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The Importance of Punctuality

Importance of PunctualityPunctuality is what separates those who are in the minor leagues and those who are in the major leagues. To be punctual is to be properly on time and prompt. Being late is not only rude to those waiting for you, but makes it appear that you have poor self-control. Distractions, disorganization, laziness, and lack of focus all correlate to those who consistently end up being late. Luckily, there is hope for all of you out there, as long as you pay close attention to these tips.

Know the reason you want to be punctual; make your goal crystal clear. To become punctual, you must make it habitual to your daily routine and then stick with your new lifestyle.

Being on time will lessen your stress of running late and reduce the bad energy between yourself and your co-workers by arriving promptly.

To become punctual, you must know how long the tasks you do on a regular basis take. If you have work at say 8 a.m., you must plan an appropriate time to sleep,  to wake up, have your clothes that you would like to wear the next day planned, breakfast ready, and a driving route that will guarantee you will be 10 to 15 minutes early as a precautionary action. How long does it take you to brush your teeth?

 How long does it take you to do your hair? These small tasks add up and you must plan accordingly.

Adjunct biology professor, Kelly Zimmerman, shared her view stating, “There is no big secret to being punctual though I think a big part of it is respecting the people you are supposed to meet with. Their time is as valuable as yours and it’s rude to keep people waiting.”

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How to Have Your Best Summer Yet

Have Your Best Summer YetAfter a long, stressful semester, summer is the perfect way to wind down, spend time with friends and family, and catch some rays. For some students, summer means working, interning, or taking summer classes. Regardless of what your summer plans and obligations entail, here are some ways to make this the best summer yet.             

According to Elite Daily, planning a trip is first on their list of ideas on how not to make this summer a bummer. Whether you are going to another country or staying close to home, getting away for a while is the perfect way to brighten your mood and alleviate whatever stress you may have.

Acquiring a new hobby is a great way to alleviate stress and acquire a new skill. Summer is the perfect time to learn how to cook, sew, and improve your writing or even scrapbook. This time off is a great excuse to get healthy and start working out or doing yoga. For those of you, who live locally, check out EvenFlow Yoga in Red Bank or Coba Yoga in Little Silver.

For those of you that find joy in helping others, get out and volunteer somewhere. Nonprofit organizations like Lunch Break in Red Bank or Boys & Girls Club of America, also in Red Bank, will gladly accept those willing to volunteer.

Professor  of communication, Claude Taylor, gives his recommendations for making this summer the best one yet: “I think the first thing to do is deliberately schedule your plans to rest and relax. This means making a weekly or monthly schedule for when you plan to do things that help you rest. If you are a beach person, get a badge and pencil in your days at the beach. Second, I would recommend trying a new hobby or leisure activity that you’ve always wanted to try to just learned about. To me, it’s fun to learn new things.”

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Millennials are the Future

Our elders consider millennials to be “whiny babies” and believe that those in their early twenties lack drive and ambition. The truth is, we are not perfect, but neither generation X, or baby boomers, or any other generation.

Professor Julian Garcia, an adjunct communication instructor, said, “Laziness is a trait that could be in any person no matter what age they are or year they were born.” So, why is it okay to single out young people today as especially lazy or needy?

People generally believe that since millennials grew up with texting, internet, and the ability to form instantaneous connections, that they are all impatient. Some studies show that millennials want immediate feedback and desire to have all of their ideas heard. Why are these things seen as negative traits by older generations?

Garcia continues, “Young people have different technology that they use and they were brought up differently and that might affect the way they work. They [millennials] may rely more on technology than older people, but they’re not lazy, it’s just a different approach to work.”

Liam Frank, a senior music industry student, said, “Many young professionals from this generation are starting to get opportunities to prove their work ethic since lots of companies want fresh young minds.”

The business world and the way the world works in general is changing and evolving a lot. Having young people starting to take initiative and bring their own ideas forward seems obvious to keep up with the changing times.

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The Benefits of Holistic Living

Benefits of Holistic LivingThere are many questions surrounding the ideas of living a holistic lifestyle. Most of the curiosity stems from those who do not practice or even know about such ideals and mindsets.

Holistic living is rooted directly to spiritual practices and beliefs about the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and soul. The practice of holism, or living a holistic lifestyle, has many benefits for not just the person participating, but for everyone and everything else the lifestyle affects.

The main belief is that everything in this world is connected. Your actions have a direct effect on those around you, the environment, the global industries, and your well-being. The world is to be viewed, as one working system as a whole, not as individual parts that do not have to do with each other.

 Now before you go ahead and judge these like-minded people, junior communication student, Ayse Yasas urges you to “Do. Your. Research."

"Many people in my life have poked fun at me after going vegan but I know that a lot of them would change their mind if they knew what I knew. Ignorance really isn’t bliss because once you realize just how much what you do affects the world, your life and habits will change,” said Yasas.

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Upon being asked to “define nerdiness” most people have the same reaction. A mild head turn, an inquisitive look, and then a sharp unquantifiable response because to most, nerdiness is something unique to the nerd in question. Nerdiness is beautifully defined in this quote siad by John Green to his brother Hank in a YouTube video:

“…Because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousnesses.”

Definitions of nerdiness vary though, and upon asking, associate professor of political science, Kevin Dooley, said, “I think nerdiness is having an interest in things that aren’t commonly found as interesting to other people.”

On being asked the same question, professor of political science, Ryan Tetro, responded, “Nerdiness is when you have a vested interest in something that goes beyond what people think is normal or acceptable.” So with a working definition in tow, that brings us to a cross roads – is being a nerd an acceptable part of culture today?

The answer? YES. Being a nerd is imperative to making the world go around. When you embrace nerd culture, you embrace the idea that people expresses the unbridled joy that comes from someone loving something so much they cannot control it.

The culture of being a nerd is a culture of knowledge. A culture of perfectly acceptable, almost obsessive knowledge, focused on the happiness that comes with understanding something.  Being nerdy is not something derogatory, like some people may believe. It is a compliment to all who receive the word in there description, so on being asked whether or not they are nerdy, I received a barrage of answers.

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"Spring" into Spring with New Shoes

Spring into Spring with ShoesAs the warm weather of spring is approaching, the time to throw out those old sneakers is now.  To most people, sneakers are seen as a necessity for every day living. But to others, such as myself, they represent so much more than just a part of an outfit.  Shoes can show your interests, the type of lifestyle you live, and reflect who you are as a person.

There are multiple options for springtime sneakers.  Whether you want something colorful, comfortable, or vibrant, there is a shoe option out there for you.

Nicholas Messina, a communication professor, expressed his interest in fashion and shoes.  “I’ve really grown to like European fashion.  Most of the outfits I see tend to be well put together.” 

Messina also spoke about some of his favorite shoes for the spring.  “Aldos and Vans are usually my go to shoes.  But every guy should at least have one black dress shoe and one brown,” he said.

Messina believes that a person should purchase durable shoes that offer comfort and style.  This does not mean that you should buy the most expensive, but keeping in mind your budget will allow finding stylish and affordable footwear. 

Brendan Tedaldi, a sophomore student provided some additional insight on footwear with his experience as a former Footlocker sales associate. “Sneakers in my opinion are probably the most important part of the outfit.  It shows the type of person you are, and it can also be a stand-out piece to your outfit,” he said.

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Combating Road Rage

Combating Road RageWe have all been in situations where we are, let’s say, less than thrilled with the performance of other drivers on the road. It is extremely easy to revert to anger and engage in road rage. Someone cuts you off and before you know it you’re laying on the horn and screaming profanities.

Road rage has an obvious negative connotation. Road rage could cause you to start driving horribly, matching the initial driver you got mad at. If you have road rage it’s not exactly the healthiest trait to indulge in.

According to the American Psychological Association, road rage is associated with many lifelong diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, heart attack, and many more.

These diagnoses make sense when looking at the link between them because road rage is a spurt of aggression and anger, which is a clear giveaway in rise to high blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to hypertension and many heart issues as a result. Road rage really is not worth this possibility in health complications.

Christopher McKittrick, a psychological counselor at Monmouth, said, “Some psychologists believe that road rage is a primitive response engrained in trait personality while others think it is a misplacement of unresolved anxiety, stress, and frustrations from other avenues of life.”

Our fear of possibly getting into an accident results in rage due to the possible threat being made to our safety while driving.

“By addressing stress and anxiety in healthy and constructive ways, it helps to reduce one’s susceptibility to road rage while increasing protective factors and enhancing coping strategies,” said McKittrick.

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“Just Venmo Me” Millennials’ Preferred Payment Method

Millenials Prefered Payment MethodVenmo is one of the most popular apps used by millennials, according to an article published by Business Insider. The app comes in third  alongside Snapchat, GroupMe, and SoundCloud. Venmo, which created in 2009, is owned by PayPal and it is a way to send people money efficiently and instantaneously to anyone, anywhere.

Venmo allows you to link your bank account to the app, but don’t worry because within the app there is data encryption, which keeps all your financial information safe. Once it has been linked, you can choose a friend or family member to send the money to. Going to grab a bite with friends but don’t have enough cash on hand for your meal? Venmo your friend who covered the rest for you. Want to send a family member some birthday cash? Venmo them any amount with a cute birthday message. Ever had to borrow money and need to pay someone back? Venmo them.

Claude Taylor, a professor of communication is highly interested in what the app means for the future. “I support the general idea of virtual payments, but I am also very concerned about the continued erosion of privacy that go along with it.” Taylor continues, “It is even easier for retailers and big data companies to track how much money you have, how you spend it, and who you may give it to. Yes, it is super convenient and fast to go cashless, but I wonder if the digital currency trade-offs are worth the increasing loss of privacy.”

Natalie Toro, a junior Biology student, only used the app once to buy a shirt from a friend. “My friend thought it was safer to use, so she wouldn’t lose any money through the mail. I would rather use my credit card or cash. If anyone were to take my phone and see the app, they could just transfer my money at any time. So I used it only that one time and deleted it.”

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Spring Ahead: The Effects of Daylight Savings Time

It comes around two times a year, and the spring is when we dread it most: daylight savings time.

We bask in the joy of having that extra hour of sunlight during the winter. “When daylight savings comes around, I lose motivation to go to 6:05 p.m. classes, due to the sun and warm weather,” said senior business student, Taylor Carson.

While, we cower at the idea of losing that hour of sleep there is a silver lining. “I don’t like losing an hour of sleep, but I put up with it for an extra hour of daylight,” said senior business administration student, Jordan Maly.

Many struggle to get back on a healthy sleep schedule, and while an hour may not seem like much, it really does matter. For us college students, that is one less hour to finish homework, relax, and spend time with out family and friends.

“When the clocks go forward, it is so hard to readjust,” said a senior accounting student, Samantha Palumbo.

“I fall asleep later than usual, and wake up earlier and it just wears me out. It definitely makes paying attention harder,” Palumbo continued.

What many do not realize is the fact that our sleep patterns not only affect our energy level, but affect our mental and physical health as well. Those who consistently do not get enough sleep put themselves at risk for heart disease, stroke, depression, obesity, and many other harmful conditions.

Meanwhile, those who do get quality sleep are less likely to develop these conditions, and also have some added benefits. Sleep helps your brain ‘recharge’ in a sense, so those who take care in getting enough of it have better memories, can concentrate more easily, have lower stress levels, and most obviously, don’t feel tired all day.

This raises one major question: How can one readjust their sleep schedule when the clocks “spring forward”?

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How to Overcome Rejection

Overcoming RejectionAccording to The Huffington Post, rejection knows no bounds, whether that may be in a relationship, a friendship, or job. Everyone experiences rejection and it hurts; it makes us feel like we are not good enough or something is wrong with us. Although it hurts, there are many healthy ways to cope and deal with rejection.

A method of coping with rejection is to write down all the positives about yourself and read them daily. This method builds an individual’s resilience so that when rejection is on the horizon, a person will not be as greatly affected by it. Characteristics such as being a great writer, a compassionate person, or making others laugh are all qualities to be proud of possessing. It is important to remember your worth and how important you are, not only when dealing with rejection, but in every aspect of your life.

Staying active will aid in a person’s efforts to overcome rejection. Go for a run, hit the gym, or take your dog for a walk. These activities will help your mind and allow you to focus on other things besides the reason behind rejection. In addition, exercise helps to relieve one’s stress, which might ensue once an individual has experienced some type of rejection.

Michael Small, a junior social work student, takes time to himself when dealing with rejection. “I usually go to Pier Village to get some fresh air and figure life out. Rejection can always be a learning experience too, so I think about how to prevent any type of rejection in the future,” said Small. 

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Fight Back Against Racism

Fight Back Against RacismIf there has ever been a time when you felt bad for not saying or doing something, do not worry, we have all been there.

New Yorkers have noticed this problem and created “The Accompany Project.” The Huffington Post describes the plan as a program put in place to prepare you for situations where anti-Muslim violence and threats occur. The project was created in New York after recent events of vandalism, racist graffiti, death threats, and chanting of white superiority occurred. The project hopes to teach bystanders when to step in and how to help others.

We are all one, this is our nation, and we must be prepared to protect those who are inappropriately being terrorized and harassed. Confrontation can be difficult for anybody no matter how confident they presume to be, but we must speak up and go hand-in-hand with a person that is dealing with any backlash that we have been seeing as a nation.

Scott Panzera, a freshman accounting student, said, “I think defense classes to fight back against racism are a great idea.  Racism is, unfortunately, a major issue that takes place all over the world.  People have every right to stand up for what they believe in.  No one deserves to be treated differently just because of how they look or their culture.

Nobody is perfect and our society today needs to understand that. If people do not accept others for who they are and what they believe in, racism will always continue to be a worldwide problem.”

It is more important now than ever to recognize that America is a melting pot. That we, the United States of America, should boast on how amazing it is to have a piece of every country, culture, religion, and race all in one country rather than to detest it. People travel the world simply to culture themselves and educate themselves on the beauty within each culture. Normalizing hateful rhetoric and behavior is not acceptable under any circumstance and New Yorkers are taking a stand. They have held bystander interventions from Harlem to Sunnyside, and over 500 New Yorkers have already attended within a short span of three months.

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Nike Launches Pro Hijab

Nike Pro HijabNike recently revealed that they are creating a hijab for Muslim female athletes to wear as they play sports. It is officially being called the “pro-hijab” which is a fitting name for promoting inclusiveness in a time when many Muslims are being alienated and treated like enemies. The Nike hijab will be sold in stores beginning this spring. 

The hijab is a traditional head covering that Muslim women wear for religious reasons, but it often goes amiss that wearing the hijab is a personal choice as well. There is a stigma present within Western society associated with the hijab and what it represents.

During the 2016 election process, current President Donald Trump shared what he believes to be the problem with America, “We have a problem in this country it’s called Muslims we know our current president [Obama] is one.”

Whether people admit it or not, there is a general conception, that it represents extremist views. Western liberalism and conservativism has caused many people to exclude what they do not want to understand. That practice results in ignorance, which might explain the current climate of American culture. The pro-hijab is a necessary sportswear item in today’s society because it will promote equality.

Zareen Shueib, a senior business student and Vice President of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), said, “By creating a hijab, I think Nike is really working towards the inclusion of all different types of people. Nike is a renowned for its innovative gear; adding a hijab for Muslim athletes shows the company isn’t afraid of trying new things and I appreciate and respect that.”

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How to Become a Morning Person

How to Morning PersonWaking up in the morning and preparing for your day is a struggle for everyone, especially if you are not a morning person. If the sound of your alarm clock is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, as Entrepreneur magazine puts it, then keep reading to discover ways on how to improve your morning routine.

First, changing the sound of your alarm will eliminate the “nails on a chalkboard” sensation associated with the sound of waking up. Your alarm should be something more pleasant than a loud repetitive beeping or buzzing sound. It also helps to open up your curtains or blinds and let the sun shine through. Avoiding the use of technology in the morning helps to eliminate distractions and start the day off productively.

Stephanie Brady, a senior communication student, offers some advice for improving one’s morning routine. “I’ve read that instead of waking up and immediately checking your phone and all your social media, it is better to get up and stretch. I also read that if you still feel tired you should drink a glass of cold water,” said Brady.

Choosing one’s outfit for the following day and creating a to-do list will save you time in the morning and help you to stay organized throughout the day.

A second way to improve your morning routine is working out. Begin your day with a workout that makes you feel good and sets the tone for the rest of the day. Exercise helps to eliminate stress, which is beneficial to college students that experience the need to constantly meet due dates and keep their grades up.

While stretching and ice cold water can help your morning routine, a little bit of yoga can be beneficial too. Eleanor Novek, a professor of communication, would like to incorporate yoga into her morning routine. “My ideal morning routine would be to: kiss my husband, get out of bed, make a cup of green tea, and do about fifteen minutes of yoga as the sun rises. But I haven’t incorporated the yoga yet,” she said.

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Don't Break the Bank This Spring Break: Staycation Ideas for MU Students

Dont Break Bank Spring BreakThere are those who indulge in the cliché spring break trip to Cancun, Mexico or Key West, Florida, and then there are those who appreciate the low-key and relaxing time not going anywhere. If you find yourself staying local this spring break but want to keep busy, have no fear, there is plenty to do around here. Monmouth University is in a great location with easy access to both New York City and Philadelphia where there are never-ending activities, like going to concerts, shows, and restaurants.

If this break was your time to be lazy and not travel far, lucky for you Monmouth is surrounded by our own selection of concerts at the famous Stone Pony or PNC Bank Arts Center, shows at any of the numerous performing arts theaters like the Algonquin Arts Theater in Manasquan if not our very own Pollak and Woods Theater, or even some delicious-tasting and super healthy food from restaurants like Seed to Sprout in Avon by The Sea.

There is lots of local talent in the area, especially in the art department at Monmouth. Senior fine art major Monica Cioppettini, President of Artists for Change, the on-campus art club is showcasing her art in Brooklyn on Wednesday, March 15 over spring break at the Brooklyn Bazaar. According to their website, they are a “Weekend night flea-market scene with live bands, food stands, drinks, art galore and Ping-Pong.”

