Posts Tagged ‘college life’

From New York to…Stockholm

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

It’s hard not to feel fed up in a city. Your apartment has roaches the size of rats, you step in a mysterious liquid almost every day, and the F train is late again. Worst of all, people seem to be everywhere when you don’t want to be near them, but nowhere when you need them. The isolation is a lot to handle.

New York’s not the only city in the world that can make you feel isolated. Stockholm, in its cold, distant beauty is also like this in that it can be a fairly lonely city, even after you’ve lived there for a while.

But maybe isolation isn’t such a bad thing—think of it as solitude instead. For one, you have friends, but you just don’t want to be around them at the moment and that’s okay. Everyone feels this way at one point or another in New York and in Stockholm and here are a few ways to spend your time in solitude to get you loving your city again:

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https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/

https://c1.staticflickr.com/

https://c1.staticflickr.com/

 

Be Productive.

I’m not joking. Without the need to be around friends to distract you, you can get a lot of work done. Though the sight of people isn’t great when you want to be alone, a quiet coffee shop might help you stay focused. In Stockholm, a good place to do this might be in Gamla Stan’s Chokladkoppen, or if you’re not in the mood to deal with the tourists of Gamla Stan, maybe just go to your local Espresso House instead. In New York, finding a quiet coffee shop is can require quite the hike. If you’re up for it, the Little Chair in Two Bridges is worth the journey. Or maybe just stick to a Think Coffee in the Village. Either way, a coffee shop is a great way to be productive and get away from most people you know.

 

Treat Yourself.

Not in the mood to see anyone? Great! This is the perfect time to take a page out of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle’s book: Treat yourself. New York and Stockholm are both great cities to do so. Need a new work outfit? Treat yourself. Want to dye your hair? Treat yourself. Want that thousand calorie dessert? No one’s there to judge you. Treat. Your. Self. Even so, sometimes you want to treat yourself without breaking the bank and the Campus Clipper has great deals for gelato places like Unico or relaxing spas like the Lilac Spa on 1st Ave. In NYC, when you want to go shopping, you go to 5th Ave. In Stockholm, you go to Södermalm where you can find anything from desserts at Casja Warg to unique clothes at Beyond Retro.

 

Scenic Self-Reflection.

So every time you want to go see something cool outside of Gamla Stan or Soho, your friends are always there to bog you down. Well, now’s the time for your vision journey. It’s time to leave your neighborhood and go see the sights of your beautiful city. In Stockholm, why not take an archipelago tour and see the breathtaking islands that surround Stockholm (bring a jacket) or go to the Moderna Museet and see that exhibition you’ve been wanting to check out? In New York, go up to Inwood and to view the Hudson from the Cloister’s Museum or head to the Brooklyn or Bronx Botanical Gardens. These places are great to take a step back and think while you’re alone.

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View from the Cloisters https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/

View from the Cloisters
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The archipelago. Taken by Jainita Patel.

The archipelago.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Do that One Thing You’ve Been Putting Off.

What’s the one thing you’ve wanted to do or have been meaning to do and just never got around to it? Is it nerding out at Science Fiction Bokhandlen in Gamla Stan or wandering the Strand for hours? Is it going to a certain museum or to see a certain site? Is it taking an MMA Bootcamp class at Nimble Fitness (coupon in the Campus Clipper)? Well now’s your shot. Do it.

The Strand. https://i1.wp.com/

The Strand.
https://i1.wp.com/

 

Gamla Stan. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Gamla Stan.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Cities can be a pain when you’re feeling a little alone, but there’s always a way to embrace it and make the most of the amazing place you live in. Whether it’s Stockholm or New York, being alone sometimes can be beneficial to your mental health and give you a moment to reflect. And who knows? If you like the idea of exploring NYC or Stockholm alone, maybe you’ll get to explore the other city some day as well.

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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How to be a Comedian: Week 6: Meet the Right People – And Check Out the Right College Student Discounts Below!

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!

Without a community of supporters, you won’t make it anywhere besides a counselor’s office and your parent’s basement.

Befriend fellow comedians at open mic nights and comedy classes. The few people who I’ve befriended at open mics have become supportive friends and offer me their much appreciated constructive criticisms. One of my open mic buddies even offered me a spot on one of the upcoming comedy shows he was producing.

