Archive for the ‘onValues’ Category

My Biggest Fear – Revealed

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

One day as I sat in the dining hall conversing with a friend, I broke down. We were having a normal conversation, but the entire time she was speaking, all I could think about was going back to my empty dorm by myself. The walls were cold and the room was dark. The small window in my low-cost triple dorm provided little to no light. My view was a brick wall. His room had always been so bright. As tears rolled down my face in the crowded dining hall, I realized I had fallen into the same hole my mother had.

I was scared to be alone. My mother is too. She has consistently been in relationships since she was nineteen. She continues to be in them, even when they harm her. Even when they harm me. I always told myself I would never do the same, that I would never be that girl who depends on a guy for her source of happiness and security, but here I was. I cried daily for a week and somehow found a way to make everything about him. And as I sat in that dining hall, I was being a bad friend. I was so absorbed with my own problems that I couldn’t focus long enough to listen to what she had to say. But the idea of being in my own company for a prolonged period of time felt as smothering as the four white walls of my shoebox dorm did. I was being suffocated by the feeling that I wasn’t enough for myself. Like if I wasn’t with someone else, what was the point? What did I have to offer… myself?

Then I became upset. I had everything I could possibly want: a full scholarship to my dream school, a dorm in the city that never sleeps, the opportunity to pursue my passion of writing. Why wasn’t this enough for me? Why did I feel so empty? I had also experienced pain more severe than this. I was abused mentally and physically growing up. I slept on couches and floors. My father died. I was sexually abused. I moved out at sixteen. This was nothing compared to all that! How had I conquered all of those experiences and the pain they yielded, but I was struggling to conquer this?

I realized though that that anger toward myself was counterintuitive, because it typically made the situation worse. And I can’t minimize my current problems just because I have had worse ones in the past. I am unable to control my emotions, and thinking I could was toxic to my health. I held myself to such a high standard that I became disappointed whenever I felt that longing because I am supposed to be “strong” and “independent.” This is what I taught myself but that is what I had to unlearn. I was definitely both of those qualities, but my definitions of them were incorrect. I was not weak because I loved and subsequently hurt; that is what made me strong.

There is this expectation in college that everything should be casual and that this is not the time for romantic relationships. My own friends made me feel abnormal for wanting commitment instead of a casual fling that lacked a label. I wanted  to love someone instead of just enjoying the pleasures of the flesh they would. I feel so much to the point that I thought I was feeling too much. But I realized I needed to stop apologizing for the complexity of my emotions. I know I hold no control over them, but I can control my actions. I can control how I react and can limit the amount of actions that will yield these deep emotions I typically experience.

The main problem was that I love other people with all of my heart. I give everything I have, even when it means that I go without more times than not. But I was not loving enough to myself. I was not giving to myself. I was not accepting myself for my flaws like I had unconditionally done for others. Of course I didn’t feel comfortable in my own company. I didn’t have enough respect for myself. Would you pass time with a person you do not love or respect? And while I was not loving myself enough, I also was not holding myself accountable. I was not acknowledging my own flaws and weaknesses. I was playing victim but failed to acknowledge that I was part of our downfall too. I didn’t fully acknowledge that until the night I went out with a group of friends to see a movie and he was there. I don’t even remember how we got to this point in our conversation, but we had begun conversing about when we were together. The conversation was half-joking, half-serious. I told him it was his fault that I was so distraught the week we ended. I implied that the whole ending was his undoing. He said “Really? Come on, Jae. It was your fault, too.”

I needed to hear that.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

By Jaelynn Grace Ortiz

Jaelynn is a rising sophomore at NYU majoring in Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis with a focus in Latino studies and is minoring in Creative Writing. The list of her hobbies is almost as drawn out as her majors are. She writes poetry, essays and stories, she dances, mentors high schoolers in the Bronx and often plans environmental events in NYU Residence Halls. She has a poem published in the introspective study Inside My World by the Live Poets Society. Despite vehemently condemning social media, she ironically has instagram which you could follow her on. 

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.

Share

Falling in Love (Before I Knew How)

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

I fell in love for the first time this past year. It was passionate and messy and blew up in my face. However, it yielded much needed self-reflection and realization that facilitated unprecedented growth within myself.

