Posts Tagged ‘college’

Maintaining Long-Distance Relationships

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

A long distance relationship is an incredible feat. There’s no sugar coating it. You’re in one place and your loved one is in another. If you’re as unlucky as me, your loved ones are across the country from you.

I never expected to meet Jack last summer while I was visiting my best friend in Huntington Beach, California but life took me by surprise. When I left Jack in California, it was like I left my heart behind. I constantly drift back into memories from that summer with him, the sun rays and good vibes floating through the dry California air.

At least I fought for the time to see him again. I am going to California in less than a week. I would spend six months away from him for just one week with him, because he is worth it.

If you feel the same way about someone, you should fight for your time with them. If you see yourself sharing a future with someone, never let distance get in the way. Love knows no bounds, so put it to the test and love who you love. But you have to put effort. Distance is a large boundary, but love can overcome any boundary with work. I literally have a whole country between me and Jack.

Being away from friends is also difficult, but luckily our generation has Facetime and social media. Everyone is on different schedules or living in different time zones. But you can coordinate times to reach out to them. Sometimes it feels like my friends and I are always playing phone tag with one another and that can be very frustrating. But when you finally talk to each other, it is worth it. Just last week I went with someone to have our hair done and the wait time was dreadful. So instead of sitting down for another hour, I went outside and talked with my two closest friends on the phone. They filled me in on their lives, about dates gone wrong and new friends. A simple phone call made me at ease.

I do need to call my family more. It’s like a chore I keep pushing off. My mom misses me like crazy. I am her baby girl, the youngest of three, the last to leave the nest. My mom has been raising children for 25 years and I really owe it to her to call more. My father passed away in 2015 and my biggest regret is not calling him more. I don’t even remember the last thing I said to my father. Life is short, tell someone you love them.

Of course, see your loved ones in person, so get on your computer and plan a trip.  I paid for my ticket to California out of my pocket. My mom was very upset for not coming home for Thanksgiving so she said she wouldn’t help me pay for my ticket. I think she thought that would stop me but I was like “Yes, ma’am” and went online to buy my own ticket. It was crazy expensive but I have no regrets. My mom can see me at Christmas and over the summer break, but Thanksgiving is me-time, me-time to see Jack again, me-time to make new memories with Jack.

Travel tip: This year I have traveled to Boston to see a friend with a $35 round-trip ticket on Megabus. If you are trying to travel anywhere around the northeast I would recommend looking into a bus service first before your check out airfare. There are so many busses and it is so easy to catch one riding out of the city. However, if you are a neat freak or can’t handle public transportation, I would advise against bussing. It is definitely the cheapest method of traveling but it is not clean. If you prefer air travel, than just do your research to find cheap flights online. On my slim college budget, I use cheap sites like Expedia to find tickets. In college, cheap is always the way to go.

Things to Remember

  1. Make time for those you love and they will make time for you
  2. Spend your money on memories
  3. Call your family, time is fleeting
  4. Fight for love, let it win

 

 

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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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Ice-Breaking With New Friends

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Coming from a small island, I kept my childhood friends close. I met three of my closest friends in kindergarten, so my adult self was out of practice in friend-making. I have had the same group of friends for so long that I doubted that others could fill the gap when I had to leave them for NYU. Meeting Eric, Javi, and others friends at the move-in party was a miracleUnfortunately though, I was friendless in my classes.

Eric, Javi, and others friends were in different classes. For a while I kept to myself in all my classes, unable to get over my shyness. I would enviously eavesdrop on my classmates’ conversations. I needed friends in my difficult classes, a study partner, a study group to survive the workload.

I thought it was unlucky that NYU Steinhardt required students to take a New Student Seminar class. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a classroom full of freshman. Ramy Ebied, my academic advisor, put all of us into pairs to break the ice with our fellow classmates. He paired me with the very tall and handsome Luke, so I became even more nervous when it came time to start the ice breaker. Fortunately, Ramy gave us three topics to get us started. 

