Posts Tagged ‘work’

Thrust Into the Upside Down: Blurring the Spaces Between Work and Home Life

Saturday, June 25th, 2022

If you couldn’t already tell from my author’s bio, I am a huge fan of the Netflix original series Stranger Things. The show has two main focal points in terms of setting—Hawkins, Indiana and the Upside Down, which is the creepier, gorier, alternate dimension that lies just “beneath” the small town. As a result, the lives of all of the characters in the show are literally turned upside down as they battle the monsters that emerge from that dimension.

As cliché as it is, I think it’s fair to say that the pandemic turned all of our lives upside down in one way or another, and we are still dealing with the worldwide consequences. In particular, because we were all confined to our houses for a long time, the spaces between our work lives and our home lives started to overlap. When we got sent home from college, my room became the hub for every facet of my life: I slept, took my Zoom classes, ate lunch, did my homework, and relaxed all in the same place. The cycle just kept on repeating, each day looking and feeling just like the one before.

It became increasingly difficult to set boundaries for myself and “turn off” my brain outside of “school” hours. That’s another thing too—my laptop was a vehicle for homework while also being my main source of entertainment. If I saw an email from a professor or classmate, I felt like I had to answer it immediately, even if I was taking a break. I kept procrastinating doing my work because it didn’t really feel like I was at school, so the work just didn’t seem important or even real for the matter. There was no physical paper to turn in, it was just online. There was no presentation to diligently prepare for, it was online and I could have instant access to all the materials I needed. In many ways you could argue that taking classes at home was a lot easier than they were in person, but they felt just as, if not more, draining.

I’ve always considered myself a homebody of sorts—someone who was more comfortable being at home in a space that I was familiar with instead of being out in social settings, or at least someone whose social battery drains quickly. But at this point, even I wanted so badly to go out and do something, to break up the routine. But I still just felt tied to my desk, since after all, I could do every and anything that I needed to do from that location (and of course, we were being quarantined, so there weren’t many places we could go anyway). Even when I got to return to campus in the fall of 2020, classes were still mostly online, so I spent more time in my dorm than I would have cared for.

Dorm sweet dorm.

In our increasingly technologized world, these spaces were already starting to become blurred before we were all stuck inside. Being able to send emails at any hour of the day makes people feel like they are always on the clock, always beholden to someone or some task that they need to do. It’s hard for people to shut down for the day and be done with it, because there is always a lingering feeling that there is still something that needs to be done. We can try to shut down the computer, but we can’t always shut down our minds. At least, I can’t.

Even in 2022 when we are getting closer to the lives that we used to live before the pandemic, it’s hard to distinguish between work time and self time. Especially being a college student, any hour of the day is fair game for being on the clock and doing work. Some nights I will stay up until 2am to finish an assignment, while other days I’m getting up at 5 or 6am to do it (a habit I do not recommend). It’s become difficult to set boundaries for myself or plan out my time. The work always gets done and I do it well, but it’s definitely at the expense of some other aspects of my life, like missing out on various activities because I either don’t feel like I have the time, even though I know that I do, or I feel paranoid that if I were to step away, I would never get to finish what I was working on. When I type it out now it seems so simple, but in the moment I just feel stuck.

For anyone else in this situation, my advice would be to find ways to distinguish between the different, competing aspects of your life. At school, I always try to make to-do lists so that I can prioritize what needs to get done, but I also give myself some leeway when I feel like I’m in over my head. I’ve started trying to do my work in places other than my dorm, such as the library where it’s nice and quiet, or our student center where I know I can get some coffee and might even bump into some friends. No one wants to feel like they are always behind or that they are living the same day over and over again—it’s important to find ways to break up the monotony whether it is taking up a new hobby, hanging out with friends, or just powering down your laptop for the day and sticking to it. 

Lovely fall view from the stairwell of Falvey Library.

Much easier said than done, but if you’re looking for a place to start, use this coupon below and enjoy some pizza and bowling at American Flatbread!


By: Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a senior at Villanova University studying English and Communication. She is in utter disbelief that she just admitted to being a senior. She loves to read and hopes to enter a career in the editing and publishing industry. She is also patiently waiting for Volume II of Stranger Things 4 to come out on Netflix. 


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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Quarantine Contemplation: We’re all just doing.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

At the close of 2020, I promised myself that I would take a gap year. After four years of juggling my academics, extracurriculars, relationships, and well-being, and considering the tumultuousness of the past year, I figured that everyone could use a break. I started planning my summer. Wake up, eat, eat, eat, sleep, repeat—the closest that humans can get to hibernation.