Shortly after my first semester began, I found myself in something that resembled a relationship with another NYU student. I was hungry for life when I arrived at college and he nourished my soul. We thought we could get away with not putting a label on ourselves, though. He had just gotten out of a five-year-long relationship and I had just gotten over a short, mediocre one. My mistake was thinking I could control my emotions. I thought I could spend my days with this boy and be embraced with his sweet kisses without getting too attached. I thought wrong. I fell for him much more quickly than I ever believed possible.

As soon as I got out of class, my first thought was when can I see him again? Even if it was for twenty minutes, I wanted to be in his presence. He brought calm into the normal chaos that was my daily life. He held me while I had panic attacks and made me say every single thing I was grateful about, from my little brother back home to the cheese and grape platter I always bought from Sidestein. When I was with him, I didn’t think about the pain brought by the loss of my father or the invalidation from my mother. I didn’t think about the nights I went to sleep for dinner. He even stopped the daily night terrors I would have about my mom’s boyfriend.

The thing about college, though, is that we often get much more freedom than we have ever been exposed to before. I didn’t have to wait until my uncle was at work for a boy to drive twenty minutes to pick me up. This boy literally lived right across the hall from me. Boundaries exist for a reason, but I broke them. It felt too good to be with someone that had also struggled, that understood much of my pain. He was hesitant about us, though. He would constantly have talks with me to make sure I wasn’t getting too attached. He had just gotten out of a long relationship and made it clear he wasn’t ready for a new one. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt me. So, I told him I wasn’t falling. I lied.

 I lied to myself for a long time. I told myself that I didn’t have deep feelings for him. That we were just casual and having fun, but deep down, I knew. I wrote a poem two months in that went:

 

a beautiful night

heart inflamed

my soul awakens

in the presence of you

 

i love you

but im not in love with you

i promise

i know you dont want that

 

you dont want to be limited again!

you shout from the rooftops

you shout so loud that windows shatter

i eat the glass

 

every night

you hold me

but when im not there

i cry

 

i cry because i know

i love you

but not like in love with you

i promise

As our not-relationship progressed, I became dependent. I expected him to constantly  long to see me as well and to not be with anyone else, even though we had never made that clear. When my expectations weren’t always met, I began feeling empty. So, I started overcompensating. I stopped going out of my way to see friends. I spent more money on him than I had to spare. I sacrificed sleep each night to drowsily stay up doing homework with him. These were my own conscious choices; he never asked for any of it.

Our days were often sweet and bright, but I knew we were running on borrowed time. The expiration date was closing in on us like the four white walls of loveless apartments I grew up in. Because of this, I never had sufficient time to brace myself for the fall.

It all exploded one night. I saw him check in another girl to our residence hall. My friends were trying to keep me away so I wouldn’t see, but the plan failed. He walked past without even looking at me. My eyes locked with the girl. My heart shattered.

I walked outside and the cool night air wrapped itself around my cold skin as I collapsed against the brick wall. I can’t do this anymore. The nights when he spun me around and called me his girl, when we sat in Washington Square Park eating pizza and he told me his dreams about helping low income communities, waking up to his soft kisses after he got back late from the library, it wasn’t enough anymore. This hurt more than I can ever put into words and my battered soul couldn’t bear another moment.

He was a mess after seeing me and made the girl leave. He begged me to come over but I told him it would just make things worse. I would yell. He said it didn’t matter. I stormed in and let myself go. I stopped trying to be what I thought he wanted. I had never yelled at anyone like that in my life. I trusted him. I loved him. I told him he was selfish. But I left out the part that I was, too. I cried; so did he. He said it was his first time in years. Big deal, I told him, I had been crying all week. That night we held the pieces of what was left of us in our tired hands and attempted to mend them back together. They didn’t fit anymore. He texted me at two in the morning and said he wished I was laying in his arms. His bed felt cold without me.

My heart broke repeatedly that week. The next morning was my Spanish final. I tried to tell my friend what happened before it started but I ended up running to the bathroom and breaking down all over again. I am a writer. I write about my pain. But this? This was something I couldn’t even think about without feeling sick to my stomach. He said he was practically writing an anthology. I couldn’t bring myself to reflect on it long enough without feeling like my knees were about to buckle and my lungs would give out. It made me physically ill.