Ramy’s Icebreaker Questions:

  1. Where you are from?
  2. What our names mean or how we got them?
  3. Something challenging about college so far or something you enjoy about college so far?

Luke and I became acquaintances, then close friends. He decided to start a study group before our first psychology exam, inviting our whole class. Only a handful showed up, but it was nice to finally be in an intimate environment where I could talk with my fellow classmates. Now I have many acquaintances in that class and one cool close friend in Luke. 

Meeting Luke helped me open up. I eventually made close friends with Hannah, a senior from painting class. Last class she invited me to get food with her after. I agreed to stop at a Shake Shack where Hannah and I had our first non-school conversation, about our futures, her dog, and my anxieties. As we were walking back to Washington Square Park, she told me that I was always welcome to join her at the dog park with her and her adorable dog.

My initial mistake was that I figured college would be like high school, that people stay within the realm of their grade or class and don’t form friendships across those boundaries. I have never seen a high school senior and a high school freshman develop a mutual friendship. But I learned to stop comparing the larger-than-life NYU to my tiny high school.

College is a fresh start to go outside of your bubble and meet new people across the boundaries.

Remember

  1. Open up to people, especially if they are opening up to you.
  2. Say yes to group activities or events. There you will meet people who will have a lot in common with you.
  3. College is nothing like high school, all the grades/levels blend together into one collective, so don’t be intimidated. 
  4. Make a few close friends, those you can share an intimate chat with. 

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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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Fighting The Moving Day Blues at NYU

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

When I flew from the Caribbean islands to New York City, I couldn’t bring more than my clothes in three overweight suitcases. My mom, her boyfriend, and I spent two days shopping for dorm necessities at Bed Bath and Beyond. Unfortunately, I  bought things before even seeing my dorm, so I would later discover that many items didn’t fit. 

Arriving on campus on move-in day, I was a bundle of confusion with a racing heart. Parents were scurrying to get their children out of the car and up the stairs to Weinstein Hall’s lobby. As soon as I began loading all of my stuff on to the curb, I noticed and recognized Grace, my roommate at the curb. We chatted. Seeing her nervous face reminding me I wasn’t alone in my anxiety. 

Once Grace and I arrived at our room I became more overwhelmed. Her family and my family were all cramped into our tiny dorm, scurrying around and fixing every minute detail to save us stress. It had the opposite effect for me. Seeing everyone racing around the tiny space, opening boxes, making opinions, increased my claustrophobia in this tiny room.

I needed to get out. My mom, her boyfriend, and I headed back to Bed Bath and Beyond, but we found more chaos there. The whole freshman class were rushing to find the products they needed before someone else found them first. Eventually we escaped and headed back to my dorm. Then my mom and her boyfriend left me so I could finish up the unpacking at my pace, while my roommate was out to lunch with her parents. I put on some music. Finally, I could relax in my new space and create it exactly how I wanted to, without people throwing their opinions at me.

When I finally finished organizing I laid down. I was in my dorm in the greatest city in the world, the city I had dreamt of living in for as long as I could remember. I would make the most out of my four years here.

Weinstein was holding an Ice Cream Social in the lobby.  I have never been a social person, always waiting for someone else to spark a conversation with me. From across the room I saw two freshman boys both dressed in stylish dark colors. I was too scared to approach them though, so I sat still and hoped my nerves would fade. Then suddenly, someone asked if I wanted to play Uno. I looked up to see the two boys from across the room. They were Eric and Javi. We played Uno before going to the Bed Bath and Beyond party to dance and sing the night away.

Why was I worried about making friends? Everyone is in the exact same boat when entering college with the desire to make friends. Not everyone you meet in college is going to be your best friend, but it is nice to be acquainted with people, to smile or wave as you pass by each other on the street.

