happens to be of the female variation. At any point, the 1% of the crowd that harbors unsavory intent might slip a hand into a pocket or worse.

Every time I curse the faulty public transit system, I know I should remember that this is how most of the world travels- via feet, bicycle, bus, or creaky subway train. At the very least, I should take it as a reminder of privilege, and that my entitlement is as illusory as that personal space we try to claim when crushed in amongst the crowd.

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year Master’s student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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. 

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How to Navigate White Identity

Friday, September 8th, 2017

When I was first exposed to racial justice work, I went through a serious white-guilt phase. I was learning about institutional racism and other obstacles people of color faced, and I became uncomfortably aware of how I might be indirectly contributing to oppression. I dealt with that guilt by trying to distance myself from other whites. This of course wasn’t really possible, given the amount of white people surrounding me on a daily basis, but my friends started to notice. In response to my denouncement of white culture, my friends would say, “Anna hates white people.” I would weakly deny it, but they did have a point.

As a 14-year-old, I was confusedly trying to compensate for white privilege by clumsily embracing other cultures. It was a little misguided, but I was on to something. By distancing myself from white culture, I was able to better understand other cultures. Being stuck in white guilt was debilitating, but it was a necessary step in my growth as an ally. If I had stayed in that phase, bitterness and a skewed sense of the world would have kept me from forming friendships with not only whites, but with everyone. I had to come to terms with my whiteness because it was something that was never going to change. At the same time, because I had distanced myself from white culture, I was able to see more clearly the parts that were problematic. White culture becomes problematic when it is so dominant that all other cultures become the “other,” standing in contrast to the “norm,” white culture. The “othering” of non-white cultures results in the alienation of people of color, leading to stereotypes and discrimination.

During college, I realized that I could claim the majority of my white culture, while dismissing the problematic aspects. For example, I could acknowledge that I was white, but challenge the privileged way I was treated simply due to skin color. I could protest when my friends of color were mistreated, and use my privilege to help rather than hurt. Of course, this is a broad commitment which is difficult to enact in concrete ways, and I’ve struggled to find a way to respectfully do this work. For example, I reject the idea that the only acceptable form of “family” is a nuclear (mom, dad, fewer than 4 kids) one. However, it would be playing into stereotypes to assume that all Latino families are extended (including grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) or that all black families have only one parent in the home.

As you can probably tell, there are several lines to toe here. If you’re a wypipo (white person,) the best guiding bit of advice is to do a lot of listening. Every one of your friends will have a different opinion, and it’s a good idea to gather knowledge from each of these perspectives. Also, prepare to be uncomfortable! Part of the white privilege I try to surrender is always being the majority. This involves putting myself into situations where I’m in the minority. Although I’m still protected by my white privilege, I need these moments in order to understand what it feels like to the outsider. If you’re uncomfortable, you’re doing something right.

My apartmentmates and I poked fun at white culture with our Basic White Culture shoot (note the pumpkin)

My apartment mates and I poking fun at white culture with our Basic White Girl shoot (note the pumpkin).

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year Master’s student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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. 

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From New York to….Home

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

I think there are only a few places in your life that you can call home when it comes down to it. Hopefully you’ll get to go to a lot of places and see the world everything that it holds, but home, that’s special. I’m sure for most of you, who are reading this during or just before your college experience, home is where you grew up. It’s your high school, your childhood friends, your first love, and the good times with your family. It’s hard to leave all of that.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

Vadodara, Gujarat Taken by Jainita Patel

Vadodara, Gujarat
Taken by Jainita Patel

But it’s worth it. Coming to New York was one of the best experiences of my life in that I started to realize that home can be more than one place. The longer you live somewhere the more comfortable it becomes, the more wrapped up you become in everyday life. In New York especially, you become jaded and tired. And I think that’s when it’s important to remember those initial feelings you had right before coming to NYC. The fear, the wonder, the bewilderment. The first article I ever wrote for the Campus Clipper was trying to recreate that small-town feeling in NYC and I think that though that’s helpful initially, you’ll find that in a few years you won’t need it anymore. Though this is a wondrous thing at first—you’re finally a real New Yorker!—this city wears on you if you don’t find novelty in its diverse number of activities.

I find that when I go back home—the Jersey Shore, in this case—I’m hit with the nostalgic feeling that only accompanies places you can no longer call home. The places where all of the adventures have been had and all the memories made, laminated, and bound into a book you only open on rainy days. Though this is a harder feeling to accomplish in NYC, sometimes it can feel that way.

And that’s when its important to get out—physically or mentally—if you can. Just for a little while.

Adventures don’t have to be thousand-dollar expeditions to other countries. Even just taking the train outside of NYC for a day can be an adventure if you make it one. Adventure is a mindset, not a physical act. Distancing yourself from the monotony of classes and workdays can be freeing in ways that are unimaginable. Because New York is a miracle and a curse for those of us who live here.

 

View of New York.  Taken by Jainita Patel

View of New York.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Vadodara, Gujarat. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Vadodara, Gujarat.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

The best time to have this mentality is as a student, when loans cover most of your expenses and though you’ll have to pay them back eventually, for now you’re free to do as you please. Studying abroad is something I would encourage to anyone that can find the means to do so. That is one of the reasons my articles have been so Euro-centric. I went to London for 6 months and ended up traversing around the continent instead of going to class. It was worth it. It’s very stereotypical for a middle class person under thirty to say “I went to Europe and it changed my life,” and I’m not saying that Europe itself changed me, but it did give me an appreciation for the adventures that I have already had and the adventures that I want to have in my home city or wherever I end up in the future.

Before I got into college, I used to go back to my parents’ hometown of Vadodara in Gujarat, India a lot. This was, in a way, my home away from home. Very soon after my taste for adventure blossomed, I quickly realized that Vadodara would always be my parents’ home even if the Shore is also their home.

What I mean to say is that one can have multiple homes and that you don’t have to go to a certain place to have an adventure. Adventure is all around us and if you’re willing to put in the effort to go, it could make you realize things about the world in all its vastness and yourself in all your infinites that you would’ve never thought of until you got lost in Wales or had to take a 14 hour bus from Paris to Berlin. These stories eventually become a part of you.

As much as I love New York, I think it’s important to get away for a bit. Whether it’s a couple days or a few years. Right now, home for me is New York. But it’s also the Shore. It’s also every month I spent in India growing up, playing with my cousins, and feeding stray cows. It’s walking the streets of Edinburgh like I grew up there and getting angry at the trolley in Prague. It’s cozied up in the Paris Shakespeare and Co. and freezing to death for the view in Vik, Iceland.

Home can be a few places, but the world is too big to just stay in one place. So get out there and see what it has to offer. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Me and my cousin circa 1999 in Vadodara.

Me and my cousin circa 1999 in Vadodara.

Me! Taken by Jainita Patel

Me in my tiny NYC apartment cerca 2017.
Taken by Jainita Patel

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. 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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