I have endured exponentially more awful experiences in my life than heartbreak, but for some reason, this hurt the most.

 


By Jaelynn Grace Ortiz

Jaelynn is a rising sophomore at NYU majoring in Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis with a focus in Latino studies and is minoring in Creative Writing. The list of her hobbies is almost as drawn out as her majors are. She writes poetry, essays and stories, she dances, mentors high schoolers in the Bronx and often plans environmental events in NYU Residence Halls. She has a poem published in the introspective study Inside My World by the Live Poets Society. Despite vehemently condemning social media, she ironically has instagram which you could follow her on. 

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.

Share

The City That Never Sleeps

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

In September of 2018, I found myself alone in the city that never sleeps. Ironic, considering the countless nights I had laid in bed, dreaming of one day calling the city my home.

I longed for the diversity, the trash-filled subways, the way you could wear an outrageous outfit while singing obnoxiously and people would simply walk by, minding their own business. Just another day in the city. I also needed to escape my pain. I love my hometown, Newburgh, New York, but I could no longer stand visiting the supermarket I had last seen my father alive in.  My heart ached every time I drive past the apartment where papi and I danced to Marc Anthony and would drunkenly slap me around in. I could hardly bear to look at my mother’s face while speaking with her. We were ignoring the fact that her boyfriend sexually abused me when I was sixteen and ignoring that she never believed me and that she was still dating him. I was being haunted by places and faces. Haunted by the ghost of my father and the essence of my mother. I yearned to be free.

The city offers this freedom I yearned for. I knew I would no longer be bound by the shackles of my closed-minded town. People would no longer ask why I dress the way I do or why I thought writing was a feasible career. I could wear my red velvet skirts and fishnets and write uncensored, get tattoos and piercings and feel more at home in my body.

I did most of these things once I arrived: converted to thrift shopping, got three tattoos and five piercings, wrote more in a year than I ever had in my whole life, but after just two weeks of the first semester I sat alone in my dorm, sobbing. I had everything I wanted: a full ride to my dream school, NYU, a dorm in the heart of Greenwich Village, and the most freedom I ever had. Yet for some reason, I still felt empty. There was a hole in my chest that no amount of the city could fill.

I had forged new bonds with friends. We would occasionally get lunch or go out at night, exploring and unearthing the mystifying gems the city had to hide. We found many. However, the second I walked back into my dorm after one of our rendezvouses, that empty feeling crept its way back in. I was surrounded by silence and four, cold white walls. My friends had family and significant others to return home to. What did I have?

I sat at my desk, staring at the polaroids and Photobooth pictures of me and my friends, cheesy grins plastered on our faces. How is it that I could I feel so at peace with them? How is it that I could I coin the nickname Smiley and take hundreds of silly Snapchats, but feel so hollow in my own company?

Humans experience a multitude of complex emotions. These emotions are difficult to comprehend and take much chipping away to reveal their origins. Sometimes it takes life-altering experiences to truly understand them. As I sat sobbing in my dorm, I realized that happiness is a fleeting feeling. The excitement I felt to hang out with my friend had quickly turned to despair as she cancelled on me for the third time that week. I was alone in this world, and I had not yet learned how to cope.

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

By Jaelynn Grace Ortiz

Jaelynn is a rising sophomore at NYU majoring in Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis with a focus in Latino studies and is minoring in Creative Writing. The list of her hobbies is almost as drawn out as her majors are. She writes poetry, essays and stories, she dances, mentors high schoolers in the Bronx and often plans environmental events in NYU Residence Halls. She has a poem published in the introspective study Inside My World by the Live Poets Society. Despite vehemently condemning social media, she ironically has instagram which you could follow her on. 

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.

 

Share

5 Places to Make New Friends in NYC

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Finding friendship can be difficult. New York can be difficult. Finding friendships in New York? Ouch. Whether its the sea of busy faces that never seems to wane off in intensity or speed, or the fact that all your old high school friends keep promising to come see you, but never do, it takes some outside the box thinking to find a squad to stick to in good times and bad. Here are 5 places to start looking (with a recommendation on the best way to do so.)  