Eric and I became closer in the days that followed. He introduced me to Melody, his high school friend from California, then she introduced me to Kaitlyn. Now all of us, Grace, Javi, Eric, Kaitlyn, Melody and I, hang out almost every single day. I always wondered what would have happened if Eric didn’t approach me to play Uno that night. I wouldn’t have been introduced to Javi, Melody, and Kaitlyn. Fate brought me a caring, creative group of individuals.

Remember

  1. Know your space before you try to fill it. See your dorm room before spending hundreds of dollars on it.
  2. Stay open towards new people. They share the same fears and anxieties with you on their first day.
  3. If you don’t meet a ton of people at first don’t worry about it. The friends you make will introduce you to more friends in the future.

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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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The New Student Special: Oversensitive Disturbances

Friday, July 20th, 2018

I remember watching South Park and being intrigued by its newest character, PC Principal. He would become annoyed every time someone would disrespect a social/political movement even if it was unintentionally. The PC Principal in South Park was a parody of college students in their PC culture craze. It wasn’t until witnessing and being in unnecessary arguments that I realized how accurate this parody was.

As an Afro-Latina in a predominately white school, I was open to the fact that there would be ignorant people around me. I’m normally a very fiesty person and will snap back if anyone goes too far. However, after a few angry mini arguments with people at NYU, I figured out that it’s not worth it. From arguing in and even about elevators, yes elevators, you would be surprised as to how low some people’s breaking points are. It got to a point where allowed myself to go by the “silence is golden” rule. Now, I just say my opinion, and if someone disagrees especially in an immature manner, I will simply not respond or waste my precious sanity/energy to engage.

I once saw a student ripped apart in class for saying that girls in Middle Eastern countries were probably never complimented on their beauty and probably had low self-esteem. Although his wording may have been off, I was disgusted by how the class became piranhas and attacked his ignorance. He ended up apologizing, but was dismissed. The moment someone becomes rowdy and childish displays to me that I can’t engage in an intellectual discussion with them.

I first followed the “silence is golden” motto when my best friend’s white roommate told me the backstory as to why her friends called her racist. My best friend’s roommate, Lea, told her friends that she disliked Bruno Mars’ song That’s What I Like and in response her friends called her ignorant and racist. Lea continued to tell me that she would take time to process the argument, and call back her friends once she understood their perspective. I, being Tiana, told her that disliking a song does not make you racist and your friends don’t sound like friends. I was extremely confused as to why she was more than willing to “understand” a perspective based on ridicule. She proceeded to rant to me that when best friends argue, that they take time apart to understand the severity and eventually come back together. After she gave me these pre-Hulk vibes, I calmly said, “ I feel like you’re being extra, but good luck.” That is exactly how the conversation ended.  I could have told her more. I too dislike it when people are ignorant, but trying to educate someone through a harmless Bruno Mars song is calling for criticism especially since music is subjective, the song itself had no political connotation to it, and people will always have a different taste for great music. Trying to educate people when we live in a world where Google knows everything is redundant. Trying to argue with people who are fixed in their immaturity and bias, is completely useless.

I can definitely say that NYU has caused me to mature. I don’t fight over petty things as much and would rather maintain my happiness that having it crushed by some idiot.

Image credit: https://pics.me.me/triggering-intensieles-co-13592243.png

By Tiana B.


Tiana is a sophomore at NYU concentrating on journalism and creative writing. She seeks to display the representation of African Americans and Latinos by providing her own experiences and illuminating marginalized issues in her own writing. When she’s free from her stressful college life, she likes to listen to rap music, binge watch on anime, splurge on Kmart deals, and cook her Hispanic cuisines. Tiana also runs another blog called True T which also highlights not only her personal experiences, but her genuine and unfiltered opinions on today’s matters.

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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Student Savings or Student High

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Back in high school, we had alumni telling us about their personal experiences with parties and drugs in college—he majority just warned us to stay away from the drug and alcohol scenes in college for fear of being punished and having our scholarships revoked. I have only drunk a few times at family gatherings—I was never really a drinker. As for drugs, I would often see how shaky, paranoid, and unalert people were made by the so-called harmless drug of marijuana. I’d hear about certain kids offering special discounts and being able to rack up $40 in just four hours. I would just roll my eyes and promise myself never to try it out in college.

