Posts Tagged ‘values’

New Cities, New Meals: Chapter 2 — Finding Home Through Food

Monday, July 19th, 2021

When moving to London, you need to pack your favorite clothes, an adapter, and as many tortillas as your bag will fit. 

I left Chicago in 2019 to study at New York University, London. I had never crossed the ocean or left the continent, let alone leave the comfort of my mother’s home for more than two days. The thought of living with people I had never met terrified me, but I knew there was one way to bridge the gap between strangers —food. 

If you ever find yourself in London, just know you will hardly find Mexican food that resembles anything found in America. For one thing, the chicken is coated in cumin and cooked with bell peppers in a thick layer of pepper jack cheese —a sad attempt at the already untraditional “fajitas.” The tortillas are always made with flour, and if you ask for corn, you will be given a look of confusion before being told, “I’m sorry, what?” The sour cream is overly thick and tastes of nothing, and the salsa almost always contains random pieces of corn. You will walk away sad, disappointed, and missing home even more. As a word of advice, stick to Indian food instead. 

I could not accept that Mexican food, my food, was nearly impossible to find — so I made my own. Slightly untraditional? Yes. Hard to source? Yes. More expensive than Taco Bell? Yes, but the outcome was all that mattered. Over plates of chicken tacos I made with naan instead of tortillas, yellow rice, and beans that definitely had not been soaked long enough before cooking, the eight girls shoved into a small, university apartment with me spoke about the lives they left across the ocean. Other students in the building, probably enticed by the smell of garlic and freshly chopped cilantro, would knock on our room door, handing me £2 in exchange for a plate piled high with whatever I made that evening. Slowly, the strangers I was so nervous to meet became my new family, and together we marveled at the differences between home and our new lives. It was as though the family dinners I had almost 4,000 miles away followed me to Central London, teaching me to form my own community with those who now surrounded me. 

Korean fried chicken and dumplings from the local food market in London. Better than the Mexican food, and cheap!

After London, and after quarantine, I found myself repeating the cycle of using food as a means of unity in New York. Sitting on the floor of my new East Village apartment with shared bowls of expensive ramen from the restaurant downstairs, my roommates and I again told stories of our mothers’ cooking and spending summers in our grandparents’ homes. These conversations led to open dialogue, then to honest and vulnerable communication, and finally unity and trust — all while shoveling steamed dumplings in soy sauce and chili oil into our mouths. Like the weekly family dinners I had in Chicago, and the £2 meals I cooked for other students to enjoy in London, I formed a small, trusting relationship with my new roommates in the East Village by sharing a meal with them. Whether it’s a few pretzels, a plain bag of potato chips, or just a bite of a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel (the best are from Sunny & Annie’s on 6th St.), sharing food shows others you are willing to share yourself — your time, your stories, the things you enjoy. 

So, the next time you find yourself unaware of how to build a community, whether in your home or a faraway land, simply open up a bag of chips and offer to share — the conversation will start soon enough, maybe over a bowl of Gorin Ramen!


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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At the Dining Table: Chapter 1 – Creating Community and Unity in new Spaces

Monday, July 12th, 2021

In the center of my yellow house in Chicago’s north side sits a large wooden table. My parents bought the table, riddled with holes and cracks, from an Amish farm in Wisconsin. Over the past 26 years of owning it, it has seen family dinners, rushed science projects, conflict, resolution, and divorce. 

Growing up in a Mexican-American household, my parents made sure we understood one thing: unity. In the age of cellphones, reality television, and the internet, it is easy to ignore reality and constantly distract yourself through entertainment. As a result, values have changed family dinners are no longer regularly practiced. This is where my wooden table comes into play. 

Fridays were for everyone, not just family. Fridays were for lessons on politics, religion, culture, and music. Fridays were for bowls of gumbo made by my Uncle Andrew and his brother Chris, two Cajun men that my parents met long before I was born. Over bowls of mussels simmered in a butter, shallot, and white wine sauce, I quietly listened to conversations on how things “used to be.” I even learned about my father’s immigration story, following his father from Mexico City to Chicago at the age of eight. It is around the wooden table that my dad told us of the meals he shared with his family: small bowls of rice and beans, pigeons caught from the street and stuffed, and on special occasions, mole a labor-intensive dish made from a plethora of ingredients like hand-peeled almonds, bread, avocado leaf, and chocolate that were all simmered into a thick sauce. 

My father and I preparing Friday night dinner.