  1. A bookstore. I would most recommend the strand, around the outside racks where you find 48 cent pulp fiction novels. Every now and then, interesting people stop by. If they look close to your age, if they’ve got a sense of fashion you like, or hate, start up a conversation by pointing out a book on the shelf. You never know, it just might work.
  2. The gym. Specifically? At 6 in the morning. You hit Palladium at opening times for three months in a row, you become one of us. We acknowledge you, respect you, we watch the weights you lift get heavier and heavier, bigger and bigger. Eventually, we take you in as one of ours. Just come by and say something, we’ve probably wanted to talk to you too.
  3. A club you only have mild interest in. Specifically one you have only a mild interest in. Everyone says “join a club you are passionate about” but that takes so much investment and risk. What if the photography club here at NYU is pretentious and they don’t like me? What if the other basketball kids don’t like the Wizards like I do? Join a club you are curious about, but one that you might enjoy. A small club where there is a tightly knit community, and they’re looking for new blood. Who knows, maybe NYU’s golf team becomes your home away from home?

  4. A museum. One you care about, obviously. But also one that is a little more lowkey. If you go to the Museum of Sex looking for friendship, you’ll probably run into more tourists looking for a free place to stay the night rather than future groomsmen at your wedding. I recommend local art galleries and exhibits, the National Geographic is currently running a cool exhibit just south of Washington Square Park. The botanical gardens in Brooklyn are also awesome for this. Go check it out, wait for a guy wearing a leather jacket or a girl with a New York Times tote bag to go in and strike up a conversation. You might strike gold!

  5. Finally, I would recommend a park. I know it feels more like a pick up artist strategy than a real way to make meaningful friendships, but you never know, it could be both. Sit somewhere near a street performer and throw in a comment about it to the people next to you. Sometimes, all a good conversation needs to get fired up and going is a little spark. Parks are places where people relax. They aren’t usually going to be in a rush if they’re standing around looking at something. Get a couple phone numbers, ruin your instagram follower ratio, and start making friends.

 


By Victor Galov. Victor is a Sophomore Student at NYU passionate about self-help, self-discovery, and the self regulation of not eating too many unhealthy snacks. He is easily spotted in the wild, usually sporting a red jacket and skipping to whatever classic rock band his ears are crushing on that week with headphones in. He will most likely have tinnitus by 40, but doesn’t worry about it too much, because he knows humanity will live on in robots and computer simulations by then, anyway. He also hopes to have published his novel by then, though at the rate he is going, he will totally delete it through revisions before getting even close to finishing the first chapter.

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.

Share

3 Ways to Get Studying

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Studying, in a world full of distractions and commitments, fun activities to do and cool people to talk to, can be difficult. It seems so much easier to just put off your assignments, your work, your schooling, till later. Especially when its not some concrete homework assignment of 25 math questions you need to finish by Thursday, and is instead a test on Thursday that you know half the material of half as well as you really should. Sometimes, the willpower dips just an inch, but the entire boat seems to sink. Well, there’s always ways you can solve that. Here’s 3 of them.

 

First? Find a Mantra. Not the first definition on Dictionary.com, but the second. “A statement, or slogan, repeated frequently.” Come up with something, and have it mean something a little more than it sounds like. Personally, I’ve got a couple. When I need to get moving, or I need to get started on something, I’ll give myself a three count. 3, 2, 1. I’ll say the words out loud, too, so that once the dust settles on that last 1… You don’t really have a choice if you don’t get out of bed and get working. I also have a “keep going” mantra, I’ll just go “Hoo, Ha, Hoo, Ha” under my breath for a while when the willpower starts slacking. I do it when I hit the gym and need to lift weights that are a bit too heavy, or when I’m studying in the library and after thirteen minutes of hard work my mind starts wandering. Mantra’s work, if you train them, and even though they miss at times, and you fail, it’s still worth trying.

What’s next? Get out of your room. We all have productive spaces, and unproductive spaces. Personally? I can’t get ANYTHING done in my room, ever. Whenever I tell myself “oh, this time I’ll master that space and work productively in it” I end up watching podcasts on the ethics of hunting bears with a bow and arrow for four hours. WHile I’m something on an expert when it comes to both sides of that debate, now, I’m scrambling for grades. I hit the library, and a specific section of it, and if possible, a specific seat. I have one “power” spot on the second bottom floor of Bobst? I’m invincible there. An unstoppable force.