A year later, I’ve kept that promise nice and strong. My roommates were respectful about it, and didn’t seem too involved in the drug and alcohol scene themselves.  Nonetheless, sometimes it seemed to me like just about everyone else would smoke a blunt or go to Saturday night outings to drink their semester stress away. I would hear about it and smell the smoke on the corner of 6th avenue which caused me to assume that only 10% of people are completely sober here.

I actually took a class called Drugs and Kids last semester, and in it the argument of whether or not to legalize marijuana came up and the teacher proposed a poll. She first asked who thinks it should be legalized, and the majority of the class raised their hand—although some people didn’t vote at all. She let those who raised their hand explain their reasoning and then proceeded to ask those who didn’t think it should be legalized. I raised my hand more so in a shaky way, because I only agreed to an extent. Marijuana policies do create extreme numbers in arrest (especially for African Americans), overpopulated jails and diminishes every single tax benefit. But, I made it clear to the class that I felt mixed about the situation because of my experience in seeing how screwed up my high school peers were. I even mentioned how I never tried it so I wouldn’t know the beautiful high of it and one of the students just turned around: “Really?” Yes, really.

I remember feeling quite embarrassed by the dead silence that filled the room. I wondered if there were even kids who were scared to raise their hands. But then again, why should I feel ashamed? In college, or in life in general, abiding by the law is seen as a joke and breaking it is the trend. The whole conversation was one big replica of high school, something I dreaded. I never went to any parties or did any drugs during my freshman year. Though, I did have a nice alcoholic experience with family after the spring semester. Not everyone in college is partying, drinking, or doing drugs. And even if they are, I shouldn’t put those who party in the same category as those who do drugs or drink because that is simply not the case. I assumed this in the beginning because I didn’t know many people and I hadn’t found my niche. If you’re like me, a traditional person who doesn’t want to see people blacked out and prefers laid out and rather cheap, safer environments, then you will find people like me eventually. I wouldn’t consider myself an antisocial person—trust me, I’m not—but just like Alessia Cara, I don’t do parties and I feel great about it.

Image result for college party

Image Credit: https://studybreaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/college-party.jpg

 

By: Tiana B.


Tiana is a sophomore at NYU concentrating on journalism and creative writing. She seeks to display the representation of African Americans and Latinos by providing her own experiences and illuminating marginalized issues in her own writing. When she’s free from her stressful college life, she likes to listen to rap music, binge watch on anime, splurge on Kmart deals, and cook her Hispanic cuisines. Tiana also runs another blog called True T which also highlights not only her personal experiences, but her genuine and unfiltered opinions on today’s matters.

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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My High School Sewing Class Still Helps Me Make Life Decisions Today

Monday, April 16th, 2018

To me, high school is a time where it’s very difficult to feel like your own person. While some people combat this by going through an “emo-phase” or dyeing their hair blonde, I decided to sign up for an adult education sewing class. I had always been interested in sewing at least from a curiosity perspective. At the time I was very into “fashion,” and thought my ultimate goal should be to make my own clothing, so the first step was to learn the basics of a sewing machine. I was 15 and by no means an adult, so my mom called the class teacher to check if I would even be allowed to join. After that confirmation I was in, and the youngest member of the class by about 30 years.

Image Credit: http://www.wirama.com/want-to-learn-sewing/

The first project was a drawstring bag. We sewed the string strip and the square bag with a small tunnel opening. I was amazed at how taking things step by step it was so simple, but the end product was something functional, useful, and I made it entirely myself.

