Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Buy Yourself Flowers (Why You Should Plan Dates With Yourself)

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

You are your own main squeeze. Your relationship with yourself is the primary relationship you will have over the course of your life. People love to stress, “You must have a solid relationship with yourself to be capable of developing meaningful relationships with other other people.”And of course, they are right; you cannot pour from an empty cup. But that goes for everything else too, not just connections with other people. Your relationship with yourself informs how you tackle opportunities, handle challenges, approach work and play, and interpret the world you inhabit, because all of these things are tied to your sense of worth and self esteem. If that cup is empty, what will you be able to pour into your pursuits and interests? Your relationship with yourself is also the only one you are unequivocally guaranteed for your whole life, so you must enjoy spending time with yourself. If you can do that, you know someone will always be there to support and guide you when times are tough, and that someone is you. It means having someone to hang out with, whose company you enjoy. It means, in this big world where it’s easy to feel disconnected and alone—especially in New York—never being truly alone.

A few years ago I started buying myself flowers when I was feeling really down or something really big and exciting happened. I realized I didn’t need a guy to buy me flowers. I could go out to dinner alone. I could take walks by the river at sunset and sit in cafés and wander in bookstores. I could think of dates I’d want to go on and then just go do those things myself. And you know what happened? I got things done. I met some remarkable people. I grew exponentially. I flourished.

Self care, in the way we often talk about it, is a luxury. Spare cash for Lush bath bombs and spare time for people working 3 jobs—these are luxuries that many people don’t have. But dates don’t have to be constant, and planning them doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. The goal is simply to create an experience now and then that makes you feel refreshed, loved, and worthy. So hang out with yourself; get to know yourself really, really freaking well. Show yourself some TLC. After all, you’re the person you’re stuck with till the end!

If you’re having trouble coming up with solo date ideas, here are some suggestions:

Make Yourself a Picnic to Enjoy by the Hudson River

Sunshine.  Soft grass. View of the water. Skyline. Benches. Need I say more?

https://www.timeout.com

https://www.timeout.com

Take a Candlelit Bubble Bath

This is easier if you’re in an apartment, since dorms don’t allow incendiary objects. The Kmart at Astor Place has a selection of cheap candles. You can also find some pretty reasonable ones at Michaels, or if you’re feeling a tad more extravagant, check out the yummy smells at one the many Ricky’s NYC stores. If you’re in a dorm, the right playlist will soothe your ears and help create the mood.

Smell the Flowers… Or Perfume
Speaking of smells, here’s one of my favorite pick-me-ups for when I’m down. Grab some fresh coffee beans (not required, but they add a nice touch), and head to Sephora. Indulge in smelling all the glorious scents, and take a whiff of the coffee beans between smells to clear your olfactory palate.

Visit the Botanical Garden at Prospect Heights

Admission is typically $15, but if you bring your ID it’s only $8 for students. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden website has a number of resources and information on events and activities, including a list of what is currently in bloom: https://www.bbg.org/bloom

https://www.nycgo.com/

https://www.nycgo.com/

Check Out a Museum

When you’re by yourself, you can stay for as long as you want or leave as soon as your feet get tired. No need to try and impress anyone with interpretations of artwork. Oh, and for students, they’re nearly all free. Hello Whitney, MoMA, and Met, to name a few.

http://whitney.org/

http://whitney.org/

Take in a Literary Reading

There are countless places in NYC to hear writers share their work. Check out KGB Bar in the East Village for a reading! Monday is poetry night, and if fiction is more your speed, stop in on a Sunday. See you there!

https://www.timeout.com

https://www.timeout.co

By Sofia Lerner

Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. 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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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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A Place Called Home

Monday, June 5th, 2017
IMG_9056

Image Credit: Caroline Flynn

Somewhere north of Boston, a middle class suburb sits quiet and unchanged by the weathering of time. Those of us that grew up there call it Home. When I lived there, Home seemed like the best and worst place to be. The heart of Home is a decent school system that prides itself in its lack of public funding. Us kids rally around our outdated school building and its outdated policies and make it our mission to be great anyways. The sports and arts programs thrive because of it. A lot of students did great things when I was in school and Home made sure they felt celebrated and successful. A lot of students did not-so-great things and Home tried its best to sweep them under the rug.