 

Finally, get help. Be it an online resource, or a friend, limit your own options of screwing around. I’ve got an app called “Cold Turkey” on my computer, which you can get for free here at https://getcoldturkey.com. I block websites, apps, and distractions with it every single day from 10 AM to 10 PM, and I get a lot more done because of it. Whenever I try to open up netflix, boom, blocked. Facebook? Nope. Today, by sheer force of habit the first tab I opened up while starting up on this article was youtube, and I was greeted with a gray screen and a quote that I think sums up the importance of taking the proper steps in your study routine, which I will use to close off this article, and get back to the 25 page paper I have due next week.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” -Confucious.

So go, slowly, sure. But don’t stop. Keep trying.

 

Share

Why It’s Okay to Miss Out

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

It’s a classic tale, isn’t it? Saturday night, almost 10 PM. The party started an hour ago, but no one shows up on time, right? Your legs are already tired and your contacts are drying up in your eyes after a long day staring at your computer. It’s not even a real friends birthday you plan to attend. You knew the guy in high school, or maybe had one class with him over J-term, and now…

You know you might have a good time. There’s a decent conversation to be had with strangers, maybe a cute girl chats you up while you’re both a bit tipsy and too tired to worry about smiling at each other too much. Maybe it’s a night to remember, and by not going, you deprive yourself of that memory, of that pleasure, of that chance.

At a certain point, FOMA, or the fear-of-missing-out, is the only reason you even want to go in the first place. Because you know the chance is there for a good time. But you also know that probably, most likely, almost definitely, you will drag yourself home at three in the morning, dehydrated and sweaty, buzzed or drunk, alone, having spilled beer on your favorite white shirt, or having sweated too much into your best leather jacket to feel like wearing it again any time soon. You fall asleep without taking a shower, and wake up way later than you expected the next day, on a weekend you were already hard-pressed to be productive in. To top it all off? It’s finals week next week. Another mistake.

Next time you’re in this position, just stay home. Watch a movie on your laptop, eat some of your favorite snacks, or work on a creative project or hobby. The parties rage on almost every night, and if you’re constantly going to them, if you’re constantly bustling from event to event, too scared to turn down an invitation to one, or to stay home and enjoy your own company every now and then, the anxiety to go will overcome the pleasure you get from actually going.

Take care of yourself. Trust your instincts. Don’t miss out on you.


By Victor Galov

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.

Share

The Importance of a Brain Roadmap

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Everyone even vaguely interested in anything from self-improvement, procrastination, and healthy living has come across some metaphor mentioning how the mind and body are like cars that run on gas and need to be refueled from time to time. Whether that be fuel or sleep, or healthy dieting, or smart organizational strategies to prevent you from falling into a cycle of avoiding responsibilities until they pile up to extraordinary quantities, you know the drill. But fuel isn’t the only thing a car needs to run properly.

It needs a good driver. It needs someone that knows the rules of the road, that knows the machine and how to operate it, and most importantly, someone that knows where they are going. It’s fine and dandy to be going 60 miles per hour down the highway, until you realized you missed your exit two hours ago. Your brain, body, life, goals, need a compass.

Which is where good introspective time can benefit. Not just as a student, in providing your brain with some rest and clarity, but also as a human, trying to make it in a human world.

Personally? I meditate.  Not necessarily in the old Buddhist monk or American hippie way, but in a more convenient one. I’ll meditate while walking. Actively think while I step, let the rhythms of everyday life hit me in a way that is conducive to good thinking. I’ll stand in the shower sometimes, and just look at the wall, and think for five, or ten minutes. More importantly, I journal. One page, every day. I’ve kept it up, pretty regularly, for almost 3 months now, and I see the progress I am making towards my goals. I’ve finished two full notebooks of dense writing, and at the very least my handwriting has gotten really, really good. But also, I have a creative, and meditative outlet for any emotions I might be holding in, any worries that might be resting on my shoulders. There have been times where I sit down angry and get up calm, or start writing with frustrations and despair creeping in behind my shoulders, only to walk away calm and collected, ready to tackle my day.