Throughout the program I really enjoyed my time spent with these women, and the projects we were able to create. If my bobbin got stuck, or my thread fell out of my needle, they would help me fix it right away without ever being condescending toward the fact that I was young to be there. This class really made me feel for the first time like I was doing something concrete to achieve a goal I set out for myself, and that was exciting, refreshing, and motivating. During a time where I found it hard to separate myself from my friends, and really find out what makes me an individual, this class was a twice-weekly escape into my own world.

I keep mentioning how this was a big deal for me because it was during high school, but really I often think back to this time when making decisions in my life since then. At any age I think it can be easy to fall into a rut, or fall into into the habits of the group of people around you. But when I think back to this class I not only think it was a great decision for my individuality, I also think it showed me how the most memorable parts of your life, and perhaps the most meaningful, come from when you decide to do something just for yourself, because you know you will enjoy and benefit from it. This is where I try to base most of my career-oriented decisions from, and so far it has led me in a rewarding direction.

Ultimately, what I learned from this was how great it was to do my own thing, step out of my comfort zone, and make a decisive move for myself. It made me realize that until you sit down with yourself and think about what you want to do and what would be best for you, nothing in your life will ever really change. If you’re struggling right now to figure out what you want to do in life, or if you feel stuck in a rut, try to think of what opportunities around you excite you. If you realize you’ve been working as a graphic designer but you really miss doing the science experiments from your high school biology class, then follow that idea and volunteer as a research assistant. You’re only ever going to get something good out of doing something just for yourself, and it might just lead you somewhere you weren’t expecting.

By Danielle Agugliaro


Danielle is a junior magazine journalism student at Syracuse University hoping to one day connect beauty, fashion, and environmental science journalism in an engaging way for the public. When she’s not busy working on assignments she likes to relax with a Kurt Vonnegut novel, smoothie bowl, and her pet bird, Alfie.

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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The Diary of a College Student: Adjusting to Life Off-Stage and into the Lecture Hall

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

In having been an actor for over 10 years of my life the adjustment that I experienced in not pursuing acting further in college was interesting, to say the least. Before that, life had been a world of opportunity in the sense that anywhere could have been a stage upon which to demonstrate my craft, my commitment, my skill, etc..

Upon arriving in New York City as a freshman college student, I found myself searching for something new around which to center my life. Something that could fill the void I felt inside me. I wanted to substitute something for the hours of intense training, detail-oriented rehearsals, and a creativity that was conditioned to image the sufferings and joys of human existence. I was in the process of reimagining my life, adjusting to my new life off-stage, in lecture halls, and among unfamiliar peers; in the manner that I would live, the activities that I would pursue daily, the motivation that I felt that pushed me toward always becoming better than what I was the day before, etc.. I believe that this time, a time of life re-imagined, can relate to, and is shared by, those who experience a dramatic shift in their day-to-day routines, their sense of limitation, and their sense of liberty when choosing what to prioritize in life.

This especially applies to college students, namely Freshmen, who recently removed themselves from a familiar environment full of routine and safety. In attending an out-of-town, an out-of-state, or international university, students are faced with the difficult task of taking what they knew as life and drastically reimaging it to suit their needs in their new localities. The difficulties arises from temptation. Temptation that is reinforced by the general newfound liberty of independent living. Spiderman taught me at a young age that “with great power comes great responsibility,” and it is a fact of human existence that ameliorating one’s liberty of choice, freedom of expression, and right to self-determination is directly relatable to one’s sense power.

So in here lies the subject of responsibility. What this essay aims to make palpable is the difficulty that exists in maintaining one’s sense of responsibility and pragmatism during this time of life re-imagined. Before, we discussed the opportunities college students have in trying to find the best student deals, spark new relationships, curate better hygiene, etc. when in an unfamiliar place, such as attending a new school. However, it is this greater realization of the individual’s power of choice that is the true subject of this discourse. I don’t want to sound cliché, but for new college students, there is no greater excitement then determining exactly what it is that makes you happy and using those sources of happiness to your advantage.

