Posts Tagged ‘friends in NYC’

Finding Your People

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

 

My friend Paris and I chilling in my dorm after a photoshoot.

My friend Paris and I chilling in my dorm after a photoshoot.

College undoubtedly brings change. Life before college is largely different from life in higher education.  Post-secondary education brings a new set of challenges that provide opportunity for personal growth and emergence into the adult world. Though many challenges exist for the incoming college student, my primary focus is the examination of relationships in college, as I have a great deal of experience in this area. And while I cannot speak to the experiences of all students in college, I do know that my account of navigating relationships during my first year at NYU can provide useful reference for any college student.

Before I went to New York City for college, I lived in a place called Snellville, Georgia. Growing up in Georgia, I had a hard time finding friends with whom I could have meaningful conversations. Most of the friends I made in Georgia were formed more out of circumstance than choice, since I was more concerned about fitting in socially than finding friends that would help me develop as a person. As a result, I had a lot of different friends before college, but very few seemed to excite and invigorate in the way I desired.

By contrast, the friends I made after moving to New York City are some of the most interesting and special people I have met in my entire life. While they are all different from me in some ways, all my closest friends in New York City have a common passion for taking advantage of the opportunities life offers and an eagerness to delve beyond surface-level conversations. How did I find these people? I simply made the decision to choose my friends based on who excited me, as opposed to letting friendships develop merely out of coincidence. Whenever I met someone who excited me, I did everything in my power to develop a friendship with them.  Still, sometimes, the ones who excited me were also the ones who intimidated me. It took some courage to approach and pursue friendships with people who intimidated me, but the people who intimidated me were intimidating because they possessed something that I did not have or understand. To access the immense value of such people, I dedicated myself to not let fear get in the way of forming life-changing friendships.

To solidify the friendships I desired, I made sure to show a genuine interest in those whom I wanted to know more closely. I took time out of my schedule to adventure the city with newfound friends and let them know why they mattered to me. In doing so, I showed them why I should matter in their lives, as my investment in them indicated that I could be there in whatever supportive capacity they may need in the future. So, as I let new friends into my life, I spoke into their lives, representing my honest self, since I did not want to make friends with those who did not accept me for who I am.

To solidify such friendships, I had to make emotional room for my friends to influence my life. Indeed, it is quite a scary thing to be so emotionally vulnerable to other people.  In some cases, a few people with whom I shared my vulnerabilities used those vulnerabilities to hurt me later down the road.  However, such negative experiences should not dampen the pursuit of deep and honest communication with others. Rather, the negative experiences were a means to inform me of the signs that indicate a disloyal friend.

At the end of the day, I know that I’m not perfect. I need other people around me to open my eyes to different perspectives about the world, and my place in it. Every person is limited in their capacity to understand life. Yet, by sharing friendships with tremendous people, one can get a glimpse into a larger world of possibility and have support through times of hardship. After finding my closest friends, my squad, I noticed that an incredible burden had been lifted off my shoulders. Before finding my people, college frightened me. The start of college marked the first time in my life that I had to independently endure responsibility. After creating meaningful friendships though, I have taken immense comfort in knowing that I have a family in college with whom I can experience anything and find encouragement.

By Matthew Evert

Matthew Evert is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English and Philosophy as a sophomore at NYU. Passionate about poetry, people, and adventure, Matthew aspires to live an explorative and artistic life. 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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Arrival: Freakout, panic attack, wait are those the Olsen Twins?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

 

      You’ve just graduated high school, leaving prom night behind, and that comment you wish you took back but didn’t really because you felt it was rightly deserved, and are now ready to begin your new life in the city. You’re giddy because you hope you’ll be caught in a photo beside an A-star celebrity eating a light salad and sipping sparkling water at your favorite hole-in-the wall restaurant you read about. On arrival, however, you noticed no celebrities, chic restaurants:  just random people either playing music for money or those playing music but  being paid because others have assumed they’re only there for money.

          Hopefully, dorm life is the same as shown on brochures, campus tours, and other miscellaneous google image searches you did beforehand. Hurrah! Dorms are fantastic with enough space and lighting that makes you feel it’s not jail-cell B. You’ve traveled far, maybe crossed the Atlantic, and now you’ve arrived in the Big Apple. Parents are helping you unload bags, boxes filled with snacks, and then treating you to a rewarding feast for graduating high school and marking the next big chapter of your life, college. They leave. Now what? There is one scenario that pops in your head: people will start drinking, gorging on jello shots, and parading in the dorms until 6 a.m the next day. 

         Real scenario: you’re laying on your bed thinking how many calories did I just inhale and what to do next?  Should call parents, pops in your mind, but that will make them think you severely miss them and are ready to leave college to become the next pop musical sensation or viral Youtube star. Should call friends is another option you ponder. That decision also has its setbacks, you think, because friends will see it as you trying to live in the past and being overly clingy. Who else to phone then?  Former partner?  They’ll think you’re absurd. Only person/non-human near you are either your dog or that chubby cat meowing ferociously outside for food even though it clearly needs to stop eating.

        Have no fear. The worst things most new New Yorkers accomplish is to over analyze simple decisions. Moving away from home, leaving where you grew up, knocked that kid off his bike and then lied about it, is difficult for anyone. Call your parents immediately (well, wait until they’re on the freeway) to tell them you’ll miss them and promise to either call, video chat, face-talk, Facebook message, Line, etc, that night to update them on your new day.

        Don’t fear phoning friends because they’re in similar shoes as yourself, or worse, they’re hyperventilating and looking at graduation photos yelling “Why me?!!” Instead of staying in your dorm waiting for orientation, explore the local neighborhood; if you find a store you like, you can later discuss and recommend it to your new friends, it will make you seem knowledgeable like a native New Yorker; you even find a surprising discount for new students on the Campus Clipper, the local booklet that helps you save those extra bucks, on textbooks. Now you have both a new street-smart mentality and you can rent out a Chemistry textbook for a bargain at Shakespeare & Co Textbooks which up to today was only a dead guy who wrote amazing plays; but now he also offers stupendous offers to students.If you left the comfort of your hometown, city, or neighborhood, surely you can take those extra steps to acclimate to New York City. After all, no one is really a true New Yorker. Most of us fake it ‘til we make it.

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Sergio Hernandez, Skidmore College. Tweet Sergio on Twitter

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