On these Friday nights, my parents exposed me to communitynot one you are born into, but one you establish for yourself. Sitting in the black wooden chairs around our table was the community my mother and father created over time: It was with the help of experiences and long-lasting memories that built this sense of community. They ranged from childhood on the gang-ruled southside, law school in Wisconsin, and having to blend in with the affluent, white neighborhood they tried their best to blend into. 

Essentially, unity came with community. The people sitting at my table with a range of skin colors and accents, as well as coming from diverse places they called “home”, became my aunts and uncles. They would stay by my side as I became old enough to cook the Friday night meals by myself, and held my hand as the meals slowly stopped. 

In the end, some things are not made to last forever. The teenage love my parents once held for each other grew cold and moldy, sitting in the back of the refrigerator waiting to be thrown out. Along with the expiration of their marriage, our Friday nights became but a whisper of the values they instilled in my brothers and me planted into the back of our minds. 

Ultimately, moving away from home is hard. You leave the people that know you best and are forced to find your own community your chosen family. I saw my father do this as he left the house and the wooden table, searching again for a stronger sense of family after walking away from the one he already had. I saw it again as my brothers left for college, searching for a community far away from home and parental guidance. Then I experienced it for myself, packing my bags to cross the pond, where I hoped to find some connection back to my life in Chicago in an unknown city.

Using what I learned around that hole-riddled, brown, wooden table, I created my own community almost 4,000 miles away from home. Over bowls of rice made with seasonings I smuggled in through my luggage, my roommates and I came to love each other, like how my parents loved the neighbors they took in as family. With the right amount of food, I am sure you can find your community, too. 

Start building your community today over some delicious empanadas from Gourmet Empanadas on Avenue B!


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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Shabbat: Tel Aviv to New York

Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Shabbat has recently become an important tradition in my house. I spent the year pre-pandemic in Tel Aviv, and quickly came to love the large, family-style meals we ate every Friday. The city would shut down when the sun set, and we’d bike back from the beach to cook and drink and celebrate together.

Tel Aviv beach at sunset

I was raised Christian, but my Jewish friends and professors were thrilled to teach me about Shabbat. About six months into my year there, a friend told me I really understood the spirit when I showed up to a school Shabbat dinner with a plate of cookies and a bottle of wine to share. This is what Friday night is about for me: good food, good company, friends laughing and eating and drinking. We gave ourselves permission to forget our jobs and homework and stressors, and instead learned songs in Hebrew and talked about what had made us happy that week. Even for those of us who didn’t observe for religious reasons, these Friday night dinners became a sacred kind of space, one reserved for rest and joy and love. This is the tradition I’ve tried to bring back with me to New York.

Shabbat dinner at NYU Tel Aviv

Now each Friday I have a small group of friends over for dinner. Sometimes I bake challah, sometimes we do a potluck, sometimes we order in from our favorite falafel or Thai restaurants. My favorite meal, though, is a family-style spread of all the foods we ate in Israel. I spend the day making a spread of falafel, hummus, shawarma, and salads. We sit down around my table or gather on the rooftop and pass dishes, drink wine, talk and laugh and relax. Jewish or not, this family dinner on Fridays is such a wonderful tradition and has made it easy for all of us to keep in touch through our hectic lives in the city.

Shabbat dinner in the East Village

My go-to Shabbat meal is actually very simple and it never fails to impress. As a student on a budget I love that I can find all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s. The base of it is simple: canned chickpeas, tahini, chicken, shawarma seasoning, falafel mix, and veggies! Homemade falafel, which I do make on occasion, wins every time in a side-by-side comparison, but the falafel mix at TJ’s is delicious and the directions on the box make it a dish anyone can make. 

While the mix is settling (for about 20 minutes) I marinate diced chicken thighs in olive oil, garlic, and shawarma powder (or shawarma marinade from Whole Foods). They are about the simplest thing to sauté and the bite-size pieces are delicious thrown over hummus.

The trickiest part of this recipe is the hummus, but even that is easy to learn. I start with a can of chickpeas drained and boil them for about 30 minutes to soften them up. While this is happening, combine two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with two or three cloves of garlic in a food processor or blender (my food processor has become a staple in my kitchen for soups, hummus, sauce, dressings, anything). Let sit for 20 minutes to cut the bite of the garlic and then mix in 1/4 cup of tahini (try TJ’s Egyptian tahini or Holyland Market on St. Marks for Israeli tahini you can make yourself). When the chickpeas are done cooking, strain and add them to the blender with 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If it’s too thick, add cold water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired texture. I’ve served this to friends of mine in and out of Israel and it’s a hit every time. 