Home is not special in any of these ways. What makes it special is that the people I love are there. When I’m with them I feel like it would be easy to fall back into the habits that I developed for 18 years before I left. Habits like mowing the lawn on Saturdays with my Dad, banging on the bathroom door until my sister got out of the shower, and watching the news in the morning with my Mom in the kitchen. At night, I call my friends and we drive off on some adventure to the edge of a lake or new empty parking lot that is a prime spot for playing music too loudly while we talk about the future. Home has a sense of measured steps. Everything is even and safe as we quietly live out another day, month, year of our lives. So when I came to NYC I was ready for a shift.

New York University. A huge school in an even bigger city. Home seems distant in memory, size, and existence. In fact, it’s difficult to believe they inhabit the same planet. No one takes measured steps here. Most people walk at a pace that suburbians couldn’t ever imagine. I had gotten the shift I wanted. My life was constantly shifting. New people, new places, new education, new food, new, new, new. And so I began to plug away at my new life.

I spent most of my freshman year in my bottom bunk, squeezed between two desks and two dressers in a Tetris-like fashion. Though the room was barely big enough for the two people it housed, I happily claimed half of it as my own. My desk quickly gained an appropriate amount of clutter. Even from 4 hours away, my mom would roll her eyes over FaceTime and urge me to straighten up my things. The rectangle of open wall next to my bed was littered with photographs of friends and family from Home. They were a constant reminder of who I’d left behind.

You learn a lot about yourself when you’re thrust into a new environment. As the year drew on, I realized that the thing that made Home so special were the people. Here, I didn’t have any relationships to keep me afloat. I loved being in the city and taking classes that pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I felt myself balancing on a fine line between independence and loneliness. Today, I no longer worry about slipping into loneliness because I’ve built some strong friendships in New York City. And I’ve strengthened the bonds with people at Home in a way that gives me the confidence to be independent. It took a while, but I was lucky enough to meet people that will change my life forever. This summer, I’ll be talking about how I got to this point and what I’ve learned about relationships since I left home. Hopefully you learn from my mistakes and fall in love with my friends and family just like I have.


By Caroline Flynn

Caroline Flynn is a Sales and Publishing Intern at the Campus Clipper studying Theatre at NYU Tisch. Caroline is passionate about the arts and dedicated to using her voice to make other people smile. As she heads into her Junior year, she is excited to be writing about how relationships have shaped her life while she takes on summer in the city for the first time. 

We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! 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 Relationship We Have With Ourselves DOES Impact That Which We Have With Others

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

“you must enter a relationship

with yourself

before anyone else”

-Rupi Kaur

Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/feeling-empty-quotes/

Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/feeling-empty-quotes/

I’ve been talking about self-love for a couple months now and of course, I truly believe that self-love is an important concept for everyone to embody to the best of their ability. That said, there isn’t much questioning the fact that women and girls are often the ones who struggle most with self-esteem issues. Yes, everyone is vulnerable to such challenges. However, I think it’s a wider issue for women. We’ve all grown up hearing that it’s so important for women to nix the low self-esteem that they often seem to feel and learn to really love themselves, from their minds to their bodies. Basically, these ideas are no secret.

But of course, poor self-esteem and lack of self-love don’t only effect the individual (man or woman). Our relationships-professional, friendly, and romantic- are all impacted by the way we feel about ourselves. Huffington Post reports of 2013 a study that found that our self-esteem influences our relationship satisfaction and that of the person we are in that relationship with. This is because a constant lack of self-worth and self-love can eventually work its way into how we interact with others. Again, the same aforementioned study explains how this effect is consistent among genders. However, it’s also important to point out that it is also consistent across ages and relationships of all different lengths!

Image Credit: http://soultraveler.co/blog/featured-on-huffpost/

Image Credit: http://soultraveler.co/blog/featured-on-huffpost/

One of the biggest ways to start addressing these insecurities affecting our relationships is to really try increasing our self-compassion and self-care. While I’ve been talking about self-love, I think the mention of self-compassion is simply genius.

Compassion is defined by Merriam-Webster as the sympathetic consciousness of other’s distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

Now, take that definition, flip it around, and apply it to yourself. What happens when we do this, when we have compassion for ourselves, is incredible. Forgive yourself and be consciously sympathetic toward your flaws. Understand that it’s okay, in fact magical, to have imperfections of all sorts. It’s okay to not look like the most popular supermodel, it’s okay if your family is different than someone else’s, it’s okay if your skin isn’t perfect, or if you’re an introvert instead of the class clown. When you hope to accomplish something and fail to reach your goal it is easy to be hard on yourself. When this happens it is crucial to show yourself some compassion. It is also important to keep in mind that the way we perform at any given time does not directly define who we are or what our worth is. When we realize that all of this is okay and even good, we can allow ourselves to love who we are as is.