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‘It’s Over!’: Advice a Person Really Needs after a Breakup

Advice After Relationship BreakupAs the saying goes, breaking up is hard to do, but it doesn’t have to be. Contrary to what many people may believe, a breakup is not the end, it is only the beginning. That is one of the many key pieces of advice that a person really needs after a breakup.

In accordance with The Huffington Post list of the best breakup advice for those with a broken heart. You must learn to love yourself. Rather than dwelling on the love that was lost, go and give yourself some loving. Do things that make you happy and do what makes you feel good about yourself. It is also important to keep busy; focus on school, hit the gym, or pick up a new hobby.

A second thing to remember is to focus on the positive while being single and patiently waiting for a new love. Do not waste time thinking about what could have been, and do not give up on love either. Just live in the moment and enjoy life as much as possible. You do not need to be in a relationship in order to be happy. You hold the key to your own happiness.

Lastly, always keep it in your mind that you will become stronger after a breakup. Everyone suffers some type of loss in their life, whether it is a simple breakup, or something serious like death or divorce. Loss teaches us that life goes on. We become stronger in the process.

Gaby van der Westhuizen, a sophomore social work student offers her advice, “Things happen for a reason and that even though it’s going to be hard for a while, you have friends that are here for you. Do not let a boy dictate your worth; you are your own person and you will get through this.” After a breakup, Westhuizen reminded herself that there was a reason it did not work out and it is alright to cry, but you have to pick yourself back up and move on.

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Money $aving Tip$

Money Saving TipsWho doesn’t like money? Personally, I am known as the big spender amongst my friends. Strangely enough, every big spender knows a little bit about saving. Here are some tips for every college student that might be spending above their means.

There is nothing wrong with saving money. At times, it is essential to set some money aside for future purchases. Especially if these acquisitions include necessities such as food and clothing.

Therefore, when you consider saving your money you should keep in mind the idea of quality and quantity. Some spenders like to spend big, while others like to buy in large quantities.

For instance, at stores like Walmart, you will come across buyers who prefer quantity over quality. This is because they are able to buy in bulk and get the most for their money.

On the other side of the spectrum, people who like quality over quantity prefer to buy expensive items that won’t break or wear out too quickly. In many cases, those who bought a pair of shoes at a store like Walmart end up regretting it because the shoes wear out or rip too fast. They may think twice when it comes to buying shoes again because, although they might buy shoes that are pricier, they are guaranteed a product that will last longer.

Regardless of which path you choose to follow you will be saving money whether it is in that instance or in the long run. Another way you can save money is by comparing various products, to one another.

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Beauty on a Budget

Beauty on BudgetIt seems that every day there is another major beauty trend being referred to on fashion blogs and websites - contouring, colorful eyeliner, bright lipsticks, and fantastically-colored highlighters being just a few of them. Every day, there’s a new celebrity example, a new look to try and emulate.

While these looks can be fun and look beautiful, affording them becomes difficult at times. The products shown in YouTube tutorials and advertised in magazines are often expensive, sometimes costing 20 dollars for a single lipstick or over 50 dollars for a foundation.

However, there are often drugstore alternatives that are cheaper, and of the same - if not better - quality.

One of the best tricks to be aware of are makeup ‘dupes’, short for duplicates; there are pages and articles devoted to finding affordable products that look like high-end, designer pieces. Cult-favorite NARS blushes have drugstore alternatives; ColourPop lipsticks, usually only about six dollars, are almost exact replicas for the sell-out Kylie Lip Kits, which can sell for more than three times the price. Buzzfeed often has lists and lists of duplicates for popular high-end products, and those lists can be a lifesaver for your wallet.

Drugstore brands can often be just as high-quality as a more expensive product. NYX Makeup has great colors and products, and their lipsticks often rival similar and more expensive items. Their setting spray also works better than most, and their eye shadows are fun, high-quality, and inexpensive.

“My favorite drugstore brand is NYX. I use their liquid illuminator highlighter, as well as the soft matte lip creams. Those are both some of my favorite products ever; the highlighter keeps a glow all day and a little bit goes a long way so a 0.6 ounce bottle has lasted months. The matte gives the most amazing and lasting look, for a fraction of the price of most products,” said Jordan Hanley, a junior music industry student.

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Chronicles of the Social Media Foodie

Chronicles Social Media FoodieVideos across social media do their best to show new places, foods, and restaurants in the most flattering light. While some of these places may be fun to spend an hour or two, or try a new cuisine, sometimes they raise the question - are they really worth it?

In a world immersed in technology, we are constantly consumed and influenced by the content that is displayed across our social media newsfeeds. The videos of recipes and restaurants influence us to try different foods, which at times can be beneficial but also a waste of time.

As a student with a functioning Internet connection, a day does not go by without seeing at least one video advertising a fun new restaurant, and as a student studying abroad in London, England, I realized that most of those interesting-looking places were within easy walking distance, or were just a few stops away on the local subway system.

The first place I tried was the most low-stakes option - Chin Chin Labs, a shop in the touristy Camden Market area that sells nitro ice cream all year round. While I didn’t try their specialty ice cream - it was a February afternoon, just over forty degrees. I did try their hot chocolate, as advertised to me on an Instagram video that I had seen earlier in the week.

The first thing that made me think that Chin Chin’s hot chocolate was going to be as good as social media had made it seem was the line, thirty or thirty-five people deep, that snaked out the door and down the block, forcing patrons to stand outside in the freezing cold. As I waited in line, a dozen or so people left, some of them holding drinks and others with cups of ice cream.

As they were leaving, I asked one couple whether their hot chocolates were worth the wait. One woman, Kara Harris, who lived in another section of London, nodded enthusiastically.

“It’s so good,” she said. “We waited in line for about twenty minutes or so. It’s definitely worth the wait,” said Harris.

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Have Your Best Semester Yet at Monmouth

Best Semester at MUAccording to the Huffington Post, there are several ways to make the most of your college experience during any given semester. The first step is learning how to become optimistic rather than pessimistic. Rather than looking at the glass half empty, see it half full. Having a positive outlook will enable you to have the best attitude when facing any issue throughout the semester.

Take courses that excite you; have that one class that you look forward to every week. It is important to love what you study in college since you will most likely spend the rest of your life doing it, whether it is journalism, social work, or nursing.

Build a relationship with your professors and ask them for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to get involved with campus life and events, even if you are a commuter.

Professor of communication, Claude Taylor, touches upon the role that others play in one’s college experience, “One of the best ways to make this semester the best semester is to connect with other students around campus and learn from each other.  There is a lot to be learned from the experiences and backgrounds of other people, and college is one of the few places people can come together in a safe space of respect to learn about each other and the world we live in.  There are such great memories to be made by making friends and talking to people.  It may be in class, out of class or by being involved in organizations, but the key is to make time to connect with others in a positive way,” said Taylor.

Lastly, for those who live on campus, do not be afraid to go off campus and explore, especially if you are from out of state. Every person has their own individual experience, but there are many ways to make this best semester of college yet.

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The Benefits of Blogging

Benefits of BloggingBlogging has been around for a while, but never with as much force and popularity as it has now.

According to Social Media Today, 23 percent of internet time is spent on blogs and social networks, 77 percent of internet users read blogs, and 53.3 percent of bloggers are between the ages of 21 and 35.

Blogging has come a long way since the term “blog” was first used in 1997. Now, there’s a blog for every industry. Most people would think The Huffington Post is a legitimate news media outlet like CNN or The New York Times, and while for the most part, it is a credible and newsworthy site, it is only a blog.

With the continued rise in social media and digital marketing, blogging has become a great way for people to network, promote a business or product, spread awareness about an issue, or report news.

With the rise of blogging and the many different paths one can take, there are a lot of benefits that can come from writing a blog. People that are shy and don’t like speaking in public places or are too nervous and self-conscious to state their opinions to someone else have tremendous success in finding their voice through blogging. It allows people to share their experiences and thoughts without the nasty looks or judgments that a lot of people give to those who speak up. People feel safer when all they have to do is type and post and let those who want to visit the page to read.

Whether you are interested in writing about news, sports, entertainment, or the environment, there are no parameters when it comes to blogging. The options are endless and the results are positive. A junior communication student, Niki Kuczborski, took Social Media in PR with Professor Mary Harris where each student was tasked with creating and maintaining a blog throughout the whole semester.

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Commuter Life @ Monmouth

MU Commuter LifeAs a freshman commuter, I was afraid that I would be missing out on the ‘college experience.’ How would I meet new people and make new friends? Ask any adult about their college experience and you will no doubt hear about road trips, midnight Dunkin’ Donuts runs (not as convenient as having a Dunkin’ in their Student Center), lifelong friendships, and some interesting roommate stories.

But how can I have these experiences as a commuter? How can I get involved with clubs and activities if they start around the time I am heading home? How will I master parking roulette, worrying about traffic patterns, and getting to class on time? These tasks are easier said than done; in order to overcome these tasks one must know three simple facts:

1) Take 8:30’s-

This is significant because finding a spot can take 10 minutes to half an hour depending on what time and what day. Fortunately, to make up for this, Monmouth University does have a valet system for commuters. Claudia Dimondo, a freshman communication and commuter student said, “Commuting has made me a better student by taking on responsibilities such as parking, tolls, and gas.”

2) You Must Leave your Comfort Zone-

Friends aren’t going to magically appear; you must get involved in activities and meet new people. I have made friends simply by being at the dining hall, through clubs and activities, and in class. These friendships can help develop one’s strengths and address


Dr. Vaughn Clay, Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services said, “Even though time plays a large role in the lives of most commuter students, I encourage all commuters to find a way to get connected to life outside the classroom at Monmouth University.”

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‘Suck it Up’: Quit Complaining and Enjoy Life

“Life is tough, but so are you.”

It is crucial to remember just how tough you are; no matter what life may throw at you. Life is full of smiles and tears, celebrations and tribulations. It is easy to complain about life, especially when faced with so many hardships. However, once the complaining stops and you actually live your life, you can learn a lot.

A study conducted by Psychology Today proved that negative experiences and perspectives are more contagious than positive experiences and perspectives. In other words, our brains are more apt to focus on the negative rather than the positive. When we focus on all the negativity in our lives, it can lead to us complaining or feeling sorry for ourselves.

Personally, there have been plenty of times in my life where all I did was focus on the negative and complained about it. Two years ago, my father suddenly passed away. Shortly after that, I purchased my first brand new car. After a month of having my new car, I was a victim of a hit and run. Not too long after that, my best friend of seven years moved to upstate New York.  All I did was complain and think “Why me?” But life, becomes a lot more meaningful when you stop complaining and make it a point to recognize the good that can be found in each and every day that is spent above ground.

A sophomore communications student, Emily Blaser said, “I’ve done my fair share of complaining, but what I’ve realized is that all it does is set you back. You accomplish so much more when you stop complaining and just do the work!”

This is exceptionally true, especially for college students. It is easy to complain about assignments, oral presentations, and exams, but once the complaining stops, you can get all that work done and then some. Complaining only takes away from other things that we want to accomplish or enjoy.

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Celebrate VeganismVeganism has become an increasingly popular lifestyle throughout the younger generations. In the past five years, the number of vegans and vegetarians in the country has more than doubled surpassing sixteen million according to The vegan diet cuts out all animal products whether it be dairy, meat, eggs and even clothing products that use wool or leather.

There are many that do it for health purposes to help high cholesterol or digestive issues and others that do it to support animal rights. What people don’t realize is that high cholesterol and heart disease  are way more prevalent among people eating the American Standard Diet, which typically consists of meat, dairy, fat, and sugar, than among those following a vegan or even vegetarian diet.

Studies from the Harvard School of Public Health have shown that less red-meat consumption can lead to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. Mary Harris, a Specialist Professor of Public Relations, switched to a vegan diet seven years ago, and even after having a vegan pregnancy she managed to lose weight and lower her cholesterol.

Harris works alongside chair and associate professor of the health and physical education Dr. Christopher Hirschler, running a vegan organization at Monmouth University called Plants for Peace. They host vegan potlucks on campus that are always open to the public and feature notable authors and vegan restaurant owners as speakers.

Senior music industry student, Huascar Holguin, has been vegan for about two years without ever looking back. He attended the vegan potluck and roundtable discussion this past Sunday and thought it was an amazing experience. “It was a very welcoming environment and exciting to be surrounded by others who share similar values. It is important to vegans and non-vegans alike to be exposed to this growing community and to show the world veganism isn’t just a phase, but an increasingly popular lifestyle,” said Holguin.

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Forever Young: Life Lessons from Teen Years

The drama, heartbreak, and struggles that occur during one’s teenage years all contribute to valuable life lessons. Later in life, an individual will find that what they learned during their adolescents will aid them in adulthood.

A valuable life lesson that many learn as a teen that is valuable to twenty-somethings is that your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. It does not matter what others think about you. Many spend years of their lives worrying about what others think of them. The opinion of others does not matter; what matters is how you perceive yourself. Along with that, never let the opinions of others alter your view of yourself.

Kait Gravatt, a sophomore communication  student, shared the valuable life lesson that life does go on. “That bad exam grade will be okay, that friendship ending will be okay, that relationship ending will be okay. Do not dwell on your bad days too much because they will get better,” said Gravatt. Just as Rhiann Ellis quoted in her evocative book “After Life”, “The worst thing in the world can happen, but the next day the sun will come up. And you will eat your toast. And you will drink your tea.” In trying situations, it is necessary to remember that life goes on and tomorrow is a new day. 

Natalie Toro, a junior biology student has learned that self-love and self-respect are everything. Having self-love and self-respect enables her to realize that she deserves the best and therefore, she will never settle when it comes to her education, career, or love life. Self-love is the key to both confidence and success. The idea of self-love ties into a life lesson that senior Communication student Kayla Cardona has learned as a teen, which is that others cannot define who you are and it is always important to put your mental, physical, and spiritual health first. No matter where life takes us or what challenges we face, it is crucial to take care of ourselves and keep in mind what we deserve.

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Health Food Myths Debunked

Health Foods Myths DebunkedHealthy eating has made its way to the forefront of popular culture – organic produce lines grocery store shelves, avocado appears on any modern restaurant menu, every junk food has a fat-free alternative, and greens are cool enough to inspire Beyoncé to rock a “Kale” sweater in her “7/11” music video.

 The media has jumped on this bandwagon as well, advertising various products as “superfoods” and switching the focus of dieting from weight-loss to obtaining a healthier lifestyle. However, much of what the media claims are nutritious goldmines that will solve all your dietary problems, may not actually be the key that will unlock the door to a healthier you.

Barbara Baron, MS, RDN, CDN, a healthy eating consultant and adjunct nutrition professor, broke down the superfood phenomenon. She said, “So many foods are frequently touted as ‘superfoods’ – because they may be loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that may help promote health and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. This ‘superfood’ title may frequently be used by media because it sounds attractive, yet it is meaningless when we ignore the other food choices and overall lifestyle of an individual.”

True healthy eating requires a healthy lifestyle, not just the occasional superfood. Baron believes, rather than filling your fridge with kale and your cabinets with avocado, “It is better to build a superb eating plan with nutrient-rich foods and mindful eating habits. One that includes eating more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, more fiber, and low-fat dairy foods, and being physically active daily.”

Another important aspect of healthy eating is portion control. No matter how nutritious a certain food can be, it loses its value when not consumed in moderation. Baron explained, “Avocados, while rich in key nutrients are concentrated with calories. One cup cubed is about 240 calories, as per USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference – therefore adding too much of this food can unknowingly also increase calorie intake.”

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No More Negative Nellies

Negative NelliesWe’ve all been there-that dark place where things just seem to keep going wrong. That time where one thing after another happens to you and it feels as if the world has turned against you and nothing seems to be going right; it’s happened to all of us, so don’t feel alone.

The beginning of a new year, as well as the beginning of a new semester both bring about feelings of renewal, change, and fear of staying in the same place you were the year or the semester before, but 2017 is the year to change all of that!

It is easier said than done, but, Dr. Andrew J. Lee, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, shares recommendations on how to combat these negative thought patterns: “Often, negative thinking patterns result from unrealistic expectations that people place on themselves, such as ‘I’m a failure if I don’t get all A’s’ or ‘I am not good enough if I am not at the top of my class in every subject.’” Dr. Lee says.

“Once an individual notices and understands the negative thoughts, it is very helpful to be able to challenge one’s negative thinking using more objective and realistic metrics, and to stop placing so much pressure on themselves. For example, instead of calling oneself a failure for not getting straight A’s, it can be helpful to appreciate the amount of work they put in and to know that they are not a failure if they don’t achieve this unrealistic goal. Striving for excellence, as opposed to perfection, can help students decrease the pressure they place on themselves, and may consequently, decrease their levels of anxiety,” Lee continues.

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Less is MoreMost people would assume the more things you have the happier you will be, but some believe the exact opposite; they are called minimalists. Minimalism is the idea of prioritizing your life around the things you just want and the things you need. It is a tool, as Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, commonly known as “The Minimalists,” refer to it. This tool allows individuals to find freedom.

Millburn and Nicodemus have been traveling the world speaking about their experiences and teaching others how to apply this tool to their own life for over five years. The pair quit their high-paying corporate jobs, left their big houses and fancy cars, and transformed the way they lived.

They discuss how the idea of minimalism gets a little lost in translation. People tend to think it revolves solely around decluttering your car, house, or life from material possessions like a television, extra furniture, electronics, excess clothing, and more, but The Minimalists believe it’s much more than that. Minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of the possessions in your life, it’s about creating more opportunities for happiness and meaning.

The dynamic duo say by getting rid of the distractions and the things that aren’t directly important to your overall well-being; the electronics that waste precious time and keep us indoors, the media and advertising that influences our minds to think one way and purchase a specific product or service, the closets filled wall-to-wall with clothes you haven’t worn for months or years, you are creating more time and freedom for yourself, more experiences, and allowing more room for personal growth.

