Archive for September, 2014

Psychotherapy and Me

Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Henri Matisse's The Goldfish

Henri Matisse’s The Goldfish

“I’d like a hug,” I decided on my last day. We proceeded to discuss the details of our hug – where we would place the arms, when to terminate the embrace, how tightly we would hold each other. After agreeing on my comfort level, I stood and hugged her, a tad tighter than we had initially agreed on.

We pulled apart and she asked, like a typical therapist, “What are the tears in your eyes about?”

Tear ducts unabashedly hot, I replied, “I don’t know; what are your tears about?”

My therapist was crying. She was crying for me, for the progress I’ve made in the past three years, for the impending separation to come. My time with her was not over – I still planned to have a session every month – but everything from this point on will be different. That much, we both knew and expected.

A week into college life in New York City, and yes, everything has changed. My cat doesn’t mewl for food every morning. The night is noisier, both in and out of my head. I’m surrounded by strangers who all seem like they’ve got it together. I miss the convenience and privacy of my room, long drives while blasting music, and the Henri Matisse Goldfish painting that hung on my therapist’s wall. Everything is different, including me.

Four years ago, depression plagued me. It seemed the only things I enjoyed were sleep and razors, constant worrying, and constant headaches. When I began seeing my therapist, I was an ugly, unromantic mess. I said, “I can’t imagine myself not having depression.” Depression was a parasite that scarred my arms, legs, and cheeks. I weighed on my few friends until they broke and left me, exhausted by my exhaustion.

Four years ago, I could have never survived my first hectic week at New York University. Though self-doubt never quite disappears, it has diminished greatly over the course of recovery, helmed by my therapist. Without her, my ship would have been smashed to bits on the reef. Without her, I would not have found the willpower to brave my way through life’s complexities and simplicities.

Living the college life with depression is precarious. Many young adults have not reached any level of self-comfort yet. Many suffer undiagnosed. This is why I urge everyone who suffers from even mild symptoms of depression and anxiety to reach out for help – be it through college or through local connections. Don’t let the stigmas of therapy and mental illnesses prevent you from getting the professional help you need and deserve.

The poster of Henri Matisse’s Goldfish on my dorm room wall is a reminder that therapy can (and already has) helped me thrive during the overwhelming college experience. These days have the potential to become the most wonderful days of your life – don’t let yourself drag you down.

In a series of eight blog posts, I will discuss what I have learned throughout my journey through depression, and how I have overcome my demons. With a little advice and self-help, maybe you can, too.


 

ChristelleMarie Chua, New York University ’18

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Dumpling Kingdom: College Savings and Wontons Galore

Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Dumpling Kingdom's grand gates

Dumpling Kingdom’s grand gates

While playing West Village hide-and-go-seek, a creative player could enter Dumpling Kingdom, hunch over a dumpling combo, and remain unnoticed for the remainder of the round. This restaurant is what yelpers call ‘a hidden gem’ of the city, marked only by the green and yellow logo beckoning observant prospective customers in. The door was left ajar to allow the pleasing scents to waft from the open kitchen into the outside. Students from the nearby NYU frequent the store, happy to apply a college discount.

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The menus, like the restaurant, are crinkly yet endearing, and are decorated with appetizing, colorful photos of the soon-to-be-devoured food.

 

When I visited Dumpling Kingdom, the day was fresh and the restaurant cozy enough to ignore the construction blaring obnoxiously outside. The young lady working the register and compiling the meals was kind and informative; she pointed out the favorite dishes for me and my colleague to taste: wonton soup with spicy sauce, scallion pancakes, and a champion dumpling combo.

As we waited for our meal, I watched as curious passersby wandered in, young Asian students rendezvoused, and the delivery man bustled in and out, arms burdened with happy-faced bags. The small eating space, simply adorned with local posters, maneki neko, labeled photos of dishes, announcements, and discounts, not only met health and sanitation standards, but also invoked a sense of simple community. The tables, albeit small and cramped against the wall, had the ability to create an intimacy between patrons. I was delighted to see folks of many different races stop before the restaurant, sniff the air, and give a curious look before entering and ultimately ordering some dumplings.

 

The Kingdom's favorite dishes, all appealing photographed.

The Kingdom’s favorite dishes, all appealing photographed.

Shortly after ordering, our food was passed into our hands. Spicy wonton soup was a new concept to me – the dumplings floating in the red soup wore a thin dough, dripped orange and red, and, while not unbearable, had the ability to clear any sinus. The famous Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and Kikkoman Soy Sauce were available, the former enhancing the eastern spice.