A bond with fellow comedians creates an opportunity for you to keep each other accountable – to go to open mics – the expectation that you’ll both be there. Having someone to keep you accountable in going to shows will force you to not let any excuses hold you back, because you know there’s someone at the show expecting you to perform. You’re all in the same boat, so banding together to encourage one another and laugh at each other’s jokes will help push you towards your goals, and build confidence in your talents.

comedy 6

Don’t be afraid to approach big name comics after their set and shake their hand. Sometimes a big name comedian will watch someone perform, like their style, and ask them to open up for them at a few shows.

Go shake some hands so more and more people know who you are, and have a face with a name.

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Meet club owners, talent managers, and comedy producers. Introduce yourself to these people and ask if they would have any time to talk with you about the industry, or ask if they need any help at their events. Offering free service is a great way to get people to love you, and you never know where that connection may lead you! The great connection that I’ve made was through my internship with a comedy producer at one of the clubs. He pays me in stage time and allows me to sit in on seminars and meet other comedians. It’s a very valuable connection because he has a strong network in the industry and is willing to help me grow as a comedian in return for helping him with social media and planning events.

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A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Books, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!

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How to be a Comedian: Week 5: Teach Me How to be Funny – And Learn About College Student Discounts Below!

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!

If you’re funny, you’re funny; but trust me, it’s extremely helpful to have veteran comedians guide you and teach you how to harness your funny bone.

7th Annual "Stand Up For Heroes" Event - Inside

So, sign up for a few comedy classes. Don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone or comedic interests. Take some stand up classes, like at the Manhattan Comedy School; but also take some improv classes at a renowned place like the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. It will only benefit you to learn different forms of comedy, and it also might help you find out what you enjoy more and for what your talents are best suited.

comedy 4

The only way you can become a master of comedy is to practice your material and watch others perform. If you really love stand up, then go to stand up shows every week to familiarize yourself with other comedians’ styles and how they interact with the crowd – you might learn something from them. If you’re interested in improv and sketch comedy, go to an improv show every week (go a few times a week if your budget and time permits).

Making comedy shows a weekly part of your schedule will help you stay focused on pushing yourself to the next level in your own career and will make you a lot more comfortable with the business. Watch shows, watch shows, and watch more shows.

comedy 5

I find that the funniest comedians are those who I trust. What I mean is that I trust their ability to make me laugh – they’re reputable. They have confidence, which makes me have confidence in them. I’m not constantly anticipating them to mess up or break into a nervous fit. You have to gain people’s trust for them to believe that you’re funny, so it’s important to show confidence when you’re on stage to let everyone know that you’re in control. When I don’t feel confident on stage, sometimes I have to convince myself that I am confident, or at the very least act like I’m confident.

Things to put on your comedic to-do list:

- Practice in front of the mirror

- Practice jokes in front of your friends

- Record yourself and analyze the video

- Write, rewrite, edit, practice, rewrite, practice, rewrite, practice

- Open mic

A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only helps our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Book, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet to enjoy some great student discounts! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!

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How to be a Comedian: Week 4: Finding Your Funny Bone – And Find some College Student Discounts Below!

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!

Go to the store and buy a few pocket-sized notebooks and a pencil. Carry these tools with you everywhere you go, even if you’re just taking out the trash. As a comedian, you have to constantly write out your thoughts and scribble down jokes as they occur, or else you’re going to forget them and you’ll be left trying to remember “that funny thing that happened yesterday.” Write down everything funny from your everyday life as soon as it happens, because when you react to something instantly your senses are heightened and you have the in-the-moment perspective that will fade with time.

comedy 1

Personal experiences are where you get your material because it’s unique to you and no one else could possibly capture the way that you see things occur. Your friend sees someone spill coffee on their shirt, but you see a hilarious situation of a man who now has to deal with hiding an embarrassing coffee stain and he’s probably on his way to an important meeting. You have the ability to conceptualize a funny story or extract a joke out of a seemingly ordinary situation. Write down all of your funny insights because later you might be able to develop them into a stream of jokes or an elaborate anecdote.

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Find your sense of humor – goofy? Dry? Sarcastic? Physical? Cynical? Theatrical?

Watch shows, movies, and performances that use the humor that compels you the most and soak up the style.

Whatever type of comedy you most enjoy combined with the style of your sense of humor is how you need to shape your material. Sink into your comedic persona and take on the characteristics of humor by practicing in front of the mirror and writing down jokes in a way that reflect your personality.

Don’t try to copy or steal another comedian’s persona, because it won’t seem natural or funny, and will only make your jokes seem out of place. Do what comes naturally to you, and stay true to the funny bones in your body.

A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only helps our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Books, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet to check out some awesome student discounts! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!