The whole point is to create a more meaningful and happy life using less and only things you truly need. People seem to be stuck in this cycle of growing up thinking money buys happiness and you need a well-paying job to buy that so-called “happiness” in the forms of houses, cars, and luxury clothes and accessories.

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Millennials in Need of Life Skills 101

Milennials Need Life SkillsAs Millennials, we might be experts on how to download apps or work the ‘interweb’ when compared to our grandparents or parents. More often than not, our elders might be fascinated by the tech-savvy Generation Y. But there are many basic skills that previous generations had that us twentysomethings do not.

The baby boomers might not be as in tune to social media and how to download the latest update on their iPhone, but there are many skills they mastered by the time they were our age that we have yet to acquire.

When many students leave home to go off and live on their own in the Monmouth dorms, there were probably many gaps in our knowledge of basic skills. Nicole Gallagher, a sophomore psychology student shares her experience of leaving home for the first time. “When I lived on campus my freshman year, I discovered that there were many basic life skills that I did not know how to do. Luckily, I had a meal plan, but if I did not I am not sure if I would have known how to cook for myself. It definitely made me realize that I need to start learning how to cook and take care of myself.”

 During that first week of practicing adulthood, there are many realizations to be had.

Cooking is not as easy and fun as Emeril made it seem with his signature catchphrase, ‘BAM’. Although, many of us college students love to post photos of food on our social media accounts. According to the Daily Mail Reporter, in reality, 30 percent of college students cannot boil an egg, but we can ace that midterm exam. Meaghan Wheeler, a senior secondary education and history student, said, “I feel as though we were not given the foundation that we deserved in high school to learn basic skills. Instead of learning how to write a check or what taxes and a mortgagee are we were too busy doing geometry.”

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De-Stress at Monmouth

Monmouth De StressStressed spelled backward is desserts, and for some, a sweet treat can be the perfect solution to help eliminate it. Before grabbing that candy bar or a pint of ice cream, take into consideration the many ways to relieve stress right here on campus.

An extremely helpful way to relieve stress is to receive guidance from Counseling and Psychological Services, which is located on the third floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. From personal experience, psychological services has helped me tremendously in the past. At times, us students just need someone to talk to whether it is our stress surrounding an 18 credit semester or balancing both our social and academic lives. There are many different tools and exercises that professionals can teach clients to help them alleviate stress. 

On the Monmouth University homepage, if you navigate to resources and then click current students, you will see Counseling and Psychological Services listed under the health and wellness.

From there, you will find several different questionnaires. The wellness or the student stress questionnaire will help you to determine your stress level and if you need to seek out guidance from counseling and psychological services.

A second way to find stress relief here on campus could be found in becoming involved in the many campus clubs and organizations that Monmouth offers. Socializing and getting to know other students who may be going through similar struggles can be helpful. Writing is a great way to take a breather from homework or studying.

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It Pays to Be a Student: Discounts with Your ID

Student ID DiscountsBeing a college student means that you’re usually on a tight budget. Luckily, your Monmouth ID does not only get you into the dining hall, but it can provide you with some student discounts.

A lot of stores and businesses understand that college students are usually tight on money, so some offer a discount when you show your ID. Even if you’re not sure if you can get a student discount, there’s no harm in asking.

Tyler Kurywczak, a senior business management student, said, “I love student discounts, it’s less money I have to spend and more money in my pocket.”

If you’re someone who loves shopping, it’s easy to spend more than you can afford while you’re out shopping with friends. If you’re shopping at the Jersey Shore Outlets, which are only about 20 minutes from campus, don’t hesitate to pull out your student ID and ask for a discount.

Many nearby stores give discounts to students if you have your student ID as proof. You can get 10 percent off your purchase at J. Crew and Charlotte Russe, and 15 percent off at Kate Spade, just to name a few. The Outlets already have lowered prices and your student discount helps to make it even cheaper.

Senior English student Katrina Cordova said, “I think it’s good that these stores recognize that we want to dress well but we don’t have the money for it.”

Your student discount can come in handy when you’re at the Apple Store. Apple offers $200 off new Laptops for students. There are also student discounts on different brand products at Best Buy when you’re buying a laptop, so it doesn’t hurt to ask which brand offers a discount when you’re looking to make a big purchase like this.

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Sweet Holiday Recipes

Holiday Recipies 2016‘Tis the season to be jolly and to eat lots of holiday cookies. Isn’t that how the tune goes? The end of the semester is upon us, so if time allows, distract yourself from studying and bake a batch of cookies to help get through finals. Who doesn’t love cookies, especially on a cold winter day? Sugar cookies with frosting are junior business administration student, Brianna D’Ambrosia’s favorite type of cookie while snickerdoodles and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are two favorites of sophomore communication student Kait Gravatt.

Simple, yet versatile sugar cookies always get every cookie lover in the holiday spirit. Here is a sugar cookie recipe that requires few ingredients and little effort. The ingredients are 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. First, you will beat the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla, salt, and the all-purpose flour last. Divide the dough into four equal sections, place sections of dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for two hours. Once the two hours is up, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface and have fun cutting out cookies with your choice of cookie cutters. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking tray. If you wish to decorate the cookies with sprinkles, do that before placing them in the oven. Bake them for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!

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Wine & Dine On A Budget

Budget Wine DineIf you have nothing but 20 dollars in your pocket, instead of “popping some tags” as Macklemore encourages in his song “Thrift Shop,” why not take that cash and put it toward a good time with someone special? Dating can get pretty expensive, but there are plenty of things you can do with just a few bucks. You just need to know how to utilize your resources. This article will give you some date ideas for when you are just plain broke.

As a college student or anyone without a well-paying job, it is common to find yourself spending all of your money on food, bills, or those pricey textbooks. Any extra money is what you hope to use for activities with your friends, and maybe even a significant other. If you use your imagination, you’ll find it won’t take much to have a good time.

John Morano, a Professor of Journalism provided some insight on his past date experiences, including one that involved taking someone out of the country. I know you are probably thinking that sounds crazy and that it definitely costs some money to do that. However, Morano explained that he took his date to a local deli for some sandwiches and to her surprise, he walked them over to the United Nations building for a nice lunch in what is considered international territory. Morano said, “If I promise you I’ll take you out of the country, you bet that’s where we’re going.”

If you don’t think you can pull off some smooth moves like that you can try something as simple as “Netflix & Chill,” but you might want to do an activity with some adventure. Who doesn’t enjoy lounging around on a lazy Sunday, but some “wow” factor is a must. Junior software engineering student Claudia Ondecker shared, “It could be as easy as taking a drive to the beach with some hot cocoa from Dunkin’ Donuts, and snuggling up on a blanket to watch the stars.” Not everyone is out for money, but many of us just want some romance.

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Help Yourself by Helping Others

Help Yourself and OthersAside from gaining a stronger resume by adding on your community service experience, there are many intangible benefits one can receive such as pleasure, fulfillment, and achievement. Community service is good for you; it is known to reduce stress by having your complete concentration on someone other than yourself as well as making you healthier in terms of your delight and optimism. All the positive and healthy emotions you have when having some percentage of control over one’s happiness strengthens your immune system.

Apart from your health, you get a chance to give back and make a difference while bringing people together. Not only do you enhance the community you are in, but you also fuse as one while working with others for a common goal which promotes teamwork and harmony. A benefit that encourages many is that this is where your family and friends live. Regardless if they are your children or your grandparents, you have a chance to enrich their environment and way of life and act as a role model of civic duty.

Alvaro Aquino, a freshman undeclared student shared his thoughts on what he believes to be the benefits of community service, “Community service can help individuals grow as a person as they are able to gain beneficial experiences for the long run. There are many ways in which one can become involved in community service; one most importantly is by finding out about events being held. There are many clubs based on promoting community service, that send students emails to lets us know of different events that are being held.” 

Carlene Santos, a freshman business student with a concentration in real estate agent believes, “Community service is important for many reasons. Whether you take part in an organization right in your town or you a major organization you have an interest in. Participating in service not only makes a difference to the organization but it also makes a difference to you yourself. Volunteering gives you satisfaction and helps you feel good about yourself since you’re helping others. It brings joy to others and you personally”.

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How to Travel on a College Student’s Budget

College Student Traveling 1For many college students, being broke is a lifestyle. With money going towards food, textbooks and activities, it can be hard to save. However, traveling on a college student budget is not impossible, and can even be affordable if one looks in the right places.

The two most common financial hurdles when traveling tend to be the cost of actual travel, such as airfare, train tickets, and the housing that one requires when traveling.

One way to avoid paying for costly transportation is to obviously opt for the least expensive method. Airplanes tend to be the most expensive, although they are usually the fastest way of getting from point to point. Buses, on the other hand, are usually the cheapest option but may take several days if the distance is extreme enough. Trains tend to be a middle ground, but their prices and travel times can vary. In some cases, traveling by car can be an option, but one also has to then factor in the cost of gas and parking.

Sometimes, however, one is left with only the option of traveling by plane, especially when going long distances or traveling abroad. While air travel tends to be the most expensive, it also provides the most ways to save money.

There are entire websites dedicated to finding cheap flights, and even smartphone apps. One called Hopper, allows the user to select flight dates and either purchase the flight immediately or “watch” the flight. The app will then inform you if the prices fluctuate in either direction or even let you know if they will rise or fall in the next few days. The app also analyzes how likely it is that the price will rise or fall and advises the user to purchase accordingly. It also compares various airlines, meaning that users can choose from a wide variety of options.

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The Importance of Feminism

Importance FeminismFeminism has long been a talking point in the modern world. Discussions surrounding the recent presidential election or the wage gap, conversations about women’s health and reproductive rights or harassment and discrimination in the workplace, nearly every political conversation seems to circle around to it eventually.

“Men and women should be equal. Although it’s improved over the years, it’s still a work in progress. Ideally, on a national and even global level, girls and women should be able to receive an education and have equal pay,”said an English student who wishes to remain anonymous. 

Many young women believe that feminism is a concept that should be continued. Natalie Toro, a junior biology student said, “I don’t think it’s working, based off of the election. Women still have to continue to work harder than men, just to earn a lower wage. It will take years, but with more education the next generation can hopefully change and improve feminism.”

While the feminist movement has made strides in the past years, there is still more that could be done. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Hillary Clinton lost her campaign to be president of the United States.

However, four new female senators were elected to Congress, bringing the total number of female senators to 21 out of 100. Eighty-four women hold seats in the House of Representatives, making up 19.3 percent of its total body. While there may not yet be a female president, there are still plenty of other women in political power.

However, the election highlighted some issues in feminism in the United States, such as a lack of intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism is defined as the study of intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination.

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Give Thanks for Thanksgiving

Macys Thanksgiving Parade 2016The Thanksgiving holiday has transformed since the first celebration in 1621 of a harvest feast shared between both the Wampanoag Indians and Plymouth colonists. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

The day holds a much deeper meaning than just the endless food options. It is a day to take a break from constantly running around with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget the importance of sitting around the table to make new memories with loved ones. In our modern society, families and friends rarely have time to sit down together and share a meal to speak about life and their daily activities. 

In the past, Thanksgiving was a holiday during which all the malls and stores were closed for business. However, nowadays there are many exceptions to this rule due to consumerism. The revenue of businesses has become more important than time spent with loved ones. Thanksgiving meals are now shortened due to people’s craze to get the best deal. Also, many family members now must go to work on a day that was previously regarded as a pious holiday.

After World War II, consumer spending became a powerful driving force in the U.S. economy. Holiday spending has grown in importance during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hence, the implementation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The new normal for Thanksgiving celebrations in America now consists of missing family members or shortened meals due to the need to return to business as usual. Nicole Gallagher, a junior psychology student, said, “I normally work on Thanksgiving for Black Friday. To me, Thanksgiving Day has become just another day. When I was younger, I loved spending time with family and having a meal together, but the holiday has now placed more importance on getting to the stores or going into work.”

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What’s Brewing? How to Satisfy Your Caffeine Craving at Home

Coffee 1For most of us, coffee is an essential when it comes to our morning routine. Some mornings it feels almost impossible to get through the day without a little bit of caffeine.

At Monmouth it is easy to grab coffee quick from the Dunkin’ Donuts but, after a while all of those coffees add up. Being a college student it is easy to say that coffee is a priority, but why not make our own coffee instead of spending a majority of our paychecks letting someone else make our coffee for us.

Aditi Vast, senior communication student, said, “Coffee was always a commodity, but in college it’s become something of a necessity that’s causing severe monetary damage. A cup of coffee now costs as much as certain breakfast foods making me chose between being fed or being awake.”

There are a lot of different recipes online where we can find for our favorite drinks from Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks. Most of the time we go out to get coffee because the drinks we order out seem complicated, but our drinks are simpler than we think.

One of the most popular drinks at Starbucks during the fall season is the pumpkin spice latte. Just like it takes the baristas 2 minutes to make your drink, it can take you the same amount of time. All you need is ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon of honey, ¾ cup of warm milk, and 1 shot of espresso.

These simple ingredients allow you to not make a pumpkin spice latte without leaving your room, but it is also a lot easier on your wallet. Buying the ingredients to make one drink for each day of the week is half the of a venti pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks for a week.

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The Benefits of Getting Involved

Getting Involved 1The expression of a person being ‘well rounded’ gets throw around is consistently used on a daily basis. More often than not the term is used when speaking about someone who does pretty much everything, and does it well. But being well rounded is not just about being talented in all things, but about being open to trying all things, and growing from it.

Life is busy and filled with obligations, extracurricular activities and hobbies make life nearly impossible. Making time for everything without spreading oneself too thin seems like a constant struggle. However, by avoiding getting involved in activities, it is possible to miss out on some truly great experiences. Whether it be a talent, a sport, an art, a language, or any other activity that makes it worthwhile to get up in the morning, getting involved can enhance one’s life in so many ways.

Clubs are always a great way to get involved and to find people who enjoy similar activities. Through joining clubs, members bond in their shared passion, and get to talk freely about it in a no-judgement zone. Finding like-minded people that have different perspectives gives a new member a sense of community, happiness through practicing that activity through the club, and offers the opportunity to connect with people who have different backgrounds.

Shannon Hokanson, a Communication professor stresses the importance of student involvement on campus, “It is important for students to become involved from the beginning. Joining organizations will help students feel a part of the campus community. These extracurricular activities will not only help you in the long run, but also they will enhance the quality of your college experience.

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Book Recommendations Based on Zodiac Signs

Zodiac Book RecommendationsHoroscopes have been advising people for centuries on their love lives, finances, and lifestyle choices. While many say that astrology is a pseudoscience and that really any of the zodiac signs can apply to one’s life if they didn’t know which one was specific to them, there is one thing that is true about horoscopes, and that is that they are entertaining and have a mystical characteristic. Since each individual falls under a zodiac sign, they have likes and interests that are specific to only their sign. That being said, what could be a perfect way to recommend a book than based on an individual’s zodiac.

There are so many popular books out there today that it becomes really tough to choose what to read. However, with guidance from the zodiac, choosing the right book becomes easy.

Aries are often daring, adventurous risk-takers who enjoy exploring. A great read for people born under this sign would be Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. The story follows a college graduate that gets rid of his material possessions and identity to live off the land in the wilderness of Alaska.

Taurus, which consists of people who are patient, loving, and kind. They enjoy comfort and like when things stay the same. A book fitting for a Taurus would be Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. A Taurus would love the rich romance and scenery of a depression-era circus, and the deep connection the main character has with a particular pachyderm with a winning personality.

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Falling for Fall Traditions

Falling Fall TraditionsThe sound of school buses coming to a halt on the streets, the red, orange, and yellow foliage that paint the trees, and the perfect 60-degree weather are all indicators that the season of fall is in full swing. Autumn is everyone’s favorite season because it signifies a new beginning. Just as the trees shed their leaves during this season, fall is a time when we can abandon our past failures and focus on the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead.

The autumn season is highly centered upon traditions and time spent with family, friends, and loved ones. Beside the promise of change, and new beginnings, the season is a time for us to embrace tradition and make new memories.

During the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor saints and formally named it as All Saint’s Day. The night before became known as All Hallow’s Eve and later became known as Halloween. Every October 31st provides creatures of all kinds with an opportunity to take on a different persona for the night. People of all ages dress up in costumes, ranging from horrifying zombies to their favorite superheroes. Children trick or treating knock on doors to receive candy. Teens and adults use it as an excuse to go out and party. For all ages, Halloween is a holiday to embrace superstitions, over-indulge in sweet treats, and make some questionable decisions in regards to wardrobe and behavior.

The night before participants of Halloween suit up in their spookiest attire is known as Mischief Night. Many people go around and prank neighbors’ houses using toilet paper or eggs. For over 2 centuries, the elders of the neighborhood typically call the police and ruin the fun. However, that does not mean that the pranksters will ever stop stirring up mischief the night before All Hallow’s Eve.

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Parents Know Best

lifestyles parents adivce 2 page 9Growing up we often shrugged off our parents’ advice because “I know, Mom,” was a better excuse but as we navigate through life as adults, we realize that their advice was actually the greatest advice we could ever receive. There’s the simple advice like “don’t put plastic or aluminum foil in the microwave,” but then they give us life advice specifically tailored to us about our relationships, our fears, and our successes.

What’s so unique about a parent’s advice is that, as much as we don’t want to admit it, they know us best. Dr. Susan Starke, an associate professor of English, says “Parents’ advice is valuable and always worth considering because it’s well meant and our parents tend to know us better than anyone else.”

Our parents love us and want to see us happy and successful; therefore, any advice they pass on to us will only have the intentions of positive outcomes. A junior English and education student, Annie Doyle shares some advice that her parents gave her: “My Mom once told me to do whatever makes me happy. Whether it be sleeping in, going on a trip, skipping class—do whatever makes me happy all the time.” She continues, “She told me to keep my own happiness as the main priority in any decision I make in life.”

It is safe to say that the crux of any advice our parents give us is our happiness. Doyle’s Mom provides us with extremely important advice. As college students, there are so many pressures and negative forces working against us, or so it may seem, but there is no reason not to make our happiness a main priority. If that means skipping class one day, as Doyle’s Mom suggests, then we should just go for it! One skip isn’t going to ruin our futures.