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Scallion pancakes were a perfect follow-up to the spicy wonton soup. The pancake crust were enveloped around a doughy center layer, which had scallions baked in. As compared to the wonton soup, the taste was oniony and grounding.

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Finally, the dumplings. The champion combo includes pork chive, pork cabbage, chicken, jade, and seafood dumplings. The dough of these dumplings was thicker and chewier than those of the wonton soup. Each dumpling was perfectly sized into two-bite pieces, and was meticulously molded to have a rounded shape. Upon my biting into one particular dumpling, the tasty juices squirted out. Each kind of dumpling tasted appropriate for its name, although none stood out as amazing.

 

The menus, like the restaurant, are crinkly yet endearing, and are decorated with appetizing, colorful photos of the soon-to-be-devoured food.

The menus, like the restaurant, are crinkly yet endearing, and are decorated with appetizing, colorful photos of the soon-to-be-devoured food.

Dumpling Kingdom was more of a humble abode than a kingdom. This fact is not negative, but rather, endearing. It is home to local folks, NYU students, and passersby of any race. Despite its shortcomings – Styrofoam containers could be replaced with homey plates, bare walls could stand to be a little more decorated – the restaurant has that New York ‘hidden gem’ appeal and boasts a variety of appetizing dishes, from dumplings to classic entrees like General Tso’s chicken. Dumpling Kingdom was a charming experience, and a great alternative to dining hall food.

Dumpling Kingdom is located on 227 Sullivan Avenue, near Washington Square Park. NYU students get a 10% discount. Deliveries are free if more than $10 worth of food is ordered. Search for Dumpling Kingdom on the Campus Clipper website!


 

ChristelleMarie Chua

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College Savings and Saving Space in Your Suitcase: What to Pack When Studying Abroad

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

When I fantasize about traveling it’s always the same: one neatly packed backpack with just the essentials. Unfortunately, I am not a light packer and so this is never the case. When it comes to studying abroad you want to make sure you’re properly prepared for whatever you may encounter on your trip. It’s never a good idea to assume that a foreign country has exactly what you’re looking for. Try to find college discounts for certain items before your trip and you can save yourself a lot of trouble once you’re there. So what if you’re labeled the “mom” of your trip? Being prepared is never a bad thing—and chances are your new friends will thank you.

Before your trip it’s important to at least attempt to learn the language of the country, or at least learn some key phrases. Rosetta Stone is a great option, but for those of us on a budget there are free smartphone apps readily available. Mindsnacks is a really helpful app I found before my trip to China that allowed me to start learning the language through a series of fun interactive games. If you upgrade to the full version for $5, you’ll get access to 1000 words and phrases, 9 unique games, and 50 lessons to master. This app is available in many different languages and the upgrade is definitely worth the money!

Mindsnacks is a free app that can be used to learn new languages.

Mindsnacks is a free app that can be used to learn new languages.

Do some research about the weather you’ll experience during the months you’ll be there and pack your clothes accordingly. You don’t want to be the one wearing sweaters in the heat or shorts in the snow. Make sure you have a solid stock of any medicines or vitamins you may take every day. Regular toiletries are an essential and it’s always handy to buy Tide-To-Go, packets of Downy or any other fabric soap just in case you need to do a wash at a moment’s notice.

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Sometimes laundry gets expensive in a foreign country.

 

Check to see what banks are available in the country you’re going to. Many countries often have branches that are linked with Bank of America so if you don’t have an account, open one up. It’s free and you won’t have to pay fees every time you grab some cash from the ATMs. The China Construction Bank, found all over China, doesn’t charge any fees as long as you have a BoA card. You can easily close your BoA account once returning to America.

Other important items are charger adapters for your specific country of origin. The outlets in America are not the same in every country and you do not want to be that person with the hair straightener exploding in your hair!

Also, to stay in touch with family and friends during your trip, set up a Gmail, Skype, Viber, and Whatsapp accounts. These are free ways to connect with your loved ones through email, phone calls, video and text messaging all through WiFi. You don’t want mom to get a $356 dollar phone bill because you accidentally used your data while roaming, do you?

My group connects to the WiFi in our hotel in Hong Kong and immediately engross themselves in social media.

My group connects to the WiFi in our hotel in Hong Kong and immediately engross themselves in social media.

-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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College Savings: How to Afford a Study Abroad Trip as a Broke College Student

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Whether my friends ask me if I want to go to the movies or out for an expensive meal, my answer is always the same: “I’m a college student.” This is the universally known phrase meaning, “I’d love to, but I can’t. I’m broke.” College expenses can really weigh down on my desire to have a social life. Between tuition, books, Metrocard fare, and food, there’s really no wiggle room for anything extra and I’m always trying to find college discounts wherever I go. When I learned about study abroad options through CUNY, my friends asked me where I wanted to go. “China,” I replied smiling. “But I’m a college student.”