As far as self-care, I think this is something I’ve written about previously a bit more. When we care for our minds and bodies by relaxing, eating right, exercising and more, we will simultaneously feel better-it just happens!

Here are 3 quick things you can do to develop your self-love and be sure to keep it at the forefront of your relationships:

Image Credi:

Image Credit: http://www.englishinrosario.com/noticias/3-tips-to-polish-your-writing/

  1. Be sure to keep your space- remember that even when you are in a relationship with someone else it is important for both of you to regularly take time to yourselves as well. Doing this will allow you some peace of mind and help you remember to care for YOU. Also, it will make you appreciate the time that you are together that much more!
  2. Remember, in the words of John Mayer, love is a verb- this goes both ways. In the same way that it is more important to actively show those that you care about how much you love them than to simply tell them, it is important to choose to actively love yourself. Even if you don’t easily feel a strong sense of self-love, act in a self-loving way and eventually you’ll believe it. Mind over matter.
  3. Find out what your partner loves about you, and love it too- Take everything that your partner is always saying they love about you, or simply ask them straight up what they love, and start loving it too! Of course, this can be easier said than done, but it can be incredibly fulfilling. This can be rewarding when practiced with your romantic partner, friends, and family! It also works both ways…tell the people you care about what you love about them and help them love themselves, too!

I hope that some of this is truly at least a bit eye-opening for you. Hopefully you will be more conscious in your relationships and treat yourself better. It will help those that you care about as well! Take the three key tips above and own self-love in your relationships!

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! 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 History Behind Self-Love

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

love of self.

you belong to you

sometimes your soulmate

is yourself

and everything

you’ve been searching for

can be found

deep within your soul”

- R.H. Sin

 

Image Credit: http://life-happens.co.uk/self-love-podcast/

Image Credit: http://life-happens.co.uk/self-love-podcast/

It’s February, and love is in the air, but often times what people forget or completely overlook, is the idea of self-love and how important it is to love ourselves. Each one of us has something unique within us, something that is not to be wasted and without utilizing those unique and special qualities that make us individuals, we are, in fact, doing those around us a disservice. Maybe you’ve heard this before, but truly believing it and feeling it is crucial to our well-being.

The journey of self-love is one that has always sat in the back of my mind, but it has more recently come to the forefront to play a large role in my life. I was raised to be strong and independent, to work hard to achieve my goals and to obtain a life where I don’t have to, or even want to, rely on anyone else for anything, whether it be physical or emotional. This ideal has always played a huge part in my life, and it is probably why the ease of falling in love caught me off guard, yet why I also made decisions that were best for me even when I was in a relationship that I thought was bulletproof. Maybe this is a bit of an oxymoron, but I was so invested in my relationship, while also focusing on my own agenda, such as: doing well in school, studying abroad, and planning my upcoming job search and career. Naturally, when my three-year relationship came to an end against my will four months ago, I was at a complete loss.

I realized that while I always had the mentality of an independent, Chanelle and not Chanelle and her significant other, and that I could do anything I set my mind to, I had to actually feel this independence again and move forward as the dynamic of my life, my daily routine and emotional state, all changed. This felt like the most difficult obstacle I had ever needed to overcome, but it didn’t take me too long to realize that I am an array of amazing qualities and I do not need to be accepted or loved by anyone who does not appreciate all of the amazing elements that make me who I am. And the same goes for you.

Nathaniel Branden Image Credit: http://mylifebook.com/blog/dr-nathaniel-branden-explores-romantic-love-and-effective-communication/

Nathaniel Branden
Image Credit: http://mylifebook.com/blog/dr-nathaniel-branden-explores-romantic-love-and-effective-communication/

So began my true journey of self-love. As a term, “self-esteem” was first introduced by William James in 1890. It is one of the oldest concepts in psychology. I personally identify more with Nathaniel Branden’s definition from 1969, stating that self-esteem is a relationship between one’s competence and one’s worthiness. Branden is considered the father of the self-esteem movement, and this definition sees self-esteem as the result of dealing with challenges of living in a worthy or respectable way and doing so consistently over time. There is no doubt in my mind that self-esteem and self-love go hand-in-hand and together take a journey to achieve. It is here where I find myself today, in the early stages of a, what I presume to be life-long, journey toward increasingly powerful self-love. The self-esteem movement really began in the 1960’s, when self-esteem first became an attractive and influential idea. 