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lifestyles average life goals page 9#Transformationtuesday.

Just one simple hashtag subconsciously posted by one person could have the biggest effect on another person. Other hashtags, such as #fitgoals or #relationshipgoals can negatively affect the way we view ourselves and relationships.

For the person who posted the #transformationtuesday picture, it is positive feeling for them because they had some sort of significant transformation, which is typically a weight loss transformation. But for others, such a post can be either motivational or detrimental. Many of us feel that we must live up to the images and content that we see on social media. If an overweight individual views a #transformationtuesday post with one hundred plus “likes”, it gives her the idea that she needs to also be physically fit to get that amount of “likes”. Furthermore, if she does not then she will feel bad about herself. Not only does this occur with social media, but it is also very common in magazines. Girls who are far from being plus size are labeled as plus size just because they have hips and shape to their body. According to the fashion industry, a size 12 is considered plus size. So, girls who are not plus size will now believe they are, and that can greatly affect their confidence.

Having struggled in the past with weight and self-esteem, I know how certain Instagram posts and hashtags can have a significant effect on you. In high school, I was slightly overweight, extremely disgusted with myself and lacked confidence. I hated looking in the mirror and I wore big, baggy clothes to appear less overweight. All of my friends were skinny and I wanted to be skinny like them. All of my friends were ridiculously confident and I wanted to be confident like them. On Facebook and Instagram, I would see pictures of friends and peers, happy and confident through their high school career. About midway through my junior year, I decided I wanted to gain some confidence and lose all the weight. I tried everything, Weight Watchers, Thin Zone, Curves, you name it. With those programs, I either gained weight or remained or the same. I felt hopeless, and the fitness pages I followed on Instagram at the time were no help either. I did not start making progress until senior year when I joined the track team. Once I started making progress, the fitness related hashtags that once diminished my confidence were now motivational.

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The Writing Center Unraveled

Writing Center Unraveled 1Monmouth University has never been short of resources for Hawks to utilize.

Freshman orientation is usually when students hear about the variety of campus resources we have as a University including but not limited to the Math Learning Center, the entire Center for Student Success and even things as simple as professor office hours. Taking into consideration all majors and minors, there is one piece that should be highlighted is the Writing Center.

From criminal justice to business and accounting all the way back to English majors themselves use the Writing Center to not only helps their writing within that moment but also for tips on what to do for future assignments. Vincent DeVita, a senior accounting and real estate student said that “Even as a business-based major, it’s important to be able to write not only grammatically correct but also to be able to portray your thoughts cohesively for your reader to understand. Being able to use the Writing Center as an added resource comes in handy pretty often.”

What is especially unique about the Writing Center is that they have a select staff of student employees that assist in appointments; Michael Fazzino, a freshman communication student feels that “Being helped by a fellow student actually makes the service easier in my opinion. When being helped by a professor sometimes a student feels that they have to act a certain way and do their work perfectly because a professor is there helping. When it’s another student there’s more of a connection between two students and an easier line of communication when working.” Though he has yet to use the Writing Center this semester, Fazzino says that he will be using it in the future.

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No Dairy? No Problem: Lactose-Free Recipes

Lactose Free RecipesThe struggle is real, and it has been exceptionally real for me. For the past three years, I have endured awful stomach pain. After several misdiagnoses and countless doctor visits, I found out that I am lactose intolerant.  Lactose intolerance means that your body has a deficiency of the enzyme lactase which aids in the digestion of lactose, a sugar found in milk. I had to immediately change my lifestyle, and the transition has not been easy. The only bright side to lactose intolerance is that I do not need to be on any medications; I simply have to avoid anything that contains lactose. There are many alternatives and lactose-free recipes I have found to make this transition into a lactose-free diet a bit simpler. For those of you that know the struggle of being lactose-intolerant, I hope that you will give some of these recipes a try. 

Fall is upon us, and what’s fall without a warm, delicious pumpkin spice latte? Here is a recipe that’s healthy and lactose-free. In a saucepan on the stove, heat 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, or the two can be microwaved anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds. Next, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of Stevia or any sweetener of your choice. If needed, blend for 30 seconds to make sure it is foamy enough. Pour 8 ounces of brewed coffee into a mug, add the foamy mixture, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy. Besides the typical PSL, there is the simple pumpkin spice iced, or hot, coffee. I run on Dunkin’ and I am a pumpkin lover. Many do not know this, but Dunkin’ Donuts has almond milk that can be added to coffee instead of regular milk or cream if you are lactose intolerant.

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Tattoo or Taboo?

The Growing Acceptance of Tattoos in the Workplace

Tattos In WorkplaceThroughout the years there have been many changes made to the social norms in the world, especially in the 21st century. A lot of the older and more traditional ways and views have begun to fade out with the newer generations. Over the years, tattoos were considered to be taboo within our culture. They were frowned upon and not allowed in workplaces at all. One of the biggest questions for students when approaching the end of their college career and getting ready to enter the ‘real world’ is what is the next step? A job is the usual next step, but not the only one.

Do I have any connections? Where do I look? What kind of job do I want? While these questions are important, even when you find those answers, getting the job is a whole other story. You must somehow distinguish yourself amongst other applicants that are more qualified. There are many factors that come into play when landing a job or not getting that callback. But for some, it is not that they do not possess the qualifications for the job, but it the simple fact that employers feel that their tattoos distract from their professionalism.

Tattoos are a way to express yourself. Individuals get inked to show support for their favorite sports team, something they believe in or some sort of value of theirs, maybe even a family crest or just because it looked cool. There are a million reasons to get one, and within the younger generations, they are becoming more prevalent.

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“Man’s Best Friend” is More Than Just a Companion

Mans Best Friend 1“Man’s best friend” might have more benefits than just keeping you company. There are proven health benefits that pet ownership has on an individual. Researchers have found after 25 years of findings that pets have positive effects on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of a person’s wellness. From decreasing stress to guiding the visually impaired, our furry friends have a tremendous impact on our lives. If you are not a pet owner, it is time to adopt or take a trip to your local pet store because they will literally change your life for the better. 

Researchers at the University of New York at Buffalo discovered that when people were conducting a stressful task, they felt less stressed when their pet was nearby. Nicole Gallagher, a sophomore psychology student adds, “When doing schoolwork, I need to have my dog nearby. Her presence calms me when I am stressed.” Have you ever wondered why Monmouth has dogs on campus during finals week? Those puppies are brought to campus to help students during the most stressful time of the semester. Some universities are animal- friendly. It is believed to be beneficial to college students to have an animal because it gives them an opportunity to take care of not only themselves, but another living thing. Their presence does not only ease stress, but they also provide social support.

Christopher Hirschler, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Health and Physical Education shared his thoughts on an animal’s impact on one’s life, “Most of us experience some degree of stress, judgment, and social isolation. Animals are the antidote. We give animals what they need and in return, they help us in a multitude of ways.”

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Fall DIY Projects

Fall DIY ProjectDo it yourself (DIY) projects are a creative way to recycle items and very cute decorations for your home or dorm. DIY projects are perfect for college students that are low on funds. Rather than splurging on fall decor in HomeGoods, you can craft many of the decorative items that you are sold in stores. Below I’ve listed some examples of DIY projects for the fall since the season is right around the corner.

Shannon Hokanson, a communication professor, commented, “I never have really done a fall DIY project, but I would love to try doing one. I’ve always wished I was more artsy, so this could be the first step to achieving that goal!”

1. Mason jar candleholder: Mason jars are an easy way to add an artistic element to everyday items. To make a candle holder, place your favorite scented candle in a jar and illuminate your space!

What you’ll need: a mason jar, a small candle, and small pebbles. 

Step 1: Put small pebbles in mason jar

Step 2: Put the small candle in the mason jar

2. Burlap wreath: These wreaths are super easy to make and add a cozy, autumn feel to a room.

What you’ll need: One 12 inch styrofoam wreath, push pins, about 3/4 yard of burlap, flower appliqués.

Step 1: Cut burlap into 4X4 inch squares

Step 2: Fold burlap squares to connect to two opposite sides

Step 3: Pin burlap pieces to wreath and make sure you fold them so they’re puffy

Step 4: Lastly, it is time to add flowers and hang up your wreath.

Sam Albinson, a sophomore nursing student said, “I came across the burlap wreaths on Pinterest and I’m so excited to make one and can’t wait to hang it up on my dorm room door!”

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Skills to Pay the Bills

Skills Pay BillsCollege is often a stepping stone towards having a successful life. Some might even say that without a college education it’s difficult to be successful.

It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of doing well in school. It’s simple to take the easiest classes, to find the best professors, and to just ‘get by’. However, what if the success of college wasn’t in the piece of paper one receives at the end, but the experiences obtained in the four years it took to get it.

Assistant Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Rebecca Sanford, believes, “There is a difference between getting an education, and getting a degree.” This is an interesting concept because usually the two words are synonymous. It seems that the lessons today that are truly valuable to students, are the ones not learned in the classroom. Sanford also believes that a students’ willingness to accept failure and criticism may benefit them more than an easy ‘A’.

Junior Psychology major Nicole Gallagher said, “Students, including myself, are tempted to take the easy classes because we know we will do well and get to move on. Nobody wants to take a tough class.” Students may feel that it is hard to learn and do well under the pressure of failing. It is difficult to enjoy a subject when cramming for tests is held above actually learning the information. However, if you fail a class, then you will have to retake it, which causes you to spend even more money in efforts to obtain your degree and delay graduation.

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With Age Comes Wisdom: A Senior’s Survival Tips for a Freshman

Have you ever heard the expression “I wish I knew then what I know now?” As a graduating senior it becomes a more and more familiar quote pertaining to college. The first month of college as a freshman is over-whelming. Fortunately for you, I have experienced the same struggles, successes, failures, and delights as each and every freshman does.

Every stress, every nerve, and anxiety you ever had is heightened. I have grappled with the same questions that each and every one of you will be pondering during your first weeks as an undergrad. “What should I say as a fun fact?” I know this answer; do I raise my hand? “Where is my class?” I can’t ask some-one that is so embarrassing. I don’t want to be too overdressed, but I do not want to look like a bum. What is E-Campus? How do declining dollars’ work?

Only three years ago, I asked myself these same questions. The number one piece of advice I can give you as a senior is to relax and breathe. It will be okay, I promise. If you are late to class, if you don’t participate every class, it’s okay. If you just say “my favorite color is blue” as your fun fact, it is fine. Everyone is overthinking just as much as you are. They are all wondering what to say and what to wear. But there are several things you need to know when spreading your wings and learning to fly as a baby Hawk here at Monmouth University.

How do I get the best grade possible? For starters, the library is open until midnight every night, if not later on some occasions. You can always go there for that last minute print or cram session. Monmouth also provides writing and tutoring services in the Center for Student Success (lower level of the student center).

Lastly, the professors at Monmouth want you to succeed. Visit them during their office hours when they have the ability to offer you ample help and further clarification. Office hours allow you to build a stronger relationship with your professor, which may be beneficial in your upcoming years as a hawk.

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New School Year, New You

New School YearAs the summer heat continues to fade with each passing day, we begin to feel a sense of bitterness knowing that our carefree days spent in the sun have come to an end. Working at your summer job or spending long days at the beach are over, and it is time to go back to school. You will now welcome back the return of all-nighters, countless syllabi, and regimented schedule. This time, though, it’s a new year and a fresh start. You have different classes and professors, you will make new or more friends, and maybe even a new roommate or major. It’s a clean slate and there are so many opportunities ahead of you, and it is imperative that you start the new school year with a positive outlook.

Jess Pinelli, a senior communications student said, “I’m really excited to start my senior year. I’ve come to learn over the past few years that your attitude towards everything has a big impact on the way things turn out for you. That’s why I always try to start off the school year with a positive attitude and high en-ergy.”

A new year means a new chance to succeed in your classes and get good grades. Walk into your classes motivated to excel and put in your best efforts.

Geralyn Hyland an adjunct nutrition specialist professor shared some guidance for students, “If you feel stressed during the school year, just breathe. Understand you’re not alone and come into class willing to ask questions and succeed.”

Starting the beginning of the year with a positive mindset will assist you in achieving your academic goals. Also, en-sure that you are prepared for your classes with supplies and any textbooks that you are supposed to order- you don’t know how early professors will begin to assign homework using those materials.

In order to have a beneficial year finding a balance between school work, and your social life is vital. It will be excit-ing to reunite with all of the friends that you made the previous year, but remember to also be open to meeting new people. Ask your fellow classmates to grab food with you at the dining hall, or even form a study group. Also, if you ever miss class and need someone to send you the notes, they might be able to get you caught up.

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‘Back to School’ Essentials

Back To SchoolBack to school means many things for a typical college student. The upcoming days will be consumed with cramming, eating dining hall sushi, and an unhealthy consumption of caffeine. However, before truly getting back into a regimented routine of club meetings and homework there are some essentials that are necessary for starting the school year off on a positive note.

1. A Planner

Whether it is a trendy Lily Pulitzer day planner or an app on your iPhone to be successful you must manage your time. Having your assignments and test dates written out will allow you to allocate ample time to prepare. Nicole Gallagher, a sophomore psychology student says, “Using a planner throughout the year allows me to not fall behind with my school work.” My advice is to utilize the tentative calendar in your syllabi and mark down the important dates in each class. Life has the tendency to be very disorganized and any efforts you can put towards organization will only better your life.

2. A Computer

In the technologically advanced world that we live in it is crucial to have a computer to not only get you work done but to communicate with others. Being technologically literate in our modern society is a basic life skill. Conducting research, writing papers and communicating with your fellow classmates and professors requires a computer.

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Summer Fun Day Trips

NJ GreetingAs school is winding down, the only light at the end of the tunnel for students is summer. That six letter word almost seems untouchable when finals, tests and papers take over our days.

But what do you do when the work finally ends? Summer is a time where your days should be filled with stress-free fun. So what is there to do that is budget friendly as well as close in proximity?

Luckily for us, New Jersey is filled with fun and exciting day trips to keep you busy all summer long.

If you are looking for a fun beautiful place to just sit back and relax, New Jersey has an entire coastline filled with relaxing beaches.

There is Wildwood, Point Pleasant Beach, and much much more. If you are in the mood for an exploring day, there are several cities to visit. Montclair, Princeton, and Lambertville are just a few of my favorite fun cities to explore.

What about some educational learning days? A day at the museum sounds like a perfect summer day to me.

Professor Veit, Department Chair for history and anthropology, says, “I love spending summers traveling through the historical sites of New Jersey: Pine Barrens, old factories, and even the battlegrounds. I love to learn about all the history New Jersey has to offer.”

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Expectation vs. Reality of Being an Adult

Why is it that when we are a kid all we want to do is grow up, but when we grow up all we want to do is be a kid again?

We do not realize what we have until it is gone. I always thought adults were exaggerating when they complained about the difficulties of growing up, but they  hate to admit that they were right.

As a young girl, I could not wait to grow up, and I would fantasize about living this perfect, flawless life.

 However, I was unaware of the realities of being an adult.

Now that I am an adult, I find myself engulfed by waves of nostalgia and I yearn to the days of being a carefree child. I wish to run around aimlessly and catch fireflies at night.

I want to be mesmerized by the illustrations in picture books. I long for the days when my greatest dilemma in life was to have to decide whether or not I should have chocolate-flavored or honey-flavored Teddy Grahams.

Madison Bulger, a freshman communication student, said, “I miss the days when I was in my front yard making mud pies with my best friend.”

Deya Fuleihan, a freshman political science student, added, “I loved when the ice cream truck would come on my street and I would get so excited, and run outside to get my favorite: a rainbow snow cone.”

Those days of childhood are over and gone and it is tragic; growing up is not as fun as being a kid.

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Gianni’s Vs. Scala’s

Pizza and Italian food will always be some of the most sought out dining options for college students! It is clear that dining hall pizza and pasta does not always satisfy student’s cravings for such foods. However, at Monmouth University the student body is luckily surrounded by some excellent local establishments. One common struggle when looking for the perfect slice is deciding between Gianni’s Pizzeria in Oakhurst and Scala’s Pizzeria located on Brighton Ave in West End. Both locations have been local hotspots when it comes to quality pizza and Italian dining options! Monmouth University professor Harmon stated “both local businesses are worth checking out.”

Gianni’s Pizzeria is located at 56 Monmouth Rd in Oakhurst, NJ. The local shop offers a wide arrangement of specialty pizzas, sandwiches, and other tasty options served fresh daily. Gianni’s Pizzeria was established in 1992 and currently has a total of five locations within New Jersey including Red Bank, Little Silver, Colts Neck, and Neptune that are open seven days a week. The pizzeria has a very large menu which gives customers tons of appetizing choices which is never a bad thing! When asking sophomore business student Max Goldberg his opinion on Gianni’s menu options he stated, “Gianni’s grandma style pizza is delicious and their chicken vodka wraps are out of this world. If you haven’t been to Gianni’s yet, you should, and then go back every day it’s that good.” Gianni’s has tons of sandwich options from hot subs to Italian subs using the finest Boars head meats and cheeses. 

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North, South...and Central Jersey

North South Central JeresyResidents of New Jersey have been in an ongoing debate on the existence of Central Jersey. Many argue that our state only consists of two regions: North and South Jersey.

However, those that reside in Central Jersey and attend Monmouth University challenge this argument. Those of us that have grown up in Central Jersey have never questioned its existence.

Maria Ciezak, a professor of communication, shared her thoughts on this dispute. “I believe that there 100 percent is a central New Jersey, as I live there! Being from the shore, born and raised, we are dead smack in the middle of North and South.”

Upon enrolling at Monmouth, I came to realize that many students held strong opinions about the Garden State’s geographical battle.

Being a native Central Jerseyan, I always believed that there were three regions of our wonderful state.

North, South, and Central Jersey all embody defining characteristics that are specific to those areas. With over 3 million residents and 170 towns, Central Jersey does exist and it is one of the most influential areas of our state.

Here are some signs that are unique and recognizable to Central Jersey residents, proving its existence.