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How to be a Comedian: Week 3: Go up There and Bomb – And Check Out some Bomb College Discounts Below!

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!

Nothing beats experience. It’s incredibly important to get as much time as possible in front of a crowd. Unless you’re the reincarnation of Bob Hope, then you’re going to bomb the first few times you get on stage. We all do. It’s just one of those obstacles that you have to overcome; but don’t worry, it always gets better.

When you start out, you’re nervous, doubtful, and go up there and totally bomb – fumbling over your words, forgetting punch lines – but each time you do it’s a learning experience that will help you progress to the next level.

stage fright

In comedy, you have to have thick skin and roll with the punches. The best way to toughen up your emotionally fragile skin is to endure several cold audiences (most open mic crowds). Few situations make my lip quiver and face turn red like a stale room while I’m telling jokes. Blank stares, silence, and the sound of your heart beat. I hate performing for a cold crowd – I’m up there baring my soul and sometimes the best reaction I get is a lady sneezing.

One of my worst bombs was my second time ever performing stand up. A comedian I had befriended, Steve Brown, offered me a 5 minute opener spot at one of his shows at the Nashville club “Jazz ‘n Jokes.” I was the only white person there and felt extremely intimidated because I was most certainly not the person whom the audience paid good money to come see. I hadn’t rehearsed and my delivery of jokes seemed like I was trying to tell everyone about a dream I could barely remember.

The result: blank stares and a few pity laughs. Lesson learned: always be prepared! Any reaction is better than no reaction though, because you’re trying to create a dialogue with your audience and get a response from them. If you can start off with a strong opener and get a laugh in the beginning, then the rest of your set will run more smoothly – you broke the ice and they trust you. To gain the trust of the audience, I use self-deprecating humor to humble myself and let them know that I’m confident as well as comfortable talking to them.

There’s hope from these grueling moments though, because you’ll find that you continue to grow more and more jaded to a cold crowd. The less you allow cold audiences to affect you, the more you rely on yourself and the less you rely on their validation. Plus, each time you bomb, you become more aware of what areas in your routine need improving. Also, you know that the next time can’t possibly be any worse!

My best advice to avoid letting a cold crowd affect your stand up, is to fully immerse yourself into your monologue and become so consumed by your jokes that nothing can damage your mojo. I’ve found that when I’m fully consumed by my monologue, I believe in myself more. You’ve got to sell yourself on your act. If you can’t sell yourself on your own jokes, then you can’t expect anyone else to buy them.

How-to-Get-Stand-Up-Comedy-Gigs1

There’s no shortcut to gaining confidence on stage and becoming famous. Everyone I’ve talked with has told me the same thing: get up on stage as often as possible.

A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only helps our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Books, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet to check out some awesome college discounts! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!

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Where to Go After Graduation

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

By Daniela Bizzell

While it may seem years away, and maybe it actually is, graduating from undergrad will eventually happen. For some of you, this may seem like the happiest day of your life – those entering senior year probably could have graduated yesterday and been satisfied. For others, however, the mere thought of leaving the four walls of a classroom, the comfort of dining dollars, and the sanctity of scheduling, is traumatizing.

What do you do after you graduate?

For some, internships turn into full time positions. An office job at 22 in a field you may actually like? I’ll take it. In fact, I’m currently working for the Campus Clipper, an internship I took sophomore year of college – I graduated this past May.

There is nothing wrong with settling in right after you finish school; if anything, you may feel a whole hell of a lot more secure by doing so. However, it isn’t the only step you could take in your path towards creating a meaningful post-grad life. Finding a job, settling in, planning your 401 K isn’t the only direction you can take when you finally get the diploma. Spending 10 hours a day scanning Linkedin, SimplyHired, or your school’s career site for some sort of paid position isn’t the only way of life once you can no longer call yourself a student.

There are other options.

One option – in addition to a plethora of others; get creative here, folks – is to travel. Granted, the idea of travel most likely sparks images of plane rides and dollar signs. “I’m going to Paris to find myself,” “I’m backpacking through the Swiss Alps because I need a little adventure in my life.” If this is your lifestyle, more power to you. If it isn’t, don’t worry. After I finished school, my travels were cheap, within the country, and in my 12-year-old Toyota Corolla. Yes, money was spent, that, my friends, is unavoidable. However, less money was spent, and just as many experiences were had.