My own experiences might not be the most convincing, but the proof is there. Mindfulness and meditation improve not only your physical health, like decreasing your risk of heart disease over time, but also your mental stability by decreasing cortisol levels in both short term and long term practitioners. In fact, mindfulness is one of the key treatment options for patients with depression or anxiety. It is often the first strategy used to try and combat both illnesses. Obviously, it’s not a cure-all, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

As for the journals I keep? The University of Rochester has done extensive studies showing that journals help you prioritize your problems, fears, and objectives, and thus manage your anxiety, or stress levels. They help you focus on what you want, whether that be your life’s ambition, or something as simple as sticking to a healthier diet.

You may already be taking every step you can think of to make your brain and body operate at a higher level. You may be going faster, and stronger than ever before. But if you still feel directionless, lost in the wind? Spend some time mapping out your brain. It could work, you never know.

Sources:

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/benefits-of-mindfulness/


By Victor Galov

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.

Share

Why You Should Exercise More

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Despite the stress of city life, it is surprisingly difficult to work up a sweat in New York. Exercise is something we often have to schedule time for, and whether hitting the gym, or running laps around Central Park. It isn’t always the most enjoyable part of our day.

But daily exercise is one of the most important habits in your daily routine, both for your physical and mental health. After all, even 15-30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can have drastic effects on your body, and mind, according to the Mayo Clinic. Exercising regularly can also introduce you to interesting new people in a city that is otherwise quite lonely at times. One of my best friends right now actually started off as my gym buddy. Though our schedules don’t match up enough for us to exercise together very often, we still compare statistics every now and then. (In case you were wondering, he can lift more than me.)

But it isn’t about how much weight you can carry or how far you can run. Good cardiovascular exercise 3-4 times a week decreases your risk of heart problems and extends your life expectancy drastically as a result. Furthermore, exercise is one of the best ways to cope with many mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD.

The rhythm of running, for example, is cited by many living with anxiety disorders as soothing. Meanwhile, whenever my ADHD kicks in, I go to my local gym and pump iron. Your brain releases dopamine and serotonin when you exercise, neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and joy. These not only improve focus, but also mood, and general life happiness. The Harvard Medical School has conducted studies that even practicing heavy breathing regimens can decrease your stress, though obviously with proper exercise, these results are more pronounced.

Finally, if those weren’t reasons enough for you to sign up at a nearby spin cycle class or challenge one of your buddies to a push-up contest, fitness affects a person’s body positivity and general attractiveness. The elevated mood, better sleep and focus, and increased physical prowess make you a better partner, friend, and person. Perhaps even more importantly though, the most attractive selection of people I have seen during my time in New York thus far have not been at clubs or bars in the middle of the night, nor Starbucks and diners at lunchtime. The hottest New Yorkers can be found in the gym at 6 AM.


By Victor Galov

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.

Share

Studying Survival: Why You Should Do Sleep

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

In my junior year of high school, a brilliant yet dumb idea came over me. I would unlock the deepest, most evolutionarily repressed parts of my brain, and increase my academic performance immeasurably, by never, ever, sleeping. I made it four nights and five days before I started hollering at my cousin, who lives one thousand miles away, to stop scratching at my door at 3 in the morning. I discovered, then, that sleep may be more important than I thought.

In fact, I learned sleep isn’t just one state of mind or activity, either. It’s a cycle. There are three phases of sleep, four, if you count REM Sleep which is categorized on its own. Each subsequent phase is  “deeper” than the last.

Phase One

Most people call this “dozing off.” If you’ve ever partied all night and woken up early the next day for classes, then hit a snag in the middle of your 2 PM physics class where your head rocks back and forth, your eyes feel heavy as lead, and your sense of time gets distorted, you’ve experienced phase one. You are close to consciousness, but not quite fully there.

Phase Two

This is when you slip under, when you become truly unconscious. Here, your body loses its rigidity, and all your muscles relax. There’re myths about professional chefs being able to bake chocolate cakes while asleep, physiologically, they can’t. But, if you tapped them on the shoulder, they’d wake up and tell you the recipe for one without error.