Taking a look at Psychology Today, you’ll find that self-love is appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. It is dynamic, and it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand our self-love, we begin to accept our weaknesses and our strengths, we have less need to explain our shortcomings, we have compassion for ourselves, we are more centered in our life purpose and values, and we expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.

It is important to understand that you cannot obtain self-love from an outside source. Self-love must be obtained by you and for you. Again, we often turn to outside sources for encouragement, reassurance, or a confidence boost, but we need to find our own reasons within ourselves to feel encouraged, reassured, and confident. Also, understand that you will not reach a full state of self-love overnight. Self-love takes time, so be patient with yourself as you walk through this journey. Understand that everyone is capable of obtaining a state of self-love, as long as they put forth the effort and give it time. Join me on this journey and together we will begin to truly seek a state of love for ourselves.

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! 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. 

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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How Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Get a Girl or Guy

Saturday, October 1st, 2016
Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackie-pilossoph/being-alone-after-divorce_b_3560504.html

Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackie-pilossoph/being-alone-after-divorce_b_3560504.html

The greatest threat to a life devoid of obligations –– and the number one reason that anyone does anything –– is, of course, sex. (Almost) no one is interested in a person that doesn’t do anything, as such a person may often be considered “lazy,” or even “useless.” Obviously, such hasty judgements fail to appreciate the degree of commitment and even skill requisite to really doing nothing. But in any case, the allure of sex is a given; it is the single thing most likely to distract one from some good old indolence. It is the primary reason that scientists and musicians are constantly trying to top one another, that bankers work eighteen hour days for another meaningless zero on their Christmas bonuses, and that regular people put so much effort into appearing active, interesting, and reliable.

But even the appearance of activity, interest, and reliability takes just a ton of work. And if and when you find someone who buys the crock that you actually are fascinated by French literature or Lady Gaga and really do get more than pecuniary sustenance from your job, you only need to work harder to keep up the illusion, until it inevitably fails and you are left cold and alone, wondering why you haven’t quit your painfully dull job. Then you remember: who wants to have sex with someone who can’t even hold down a job? A vicious cycle.

To fight the threat to your inactivity that the possibility of romance presents, I humbly proffer the following brief set of instructions:

  • Maintain standards in potential partners that are well above what might be considered realistic, fair, or sane. (You can always do better.)
  • Follow advice given in chapters 1-2 (published on the Campus Clipper blog last week and the week before) and 4-9 (that are yet to come). No member of the opposite or same sex should bother you.

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book   “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! 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 last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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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!

 

———————————————————————————————————

Samantha Bringas

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Giving Back: Where to Connect

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

 

Now that you are prepared, well prepared-ish, we move on to the biggest complaint students have. “Yeah, but how? Where do I go?” You would think that with my whole chapter on research, you would know how simple it is to get connected. But if you do not know where to connect yet, all you need to do is simply seek out clubs at your school. There are clubs of all different subjects, including community service. So to make it even more simplified and handy for you, I’ve compiled a list of different colleges in the New York City area. You will see how easy it is to get involved in a club and serve not only in your community, but also with other classmates your age. The colleges I chose were NYU, Hunter College, Columbia, and Parsons, but don’t close this eBook just yet. What I’ve realized is that the process of finding clubs in colleges is very similar. So if your school is not on this list, don’t feel disheartened. This article can still assist your pursuit.

 

NYU

Without being a student I was able to investigate the available clubs. On the main directory page I simply looked under Community Service. In this section there are so many groups that allow you to give back through various approaches. For example, clubs like Arts in the Community and Make Music encourages students to use their artistic skills in order to help sponsor children in art or music programs who normally don’t have the funds to pursue their dream. Another community service oriented club is CHEFs for School, is a group that stands for “Cheap, Healthy, Eco-friendly Food” which focuses on educating students about proper nutrition and meal preparation. Each club has their own webpage that explains their purpose and provides an email for you to easily contact the club’s leader.

 

Hunter College

The same method can be used here, but this college takes it a step further. Hunter College has a system set up so that after you find a club that peaks your interest, you can see what time the club meets and view other students who are involved. For instance, the Sustainability Project is designed to spread awareness of environmental issues specifically in NYC; they have a whole page with available spots for outside links and photos of their latest events. Because Hunter College created this unique set up, you are able to see current and relevant information about what each organization is doing.

 

Columbia University

Now, this school was a bit harder to research. In order to find more information about the clubs, you need to be logged in. So I can only help you to an extent. Although, during my lurking I saw that they have a group called Community Impact. This club included all sorts of activities like serving at food pantries, working with Habitat for Humanity, completing a Project for the Homeless, and many more.  Seems like this would be the easiest option to get plugged into for some volunteering opportunities right?