Yes, after graduating a university tucked away in Manhattan’s West Village, I travelled back upstate, grabbed my car, a couple of good friends, and hit the road for a five week journey across the country. As impulsive as this may seem, and as impulsive as I’d like it to seem, so much – and I mean so much – meticulous planning went into this.

Therefore, as a survivor of my five week crusade to see America, “research new places to live,” and inevitably find myself, I have a bit of knowledge on how to travel after college. Because knowledge is needed, graduating is, in fact, terrifying, and you’ll never realize you’ll need help until you’re in immediate need of help.

So keep up with my weekly posts on travelling after school, because you can do it while still being a real person after the travelling comes to a decided stop.

For some specifics, follow my confessional story here.

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Finding the Perfect Place to Stay

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Accommodations

One of the biggest costs of a trip will always be the housing costs.  Food costs, the second biggest enemy to a wallet, will seem small compared to the daily rent payment to a hotel.  This creates a big issue to all travel plans.  So how can one overcome this obstacle?

Hostels

Being a youth and a college student, hostels and guest houses are the cheap option to hotels.  Hostels and guest houses are cheaper living alternatives which might sometimes include shared rooms and bunk beds.  Shared bathrooms, shared showers, old living quarters and poor guest services are sometimes the tradeoff for a discount living accommodation.  Normally, hotels costs range from $100 to $300 per night while a stay at a hostel or a guest house would only cost 1/3 of that!  Although definitely not as luxurious or as comfortable as a hotel, remember that the goal of travelling is not to live in a luxurious hotel but to rather see a new place.  Check out hostels.com to find all the housing options hostels have to offer!

Hotels and Inns

Hotels and Inns can be a viable an option for many travelling.  Although a little more expensive than hostels, hotels are usually more enjoyable and comfortable.   Sometimes there are discounts and deals which might cut some of the high costs which come along with staying at a hotel.  Search for discount deals and promotions online for great discounts.  Call a hotel beforehand and asking the management if there are such options can open doors for discounts and deals!  There are many low priced hotels, usually ranging from $50 to $70 a night, but risk being a very poor accommodation (bed bugs anyone?).  Of course, if there really is a desire to stay at a hotel while being budget conscious, travelling with a buddy or two can easily cut hotel costs.

Your hotel room won't always look like this

Your hotel room won't always look like this

Staying with Friends

Remember that one Swedish exchange student or that person from California in that Statistics class from a year ago?  Well, go and call them up!  A great option to budget travel includes staying at a friend’s house.   Staying at a friend’s place cuts down on so many costs that sometimes it is downright stealing! Not only that but friends can prove to be very good tour guides.   However, remember to be courteous and not to overstay your welcome.   Be considerate of the friend’s own schedule and remember that they have their own lives to worry about.  Even if a friend offers to provide free lodging, bringing a gift and leaving behind a small token of appreciation (like $20 a night) can make a big difference from being a friend and a great friend.

Couch Surfing

Although I have never actually done this before, another option for the budget conscious traveler is couch surfing.  Couch surfing is a way to stay at homes for free by allowing travelers to “”surf” on couches by staying as a guest at a host’s home, host travelers, or join an event.”  Usually free of charge, couch surfing is the least stable of most accommodations as there are many risks associated with it.  Conflicting schedules with the host, potential creepiness, awkward situations or unsafe situations might arise with this method.  However, if this is an option for consideration, check it out here.

This couch was probably more expensive than a bed

This couch was probably more expensive than a bed

With these options to consider for a trip, don’t forget to be flexible!  If the stress of living in poor living conditions or urge to sleep on a really comfortable bed does come up, a plan for 4 nights in a hostel and 1 night in a hotel during a week vacation can be an option!  Don’t forget, travelling is an experience, not a chore!

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This was written by Gary Chen of Stony Brook University

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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The Costs of Traveling

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Travel Costs and Options: Trading cost for comfort

With a schedule all printed out and plan all prepared, it is time to mark down the expenses.  The first two most important costs will be the travel costs and the accommodation costs.   As a general rule, there is a trade-off between cost and comfort; cheaper options are usually less convenient and less comfortable.

Buses
When travelling within a country, buses are one of the most reliable and cheapest forms of long distance travels.  Although it is not always comfortable, buses are always at least half the cost of other forms of travel.  There is no doubt that trains and cars will always be faster than buses but buses cost much less than other forms of transportation.  Where it would cost at least $100 to travel from Washington D.C. to New York round trip through driving or trains, it only costs about $60 if a bus is taken.  In North America bus companies like Megabus or Greyhound usually have travel deals as well.  If late bus rides are not a problem, there can be even more savings on top of the already low prices!