Then came January, February, and March, and upon a string of fortunate events, from becoming a mentor, to landing my first part-time job, to applying to graduate school, to entering an internship, to volunteering with an organization, to landing my second part-time job, to becoming a mentor (again), to accepting a fellowship, to being invited to present at a research conference, I decided to accept an offer for a third part-time job. I thought I’m already wearing all these hats, might as well fill up the closet.       

You don’t have to be a nurse to appreciate these busy-bee nursing memes. You just have to be…busy.

The dominoes fell, and my mind whirl winded.

Advocate in more spaces. Volunteer with more organizations. Pursue a remote global internship. Apply to the Fulbright program. Enroll in a TEFL certification course. Learn a new language. Join a research lab. Run a virtual marathon. Look for a fourth part-time job.

By mid-March, I was the most involved I’ve ever been. Feeling like I not only was capable but obligated to take on every opportunity I was extended, I cast myself a vote of confidence. No doubt I could balance these responsibilities and achieve my quality (and quantity) standard all the while maintaining my physical and mental health.

Super-busy-girl memes can be very helpful when you’re too tired to express how tired you are.

Right!

Right?

Certainly!

Uncertainly.

With summer inching closer by the day, I’m filled with what I can only describe as a bidirectional spiral of invigorating uncertainty. Over these last three months, I have thought more about my future than I ever have before, and yet, I still feel like I have no idea why I’m doing what I’m doing or what it even is that I’m trying to accomplish. On top of the shakiness of simply being a graduating senior and young professional, the blow and the blur of the pandemic only exacerbate this uncertainty.

While I’m determined to bat at nearly every pitch, I have friends who are ready to build their careers in full-time positions with laser focus. Some friends are preparing for medical school and higher education, wracking their brains, and wrecking their sleeping schedules. Others are siphoning their resources into self-care, determined to dedicate their summer and immediate post-grad plans to self-development and nurturing their passions.

All of these plans and proposals, all of these actions and initiatives, and yet, the question persists in so many people’s heads—now what?

Through all the spaces that I’m involved in, I’ve come to two (One-and-a-half? One? I’m not sure, I’ve never really been good with numbers) revelatory realizations. I do my best to avoid blanket statements, but here’s a comforter for you—no one knows exactly what they want to do or what they’re doing.

We’re all just doing.

And that’s okay.


Thoughtful consumption and self-care have never been more important — try some clean eats at LifeThyme Natural Market

by Christianne Evasco

Christianne is a senior at New York Univerity, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS) and Creative Writing. Christianne’s endeavors are fueled by her passion to use her voice to help others harness the power of their own voices through therapeutically-creative means and to connect people through language and cultural exchange. In her free time, you can find her catnapping with her cats.

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 Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Be a Force for Positive Change in Your Community

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2dGIYVQ

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2dGIYVQ

No less venerable an American than Mohammed Ali once said, “Service to others is the payment you make for your space here on Earth.” That’s one way to look at it. “I never asked to be born; I don’t owe nobody shit,” is another (suggested by the rap duo Das Racist in their song, “I Don’t Owe Nobody Shit”). Whether your views on the subject of community service are closer to one or the other aforementioned, or completely different, chances are that you will not be doing much volunteering in the near (or distant) future. After all, volunteering, like visiting a museum or voting, is one of those things that nearly everyone shares a deep belief in doing, but seldom actually does.

As anyone who’s ever done some volunteering can tell you, it is generally dull, disheartening, and thankless work (since you don’t get paid to do it, duh). Unfortunately for breast cancer researchers and homeless people, even the most heartfelt gratitude of the nicest volunteer coordinator you’ll ever meet doesn’t really compare to the material satisfaction of cashing a check and then buying some clothing or electronics. Moreover, volunteering can be incredibly depressing, since the causes that require volunteers tend to be both pretty dire and underserviced. And only some people (do-gooders, masochists) enjoy that demoralizing tang.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t have to change much of anything in order not to be a force for good in your community. But just in case you dabble in working for free, here are some alternative choices. When you want to see something intensely dispiriting, watch the new Holocaust movie, or read the World section of the newspaper. When you’re asked to lend a hand, inform your implorer that you’re late for your weekly nursing home tea time with Granny; that should quiet them up, and maybe even get you some encouragement, which is nice even if undeserved. And when you feel like a worthless, lazy waste of space, turn on some partisan cable news: you’ll find ample evidence of your own value as a person, in the form of commentators and politicians, whose central goals on this Earth seem to be to obtain the maximum number of fake tans and to terrify everyone else. You never even bother the neighbors.

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! 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 last year’s Welcome Week.

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