Image Credit: http://www.scei.edu.au/news

The overwhelming nature of arriving in a different city, into a situation where there are no longer limits on the things you can try, or finding where those things will begin generally brings anxiety with it. It is good to feel that anxiety, because it means that you value what your life is and your happiness in living it. If I could go back and tell myself a tidbit of advice freshman year, I would tell him this: there is no greater opportunity missed than living a life that prioritizes your health, your happiness, and your ability to make patient deliberated decisions. That may seem like an Olympian sized feat, but it begins with the littlest of things. For example, when one prioritizes their health and ability to focus and deliberate, than drinking the night before a test perhaps wouldn’t even enter one’s mind as a viable option.

Image Credit: https://www.pragmait.com/therapyboss/blog/short-term-or-long-term-goals-still-required/

It may seem a little extreme. However, when I was adjusting to my life off-stage there were many decisions that I see now as being nothing but a hindrance on my overall goal of being happy. I was more concerned with my momentary happiness and less concerned with prioritizing my long term goals.  It is easy to try and find the most exciting thing to do as a young new college freshman or sophomore, but it is all too easy to get caught up in the overwhelming liberty that comes with newfound independence. Always prioritize the life you want to be living and don’t simply live in the moment, and I promise that your life re-imagined will be a rewarding one to live.

By James Rodriguez


A Texan born and raised, James Rodriguez grew up in San Antonio TX, and has recently graduated from New York University, having studied corporate and political publicity. He sings, plays guitar, studies French, etc. in his free time, and when given the opportunity to share advice that he thought noteworthy with future or current college students, he jumped on the chance. He believes that there is something incredibly important in obtaining knowledge from those who are going through or have recently finished dealing with the difficulties one is seeking advice on. Which is exactly the aim of the Campus Clipper: to share the best advice possible in order to better the experiences of students who are struggling now. Because he was once that lost college student who was searching for instruction and who felt out-of-place and in need of direction, he hopes that his words can relate to someone’s struggle and help along the way. 

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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Between Theory and Practice

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

As a student, I’ve always enjoyed reading and dissecting theory. Abstract concepts of power, race, and gender always interested me, and I enjoy coming up with creative interpretations of their inter-relationships.

But talking isn’t enough. To enact social change, I must be willing to practice theory on the ground. So I’ve tried to get moving, to put what I’ve read about into action. As years of messy practice have shown, practical application is much more difficult than mere theory. I make mistakes, I feel uncomfortable, and I often just want to retreat back into theory.

I’ve developed a metaphor for my attempts to pursue social justice. Theory is like English- it’s my native language, it’s familiar, and it’s much easier for me to implement. On the other hand, practice is like Spanish. I learned it later in life, and because the sounds and words did not embed themselves in my brain as a child, they come much more slowly to mind. I will never be fully fluent, nor as confident in Spanish.

But Spanish (and practice) are a necessary component of social justice work. They stretch my mind, add to my vocabulary, and guarantee that I am not too comfortable. They remind me of my limits, and open up larger segments of the population to me. I’m able to meet people where they are, to speak their language rather than forcing them to speak mine. It’s a small way I try to right the very unequal power dynamics between Spanish and English speakers. When non-native speakers make mistakes in English, they are looked down upon, derided. But when I speak Spanish, even though I’m far from fluent, I am complimented. My attempts are praised, and my learning Spanish is seen as going the extra mile, while speaking perfect English is considered a requisite for anyone living in the United States.

Of course, pursuing justice is a lofty goal. Those who attempt to bring about justice either get overwhelmed by the impossible task, or become consumed by their own accomplishments. It’s hard to strike a balance between giving up and becoming prideful. Even though I can’t save the world, I need to at least try to ensure to mitigate the negative effects I evoke by doing nothing. Just by being on this planet, I am creating a carbon footprint. By living my relatively privileged life, I am abetting systems that perpetuate racism. By seeking my own satisfaction, I am depriving others of resources. To counter these realities, the best I can hope to do is to impact one little corner of the world as best I can.