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Top Slang Terms of 2016

Top 2016 Slang TermsIt is very common to hear new terms or phrases in day to day life, especially among young adults and college students in particular. Words and phrases can catch on faster than ever before, thanks to our technology and social media-driven society.

When looking at the most popular new words and phrases of 2016, it’s interesting to see where they came from. All of these new words are quickly blowing up from music, television, films, etc. Mary Harris, a communicaiton professor, who teaches a course on social media says, “The overall ability social media truly has on shaping our culture and popularity of various content.”

When diving into what new words and phrases truly are the most popular of 2016, the term bae comes to mind! This new word has become a pop culture trend that has taken on so many different meanings and uses since first being created.               The word ‘bae’ is often defined as ‘before anyone else,’ and is used to describe someone they feel very passionate about, such as a girlfriend or boyfriend.

However, the word is often commonly used when describing things that are enjoyable. For example, you can say something like, “Chipotle is Bae,” meaning that one really loves eating at the Mexican grill.

You can find the word bae being used by super stars such as Miley Cyrus and Pharrell, who even released a song entitled “Come Get it Bae.”

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Why Saying Yes Might Change Your Life

Why Study AbroadA lot of us are always looking for ways to improve our mental health and wellbeing, especially being that we are constantly under stress and pressure at school. One quick and easy solution to the school blues that is so simple that we often overlook it, is simply saying “yes” to various opportunities.

There are a lot of opportunities that arise throughout our time at college. Sometimes we think we’re too busy or that we can’t take anything else on in our time at Monmouth, so we say no to a lot of opportunities. But, college is our time to be young and silly and take chances. College is the homestretch before real life begins, so we should really take all of the chances we can because when we have a job, families, etc. these chances and risks could have an impact on many more people and things in our lives than just ourselves.

Saying yes to more things has a huge impact on our mental orientation; it has the power to make a person more positive. Associate professor of psychology, Dr. Janice Stapley, says, “It is better for your outlook to be generally optimistic.” She continues, “When you look back people have more regret about not taking on things than about taking them on.” Stapley gives the scenario of a student who declines to take a course that s/he is genuinely interested in taking because s/he is afraid that it will affect his/her GPA. She believe that taking academic risks and saying “yes” to academic opportunities that Monmouth has to offer is very wise to do. She says, “I have more experience with students being disappointed at not having taken a risk.” Stapley qualifies this by saying that risks should be “calculated.” For example, maybe taking the risk to go to a party in a sketchy part of town with people you’re not sure of wouldn’t be the best idea, but taking the calculated risk of taking on another academic endeavor would be positive.

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Habit Burger Grill Captivates Taste Buds

Habit Burger GrillAttention all burger buffs, a Californian based chargrilled burger establishment, known as The Habit Burger Grill opened for business at the end of 2015. The restaurant, located in the Michael’s plaza off Route 35 South in Eatontown, uses a highly heated grill to produce the “charred” effect.

My friend and I were coming back from a workout in Tinton Falls when we decided that we were in the mood for a “cheat meal.” Brandon expressed persistent interest in The Habit so I decided to see what the fuss was all about.

As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I immediately felt the west coast vibe. The vibrantly- lit area deemed welcoming as pleasant-sounding, reggae music gently played from speakers.

I walked a few yards over to the register and ordering station, passing small foliage and flowers on my left-hand side. I was soon faced with the eye-catching text reading, “There’s No Substitute for Quality!”

Intrigued, I glanced at the menu as my mouth began to water, viewing the various possibilities for not only a Charbuger, but also sandwiches containing chicken, tri-tip steaks, albacore tuna filets, and even veggie burgers for those who don’t eat meat.

An array of salads, crunchy-battered sides, shakes, and malts looked enticing as well.

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Where There Is A “Will” There Is a Way

Goodwill StoresAs college students, it’s more than obvious that we’re all struggling just to afford another cup of Easy Mac. With a college student’s slow income of money, how are we supposed to control ourselves when it comes to clothes shopping compulsions and the expanding of our wardrobes? Before you even notice it, you can be spending an entire paycheck on just one shopping spree.

Communication professor, Claude Taylor, said, “I am a huge fan of Goodwill and consignment, they’re an ethical way of shopping. Shopping at thrift stores is a stretch from a cultural norm that everyone should have new things all the time, which I disagree with. There’s value in recycling, things still have a use they’re just not new. The fact the someone else couldn’t use it, doesn’t mean it can’t be used.”

Thrift stores such as Goodwill carry a variety of clothes and basically anything you can think of, and it’s all cheap too. If you’re anything like me, the first thing you think about when you hear the word thrift shop is Macklemore. Besides him, thrift stores are great places for college students to shop when we are ballin’ on a budget.

Shopping at a thrift store also leaves a lot of opportunity to be creative. There are endless pages of crafty products you can find on Pinterest, and a thrift store is a great way to buy all of your supplies to start a project.

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10 Items That Will Chill Your Space

10 Items Chill SpaceWith the end of spring semester approaching, our stress levels start to skyrocket.  All of your assignments start to pile up and then it is time to study for finals.  One way to help alleviate some of that stress is by creating a more serene atmosphere in your space.

There are many cost efficient items one can purchase for their room to make it a calm and relaxing environment.  Here are 10 inexpensive items that are the perfect addition to any room.

1) One of the most well-known items associated with relaxing is incense. Chaeli Marinelli, a Senior communications student said, “Incense are really cheap and smell great.  They also don’t take up a lot of space in your room.” 

Incense can be found in most stores, even at Five Below, and there are a variety of different scents, so you can pick the one that you like the most.*discalimer* Incense is not allowed in the dorms.

2) Along with incense, oil sprays also help to create a soothing environment.  Mary Harris, a specialist professor of public relations said, “Essential oil sprays in scents like lavender, are very relaxing and smell great.”  They don’t cost too much either.

 Colby Mura, a senior communications student, said “I make my own room sprays and find that sprays and keeping rooms simple with clean white walls can create a relaxing atmosphere.”

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Student Guide to Managing Stress in College

Stress Mangement GuideStress- a six letter word that most college students become too familiar with during their four years of higher education. With a student’s responsibilities weighing down on them, it is understandable why most are constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown across campus.

Experiencing stress is inevitable, but there are some ways to manage the pressures of being a college student.

1) Take a Breath

This tip may seem obvious, but when most of us become stressed we forget to take time to be mindful of our breathing. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe in and out. Upon exhaling your breath, a wave of calmness will come over you.

2) Sleep

We all have an occasional all-nighter, but is important to get enough sleep. Studies show that when a person has a full night’s sleep s/he are more productive. To lead a healthy life without stress it is vital to have about 8-9 hours of sleep a night.

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10 Ways to Make a Girl’s Day

10 Ways Make Her DayGirls are confusing, and that says a lot coming from a girl myself. Most of the time, it’s because we don’t know exactly what we want, or what we are feeling ourselves. We get mad over seemingly small things that aren’t actually important because when we are with a guy, we are vulnerable, and don’t want to get hurt.

We like to know that we are cared for because if we are not reassured, we overthink, worry, and are just confused. With all of these ambiguous labels people use today, relationships can be very stressful. Making a girl happy is very simple, and guys should be informed on some things that they can do to achieve that. To all of the guys out there-here are 10 little things that you can do to make a girl’s day.   

1. Good morning text

Sending her a good morning text makes a great start to her day; it puts her in a great mood, and she is so happy that she is on his mind first thing in the a.m.

Kirsten Hogan, a freshman pre-med student, said, “I love it when a guy texts me ‘good morning’ with a smiley face emoji.”

2.  Make a surprise call

The only tme you call does not just have to be when you are at her house ready for her to come outside; you can call her randomly just to tell her that you miss her voice. Every girl is a sucker for this.

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Tax Return Overview: College Student Edition

Student Tax Return OverviewThis year’s tax return season is currently underway and will run until April 18th, but for many college students this process is often viewed as overwhelming or confusing as a whole.

 However, the procedure of filing a tax return can be very simple and painless once receiving the proper information regarding the various elements that impact an individual’s return.

David Haber, a senior real estate student, said, “Tax returns have always seemed like a challenging task for me personally and most likely most college students. It is so helpful to be able to get an understanding of the overall process when you are young and still in school, since it’s something you will have to complete your entire life.”

Personally, I was fortunate enough to receive an overview regarding the procedure of filling out a tax return from Monmouth University’s very own Professor Stives of the business school. After Professor Stives’ presentation, I feel that the knowledge I learned should be spread to other students seeking information regarding tax returns.

When beginning to fill out a tax return a college student should determine the correct form that fits their personal situation. Most commonly students will find themselves filling out either tax return form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

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Why You Should Pay it Forward

Soul KitchenDo you and your friends ever rack your brain for a fun day trip to take together but come up blank? Rest assured, your prayers have been answered. There are several destinations that are only an hour or less away from Monmouth that will not only allow you to have some fun, but also give back to a community in need. Starting in the City of Brotherly Love, good ole Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Only about two years ago, a man named Mason Waltman opened a pizzeria in the heart of a city to aid the homeless called Rosa’s. Restaurants usually decorate their establishments with photos, paintings and regular décor, but not Rosa’s. Waltman, the owner, has created the “pay-it-forward pizza.” Pizza at Rosa’s is only $1.00 but if you pay $5.00 he will give you a slice of pizza and four post-it notes. You can then take those four post-it notes and hang them anywhere on the wall with a little note of your choosing. The homeless and needy of Philadelphia can come into Rosa’s, take a post-it off the wall and use that as currency for a slice of pizza. This pay-it-forward concept and generosity is not just limited to Rosa’s. Major chains such as Panera have created four locations around the nation known as Panera Cares that do not have prices on their menu. They provide a suggested donation amount and that is what keeps the café running as well as pay for the persons that enter that cannot pay the donation “price.”

 If an hour and a half drive is too far for you, how about a 15-minute car ride? Jon Bon Jovi Kitchen is located in the city of Red Bank. If you are hungry for food for hungry for charity work, this is the place for you. This is a kitchen where you can purchase Pay It Forward cards to feed people in need. If you are having difficulty paying the minimum $10.00 per meal, you can also volunteer your time at this kitchen.

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Living On-Campus Versus Living Off-Campus

Pier VillageLiving on campus is what many college freshmen look forward to when they first come to Monmouth – but moving off campus quickly turns into what dorm residents desire. At Monmouth typically most students move off campus their junior year, but most have the urge to do so their sophomore year, if not sooner. While Monmouth offers more luxurious on campus options such as Maplewood, the Great Lawn and Garden apartments for upperclassmen. However, most students prefer the off campus options available at Pier Village and The Bluffs. Although living by the beach may sound appealing the majority of upper classmen prefer to rent a house in neighboring areas of Monmouth. So, the question is – which is the “better” option?

While many feel that moving off campus is an essential element of the college atmosphere, it has its disadvantages; while remaining on campus has perks that counteract off campus problems. When renting an off campus house, tenants are required to pay monthly rent and utility bills, which is something many college students do not expect to do until after graduation, and entering “the real world.” However, many college students feel that living in an apartment is a part of the “college experience”, and is the first step to experiencing living on your own.

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Outdoor Destinations Near Campus

Sandy HookWith the warm weather quickly approaching, Monmouth students want to leave the confines of their dormitories and enjoy the beautiful, scenic beaches and the Atlantic one-mile down Cedar Avenue. But Hawks should soar a little further than just the outskirts of Long Branch where land meets sea. Contrary to popular belief, New Jersey does in fact possess a number of beautiful, outdoor areas for its residence to enjoy, some of which are not too far away from campus.

1) Sandy Hook – 9.3 miles away from campus

Sandy Hook is a six-mile strip of land the juts out between the Lower New York Bay and the Atlantic Ocean that contains Fort Hancock, a non-operational United States Army post. Visitors are permitted to fish on all beaches unless otherwise posted by the staff.

Sandy Hook also offers a seven-mile long multi-use pathway where walkers, jogger, bicyclists, etc. alike could start their personal tour of Sandy Hook. The path will take them from the park entrance and circle around Fort Hancock.

“I would definitely recommend my friends and family to visit Sandy Hook because of the countless exploratory options,” said Trevor Rawlik, a senior health studies major. Rawlik, an outdoor advocate and surfer, also enjoys the surf break Sandy Hook has to offer. “There is the awesome beach, the old Army town, the abandoned barracks, and trails leading to vantage points on the beach,” Rawlik continued.

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A Rewarding Spring Break Alternative

Spring Break AltCollege is stressful. Whether it is midterms, papers, presentations, or finals, breaks always seems to fall at the perfect time. Breaks often consists of catching up on sleep or maybe partaking in a Netflix marathon from the comfort of your couch at home.

The cliché spring break would be somewhere exotic, warm, and sunny - a place where you can relax with your friends, enjoy the sun and make the most of your days without school work.

I have a feeling you are picturing a place similar to Cancun or Punta Cana. What comes to mind for me would be the beautiful country of Guatemala.

Monmouth University has a program on campus called the Alternative Break Program. Run by Corey Inzana, Residential Life Administrator, this program offers students a chance to use their break to give back to communities that are less fortunate than the one we live in here at Monmouth University.

Alternative Break Programs are offered during all three breaks: winter, spring and summer. These trips travel to three different countries: Haiti, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Haiti occurs over winter break

Twelve students are chosen to travel to help build a school for underprivileged children in Canaan, just outside Port-au-Prince. During spring break, students travel to Guatemala to construct a school with the help of Salud Y Paz.

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Saint Patrick’s Day Dishes

St Patricks Day 2016Saint Patrick’s Day is full of many traditions, most of which revolve around eating, drinking, and wearing green.

For many, it is a celebratory time to commemorate one’s heritage and enjoy what it means to be Irish.

For those of you that aren’t Irish, it is a day to immerse yourself in a culture that differs from your own. Irish or not, here are some great Saint Patrick’s Day dishes that are bound to be on your table, if you’re lucky.

Irish Soda Bread - This is a St. Patty’s Day staple. It is a crumby bread made with buttermilk and honey, and infused with cranberries or raisins, often soaked in whiskey.

Junior business/accounting major, Brittany Chapman said, “Irish Soda Bread is one of my favorite foods to eat on St. Patrick’s Day because you can eat it along with something else, or it’s just as good on its own as a snack.”

Shepherd’s Pie - This dish is a meat pie filled with beef or lamb and crusted with mashed potatoes. Vegetables are sometimes included. This is a very traditional Irish dish dating back to about 1877.

Boiled Potatoes – Let’s face it, nothing is more Irish than potatoes, and this dish is a simple companion to any of the traditional Irish dishes you’ll see. Potatoes are skinned, boiled, and coated in garlic, butter, and bay leaves.

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Time Management Hacks for College Students

Time Management HacksTime management is a tough skill to master, especially in college.  It seems that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all of the things done on your list. Balancing school, work, and a social life seems nearly impossible, but somehow it has to be done. It is so easy to let things spin out of control, to throw caution to the wind and hope everything goes well. But you’ll find that without proper planning, balancing these things will take a physical and emotional toll on you and leave you stressed.

Productivity stems from organization. Having some form of written schedule, whether it be a piece of paper or a planner, will make you feel organized and ready to take on the day. Organize tasks by the time it will most likely be accomplished, even color-code which tasks are school, work or social related. Alyssa Cosentino, a sophomore psychology student said, “My planner makes me feel like I really have my life together. I don’t know what I would do without it.”

List proper times for these things to happen. Having a written sample of all the tasks you need to accomplish today will leave you in a better state of mind, and it’s difficult to forget something once it’s written down.

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Playa Bowls: A Fun Alternative to Healthy Eating

Playa BowlsWhen you think of food at college the first word that comes to mind usually isn’t “healthy.” Late night snacks like microwavable popcorn or ramen are not often the best options, but they sure are convenient. It seems easier to grab a cookie or two in the dining hall than it is to grab an apple. French fries go better with a sandwich than spinach and cucumbers, right? If only there were a trendy, fun place to eat with your friends that was not only delicious, but healthy.

Your prayers have been answered. Welcome to playa bowls. A store front beautifully decorated and located on Ocean Ave in Belmar. This eatery is less than seven miles away from Monmouth University’s campus. You may have seen their colorful photos on Instagram or heard about this deliciously organized fruit cup, but playa bowls is a place that needs to be experienced by everyone.

The foundation of these fruit bowls are two super fruits: Acai and Pitaya. They blend these up with different juices and berries to create a delicious smoothie textured bottom. The next layer in the bowl can be created with fruit, granola, nuts, coconut, protein, almond butter, and even bee pollen. You can create your own cocktail of fruits and toppings! The last layer is topped off with Nutella, honey or peanut butter. It is a new, unusual and healthy option for a daytime meal or snack. This beach cafe is open year round in Belmar.

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Best Places to Shop and Eat in the Monmouth Area

Best Shop And EatOne of the great things about going to school in the Monmouth area is its location. It’s only a short train ride away from New York City, and when the weather’s nice, you can go to the beach. As a senior, I can say that during my freshman year, it was hard to find things to do on the weekend when you’re new to the area.

However, it doesn’t take long to learn about and experience all of the places this area has to offer. The neighboring towns offer many places that students love to venture to after class or on the weekends. Whether they are clothing stores, fun activities, or great restaurants  and bars, there is always something to do.

 There are so many great restaurants, bars, and diners to go to that will shortly become one of your favorite places to grab food. The best thing about this area is the amazing food. A common favorite restaurant is MeeMom’s in Wall, NJ  It is the perfect place to go to for brunch because it has a variety of French toast and amazing sandwiches. Another great restaurant and bar to go to is Tommy’s Tavern & Tap in Sea Bright.  They have a huge selection, from amazing freshly made pizzas to delicious burgers. Its rustic atmosphere makes it a really cool place to meet up with friends. When it comes to breakfast, one of my favorite places to go in the area is Amy’s Omelette House in Long Branch, which is popular for its large selection of omelettes.