The final bit are the toppings! My go-tos are cabbage cut into small strips, diced cucumbers, pickles, red onion, and of course, a bowl of tahini. More good options are parsley, tomatoes, spicy peppers, or anything else you want! 

Israeli food is so fun because it combines Arab cooking with ingredients brought from Jews around the world, especially from Eastern Europe. So while any Middle Eastern country has hummus and falafel (and it’s delicious everywhere you go), only in Israel would you find pickles, eggs, and schnitzel served on the side. So make it your own with other proteins and veggies! I put each of the toppings in a bowl on the table and let everyone build their own plate.

Warm some pita in your oven and let everyone get creative, sharing platters of hummus, falafel, and shawarma family style. This is great because it’s vegan and gluten-free friendly, and even picky eaters can find a few things to try. Don’t forget to pour your tahini over everything.

The assembled plate (chef’s kiss!)

Shabbat dinners have given me the perfect venue to spend time with people I love and experiment in the kitchen. Even if you’re not Jewish, try making Friday family style dinners with friends–another fun idea could be a weekly potluck (stay tuned for my favorite potluck meals on a budget). Whatever you’re cooking, the most important thing is the company. So invite your friends over–vaccinated, outdoors, socially distanced, whatever you need to feel safe–and share your food, your wine, your time, your love! Prioritising your relationships, creating these special spaces for those you care about, is what is going to maintain these relationships through undergrad and beyond. And in a city as hectic as New York we all need a fun, restful night in now and again. Shabbat shalom!


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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The Importance of Listening to Our Mind, Body and Soul

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Self-care is one of the most important elements in our lives, it is crucial for our physical, mental, and emotional health. We must listen to ourselves, and our bodies in order to keep functioning as human beings. Without listening to our body and soul we can’t possibly maintain a steady relationship with ourselves or others, acknowledging your worth serves as a reminder that you matter too. You matter as much as the deadlines you have, loads of work, or the bad day you had last week. I believe that we don’t listen and give the care that our health and bodies deserve. I am guilty of that, and I’m sure you are too. Self-care is more than just your mental stability, it is about listening to what your body feels and needs. These necessities can be sleeping your full hours, eating your three meals, or pampering yourself.  Only you understand yourself more than anyone else, listen to yourself as you are the change that could potentially lead to the road of happiness. 

One effective way to listen to yourself is learning about the goals, dreams, and values you’d like to pursue in life, it allows you to explore your mind. Our schedules and routines are often very busy, it doesn’t give us room to declutter our feelings and emotions. Have you ever asked yourself, how am I feeling today? It is an effective way of communicating with ourselves, for some it may involve keeping a journal, talking to a friend, or talking with yourself. This helps eliminate negative thoughts, to learn about what you most desire and it can also serve as a form of encouragement to process your thoughts. The law of attraction actually empathizes that our minds are so powerful, it has the ability to attract positive and negative experiences. It is important to understand that although we don’t entail superpowers, we are in control of our minds and behavior, a lot of the time we allow for negative experiences to hinder our success. 

Jacobson, Sherri ” Do you know what you really think and feel?”, https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/how-to-listen-to-yourself.htm. Accessed 1 Nov 2020.

Self-care is not another term for being too selfish or too conceited. In fact, it is about being self-conscious. Although it sounds very easy it is actually something we aren’t very attentive to during our day-to-day lives as it can be very demanding. Before you look out for others you must check in with yourself and ask if you’re okay. These are a couple of ideas that will promote self-love and enrich your life more. An idea is exercising to stay active, treat yourself with a nice take out meal, or even take yourself out on a shopping date. Invest in yourself, spend some time alone, or get something done that will boost your self-esteem. Even if it means putting your phone away. Overall, do something that you enjoy and will lift your spirit

Unknown, “Pamper yourself..” https://www.levisagewellness.com/pamper-yourself-with-a-spa-treatment-in-everett/. Accessed 1 Nov 2020.