 

Parsons

Of course here at the New School of Design, you are able to use your own unique talents to give back, so it doesn’t come as a shock that there are unique clubs on their list. Some ideas I found: the Sisters on the Runway, which is a runway show put on every year to raise money to prevent domestic abuse. The funds raised at this event are donated to shelters that provide job training and keep victims of abuse safe. Of course, if you would rather use your brainpower over designer skills there is a whole group of clubs in the Political Action section. Here you can choose what issue you would prefer to problem-solve in order to restore your community.

 

As you can see, there are many volunteering opportunities just waiting for you at school. If you don’t have friends at home that encourage you to serve, then seek out a new club to join. You will be surrounded with peers who have a similar fired up passion about a specific cause who can encourage you and make serving a fun, exciting, experience. So go join one! With that blazing passion, you’re bound to start a wildfire of kindness! Too cheesy? Okay lets just continue onward…

 

YOUR KINDNESS IS THIS POWERFUL....okay this is actually kind of scary. Moving on!

 

 

Club Directories:

NYU: http://www.osa.nyu.edu/directory/club_directory_cat.php

Hunter: https://hunter-community.symplicity.com/index.php?s=student_group&au=&ck=

Columbia: http://communityimpact.columbia.edu/

Parsons: http://www.newschool.edu/student-services/student-development-and-activities/student-organizations/recognized-organizations/

 

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Samantha Bringas

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Giving Back: Research Organizations

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

In my opinion, working with kids is fun and not usually nerve wracking, so the most stressful step of deciding where to volunteer is the research process. Back in high school, volunteering was easy because teachers seemed to always have good suggestions about organizations, but now that you are out on your own, figuring out where to start can be stressful and confusing.

As I stated before, recognizing your strengths is a critical step towards volunteering, but put that on hold for a minute. Researching: this is THE most important step to volunteering, at least in my humble opinion that you should take, if you want to succeed, ever. Okay maybe not, but a step that most people forget is to research organizations before simply jumping in. We are constantly fed information all day long, what to wear, what to eat, and as much as we think we are rebels (which we clearly are not) we accept the norm. Don’t let this pattern apply to where you choose to volunteer. Research each organization. If you are clueless about where to start, just simply follow these steps to ensure that you will find a trustworthy company.

 

  1. Question Why
    Ever have someone come up to you on the streets of Manhattan asking if you are 21 in order to sign a petition? Of course you have! If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky that you don’t have to lie every time, awkwardly responding with, “nahhhh sorry I’m twenty”, giving your best childlike smile and breaking away. So when a disaster strikes and a number pops up on the screen demanding your donation, put down your phone. Don’t you dare text a dollar amount to that number without researching first. Ask yourself, why? Why should I donate to you? Many people each year become victims to unreliable companies. Last summer CNN teamed up with the Tampa Bay Times in order to investigate “America’s Worst Charities”, charities that waste a huge percentage of their donations on wages and solicitors. During this investigation they discovered that many people were donating to the Kids Wish Network. At first glance you might think, “oh yes I heard of this, they send children to Disney blah blah”- No! That is Make-A-Wish Foundation. Many companies similar to the Kid Wish Network camouflage their name and purpose in order to sound identical to a more popular organization. After CNN posted this article many people who had donated to the Kids Wish Network started retaliating against the group. In the study, CNN realized that the Kids Wish Network only donated 3 cents of every dollar to the cause. This means that when you donate, only 3 percent of your donation goes toward helping children. Which leads me to the next tip.
  2. Question How Much
    When working with an organization you should know where your money is going. Don’t settle for a roundabout answer. Investigate the details of your contribution. Charity Navigator is a company created to assist with this issue. You are able to search for an organization, leaf through the charts and facts to find out where every cent of your donation goes. It even displays feedback from people who have donated to the specific cause and their experience with the company.
  3. Question How Often
    As important as it is to investigate the percentages, sometimes it is just as essential to watch how consistent a company is.  For example, the Red Cross gives about 90% of the donation towards their purpose, but they are not always consistent. After 9/11, the Red Cross was getting backlash from many contributors because the people realized that only one third of their donations were used for the victims in New York. Because of this backlash, the Red Cross made the decision in November 2011 to donate the whole amount to the cause. The issue with donating is, as a contributor you don’t always know what your money is specifically going to, but the positive note, in the Red Cross’ instance, is that the company is so large that it is always under close watch. In order to help eliminate this problem you can donate to specific companies that are based on a fixed amount or product.  For example, the popular One for One program with Toms or the $7 fixed donation at Sevenly. Most people have heard of Toms, but honestly, how many shoes do you need? Sevenly is an organization that sponsors different causes each week. They design t-shirts and posters for customers to grab, and with every purchase you make $7 is donated to the cause. Whether you spend $10 or $35, seven dollars is always donated.