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Top 10 Items to Have in Your Backpack

Top Backpack ItemsYour backpack—probably a bag with gum wrappers, old class handouts, and food receipts crumpled at the bottom. It is also a bag with some of your most important items in it too!

Yes, you will always have your books, laptop, keys, and phone in it, but there are some more items that would be beneficial to have in there too.

1. Phone charger- Junior communication student Amanda Drennan said, “I always have a phone charger and/or a portable power bank with me. I don’t want to be caught with a dead phone.” A phone charger, whether you have the whole charger itself, or a portable power bank as Drennan suggests, is a very important item to carry with you. Even if it isn’t so we can keep checking the likes on our latest Instagram photo, keeping your phone charged is super important. You never know who may be trying to reach you.

2. Breath Mints/Gum- Never get caught with bad breath! Always keep breath mints or gum on you, especially if you are a coffee drinker. We may not be able to live without it, but coffee often leads to bad breath. Also, if you’re an antsy student sucking on a breath mint or chewing gum may help you to focus in class.

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Winter Fashion Trends

Winter Fashion TrendsAchieving a fashionable look in the winter months is difficult when all you want to do is wear your comfiest sweatshirt and wrap yourself up in a blanket for maximal warmth. Staying stylish and keeping warm can be a difficult look to master, or it can be the easiest thing in the world if you have the right mindset. Maintaining your personal style can be a breeze in the winter with the right pieces and techniques, and just a few simple adjustments to your look can make a drastic difference.

One simple way to stay warm in the winter while still looking your cutest is layering. Layering is a classic and easy way to maintain a fashion-forward look, while still being practical for the cold weather. Not only is layering wildly trendy, but it also always helps to keep you warm. That bundled up look we all strive to rock during those below freezing days is a perfect look for winter fashion. Layering is easy – a T-shirt, flannel, thick jacket and floppy beanie are all you need to piece together a cozy and fun outfit. Rebecca Roth, a sophomore communication student, is also a fan of layering and can be seen around campus bundled up to the max on those icy days. She said, “Layering keeps you warm but fashionable at the same time. It’s a winter go-to style.”

Communication instructor Nicholas Messina also opts for the go-to winter style of layering. “I’m a firm believer that in the winter, fashion takes a bit of a backseat to practicality. I want to be warm more than anything else. That’s why I layer!” said Messina.

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Reasons You Should Wake Up Early

Wake Up ReasonsGetting up early is probably the most torturous thing you could do to yourself, or is it? Just the thought of waking up before the sun rises is enough to make a college student cringe, but it can positively impact your life. Additionally, it will allow you to break the stereotype that all college students sleep until 3 P.M. (because we all pretty much do).

Professor Jee Hyun Lim, who teaches voice lessons, mentioned, “An early start gives you a jump start to the day! Our concentration level is higher in the morning, and you finish class earlier!”

The early bird really does catch the worm; below I have listed the five benefits of being a morning person!

1. It gets your day started

It will make you more productive! We’ve all had that day (or many days) when we slept until late afternoon and felt so lazy; we accomplished NOTHING and had no time to accomplish anything because the day was nearly over. Waking up super late makes you feel like a useless couch potato and no one wants to feel like that! Getting up early will allow you to be very efficient.

Makenzie Cox, a freshman psychology student, stated, “Waking up too late can waste the entire day. Getting up even slightly earlier than usual makes me feel better about myself and helps me get more accomplished.”

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Why You Need to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Comfort ZoneWhenever you want to try something, there is always that voice in the back of your head telling you to hold back. But, maybe it’s time to find experience in being uncomfortable.

Communication professor, Claude Taylor, explains, “Stepping out of your comfort zone can be a valuable way to learn more about yourself and stretch your mental and physical limits. Of course it can be scary, but the risk/reward benefits can be significant.” There is a lot to do to get out of your comfort zone, just grab a friend and start your adventure!

There’s so much you can do that you would have no idea about if you didn’t push yourself. Surround yourself with people who are willing to help you open up and be yourself. Lauren Niesz, junior English student shared, “Being someone who is introverted, I find it hard to get out of my comfort zone. But, I found a friend who helps me!” Using your friends is a great tool to help you ease yourself into trying something new. Neisz continued, “If she wasn’t so persistent on getting me to loosen up I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now.”

There are plenty of things that can help get you to loosen up and try new things, here are a few:

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Reasons Why It Is Important to Always Have Your Guard Up

Most people see having your guard up in a negative way. Specifically, when you see how it is portrayed in romantic comedies.  The main characters are normally someone who has had their guard up their entire life and end up shutting people out. By the end of the movie, they meet someone that breaks their walls down and ultimately convinces them to lower guard.

 Constantly having your guard up may enable you to shut out people which hinders the formation of relationships with others and can seclude you from the rest of society.  However, having your guard up around others can also be positive in certain situations. In most cases having your guard up is beneficial because you are not always award of the intentions of others. Ellen Brennan a senior education student said, “You can’t always trust people and you don’t know if everyone’s intentions are honorable, so keeping your guard up keeps you from getting hurt.” This is one of the main reasons why people want to have their guard up in the first place. They don’t want to get hurt.

 If you have just gotten out of a serious relationship where your significant other cheated and lied to you, the odds of you having your guard up when dating after that are pretty high. It’s a good idea to have your guard up because you never know who you can trust. Cristina Rauco, a senior creative writing student said, “It’s always better that you protect yourself before considering letting anyone else in.” Which is another reason why it is good to have your guard up, people are unpredictable.

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Valentine’s Day: Single Guys vs. Girls

Single Women V DayThe holiday that singles dread most is upon us. For those that lack a significant other on Valentine’s Day it may feel as if they will be #foreveralone. However, your mom usually pulls through by sending you your favorite candy or a cute stuffed teddy bear. Even spending time with your friends help you cope with the copious amounts of couples that are out and about on February 14. Just because you don’t have a bae does not mean that you can’t enjoy the holiday.

Communication professor, Shannon Hokanson gave her advice for single people on Valentine’s Day, “Don’t put too much energy into the holiday. It’s a little overblown. Take care of yourself.”

When single people are asked about their Valentine’s Day plans, they seem to not give much thought to their relationship status. Casey Labarre, a health studies student discussed her plans for Valentine’s Day this year, “I’m just going to hang with my friends, and have a good time. Who needs a boy, you know?”

Nick Bellomo, a student studying business, remarked “There’s other things to love in life; there’s nothing wrong with loving yourself.”

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Sweet Treats for Your Sweet This Valetine’s Day

Red Velvet CupcakesWith Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, you probably will not be able to walk into a store without seeing a huge display of candy and boxes of chocolate.  However, there are many more treats that you can make for this holiday whether it’s for a party or your significant other. 

They say that the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and what better way to do that than making them a delicious treat. Here are some Valentine’s Day treats that are perfect for showing them that you care.

Matt Marino, an adjunct professor, shared his favorite red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe from celebrity chef, Paula Deen. Marino said, “It tastes delicious and is easy to make. It also makes enough for a number of people to have some.”

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Alternatives to a Gym Membership

Membership AlternativeWell, February is here, and for those who are doing their best to stick to that New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get fit, here are some new tips to honor it, without ever having to leave the house.

“Be the best version of yourself” is a well-known cliché one hears often, especially during the month of January. It seems that everyone everywhere is advertising to “lose the weight” or “get healthy.” The problem, however, lies not in where, but in how. Sure, it’s easy to join a gym, but as a fitness newcomer, it is tough out there making a plan to work out on your own. 

With that in mind, February is right around that time when people begin to give up. The ambition that fueled you, that eye of the tiger has petered out, and you have found that the only marathon you are interested in is on Netflix. With frequent snowstorms and dropping temperatures, that gym membership has become less and less appealing. But there is a simple solution to get fit and healthy indoors, and it comes from a fellow student and fitness enthusiast. Meaghan Wheeler, a junior history education student, shared her workout philosophy, “Getting in a great work out from the comfort of your home requires 10 quick and simple exercises for three rotations!”

These at home exercises include:

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Why It Is Important to Live in the Moment

Living In The MomentHave you ever noticed when you are in a restaurant that the people at the table next to you are all on their phones instead of talking to each other?  It has become more difficult for people to engage in a conversation without becoming distracted by their phones. Our society has become inept of communicating with one another. It is important to not get into the habit of constantly being on your phone because you may begin to neglect what is occurring right in front of you.

There are preventative measures that will help you become present within your daily life rather than succumbing to the urge to check your phone. Mary Harris, specialist professor in communication, offers, “First, we need to be mindful and aware that the behavior of checking your phone can be a problem. Then, you need to commit to being together. Some fun things to do that allow you to all hang out without being on your phones are watching a movie, playing a board game, or just talking to one another. It all comes down to wanting to change and be in the moment rather than on your phones.”

Making it a rule when you are with your friends to put your phone away for a couple of hours combats the temptation of pulling it out of your pocket to see the latest posts on Instagram. Actual face-to-face communication helps to build relationships and make lifelong memories. However, in order to make these memories we must resist our desire to stare at our phone screen while we are with others.

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How to Combat Cabin Fever

With winter weather finally setting in, it is difficult to think that the luxury of going outside without freezing will soon be gone. Cabin fever is a reality no one wants to face, and spending all that time indoors definitely takes its toll. With that in mind, there are many wonderful ways to keep warm and keep away the winter woes.

Being trapped indoors is less than ideal, and, let’s face it: it’s really easy to fall into a rut. But before starting that next season on Netflix, here are some other options that will keep one just as entertained if not more.

The first step towards combating cabin fever is having a positive outlook. By thinking of this well-deserved free time as a blessing instead of a curse, it is easier to look at what one can do as opposed to what one can’t.

A positive state of mind breeds creative thoughts; from there, finding ways to keep busy is simple. There are various ways to tackle cabin fever, and, depending on one’s interests, some may work better for others.

First, being constructive is a great way to keep busy. Exercise is a fantastic way to combat cabin fever. Endorphins resulting from a good workout can leave one in a positive mood for the rest of the day. Taking the time to exercise not only helps to form the best version of oneself, but easy indoor exercises like yoga, and the helpfulness of fitness Apps like Sworkit , make it possible to get in shape while confined to a small space.

If exercise seems too stressful (or painful), cleaning often kills time, and can improve ones mood when feeling down. Playing some music and cleaning up a space can really make the home a place to enjoy. Meaghan Wheeler, a junior, said, “I’ll go through my closet and clean out my clothes. It’s nice to start fresh and it passes the time.”

Another great way to be constructive at home is to cook a new recipe. Claude Taylor, Athletics Professor in Residence, said, “Pick recipes of stuff that you’ve never tried before that you’d like to try, and try to make it from scratch.”  The process of cooking is time-consuming, and even has its own reward to reap when all is said and done.

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Winter Break: Expectations vs. Reality

Ah, winter break, an entire month for college students to relax and spend time at home after a long, grueling semester. You are like a rock star that has been constantly touring for months, and now you are taking a hiatus from your hectic schedule. Winter break allows you to take a breather from your daily dose of classes, papers, and exams.  

Some students are lucky enough to escape the cold during their vacation. Natasha Brendli, a marketing student stated, “Winter break for me was to get out of New Jersey, the cold, and visit family in Florida. It was a time to relax and not think about school-work.”

However, there is no place like home for the holidays where you can relax, spend time with family and watch your favorite Netflix series, of course. Madison Bulger, a communication student said, “Winter break is a great time to catch-up on my favorite TV shows on Netflix.”

Not only is it a break for students, but it is a break for professors as well. Shannon Hokanson, lecturer in the communication department, described her winter break, “I spent it [winter break] getting my house purged… and spent a vast majority of the time here [at Monmouth University],” she continued. “I can’t tell you that I went on vacation or did anything fun, but it was very functional and deeply satisfying to do all that cleaning. I feel very semester-ready.”

At the beginning of winter vacation, it seems as if there is so much time that you will not even know what to do with it. But you do know that you will enjoy having your bedroom all to yourself, showering without flip flops, and eating your mom’s home-cooked meals rather than the shriveled-up vegetables from the dining hall. It really is the little things in life that make a college student happy.

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A Single’s Survival Guide to Cuffing Season

Bing Watch NetflixIt is evident that winter is now in full swing, but another not-so-obvious season that has transpired is “cuffing season.” For those of you that are unfamiliar with this term, it is used to describe the time during which singles are in search of a cuddle buddy to keep them warm as the temperature begins to drop.

In the beginning of September, both men and women construct a “line-up” of potential suitors. At this time, technology may become a source for some that are searching for their seasonal significant other.

Professor Warren Epstein, adjunct math professor, feels that online dating platforms have both positive and negative qualities: “Some people on these dating websites lie about themselves, but if they are honest it is then a good way to bring people together,” said Epstein.

Those that are successful in emotionally “cuffing” themselves to another will spend the subsequent months cuddling and broadcasting their fleeting relationship on social media.

This season proves to be pretty unbearable at times for those that have yet to be “cuffed,” but fear not, because I have some tips on how to survive the copious amounts of couples that will be surfacing around campus and across social media during these frigid winter months.

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The 5 Best Light Shows in New Jersey

The holiday season is in full swing and light shows are illuminating the Garden State this year. Amongst your holiday gift shopping, decking the halls, and tuning into ABC Family’s “25 days of Christmas,” I highly suggest you the find time to see these radiant light shows. Here are some of the most spectacular displays in NJ that are sure to put anyone in the holiday spirit:

1.Historic Smithville

Location: Smithville, NJ


See a display of 100 Christmas trees float along Lake Meone along with holiday music. Also, there is a variety of shops and restaurants in the area to go to after the show. Plus, the light show is free.

2. Cranbury Christmas Lights

Location: 128 North Main Street, Cranbury, NJ 08512


The Cranbury light show is known for their tree of lights that has more lights on it than the Rockefeller Center tree. Also, with a 120,000 light display, this is show is considered one of the best in the state. The display is free, but donations for charity are appreciated. Not only can you enjoy a light show, but you can also donate to those in need.

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Holiday Gift Ideas

With the holidays just around the corner, it is time to hit the stores and shop for your friends, family, and significant others.  Sometimes it can be challenging trying to think of what to get them.  Here are some ideas that will make the perfect gift this holiday season:

Drinkware- Beer mugs, thermoses, glasses, tumbler cups, and wine glasses could be a great gift for anyone. Buying someone a cup with their favorite quotes, movie or television characters on it or their favorite sport teams’ logo could be a great gift for anybody. 

Kara Bradley, a senior communication student, said “One of my favorite items that I’m buying from Francesca’s, is a huge wine glass that can hold a whole bottle of wine.” Even novelty cups could be a great gift for people to add to their collections.  You could even attach their favorite drink with the glass you choose to give them. 

Movies- A great gift to give to people who love to watch movies and TV shows would be a popcorn bucket filled with their favorite movie candy, bags of popcorn, and a DVD set of their favorite show or a couple of their favorite movies.  Speaking of candy, Claude Taylor, Athletics Professor-in-Residence, said, a great gift idea would be 30 days of classic candy.  Buy one candy item for each day of the month.”

Trips- Taylor also said, “I.O.U. trips are a great gift that encourages quality time.” It could be doing a day trip of their favorite activities in the city or tickets to a zoo to see their favorite animals. Even getting them tickets to a concert to see their favorite artist or to see their favorite Broadway show could be the perfect gift to spend time with them doing and seeing the things they love.

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Festive Holiday Baking Ideas to Get Into the Spirit

Holiday Gift IdeasTie on your apron and let’s get to baking! It’s time to start talking holiday sweets. The holidays are approaching very quickly and before you know it you’ll be in the kitchen on the 23rd scratching your head and wondering what on earth you are going to bring to your family holiday party.

You want to be unique, but maybe you make a pretty horrible artist, so gingerbread men are out of the question. That’s okay! Honestly, the key to holiday baking is simplicity—leave it to your crazy aunt to make the elaborate croquembouche tree complete with the eight different dipping sauces.

You can still look like you spent a lot of time on something super cute and delicious. One trick I like to share is that if you want to do something more artsy, don’t do it from scratch. Making a fabulously decorated cake? Use a boxed cake mix. This way, if the cake ends up being a major Pinterest fail, at least it still tastes good!

Madelyn Arecchi, a junior english and education student, says, “Since I’m a pretty busy person, I say you can’t go wrong with the Pillsbury Christmas Tree Shape Cookies...everyone loves them and all you have to do is throw them in the oven!” Sometimes, especially during the holidays you just don’t have time to bake things from scratch. And, Madelyn is right, who doesn’t love a good Pillsbury cookie? Just be sure with those cookies not to over bake them; if anything, take them out before they look completely done and then while they are cooling they will finish baking on the still hot pan.

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7 Songs of Lyrics to Describe Entering Your 20s

It feels like just yesterday you were playing jumprope at recess and coloring butterflies in different shades of chalk on the pavement. Then suddenly, its your 20th birthday and you don’t know where all those years went. It’s exciting, confusing, and terrifying all at once.

 Tori Dalessandro, a 23 year-old R&D engineer at Ethicon, reflects on turning 20, “It feels like you’re a child and an adult at the same time always. Like you’re eight and 38 simultaneously and it doesn’t make sense.”

In one’s 20s you’re still young and have so much life ahead of you, but your teens years are over now. When you turn 18, you’re legally considered an adult, but it’s not until you’re 20 that you come face-to-face with reality and realize that you’re actually a grown-up.

 “Being in your 20s is scary but exciting at the same time, it’s a new chapter in one’s life we should look forward to,” said Brett O’Grady, a a sophmore business student.

 It can seem frightening at times, but don’t panic, it’s all about living in the moment and celebrating all of the little victories in life.

 Below, are seven sets of lyrics that serve as great pieces of advice and inspiration for people reaching the “Big 20.”

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End of Semester Survivial Guide

1) Wait until the last minute to study—Sure, you have 15 credits, heck, maybe you have over 18 credits to study for. But, if you avoid studying for them until the last minute you will be able to fit in more social activities with your friends, which, let’s face it, is far more important than your degree.

2) Slash your own tires—You commute; take advantage of it! Miss your least favorite/most stressful class by slashing your own tires. You don’t have to deal with the boredom if you don’t have a means to get there.