Peñafrancia Tours and Travel Transport Inc.

An example of a bus company which can take you to far

Car Pooling, Large group discounts

Choosing to travel with a large group can cut the costs of travelling by a huge amount.  Generally the more people there are, the cheaper it becomes to travel.  If there is a good amount of people opting to travel to the same location (usually around 4 people), it can be cheaper to split the gas money and take turns driving.  A trip which would normally cost $100 now becomes $25!  Sometimes, there are bus tours and trips which provide a group discount for larger groups.  Being able to travel with more people provides security and economic safety as well.  However, the more people there are during a trip, the more likely it is for the trip to become disorganized.  Make sure to pick the right people!

Discount Deals-Airplanes

One of the best things about traveling is looking out for some discount travel options.  Once in a while, travel sites such as Expedia.com or Orbitz.com might have discount plane tickets to many often travelled locations in the world.  A round trip from Los Angeles to New York can sometimes only cost $89!  However, the fine prints of these amazing deals come with a fixed flying schedule.  So although there is a cheap ticket option, it severely limits the flexibility of travel dates and forces a schedule around those times.    

Studying Abroad and School Sponsored Programs

Sometimes it is almost impossible to find the funds to travel alone.  That is it can be a great idea to check out what programs a college or school has to offer for travelling!  Colleges often have a multitude of programs which allow students to travel to many different locations for low prices and high security.  Club trips, after school programs, study abroad programs, exchange programs and competitive trips can all be a gateway towards a cheap travel trip!  Although options might be limited on a trip sponsored by an organization, it is still a great option to travel (with accommodations provided) for low costs or sometimes even for free!  For example, I was able to travel to place such as Washington D.C. and Princeton just because I was part of the Mock Trial Team in college.  Not only was it a memorable trip but it was also free!

Bon Voyage!

Bon Voyage!

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This was written by Gary Chen of Stony Brook University

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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Giving Back: Think Outside the Box

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

I would like to take a moment to disclose a secretive piece of advice to you. Are you listening? Okay good. Giving back doesn’t have to involve working with an organization. Now I know you’re thinking, okay cool Sam, thanks for making me read all these articles on different organizations that don’t even matter. Well don’t think that. They do, but there are so many different ways to give back and help mankind. Use your own brain to think of creative outlets to show love every day in the city that never sleeps. But as always, if you need some inspiration, here are some ideas from other students.

 

In 2000, the movie Pay It Forward impacted and challenged viewers to realize the importance and effectiveness of doing good deeds for three people, without expecting anything in return. Although viewers were inspired, this challenge was forgotten once the business of life was piled on them. Don’t let this happen to you. Bring it back! As a person who is addicted to caffeine, I need my coffee fix every time I venture into the city, and maybe you feel the same way. The long lines never bother us as we wait for our delicious treat. But maybe instead of using our racked up Starbucks rewards for ourselves, lets “pay it forward” and use it for the person behind us in line. They don’t need to know it was you, as you slip past them with your coffee in hand and out into the city. The point is to help someone in a little way, that can change his or her whole day. Upsizing from a tall to a grande can change my mood enough. Now, if it was magically paid for, wooaaaah, even better.

 

"I see dead people"....no wait, wrong movie.

Wanna help your friends first before diving into helping others? Okay fine. Invite over friends or coworkers to your place for a homemade dinner. It’s a generous way to show them that you care. I mean forget cooking for them, the fact you clean up your house for visitors is a loving sacrifice in itself, am I right? A good meal and great conversation is a perfect way to show you care for your fellow NYC friends.

 

When I was living in Florida the summers were hot, like super hot, like no one should EVER vacation in Florida when it’s August because you gunna melt. So whenever I saw the Homeless Voice newspaper on the side of the road asking for donations I always felt bad that for 8 hours of work they may only have one drink with them. I began buying water bottles and tried giving them out every day on my way to school. In fact one guy saw me so much he called me “water bottle girl”, I guess I forgot to ever tell him my name. Other than the one time I learned, after giving out some water bottles I left in the car, that the water can become toxic once the plastic overheated, and freaked out that I could be the reason of death to homeless people in south Florida, it was pretty much a success. I mean who doesn’t want free water on a hot day?