It is important to learn how to say no, and put yourself as your main priority. Make sure to recognize your limits, listen to what your body and mind are signaling to you through the muscle restraints and those body aches as a result of being overworked. You need the energy to make rightful decisions, to stay strong, and to achieve your goals. Regardless, if it means learning how to say no. By responding yes to everyone, you’re living up to their needs and expectations causing your physical and mental health to feel burned out.  A lot of the time we feel forced to say yes in order to maintain our personal relationships but what about the relationship with ourselves?. Saying no requires inner strength but it takes practice and learning how to be respectful towards yourself as well.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Yadira Tellez

Yadira is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Business Management and minoring in English literature. She’s worked in retail and has had the opportunity to work behind the scenes during NYFW. Her dream is to be a Fashion Stylist, but enjoys creative writing to relieve stress and express her mind.

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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How Effective Listening Can Improve Our Lives

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do the listening” Larry king once said. Being a good listener is an essential skill in life, and serves as a guide for self personal growth. People often interpret success differently, listening encourages the success of harmony, empathy and conversation amongst one another. The gift of listening is about dominating the qualities of an effective listener and understanding its benefits. 

Drobot, Dean. “Active Listening” 2017, https://www.css.de/blog/2017/03/01/active-listening-active-listening-improve-your-communication-and-build-positive-relationships/. Accessed 26 Oct 2020.

Every day we are required to be attentive and to listen. In the workplace or career path, it plays an important role in self-improvement and it is vital to success. Nathalie De Joya, a student attending Hunter College, majoring in Nursing conveys the power of listening as a health care worker. “Being a good listener is imperative in nursing. The art of nursing highlights the care we give to our patients that foster meaning and relationship”(De Joya) It is a good experience and self-rewarding to not only the nurse but to the patient receiving the acknowledgment that they deserve. One of the biggest emphasis of nursing is that we should always give patient-centered care and being a good listener is definitely something you need to achieve this” (De Joya). A nurse requires skills such as being active and having full concentration. In fact, these skills are tools that allow nurses to work collaboratively with their patients. Patients want to be understood, and feel in the right hands, it helps establish a good relationship with their nurse if communication is effective. I, myself hadn’t realized how much listening revolves around nurses accomplishing their job. Through this interview with Nathalie I’ve learned that being a nurse is much more than studying medicine and a Bachelor’s degree, it goes far beyond that horizon. To be successful in the field, you must instill trust and be empathetic, listening is key. In addition, it opened my mind to learn about new ideas and the different functions of every role within the workplace.

David Mejia, is an overnight Full-time Associate for Target. The company’s objectives involve a commitment to, “Exhibiting honesty, respect and concern for others through every interaction” stated in Target’s Code of Ethics (Code of Ethics, 2019) During his overnight “Stocking” position he is in charge of replenishing the sales floor with inventory in order to create profit. ” I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to listen and work together as a team in order to achieve our end goals” exclaimed David. I took the freedom to ask him, what are your techniques or tips to achieve your delegated tasks? ” You must be attentive to detail, and discipline yourself on time however, listening carefully allows me to have a good work performance because it makes me aware of what is expected of me”. “How has being an effective listener helped you grow in the workplace?” I asked. “It helped me build confidence, work productively but overall it’s given me the opportunity to build positive relationships with my managers” (Mejia). David depicts how effective listening empowers us to be our better selves, and working in a safe environment persuades us to speak up during any situation.

Throughout the happiest moments of our lives, we want someone to listen and share our laughter with. Especially during the hardships of our lives, we want to feel safe. Listening is the core of empowerment, relationships, and living to the fullest. It is the beauty of being human, validating one’s emotions, being able to conversate and share a connection on a deeper level. Overall, listening allows trust, empathy, and positive relationships in our lives.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Yadira Tellez

Yadira is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Business Management and minoring in English literature. She’s worked in retail and has had the opportunity to work behind the scenes during NYFW. Her dream is to be a Fashion Stylist, but enjoys creative writing to relieve stress and express her mind.

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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How to Become an Effective Listener

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Being a listener means paying attention not only to our five senses but with our hearts. Anyone can be blessed with the ability to hear sound, but being a gifted listener means being attentive. There are techniques, tips, and different approaches that one can take to enhance our listening skills through effort and desire.

According to study reports made by the Florida State University and Michigan State University stated, ” The average listener will remember only about 25% of what was said” (Nichols and Stevens, “Listening to people”) Conveying that listening isn’t naturally a strong element we possess already, it is a gift that is taught and learned. Julian treasure, a speaker and expert upon the mystery behind sound and communication skills describes this learning experience as a mental process of “extraction” and unconsciously “filtered” (Treasure, 2011, Ted talks). One of the reasons why we lack listening skills is because we generally filter what we prefer to hear versus what we rather not or unless there is a benefit behind it. In ” 5 ways to listen better” Treasure expresses the importance of understanding the value of time as we listen in order to be successful.