Eating a bowl of noodles in Nanjing, China that cost 7¥ (yuan): less than $1.50!

Eating a bowl of noodles in Nanjing, China that cost 7¥ (yuan): less than $1.50!

Studying abroad, although costly, is not necessarily as impossible as one might think for the ‘poor’ college student—and it certainly has its perks. One way to help pay for your study abroad trip is to get scholarship money. Just like when you were applying for college, scholarships are diverse, obscure and available to a multitude of people. You just need to be willing to look for them. One great place to start is CEA Scholarships, which are scholarships specifically for students who want to study abroad. There are multiple merit based scholarships available and also financial need based scholarships.

Often times when applying for these scholarships you are required to write a personal essay. In order to get the money you need to make yourself stand out. Write several different essays, share them with your writing major friends, revise, and edit. The more work you put into your essay, the better chance you’ll have at getting that money. Other scholarships to look into for studying abroad are the SIROCS scholarship and the SASA Travel Abroad Scholarship.

You never know when you're going to stumble upon some interesting souvenir like a Communist Obama Tshirt!

You never know when you’re going to stumble upon some interesting souvenir like a Communist Obama Tshirt!

Don’t be afraid to go and contact the financial aid office at your college. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, go anyway. Sometimes the financial aid rules and regulations differ for certain study abroad programs and it never hurts to ask! Taking out student loans might also be a viable option to look into. Loans are a really great way to give yourself some time to save up your money after you take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Start saving up now! Even if you get fully covered by scholarships or financial aid, there’s still the matter of having spending money in a foreign country. Whether you want to buy a cheap bowl of noodles, or a memorable souvenir, you’re going to end up wanting to spend some cash on your trip. In Shenzhen, China I came across an amusement park called Windows of the World. I was definitely glad that I had some cash to pay for the admission. Get a part time job while you wait for the start of your program and put that cash aside. You’ll be happy you did once you get to your new temporary home. You want to be able to take care of yourself while you’re away and have some fun too!

 

 

My friends on the train ride at Windows of the World in Shenzhen, China.

My friends on the train ride at Windows of the World in Shenzhen, China.

-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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College Savings Experience by Studying Abroad

Saturday, September 13th, 2014
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Photo op with some monks my friends and I met on the Great Wall of China.

I like chicken soup. Wǒ xǐhuān jītāng.

It’s probably one of the only phrases I learned to say correctly in Mandarin while studying abroad in China and it still makes me laugh one year later.

No matter what college you go to, even if it’s only a few psychology courses online, everyone should go on a study abroad program at least once in their lifetime. Study abroad is a rite of passage and the college discounts you get is worth the experience. It’s the ability to say that during your young adult life you did something different and learned about a new place. It doesn’t matter what you do or where you go. What’s important is that you get out, see the world, and learn about a country that isn’t America.

One of the best benefits of studying abroad is that your early 20s is the best time to travel. Besides school, and maybe a part-time job, you don’t have that many obligations. Once you’re working the 9-5 grind you’ll find it’s extremely difficult to snag any vacation days right away. Studying abroad provides you with a way to get college credits without sitting in a classroom for an entire semester. Study abroad programs usually offer a variety of courses that range from common core classes to specific credits that can be used towards your major.

Studying abroad through your school is a great way to make friends that will be there after the trip. Most of the people that go on study abroad trips go to the same school. It’s very easy to form close friendships in a short amount of time on these trips. Walking across campus and seeing a familiar face is always a nice surprise in the middle of a hectic day.

 

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New friendships only grow stronger after hours of hiking the Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan) in the southern Anhui province in eastern China.

People don’t just travel because of the boredom from living in the same place. People travel because they thirst to see something new. It’s one thing to see a picture of a famous landmark; it’s quite another to actually see that landmark with your own eyes. Ask anyone that’s ever traveled anywhere, or ask anyone with a smartphone camera; no photo or Instagram filter can truly ever beat the real thing. When you go home and change your profile picture on Facebook to a picture of yourself standing on the Great Wall of China—that’s something to brag about.

To learn about a culture that is foreign from your own is a truly important experience. There are so many different cultures in the world that it is impossible to count. To go through life ignorant of the world around you is a foolish mistake. Hear a different language slide past your lips. Eat a food that you can’t identify. Engross yourself in a way of living that you’ve never experienced.