 

If you can't decide on a style just pick a Grab Bag, 3 uniquely designed shirts from earlier causes. Select your size and the price is less than buying 2 shirts!

Obviously, it is vital to stay up-to-date with organizations and find one that fits your passion. Although we are all poor college students, we need clothes. So why not buy clothing with a purpose? Check out Sevenly today or sign up for weekly updates and support an organization that matches your passion! Remember, before you reach for your cash, debit card, or sign in to your PayPal account, ask “Why? How much? And How Often?”

Click here to learn about Sevenly and change up your wardrobe

 

Oh and I forgot to ask, where do YOU like to donate?

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Samantha Bringas

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Giving Back: Discovering your talents

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Being actively involved in youth programs for 4 years, I saw many people dive into the deep end and jump out screaming. Working with teenagers has its joys and struggles. Joys: going on camping trips, watching movies, eating junk food…because it’s socially acceptable. Struggles: the drama, apathy, disrespect, family finance issues, “ADHD” that every kid has, oh and the DRAMA.  Sadly for the most part, it is unacceptable to smack kids across the head, even if you want to.

Me and all my children! Okay not really. This is a picture of me and my husband on our wedding day surrounded by the students in our small group. Probably wanted to smack each of them across the head at one point or another...love them!

 

As fun and rewarding as working with teenagers can be, I’ve noticed that not everyone is wired the same way. Watching youth leaders jump in and out was draining and discouraging not only for the students but also for me.

I can be flexible, if the requirement is to be flexible. Although if I’m set on a goal and someone throws another task at me, I may panic a bit. If someone invites me to a party and I know only one person there, I will dread it and spend the whole day planning an escape route. Yet if I’m playing a game of charades with a group of friends, I am totally down to act out 12 different characters.

Why does this matter? Well, I try as best as I can to really get to know myself. I believe that if I can study myself, my strengths, and my passions, I can serve in a way that utilizes my talents. If you serve at an organization, and you’re given the option of different jobs like working with children, prepping in a soup kitchen, or editing video footage, wouldn’t you like to serve using your gifts?

My point above was not to shame the people who tried to be youth leaders and left, but to encourage you to first look at yourself and your skills then start from there. The saying, “choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, doesn’t have to simply apply to your career, but also applies to where you volunteer. If you are clueless to what you enjoy, hopefully these ideas below can lead you in the right direction.

  1. Extrovert or Introvert?
    Ah, the lingering question. Am I an extrovert or an introvert? All my life I’ve been a very loud little person, but recently when reading a Huffington Post article called, “23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert”, I’ve realized that my personality leans towards introvert. The reason why I find this important to research, is not to label someone as introvert or extrovert, because more cases than not someone isn’t what they seem, but instead to use this tool to understand how your own mind works. It’s comforting to read an article from a fellow introvert and realize, I think that way too! By researching this simple trait you can better understand yourself.
  2. Career /Personality Quizzes
    Figuring out a future career during college is hard enough. Chances are you still won’t know what you want to do until you get actual experience. Why not use the info you received from a career quiz to help figure out what area you would enjoy serving in? There are many ways to serve, so choose something that you feel you can excel at.
  3. Find Your Passion
    Sometimes it’s too hard to just ask yourself, okay, what makes me happy? I always hated that question because I felt that there are so many different hobbies I enjoy doing. So grab a coffee (to get some caffeine to kick in), a pen and paper, and write down what makes you angry. Yes, angry. What do you see in the news, or on the streets that just makes you mad. If you can find an injustice in the world that bothers you to the core, then you have realized what is worth fighting for.
  4. Ask Your Friends
    If all else fails, ask your friends what they think. Close friends know you. They see what makes you happy and what drives you mad. Just before my graduation I made sure to ask my dad what he thought I could do for the rest of my life. Clearly, in my life, a degree is just the beginning. We brainstormed about what I’ve done over the past few years that I’ve enjoyed, which encouraged me to press further and figure out my role in society.

Self-actualization is a simple step that can help you understand your talents before you begin volunteering. Now that you have researched yourself, next you must research organizations.

 

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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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