Phase Three

This is known as “deep sleep.” Here, you are harder to wake up, and your brain releases fewer signals. The human brain at this time can almost be categorized as inactive, completely turned off. Here and there your body will tell your lungs to breathe and your heart to beat, but your frontal cortex, occipital lobe, hippocampus, and posterior cortex go almost silent.

Entering the REM stage

And then? Within the span of a couple of minutes, your brain comes to life during REM sleep. Neurotransmitters are flooding into the brain, with serotonin, epinephrine, and/or adrenaline bringing your brain to life. REM sleep is like the fan in your laptop pushed into overdrive as it clears out old junk and organizes all your files into folders. During REM sleep, your brain is like a city with all its lights turned on at once.

REM sleep happens roughly every 70 to 90 minutes. Your first REM cycle will last 10 minutes, your next one longer, and longer. After your REM cycles reach an hour or so in duration, it becomes almost impossible to fall back asleep. Your brain is sorted, and organized, and optimized, to its peak. Your body is healed, muscles strengthened, organs polished up. You are ready to go, performing at the highest level thanks to your brain and its natural reset button.

That is, of course, assuming you slept enough. Without enough REM sleep, you don’t retain memories as well. If you don’t get at least 3 to 4 full cycles, your brain will be messy and disorganized all day, as if caught in the middle of organizing its room, with half the trash on the bed and the other half swept under it. Maybe yesterday it knew where everything was. But now, when the chaos has been half-sorted, and half spread about, your brain won’t be able to find anything you need it to.

If you avoid sleep, your body will weaken, your organs more taxed and tired, and you will have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, coursing through your veins. Without enough sleep, you are a ticking time bomb ready to explode. So next time, get your 7 hours, like the mom friend in your group tells you to, okay?

Additional Resources:

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sleep/conditioninfo/rem-sleep
https://www.howsleepworks.com/how_neurological.html https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/sleep/healthy_sleep_atglance.pdf


By Victor Galov

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.

Share

How To Survive Studies: Get a Hobby, Get a Stress-Reliever

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

I hum quietly, earplugs playing classic rock in one ear so I can hear the sizzle of carrots, mushrooms, and beef in my frying pan in the other. I sway side to side, watching the meat brown, and every now and then turn my attention to the pasta cooking on the other side of the stove, making sure not to overcook my dinner. I mouth the lyrics and close my eyes as a guitar solo comes on, allowing myself to forget about tomorrow’s midterm exam.

I never intended for my hobbies to become stress relievers or tools to help me stop procrastinating. I picked up cooking because I was broke and wanted to save on food while in Tokyo. I started playing guitar to start a band with my cousin in Canada, who was going through a tough breakup at the time. I’ve done Creative Writing since first grade, and DIY craftwork was a slippery slope when I fell down while trying to fix a broken zipper on my favorite jeans. But now? Those little activities have become some of the strongest supporting pillars of mental health and productivity in my life.

Whenever the studying concepts are too difficult or the reading too dense, I throw them aside and whip out the guitar. I’ve been playing for two months. I strum along to “Bad to the Bone” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and I miss most of the beats, mess up for 90% of the song, bite my bottom lip and growl in frustration sometimes. But then I reach the 10% of the song I can play properly, filling my chest with accomplishment, pride, and strength. If I can learn the guitar, I can learn the difference between longitudinal and transverse waves. I cook myself lasagna whenever the pre-test anxiety hits too hard, and my bacon mac-and-cheese has thus far impressed all my dates.

Hobbies improve our “self-concept,” give layers to your identity, according to Psychology Today.

They provide us not just relief from stress, but they make us more interesting, passionate, more active in pursuing things we want. They make us feel interesting, nuanced, they give us safety nets to fall back on, bastions of self-love.

Before? If I finished studying, I’d open Netflix or Youtube, drain hours into shows and videos. Now? I take out my guitar, or I stretch my fingers over an empty word document, imagining how I might fill it up. And I still have time for all my work, too. According to Parkinson’s Law, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” So I cut forty minutes out of the six-hour block I gave myself to study. Then I come back to the table fed, entertained, happy, and well challenged.

If you want to improve your quality of life, if you want to be happier, more passionate and driven? Find a hobby, and get good at it.

 


By Victor Galov

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.

Share