A study abroad trip is more than just a trip. It’s a chance to take an adventure, fill a scrapbook with memories, and tell stories to your loved ones that will last a lifetime.

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Group picture of the 2013 Summer CUNY China trip in front of the Monk Xuanzang statue in Xi’an, China.

-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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Freshman Listen Up!

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Below are several quotes from current college students & interns from the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has provided New York’s more than 600,000 students with an easy way to save money in the local area where they study and work. Students are invited to explore New York armed with a pocket-size discount coupon book that saves them cash on products and services offered by merchants. Each semester, several students are selected to intern at the Campus Clipper and gain valuable experience in social media, networking, marketing, advertising, writing, publishing, design and much more! Read more about the Campus Clipper Here!

The students have been participating in podcasts with me for several weeks; offering tips and advice to current college students & career seekers and to help people tell their story and do what they love!

“My advice is, don’t wait till your senior year to get internships or to get to know your professors and faculty. Even if you feel there are more qualified upperclassmen ahead of you, don’t discourage yourself from trying. You might not get the internships but you get to practice going on interviews. You want to get a tentative foot into the real world as early on as possible. It might help you determine if your major is the right on for you in time for you to reconsider if you have to. You don’t want to have to make a big transition. You want to ease into the working world and be confident you are going to do well at your job. Start getting into the habit of being organized with little things because they will save you big time and money. Also be sure to balance social life and school. Those grades still matter and it might require just doing a little more. There’s a big difference between B+ and A- when it comes to numeric average.

You also want to use your time in college to promote your interests whether it be raising awareness for a charitable cause or educating people on an issue that’s important to you. As a college student you have a wealth of resources available to you. You have the guidance of faculty and an easily reachable community of like minded people. College is a place where you can empower your own voice and create memorable experiences that may serve you for the rest your life.” – Margael St Juste, Hunter College

 

“It’s important to get to know as many people as you can; not only that, but to get to know them as well as you can. Friends, coworkers, professors, advisors – all of these people have valuable experience and connections that may one day be able to help you attain your dream job or goals. Join clubs, attend meetings, go to job fairs, etc. Any way you can meet and get to know quality things about quality people can only help you in the future.” – Nancy Ma, NYU

“Introduce yourself to people.
I know that freshmans can feel very shy and intimidated but taking initiative to introduce yourself to people can help you overcome the shy factor as well as getting more comfortable with the social atmosphere. This can also be practice for official conferences and events in the future where introducing yourself to potential employers can make you stand out. Speaking about the socializing topic, networking and maintaining a large connection of professional networks is very important. You never know who you can meet and how they can help you in your career. Of course, this advice isn’t only limited to freshmans but I feel like this is something very important that people who are just starting to get their foot into the career world need to hear about.” – Jessica Yang, Parsons New School of Design

 

“My advice for college freshman is: don’t procrastinate! Proper time management is the key to using your time as best as possible.  If you find yourself not having enough time for social events and school work it’s because you still haven’t gotten time management down yet.  However, that’s OK! Freshman year is always a challenge and perseverance is the key!” – Paola Delucca, Parsons New School of Design

“Try as much as possible to get a lot of internships. Apply for two internships (one unpaid and the other a paid one) every semester if you can. Sometimes it’s hard to get two paid internships at the same time. If ever you get a paid one and you want another internship consider getting an unpaid internship so at least at one point you get more experience and of course some extra cash at the same time!” – Moyl Cledera, The New School for Public Engagement

Visit thelivingcalendar.com for more tips and advice from Arielle Fiffer  – College/Career Advisor

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

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Tips for Writing Your Unique Personal Statement

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Telling your Unique Story

Each college requires a personal statement along with your application. Be prepared to write and re-write your story, and have it looked at many times.

 

Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. What makes you and your life story unique/impressive?

2. What are your career goals?

3. Have you had to overcome any obstacles so far throughout your life?

4. What skills and experience do you have?

 

Tips:

• Tell a Story

• Give specifics to keep the admissions committee interested

• Make a compelling case

• Start Out Strong – Just as employers may not have time to read your whole resume, the college admissions’ team may not be able to read your whole story

• Be Creative; Do not begin with a generic first sentence such as “My life has been very challenging because _______”

• Pick a topic you are passionate about

• Self Promote – but, don’t over do it, your story will sell itself

• Do not compare yourself to others, just be yourself

• Reveal something you know about the college you are applying to (i.e. based off of the missions statement, classes, major, etc) – this shows you did your research • Check your spelling and grammar

 

Visit thelivingcalendar.com for more tips and advice from Arielle Fiffer  – College/Career Advisor

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

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