3) Lay on the floor and cry—Avoiding studying by having a mental breakdown is a great excuse not to study. Depending on how mentally unstable you are due to finals stress, this could last hours, which is great to avoid studying.

4) Lash out at people often—You have a lot of work; people deserve to know! If you’re angry, just act like a total jerk to everyone. They should understand. Lashing out at people will definitely make the end of the semester less painful for you…for them? Maybe not, but oh well!

5) Don’t go out…ever—You need to stay in one room every day. A change of scenery is the last thing you want. That might distract you, and you don’t want that.

6) Eat one meal a day. As a matter of fact, neglect your body’s needs altogether. Your body comes second when it is the end of the semester and your classes pile on the work.

7) Stay up until the wee morning hours. Don’t start it any earlier than 8:00pm because, look, you have ~other~ stuff to do. Staying up really late is great for mental health.

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Fun Ideas to Do & Places to Go For Winter Break

Camelback MountainWith winter break right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you are going to do with your time off, a whole month leaves a lot of room for fun.

Here are some ideas and suggestions of what to do and where to go before the spring semester starts:

• New York City- The city is one of the most popular places to visit, especially around this time of year.  If you’re ready to face the large crowds of people and want to cross something off your bucket list, then going to Time Square to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve is the perfect trip for you.  Even if you don’t want to go on New Year’s Eve, any trip planned to NYC will always lead to fun things to do. 

Jamie Sayegh, a senior health studies student said, “You can see a show on Broadway and then get something to eat.  Some good places to go to are Shake Shack and Max Brenner.”

There are also tons of stores for shopping or you can just walk around Central Park and find many things to do like visiting the zoo or going ice skating. 

• Skiing- Another popular activity to do during this time of year is to head up to the mountains to ski and snowboard.

“I’m from upstate New York so a lot of people like to go on ski trips during winter break.  Popular places to go are Jiminy Peak or to go to Mount Snow in Vermont,” said Tricia Race, a senior psychology student.

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Healthy Alternatives to Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Pumpkin PuddingThanksgiving is a day to give thanks for what we have, but also the day when everyone eats an insane amount of food.  And that’s just at dinner; there are still desserts afterwards, like pie, which is the last stop before the food coma.  All of these calories add up, so here are some healthier alternatives, as well as tips, for Thanksgiving desserts.

Merrily Ervin, a professor of nutrition science and Coordinator of School of Science shared two of her favorite healthy recipes. The first she said is “very easy, elegant, and tasty!”

Roasted Pears with Amaretti and Amaretto

Serves Four

• 3 T Amaretto or other almond-flavored liqueur

• 1 T balsamic vinegar

• 4 firm-ripe Bartlett pears, halved lengthwise and cored

• 1/3 cup water

• 4 amaretti cookies (Italian almond macaroons; 1/2 inch diameter), crumbled

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Oreo, Tie-Dye, French Toast, and Cap N’ Crunch Bagels? The Bagel Nook Will Have You Hooked

Bagel DessertThe Bagel Nook is anything but your average bagel store. With unique creations like Fruity Pebble bagels, Jalapeno Cheddar cream cheese, and monstrous truck sandwiches, The Bagel Nook will have you wishing for more than one stomach.

This young, fresh and new establishment opened its doors this past September.

Located in the Raintree Shopping Center in Freehold, NJ, store hours are Monday-Saturday 6:00a.m.-3:00pm, and Sunday 6:00a.m.-2:00pm. With fast service, this is the perfect place for any commuter that wants a little something before their first class.

When customers have a little time to spare, they can sit at one of the many tables throughout the café. Box signs, chalkboards, and a large flat screen TV fill the surrounding walls. 

The Bagel Nook takes bagels and spreads to the next level. “There aren’t many better things in life than a good book and a good bagel,” noted Stuart Rosenberg, associate professor of management.

Well, bring the book and The Bagel Nook will provide the bagel. The selection includes Oreo, Cap N’ Crunch, Tie-Dye and French Toast bagels. For spreads, options include Birthday Cake, Strawberry Banana, and Bacon Scallion cream cheeses.

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Overcoming Your First Heartbreak

Do you remember your first heartbreak? You were probably in high school or college and loved that person with all your heart. One way or another you broke up and thought you would never find love again and would grow up to have 50 cats. But guess what? You found love again, it was in fact en­tirely possible.

The first heartbreak is always the hardest because you don’t know what to do or how to react to get over it. Getting your heart bro­ken is never fun, it can lead to over thinking your entire relationship and question what you did wrong and you could go into a tailspin of bad choices and carelessness.

Of course you’re going to need time after a heartbreak to sit around and feel sorry for yourself as you cry and watch Dirty Danc­ing on repeat. That is all complete­ly normal after a first breakup. However, after that stage of tears and ice cream you have to figure out how to get over it and begin to think in a different mindset.

Ali Galjour, a freshman English major shares her opinion, “I think that getting over your first heart­break is one of the hardest things anyone has to go through. The best thing to do is keep your head up, eat lots of ice cream, stick with your friends and family and al­ways remember that there are bil­lion of people in the world which means that someone someday will love you unconditionally.”

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Yoga Has More Benefits Than The Eye Can See

There are a lot of fads that arise on those mind-controlling social media platforms that are, for lack of a better word, stupid. However, there’s one trending topic that has that has the ability to benefit and enrich our lives. No, I’m not talking about selfies or even the Hotline Bling over­dubs—I’m talking about yoga.

You’ve all seen it at one time or another on Instagram, some really in shape person telling you how being bendy has dras­tically changed their outlook on life. Stretching? I don’t even want to stretch for the remote when it’s on the coffee table next to me.

But think about it, yes it can get tiring seeing all these “yo­gis” on your newsfeed talking about being enlightened through their process, but when was the last time a social media takeover was something that was actually beneficial to our lives? Yoga is actually something very com­plex and fulfilling.

“There are 195 Sutras, or prin­ciples, of yoga as a lifestyle. Only two of which pertain to the physical practice,” said Megan Langrehr, a Monmouth gradu­ate who now teaches yoga at Sid Yoga in Towson, MD, and Yoga Centric in Bel Air, MD. “Through the growth of my yoga practice- physically, mentally and spiritually- I have allowed my vision of life and my purpose in the Universe to shift to an en­tirely new domain.”

Constantly witnessing the highlights of people’s lives at the tap of a button has the ability to be discouraging to say the least. This is where practicing yoga and its lifestyle mantras can step in and make those anxieties qui­et down.

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Beauty Tips for the Cold Weather

With fall in full swing and win­ter quickly approaching, the drop in temperature does not only give us rosy cheeks and frostbite, but it also dries out our skin. During the colder months, our skin and hair becomes dry and lacklus­ter due to several factors. Bon­nie LaPlante, an esthetician in Lenox, Mass., tells WebMD that, “As soon as you turn the heat on indoors, the skin starts to dry out.” But fear not, there are some ways to combat Mother Nature’s attack on our skin by implanting some tricks into our beauty regimen.

1) Exfoli­ate

Exfoliat­ing removes your dead skin. Once the dead skin is re­moved, your skin will absorb moisturizer better.

2) Moisturize

It is extremely important to use moisturizer during every sea­son. However, in the winter it is crucial. Moisturizing will com­pletely rehydrate your skin. Per­sonally, my favorite face lotion is Olay Complete with SPF because it leaves my face feeling smooth and protects my skin from the sun all year round. For body lo­tion any lotion made by Aveeno and Nivea are usually great.

However, Professor Ciezak, an adjunct communication professor uses coconut lotion during the winter. Coconut lotion provides an even deeper level of moisture than the average drugstore brand. Any lotion will do the trick, but coconut lotion will leave your skin extremely hydrated. These drugstore brands are reasonably priced making them affordable for us college students.

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How to Be Money Sensible As a College Student

Money Wise FrontpageMost college students find themselves stuck between wanting to spend money on whatever they want and attempting to save for the future.

It is crucial for college students to be more conscious of how they spend their money and choose to spend it wisely.  This is the time in our lives where we begin to prepare for our future.  Therefore, it is important that we are more aware of our spending habits and to have some savings set aside. 

There are many different ways that students can cut back on spending and start saving their money. The first way students can save their money is if they cut back on unnecessary spending.

Jenna Hersh, a senior finance student and President of the Economics and Finance Club, said, “The two main areas that students need to cut back on spending are takeout food and for clothes and other items that you don’t need.”  Most of the money that college students spend is on food.  Whether you’re out with your friends, grabbing Chipotle, Jr’s, or Panera, all of these trips will add up and cause your bank account to shrink.

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Balancing School and a Part Time Job

Student Part Time JobHaving a part time job seems like an easy way to make some spending money in college.  However, as school commitments begin to increase, dealing with classes and a job can become increasingly stressful. 

So how is it that students can manage to balance both?  It often comes down to developing good time management skills and finding little stress relievers in order to calm down before you go into panic mode.

Having good time management skills has been a lesson taught to us again and again and it is incredibly important. Dealing with a job takes up a substantial amount of time, which ends up giving you less time to complete schoolwork or study. 

Going to class and keeping up good grades is super important and at times seems impossible.  What students need to do is find the delicate balance between going to work and doing a good job there, and still being able to give a hundred and ten percent towards school work.

 Natalie Carpentieri, a senior graphic design student said, “I try to finish the most important things and the stuff with the earliest due dates first.”

 “I also make schedules and to do lists in order to keep myself organized and so that I remember all that needs to get done.  Another thing I do to deal with stress is go for a run in the morning and it gives me energy throughout the day,” said Carpentieri.

Finding an activity for stress relief is just as important as keeping up good grades and succeeding at your part time job. Students who are constantly on the go without a break often crash and even get themselves sick. Burning out due to stress is often seen in college students which just ends up leading to nowhere good.

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5 Must Try Recipes for Die Hard Peanut Butter Fans

Peanut Butter FansCalling all peanut butter lovers! If you are a die hard fan of peanut butter, I advise you listen up. Whether you love peanut butter and jelly, or you prefer peanut butter on just about anything, you’re bound to find a recipe here that you’ll enjoy.

Peanut butter is a beloved food for most.

“Anything with peanut butter and banana is good,” said Georga Torres, a junior chemistry student.

“I love apples and peanut butter the best,” says Tommy Chung, a sophomore marketing student.

Here are five great peanut butter recipes that any peanut butter lover has to try:

1) Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars

This is a healthy snack that does not take long to make.  They are great for in between classes because they are great for on the go.  The recipe calls for a mixture of 2 1/2 cups of rolled non-instant oats, a 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1/2 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, a 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1 large egg 2 mashed bananas, and a 1/3 cup of peanut butter peanut butter. 

Bake the mixture in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  All that’s left to do after that is cut them into bars, and eat all that peanut butter goodness!

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Festive Fall Recipes

Fall RecipesWe are halfway through fall and as November is quickly approaching,  Pumpkin spiced latte’s, Instagram pictures of everyone at pumpkin patches, a lot of throwback Disney Halloween movies, and of course football is everyone’s Sunday plans this time of year.

Whether it’s scary movies or maybe even watching the leaves change colors, there’s something about this time of year that gets everyone excited, especially for baking.  One of the most special things about fall is the savory scents and delicious food that comes with the season. Scents and flavors like cinnamon, apples and caramel instantly can take you to a happy place.

Adjunct professor of history and anthropology, Robert Grasso, loves this time of year specifically for the food. “My favorite fall recipes have to be butternut squash and pumpkin soup, I make it every year once the leaves change,” said Grasso.  

Time to put those apples from apple picking to good use. Dr. Jamie Goodwinuhler, an instructor of psychology loves apple picking with her daughter.  “When the weather is just right it’s time to embark in fall festivities and baking is one of them,” said Goodwinuhler.

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Alternatives to Coffee

Despite popular belief, there are college students that do not like coffee. Though they may be a minority, all coffee haters can rejoice because there are plenty of alternatives.

Not only do these alternatives give you the energy your average cup of joe gives you, but they are super healthy and have tons of nutritional benefits. So if you don’t like coffee or planning to drift away from this popular beverage, I have the perfect list for you.

“For individuals avoiding caffeine, fruit infused water is a great way to jazz up water,” said Aimee Orndorff,  Resident Dietician of Gourmet Dining on campus.

It may come as a surprise since this drink is associated with relaxing, but tea is the closest alternative you can get to coffee.

Becca Leone, a sophomore marketing student,  is a huge fan of tea, “I don’t drink coffee because I don’t like the taste, so I just drink tea instead because I feel like it gives me a lot of energy plus it has a better taste then coffee.”

There are tons of flavors for teas, which come with different caffeine levels. According to, brewed black tea contains the most caffeine, green tea is second, and white teas are third.

“Green tea, hot or cold, is a great option for individuals limiting caffeine as it typically contains half the amount of coffee,” said Orndorff.

As far as health benefits go, teas have been known to be good for the heart, lower chances of cancer, and decrease cholesterol. And if you need yet another reason to start drinking tea, it’s also super cheap.

If you feel overwhelmed on what teas to choose take some of Becca’s favorites into consideration, “I love green tea for the energy in the morning and chamomile tea at night because it helps me go to sleep.” 

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DIY Costume Ideas: Save Money and Look Cute

Olaf FrozenThere is no other holiday quite like Halloween. During this time of year, haunted hayrides may not be the only thing that spooks you, but expensive Halloween costumes may be equally as frightening. But fear not, you can look amazing this Halloween without breaking the bank by making your own costume.

When you buy a costume from the Halloween store chances are that at least three other people will have the same one. So instead of having a who wore it better faceoff you are better off creating your own unique get-up. So light up your favorite fall candle and grab a pen because I am about to give you some great DIY Halloween costume ideas.

#1. Rosie the Riveter:

For my pro-feminist ladies this costume is perfect for you. All you need is a jean button-up with the sleeves rolled up. A pair of jeans or shorts. Grab a red bandana for your hair. Apply a bold red lip and some eyeliner to finish off the costume.

#2. Audrey Hepburn:

For this costume wear a black dress, black long gloves and a tiara. Make sure to put your hair up into a sleek bun and you will look simply elegant this Halloween.

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How to Overcome Feeling Homesick While at School

HomesickEveryone says that college will be the best four years of your life, which is true, but no one tells you about the hardships that come with it. College can be difficult. The workload is harder, you are forced to be more independent, and you’re away from home for the first time. 

When your older siblings, parents, and friends all tell you about how much you’ll love college, they all skip out on telling you that being away from home is a huge adjustment. But fortunately for us college students, homesickness, like many other sicknesses, is temporary. 

Initially, it is very tough to let go of your hometown, your childhood friends, your parents and everything you once knew. But eventually you will accept the fact that you are beginning a new, exciting chapter in your life. 

Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean your friends, family, and hometown are disappearing forever, it just means that there is a bit of distance between you and them now. But that distance will soon become second nature to you. 

Caitlin Smoler, a sophomore health students student, said, “At first it’s really scary being in such a new environment but once you get used to it, the experience of freedom is amazing.” Smoler got through her homesickness by embracing the independence that college allows you to have. In college, you get to start over. 

You get to make new friends and be the person you have always wanted to be but might have previously been afraid to be. 

You get to stay up however late you want and eat ice cream at any hour of the day, and quirky perks like those make college that much more enjoyable and that homesick feeling will slowly start to go away. 

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What Exactly is a Man Bun?

Man Bun 1Less then two years ago, if you were to hear that a guy was growing out a man bun, you would probably think it a little odd. Nowadays, it is a common trend for males. The man bun has skyrocketed in popularity since 2013 and become a regular hairstyle for men.  

So what is a man bun? A man bun is a type of long hairstyle that involves the tying of one’s hair into a single bun to be placed upon the crown of the head. A man bun is a very simple hairstyle that just requires the male to have long hair. The length of the hair is a big factor when deciding which type of man bun is desired—yes, there are different types. 

1. The Top Knot also known as “the Semi Bun”

The top knot man bun only uses the hair on the top of the head. The top knot does not use hair on the sides or back of the head. It’s also referred to as the semi bun because it only uses one third of the head’s hair, so the bun is smaller than the one that can be achieved with a full man bun. This type of man bun has also become quite popular as one can achieve a top knot in only a couple months of starting to grow out their hair. 

2. The Pineapple

Since the hair is tied on the center of the head, you don’t need as much hair length as with the a full man bun. Thus, you can tie a pineapple hairstyle with just a few months of growing out the hair (like a top knot), but also with longer hair so it is very versatile. 

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Benefits of Small Universities

Benefits Small UniversitiesIn life, we are faced with a myriad of pivotal life decisions. Deciding on where to attend college is certainly one of them. For the next four years, this place will be where you meet lifelong friends and grow into adulthood. 

Perhaps, the university’s proximity to your home, campus, class sizes, or majors offered were factors in your decision-making process. Many of us that chose Monmouth can agree that the class sizes, location, and beautiful campus attracted us to the small university. 

Of course, when we make a decision we sometimes wonder if would have been happy with the alternative. In our cases the alternative would be universities that are similar to Penn State, Rutgers, Ohio State and the list goes on. We all have a friend that attends one of these larger universities and boasts with school spirit causing you to become a little envious from time to time. But I assure you we are not missing out. 

Let’s start with the class sizes. At Monmouth, most classes cap at about 35 students compared to larger universities where there may be over 200 students in a lecture. Smaller classes allow you to engage in the lecture and actually show up to class. 

Nicole Gallagher, a sophomore psychology student shared her thoughts on lecture halls with me, “Honestly I would probably skip class a lot at a big school. Many professors take attendance at Monmouth reinforcing the importance of attending each and every class.” 

A small classroom environment allows professors to actually get to know their students and at the end of the semester, they will know you by your name and not as a number.

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Fall Makeup Trends

Fall MakeupFall is officially upon us and the colors of the leaves aren’t the only thing that’s changing this season, make up trends are making a transition as well. This fall we say good-bye to summers pink and nude palettes and swatch them in for warmer colors. 