Audre Lorde, a Black Lesbian Feminist scholar, emphasizes the potential positive uses for anger. She writes, “Anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision and our future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification” (Sister Outsider, 127). For people of color, anger is often their only weapon against the oppression they experience daily.
Whether through speaking Spanish, pursuing action, or expressing anger, practical implementation is the enactment of true commitment to social justice.

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year Master’s student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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. 

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New York, I love you

Monday, October 9th, 2017

“I know my New York City by heart,” she screamed over the phone; sliding her fingers between her black curls with a force that lead me to believe, she could at any moment, rip them apart. Rest assured, she didn’t hurt herself at any point but stood up, took deep breaths and walked towards the observation deck. I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

She may be gazing at the ripples or rejoicing at the sight of Staten Island from afar, breathing in the silence of the chaos. Whatever she may have chosen, wherever she was headed, her sudden declaration of authority, self-declaration of possession of the city, made me wonder how much of it was mine if all of it weren’t hers.

And then I remembered that each person makes her own New York. The 70,000 passengers that the Staten Island Ferry carries everyday make their own New York. The 60 million tourists that come flocking into the city live and relive the fantasy that is New York. And no matter how different your New York is from mine, we are all united, in the exact moment when someone utters the word, “New Yorker.”

 

Onlookers gaze at the skyline

Onlookers gaze at the skyline

I have been living in Manhattan for about three years now but had never been able to get myself to take the Staten Island ferry – the only form of free transportation in New York that runs around the clock – or explore even a little bit of Staten Island, the “forgotten borough.” But when I did, there was nothing like coming back home, to my Manhattan.

I am quite a frequent traveller and the same annoying economy class passenger you might encounter every now and then, who continues to fight for her right to occupy the window seat, even before standing in line for the check-in counter.

Yet, I had never gotten weary of staring out of the window, waiting for New York to approach me, or maybe reject me. With New York, you never know, you can never be sure. But today the sight I witnessed, I had never seen before.

Traveling in an airplane or in a subway is quite unlike traveling in the Staten Island Ferry: the struggle, the wars, the history, you see all of it looming over the sea. And then you see the Liberty. “It is gorgeous,” says the middle aged-woman from Texas.

It indeed is, for her and for thousands of tourists like her who visit everyday quite easily seduced and compelled by the city’s charisma. For immigrants like me, it is what New York is: a symbol of hope: an open invitation that reminds me that I can mold it, make it my own.

 

Manhattan Skyline from the Ferry

Manhattan Skyline from the Ferry

I have never had a bad narrative to offer after moving to New York. I have been catcalled, yes. I have had mice problem in my house, yes. I have waited for the subway for more than 20 minutes, yes. I avoid Times Square, yes. I think I should move to LA, get a car and a big house, yes. But does that ever make me love New York any less? NO. “It’s a bitter sweet love affair,” my classmate had said.

And the fact that she called it an affair instead of a melancholy one-sided love story, tells me she knew the city loved her back. Just like I do and just like the millions of others who come to the city and engage in an ever lasting love affair.

By Sushmita Roy

Sushmita Roy is a Campus Clipper intern and a junior at NYU majoring in Journalism and Psychology. Her research interests includes immigration, human interest stories and social psychology. When she’s not studying, Sushmita enjoys catching up with friends, binge watching TV shows and cooking for anyone and everyone. 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. 