 

Because I was handing out water bottles multiple times a week, I saw the same workers for the Homeless Voice every day. This allowed me to spark short stopped-at-a-red-light conversation with them. You never know what you can learn about someone until you speak up. Who knows, I might have been the only one to say something more than a “no thank you”, out the window of the car, or a sympathetic nod. So why not try it yourself. You don’t need to seek out the scariest homeless person in the neighborhood, or go into strange areas to do this, just be aware of who you see every day on your commute. More often than not, you see someone that could use your help. Be creative in how you can help them, whether it’s a water bottle in the summer or coffee in the winter, you can always reach out on your own and help one relationship at a time.

 

One of these water bottles is good, one is toxic. You would think it's the fallen one, but no! It could be either, dun dun DUN!

 

Think outside of the box!  Can you knit scarves? Do you have some extra coupons at a burger joint? There are so many ways to give back that don’t require you to serve in an organization. Start now!

 

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Samantha Bringas

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Giving Back: On Your Own

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Now if you already graduated or don’t want to be affiliated with your school, no fear, you can serve on your own! It might be a little more work, but if you go out and find an organization that really echoes your passions, it’s worth it. Find one that fights for what you love, or even better: one that fights against something you hate. We live in a towering metropolis, people from all around the world make their way towards NYC with hopes of dawning a new life. But with an abundance of people, there is an abundance of problems. Thankfully there are many organizations that try to combat these dilemmas, one issue at a time. Here are some organizations that I found to be engaging and unique. After confirming them in Charity Navigator and investigating their webpage, I recommend checking out these groups.

 

First we will start with a familiar organization, Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity has an uncomplicated system allowing you to go onto their website and view their upcoming projects. They give you the flexibility to choose a day that works specifically for you to sign up for. And get this: you don’t even have to know how to work a chainsaw to help! When scanning through the sign up page, I saw jobs available for office support or simply painting walls. The best part of this organization is that you can just volunteer one day and don’t have to feel pressured to come to another workday until you’re ready. You can easily sign up for yourself or even a group of friends that want to get involved. Who knows, you may have such a great time that you all decide to volunteer regularly.

 

The YMCA isn’t simply a place to attend a woodshop class, but is a great place to volunteer and help out with the youth in the community. The neat thing about this company is that there is a local YMCA in almost every big city. In fact, there are 22 YMCAs sprinkled all around NYC, so yes, there is one near you! Because there are programs for students of all ages, you can serve in many areas. Even if you feel like college math is not your strong suit, you can tutor young students in their elementary math courses. I remember being in high school and paying attention in class, but just not getting calculus. With the guidance of students around me, explaining different tips and formulas, I was able to pass the class. If tutoring isn’t your forte though, there are opportunities for assisting with coaching or refereeing at different youth sports games, or even using your organizational skills to plan one of their many special events.

 

I honestly don’t even remember how I stumbled upon this organization, but I am so glad I did! A House on Beekman is located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the United States, the South Bronx. Their goal is to revolutionize the area and help families including single mothers. They do this by teaching Mommy and Me classes for mothers, while volunteers watch and play with babies and young children. If you are majoring in elementary education, or just simply love children, this would be a great experience to use your skills to volunteer as you make your way through college!

 

An extension of the Polaris Project, an organization that aims to end human trafficking, GEM Girls is an group that specifically focuses on helping and educating girls who were victims of sex trafficking. They host residential units that create a safe atmosphere for women that were victims of this abuse, as well as send speakers out to inform local schools of this problem and ways to fight it. Although this can be a hard organization to get involved in, hopefully it can inspire you to learn more about contemporary human slavery that exists around the U.S. and encourage you to get involved in some way to spread awareness.

 

As you can probably tell, these organizations appeal specifically to me. I love working with people, especially teenagers. If this is not your deal don’t be dismayed, there are so many organizations out here in NYC that are just waiting for ready help like yourself! Surely these organizations have ignited that light bulb in your head, inspiring you to look on your own for an organization that matches your taste. Don’t worry, if you are still lost on how to help your community in every day life, just read further!

 

 

Proof that serving with a group of people is a great way to make friends. Here I am with a group at Christianville Haiti, check out more about this great organization below.

Proof that serving with a group of people is a great way to make friends. Here I am with a group in Christianville Haiti, check out more about this great organization below.

 

 

Habitat For Humanity:
http://habitatnyc.org/volunteer/individuals

YMCA:

http://www.ymcanyc.org/association/pages/volunteer1

A House on Beekman:

http://www.ahouseonbeekman.org/category/volunteering/

GEM Girls:

http://www.polarisproject.org/

And to learn about where I went for summer break in school, click here!

 

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Samantha Bringas

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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