One technique to become an effective listener is learning to be “silent”. Society has built our minds to always be on the move creating a foggy scenery, Silence helps refresh our ears and minds allowing us to be both physically and mentally present in the room. Another technique called the “Mixer” is described as a mixing bowl of sounds from birds chirping to the different channels of sounds in a noisy environment. This technique requires being attentive to what sounds you’re listening to, how many sounds there are, how far, or how close are these sounds, enhancing your ability to listen. Treasure recommends two of his many techniques to help become more effective as a listener and to improve the quality of listening in your lifestyle.  

Cruse, Rose. “It is important to be a good listener. Why?”, 17 Oct 2017, https://medium.com/@cruserose95/it-is-important-to-be-a-good-listener-why-8823ffb8651d. Accessed 20 Oct 2020.

Oftentimes it feels good to have someone you can confide with, reveal your tears with, or share your biggest aspirations. By natural instinct as human beings, we have embodied emotions that are universal, allowing us to create empathy amongst us. Therefore, apart from how we may feel occasionally, we can also absorb other people’s emotions which depicts the connection between another living soul. One way to be an effective listener is to make eye contact with your significant other, it shows respect and encourages the other person to express themselves. Secondly, as Treasure mentioned silence is key to listening especially in this given situation, it will help you envision and concentrate on what the other person is communicating to you. It can be a lot of information to retain or analyze therefore, you want to listen thoroughly. Thirdly, clean your mind and be ready to be open-minded, without having any judgment or opinions. Most importantly, do not interrupt or try to relate to the conflict. Most of the time the speaker wants to be heard, don’t make it about you. Lastly, once the speaker has finished ask if they would like feedback or advice on any possible solutions rather than imposing your solutions as it can cause stress or tension. The goal is to be patient and to understand the point of the speaker.

Better yet, if the person needs some cheering up or a friend by their side. Campus Clipper provides a fun variety of in house or online coupons you can use to make conversation, and enjoy a lovely meal. In order to have access to these two, 20% off coupons, you must click on the links provided below. Stay tuned there are more to come!

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You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Yadira Tellez

Yadira is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Business Management and minoring in English literature. She’s worked in retail and has had the opportunity to work behind the scenes during NYFW. Her dream is to be a Fashion Stylist, but enjoys creative writing to relieve stress and express her mind.

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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Giving Back When You’re a Poor College Student

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The worst type of guilt trip is the one that slowly layers ever so sweetly on your shoulders piling more and more until it’s all you can think about. When Natural disasters strike, we see the hotline number at the bottom of our TV screens and immediately feel the burden to donate, but instead click past the channel, not wanting the weight of feeling pressured. Or those dang commercials, where the SAME SONG whispers through the speakers, triggering your memory. At first you don’t remember what it’s for but then BAM, puppy eyes stare from behind the bars of their cages begging to be adopted. “With just one dollar, you can…”- change the channel. Between the struggle of scavenging through your couch –if you’re lucky to have one– for change to buy textbooks, or your 5th day in a row of mac and cheese dinners, it’s easy to ignore the ads.

"In the arrrmss of an annngel"

 

Yet, as often as we apathetically stroll by the ads on the subway or avoid the homeless begging between transfers, there is a guilty feeling that creeps into our souls.

 

As a former college student, I know how easy it is to dismiss these feelings. Trust me, I have used every excuse in the book. Speaking of books, “yeah I don’t have any money to give bro, sorry, I need to save for text books…ya know, English major and all.” Oh and if you don’t think that worked, I was a student finishing up college AND getting married mid-semester. Forming excuses based on money and time can be very easy. However even as these excuses grew, my desire to help people pushed through and emerged.

 

So I did something about it.

 

I started with the little things, like helping my mom around the house, to gradually getting involved in different groups mentoring young girls. As my giving grew, my passions grew stronger and expanded to different fields. I began to experience life in a different way, seeing it from a different viewpoint and understanding its true meaning.

 

My cute students and me in Haiti circa 2009. Being an adult, clearly...

I am writing this eBook with the hopes of encouraging you to be open to a new way of life. A life not focused on the little aspect, called “me”, but focused instead on the good of mankind. It can seem to be overwhelming at first, but I assure you that with a little direction, and self-actualization, you can become involved in your community and experience a greater life than you ever expected.

 

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Samantha Bringas

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