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Steps Toward Cultural Competency

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The previous week, I detailed my transition onto the Grassroots Living/Learning Community. Only a few months on Grassroots proved that I did not know as much as I thought I did. Despite my parents’ thoughtful engagement with all cultures, I needed to begin building cultural competency on my own. Here are some steps I’ve found helpful as I’ve stumbled through experiential learning:

  1. The process does not have a definitive end point. No one is ever fully “culturally competent;” there is always more to learn. This is how I think of it: when I first entered college, I was on Step 4, due to my parents’ efforts to expose me to racial reconciliation work. Those first two years on Grassroots pushed me to Step 10, and the past three years have put me at Step 12. But the number of steps are infinite, and it would be foolish for me to become proud at the measly amount of steps I’ve taken.
  2. If you’re a white person hoping to ally yourself with people of color, understanding white culture and privilege is crucial. White culture exists; because it is the dominant culture in the United States, it is often invisible. However, whites have to acknowledge that we are just as culturally biased, if not more so, than those rooted in all other cultures. In the United States, our institutions and structures were created primarily by and for white citizens (and not to mention the male, rich, and straight). This means that people like me have been benefiting from systems since before we were born, and that our children will likely continue to benefit for generations.
  3. As you gather knowledge about other cultures, use it as a means of connection, not as a way to show off. I botched this several times, and it’s all a part of the processes. For example, if I meet a Latina and assume that she’s into Prince Royce, it’d be really awkward if she’s actually into country and hasn’t listened to bachata a day in her life. Even if, on the off chance, she’s a huge Royce fan, if I use this as an opportunity to impress her with my bachata knowledge, she’ll see right through it. People of color are used to being reduced to stereotypes and having uninformed people blabber on about China to someone who looks Asian but is actually Japanese-American and knows absolutely nothing about China. On the flip side, don’t pretend like you don’t know who Royce is, but rather, if a potential new friend brings him up, use it as a way to connect with her in a normal (and not reductive!) way.
  4. On a related note, phenotypes (people’s physical features) can be very misleading if you’re trying to guess someone’s heritage. Identity is complicated, and for all you know, someone who looks African could have been raised by a white family in the Midwest. People also choose, to some extent, how they wish to identify. This is especially true of multi-racial people. Having a multi-ethnic background makes it nearly impossible to guess one’s racial make-up based on phenotypes, and creates a quandary for all involved. Unable to place said multi-ethnic person in a box, people get frustrated and try to force them to choose one identity. Of course, someone who, for example, has a black parent and a white parent can’t decide between identities. Both are essential to one’s personhood. 
  5. A caveat on choosing identities: be aware of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation can be understood as wanting people of color’s culture, but not the struggle. For example, while people at Coachella wear feathers similar to those present in Native American culture. Whites wear them because they’re pretty, or stylish, or something. But most of them have no connection to the spiritual or otherwise personal history of many Native groups, nor wish to suffer alongside Native people who continue to this day to face discrimination while fighting for basic human rights and representation in the United States. This is problematic because it diminishes Native people’s experiences and pain, all out of ignorance. Similarly, whites cannot “choose” to identify as Native American because their culture seems oh so romantically quaint compared to “cultureless” whites (see above point number 2). Again, this minimizes people of colors’ experiences and makes them uncomfortable/angry, and rightly so. A white person cannot even try to embody POC’s because with their phenotypes, they will be seen as whites and treated thus.

Again, all of this can be hard to process, especially if you’re white and just starting along the cultural competency path. A general rule of thumb is to find situations where you can respectfully listen to POC on their own terms.

Winter banquet

All those steps seem overwhelming but the friends you make? Worth it

 

Further resources:

Peggy McIntosh, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. A list of privileges you might not have considered before: 

http://bit.ly/2jSNfcn

Nell Irvin Painter, “What Is Whiteness?”: A history of the creation of “whiteness” as a social construct:

http://nyti.ms/2iZMrU9

Dr. Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism. An article on white privilege, white culture, and institutional racism: 

http://bit.ly/29DzJAH

Slavery to Mass Incarceration: A short video on the history of slavery and why it impacts us today: 

http://bit.ly/1CmPdGh

Tate Walker, “We Can’t ‘Get Over It'”: 4 Ways Understanding Past Wrongs Can Create Better Indigenous Allies: Provides insight into Native American groups’ histories and struggles for justice:

http://bit.ly/2w2AHl7

By Anna Lindner


Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. 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. 

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