Nicole Frame, adjunct professor for the communication department, explains how her make up changes this time of year “My bronzer and gold palettes go into hibernation for the fall, sadly. I love to pull in deep purples and browns this time of year.” Using Frame’s technique, browns and purples are a perfect way to recreate a fall edition of the smokey eye. 

E.L.F. has a 32-color palette ($7, for your smokey eye needs. For mascara, Frame recommends Trish McEvoy Mascara “ It stays put, no clumps, and peels off… yes, peels off! A must try.” After this make up shopping spree, check out ReadySetGlamour’s YouTube channel and click her video “Grunge Fall Makeup Tutorial: Fall Smokey Eye” it’s super easy and I recommend everyone checking it out.On top of eye shadows changing, so are the lip colors. It’s time to pack away your shimmery coral lip-glosses from summer and replace it with matte lipsticks. 

Dark matte lips are just as hot as your pumpkin spice lattes this season. For this look, I recommend trying NYX Cosmetic’s Soft Matte Lip Cream ($6, in colors Copenhagen, Cannes, and Transylvania. 

Jackie Burzo, a junior health studies student, is a huge fan of the dark look, “I love darker colored lipstick! My favorite is Dark Side by Mac.” Jackie also mentions how Mac is one of her favorite makeup brands along with TwoFaced, “They’re the only kind I use because I am very picky.”

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The Struggles of Being Gluten and Dairy Free in College

Struggles Gluten Dairy“Wanna go grab some pizza?” No I can’t. “Oh, then why don’t we go out for ice cream?” No I can’t. “Okay, Chinese food?” No I can’t. 

That brief dialogue sums up my life. Going out to eat with friends or even attending any get-togethers or events is always a hassle because I’m intolerant to both gluten and dairy. I’m well-known for taking my lightly salted Quaker’s rice cakes topped with all natural Skippy peanut butter everywhere I go, just in case there isn’t anything I’m able to eat. If you’re out and there’s no food for you, you just might starve.

Going out to a restaurant is a major step outside the comfort zone for gluten and dairy free folks as well, especially if it’s a restaurant you haven’t been to before. People with this allergy have to research the menu prior to getting there to ensure that they can cater to one’s dietary needs. 

The most awkward part is ordering food. Usually my order goes along the lines of “Can I have the caesar salad with no parmesan cheese, no croutons, and no dressing?” The waiter’s response is typically, “So you just want lettuce?”, and I reply, “Yes, just lettuce.” Then you have to make certain the waiter has fully understood you and has written down your order correctly. No one wants to be that aggressive customer that questions the waiter’s listening skills, but the gluten and dairy free population can’t take any risks. This whole process makes something that should be enjoyable, eating and socializing with friends and family, inconvenient and burdensome.

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On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas

Pink SmoothieEating healthy in college is a constant struggle, especially when the salads can top $11, but eating healthy and having time to eat breakfast is an even bigger struggle. “Healthy” truly is a lifestyle; you have to be committed. Now, I am no poster-child for eating healthy (I pretty much bathe in carbs), but I know how important eating a healthy breakfast is. 

Amanda Drennan, a junior communication student said “I have really early classes in the morning. With all of the work I am up doing in the late hours of the night I don’t get much sleep, so I try to get as much time of sleeping in the morning before my 8:30 classes,” she said. “Sometimes I am able to eat a quick something on the way to class, but I don’t have time for much else,” said Drennan. 

This sentiment of lack of time is a problem that I would say the majority of us have, but getting up an extra 10 minutes early to eat something could make all the difference. A super easy way to get that jolt of energy in the morning, without the coffee,  is to make smoothies!

Ally Afanador, a sophomore English student, said, “Smoothies are such a great way to get some of your daily vitamins and minerals. Ally’s usual go to recipe is: two types of frozen fruits, plain organic yogurt, skim milk, flax seed, handful of ice. Depending on the size of the blender and your preferences, the ratios of these ingredients will vary. Smoothies are something that are easy, quick, and healthy. Throw your smoothie in a travel cup and you’re good to go. Any kind of blended drinks or even instant breakfast drinks are a great way to get your fill of breakfast without having to take time in the kitchen. 

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How Healthy is That Third (or Fourth) Cup of Coffee?

CoffeeFor most college students, coffee is an absolute necessity.  Not only is it a tasty drink, but it also motivates us to get through the day knowing that at some point, we will get another caffeine fix. As much as college students thrive off multiple cups of coffee a day, when is our coffee addiction too much and unhealthy? 

Let’s face it; coffee is always there for us. It keeps us awake for those torturous 8:30 a.m. classes, it keeps us up after a three hour class ending at 9 p.m. when we have a paper due the next morning. It gives us an excuse to take a break from homework and go on a “coffee run,” or we can meet up with a friend and catch up on the latest gossip over a cup of coffee.  It almost seems as if coffee is the cure to everything.

“Coffee is what gets me through not just my day but my existence,” said Erin Lupo, a sophomore education and English student. “You can get a lot of different flavors and coffee just brightens my day,” said Lupo. 

There is always a brand of coffee one prefers over another and on most college campuses, it seems to be a fight over Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.

Here at the University, I think it is safe to say that we are on team Dunkin’, due to the fact there is now a Dunkin’ Donuts on campus. 

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Put the Phone Down!

You’re at a party and it strikes you as odd how most people are on their phones, rather than enjoying the company around them. This is a theme relevant not just to parties. You’re at a football game and you’ll notice people sitting on their phone checking Twitter instead of looking up and watching the game. 

Or, just walk into any restaurant and you’ll see people at a table with eyes glued to their phone, or better yet taking pictures of their food, rather than talking to whomever they may be sitting with. Some restaurants are even introducing tabletop pads from which you can access your social media from. 

It seems like today, everyone is more concerned with how their lives appear on social media rather than how they actually appear in person. In the last 15 years the cell phone has conquered the world.  It would be easy to make a list of 50 ways these phones have improved our lives but what about the detriments they have had on society? With a society that has become so superficial it is hard to see how the benefits outweigh the damage we are doing to ourselves.

Kyle O’Grady, a marketing alumna said, “I understand technology has its advantages, but we are being ruled by the technology rather than using it as a tool anymore.” “I have seen people at parties sit on their phones the entire night. Then the next morning they put up a picture saying what an amazing time they had,” said O’Grady.

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Are #SquadGoals Causing Harm to Today’s Generation?

Taylor SwiftAlmost every young person nowadays has an Instagram account. Often people will use catchy hashtage that catch on and is soon seen under every picture’s caption on Instagram’s popular page. 

Underneath the picture you’ll find one of the hastags being, #squadgoals, a saying that has taken over almost every social media platform.  Squad goals represents the want for physical perfection and celebrity status.  Young generations today are striving to create the perfect squad with the perfect look and perfect friends. 

Celebrities today are no strangers to squad goals and one of the most perfect examples is Taylor Swift.  The country singer turned popstar has a seemingly endless friend group full of the hottest stars and is growing in numbers every day.  From Victoria’s Secret models like Karlie Kloss, singers such as Lorde and even Law and Order: SVU’s own Mariska Hargitay are all a part of Swfit’s squad.  

No one seems to be able to escape the spell Swift has created and everyone is wishing to be a part of the elite.  Swift’s music video for her single “Bad Blood” seemed less about plot and more about how many of her famous friends she could fit into three minutes.  The beauty they have leaves the public striving to achieve the same thing.

These squad goals and celebrity friend groups seem harmless and fun but idolizing only the beauty and nothing else is actually pretty damaging.  

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Travel Bucket List

Whether it be taking a day trip to Pennsylvania, going on a week vacation to Florida, or even an overnight stay at Atlantic City, traveling is a passion for many people. I always love recommending new travel destinations to friends and family, but am also always looking for new places to visit. There are a few places I feel everyone should travel to at least once in their lifetimes. 

#1. San Diego, CA. 

From amusement parks, to beaches, to casinos, this city is definitely on my travel bucket list. Juliann Fiorentino, a senior communication student, went to San Diego over the summer and absolutely loved every second of it. “There’s an island an hour away called Coronado that is absolutely gorgeous,” Fiorentino said. She described it as a “small little beach town with tremendous history.” It is a relaxing vacation, but also very educational. Fiorentino took a tour of the island while visiting and she said she highly recommends this vacation to anyone. 

#2. Walt Disney World, Fl. 

For those of you who know me personally, you know about my passion for Disney. For those of you who don’t know me, I have been to WDW a number of times, and it never gets old. No matter your age, this is a place you must visit at least once. Disney is not just for families and children.

Downtown Disney, in the process of a name change to Disney Springs, is the perfect spot for adult nightlife. You can experience a movie at the AMC Movie Theatre, go bowling at the Splitsville, go dancing to live music, or enjoy a cocktail at one of the restaurants. 

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2015’s Hottest Fall Fashions

Fall FashionIt’s that time of year again. Classes have begun and our days spent at the beach are numbered. Luckily, for us they really aren’t. But we can no longer sport our favorite bikinis down by Pier Village. Fall is here and not only does that mean it time to order a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, but it means cozying up in all the fall essentials. For those that aren’t fashion fanatics, New York Fashion week usually occurs during the month of September each year. The designers’ collections set the tone for the season. Fall fashion for 2015 may give you some déjàvu. This season’s trends have drawn inspiration from a variety of trends and eras making it more adaptable for anyone’s personal style.  

Once the crisp fall air makes its way into our atmosphere, it definitely feels as though it is about time to start bundling up. Say farewell to the struggle of finding a stylish coat to keep you warm on chilly days. According to InStyle Magazine, capes are officially the new jackets. They come in a variety of shapes and prints making them the perfect match for anyone’s personality. If your goal is to look as though you just stepped off of the runway this fall, capes may be exactly what you are looking for to bring your wardrobe to the next level. 

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Worldwide Beer Festivals That Are Worth The Trip

Oktoberfest. The reigning king of all festivals. It began in 1810 but is this insanely long festival really what its made out to be? 

“Oktoberfest was amazing. The beer is served in large steins and comes out cold and refreshing,” said Kyle O’Grady, a recent MU graduate. “Oktoberfest makes everyone be in a good mood. You’ll see people dancing on tables to a combination of classic German and American songs. I would definitely look into going back.” O’Grady attended the festival while studying abroad in Italy.

So maybe it is all that its cracked up to be, but there are other festivals for the beer enthusiast that should be given more attention. 

WildBeers1.) Where the Wild Beers Are 

 Main speciality: craft beers. 

 This beer festival is unique in the sense that is in never in one location and tends to occur twice a year. Where the Wild Beers Are only features beers that are made from wild yeast. Most of the beers showcased at the event are hard to find in a commercial setting so this may be your only chance to taste these particular sour or farmhouse ales. This year, the fall festival will be held in Minneapolis, MN but the spring festival will be held in Brooklyn, NY.

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13 Things I Would Advise My Freshman Self

One’s freshman year of college could be a scary time. Everything is new- living on your own in a dorm, meeting new people, or commuting to school and trying to juggle a part-time job and school. College entails new responsibilities and it could seem overwhelming. Looking back on when I was a freshman, I wish I could tell myself things I didn’t know then, but only learned from experience. For this year’s freshmen, here some advice from a person who has been there, done there and felt that. 

1. You’re NOT in high school anymore—Duh, what am obvious one, right? In high school you have teachers babying you and letting you slide if you hand in a late assignment. They told you directly what they wanted you to do for each assignment. Well, it is not quite that easy anymore in college. 

Just because Monmouth has a smaller student to teacher ratio, doesn’t mean that every professor is going to be lenient because they know you better (not to say that some professors aren’t that way). Most professors will not accept late assignments, will not let you retake a test if you did poorly on it, and will not remind you of due dates. You are an adult now. No more babying by the teacher. 

2. Get involved—I am sure you have had this one drilled into your heads enough.  I can’t stress how important this one is. I did not do one campus activity my freshman year and sure, I was still extremely happy at Monmouth, but did I have any friends? Nope. Get involved in something you have an interest in. There are so many different fraternities/ sororities/clubs/sports/activities to get involved in on campus. 

Student Services Assistant, Janet Dustman says, “First off, getting involved allows students to become connected to their school. For freshmen that have just left their parents and friends at home, it helps them discover new friends with similar interests. Joining clubs or organizations that they are interested in allows them to discover their passions and strengths. I feel that this will follow them all through life.” 

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How Lucky I am To Have Something That Makes Saying Goodbye So Hard | Kelly Hughes' Senior Goodbye

1“You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

If you cannot already tell, there’s something you should know: I’m a very sappy person when it comes to change. Saying goodbye. Moving on. 

I’ve already cried in The Outlook office, and I’m sure more tears will be shed.  It’s hard for me to let go of these past four years at Monmouth, just as it was for me to let go of my high school years. Filled with nostalgia at what seems like yesterday writing my senior goodbye to my high school newspaper, the time has come again. But, how?

Without realizing it, I have transformed from an unknowing freshman who had no clue what I’d end up doing with my life to a senior who is finally confident in my professional skillset. I mean, that is what college was for, right?


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#Evolution #of #the #Hashtag

hashtag#Blessed, #FitFam, #Coachella2015, #TheAvengers, #JonandKimGetMarried. Hashtags. Once recognized as simply the pound button, hashtags have become second nature to social media users. 

We use them on a daily basis, but why? When going to send out a tweet, Facebook post, or any other social media update, many people without even thinking about it will put a pound sign in front of a phrase, place, or even just a word. 

When Brett O’Grady, a freshman marketing student, thought about why she uses hashtags on social media, she said, “I really have nothing to say about hashtags besides that I don’t really understand a thing about them, and to me they serve no purpose. They are probably very important to someone else, like a  person in a certain professional position, but not to me.”

Luckily though, putting in all that extra effort to add hashtags to your post is not for nothing. In 2010 computer scientist Alan Mislove of Northeastern University found that at any given time, just by analyzing tweets and hashtags, you can get a general sense of whether America is happy or sad on a particular day. 

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iPhone Introduces New Set of Diverse Emojis

Emojis diverseThe day has come when Apple released new emojis to the world. These new emojis have been speculated about, talked about and waited on for quite some time. Finally, the emojis have been released with the iOS 8.3 update. 

The most important part about the emojis is their diversification and customization. With almost every emoji, you can now change their ethnicity. This gives the option of personalizing the character, as well as giving representation to multiple cultures.

Not only that, but it gives identity to some races that are not always represented equally in American society. Since my first iPhone, I’ve wondered why not all types of people were depicted in the iPhone emojis. 

There has even been talk on social media about why there were not racially and culturally diverse emojis. There were some emojis that identified different cultures, but the standard emojis seemed to only be white. 

With the new iOS 8.3 update, users can download a new emoji keyboard where you can select the emoji you would like to use, hold it down and change the ethnicity of that emoji. Once you have used that emoji, it can save as a preference in your “frequently used” bar. 

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Jay Z’s Music Streamer Tidal: One for All or All for One?

tidalFor as long as humankind has existed, music has followed them. With music genres, songs and artists defining every era, culture and country, humans and music have, and always will be, connected. 

With the turn of the century, getting music to fans and making sure artists are rightfully compensated for their work has become a tricky balancing act. With the rising cost of just about everything, music has become something people take for granted as it is almost always free of cost. 

“I don’t feel bad [not paying for music] because accessing music [for free] is so common now it doesn’t seem wrong, it seems normal.” Rebecca Zidik, a senior communication student, and an average everyday music consumer, said.

We are the generation of sites like Napster, Limewire, and Pirate Bay, all sites that allow any person with a computer to download music for free. It is no wonder it seems common. Since we could understand the words to 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” we had been watching a consumer culture fighting against paying for music. 

Sites like Spotify and Pandora are also adding to the problem, because although people cannot download the music on these, they are accessing the music for free. 

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Living by the Beach? Then ‘Wave’ Hello to Health Benefits

beachMost people who don’t live by the ocean don’t get to experience its beauty and the beneficial health effects it can have on a person’s life, especially for us college students where stress is most people’s number one problem. With a long and very cold winter, exceptional beach weather is what people have been waiting for. 

On days like this past Saturday, where the high was 63 degrees, the sun was shining and beaming down warmth which invited everyone to the great outdoors. As much as the beautiful scenery and sound of the waves crashing down are all the reason to take a trip to the beach, there are more health benefits than fellow beach-goers may realize. 

A significant benefit of having a beach in your vicinity is that it serves as a stress reliever. The Daily Mail reports that negative ions found in the ocean balance levels of serotonin, a chemical in the body that is related to mood and stress levels.  

The sea calms people’s nerves and relaxes the muscles in the body. Living close to the beach improves people’s well being, which helps to promote an overall better state-of-mind on campus due to our proximity to the beach.  

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Body Chakras: A Guide to Positive Vibes

College is one of the most stressful times. Being in your twenties, figuring out what you want to do with your life, all while balancing a full class load, work, clubs, and a social life. It's easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the stress. Some people turn to something bigger than themselves, a type of spiritual path. Now, it's time to balance your body and mind, using an ancient Eastern wellness belief. Chakras are your seven energy centers; vibrations and colors within your body that help keep you balanced.

The seven Chakras are: crown, brow, throat, heart, solar plexus, spleen, and root. Each chakra influences a different part of the body, has its own color, and is in control of certain emotions. According to The Dr. Oz Show, these are the key to physical, mental and spiritual health.

1. Starting at the top of your body is the Crown Chakra, located at the top of your head. Its color is violet, and it brings out the emotions of bliss and spirituality. If you have an open crown Chakra, you possess wisdom, inspiration, charisma, and a higher self.

2. The Brow Chakra is located at the forehead, and is the color indigo. Imagination and intuition are typical emotions of this Chakra. Memory, fearlessness, understanding, and perception are all associated with the brow.

3. Next, the Throat Chakra, which is blue, is known for expansion and healing. Individuals with an open throat Chakra are known to communicate their thoughts very well, partake in creative expression, are trusting, and wise.

4. The Heart Chakra is located at the center of the chest and symbolizes the color green. It brings out emotions of balance and love. It has functions such as relationships, acceptance of others, compassion, harmony, and peace.

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Is there Still Room for Creativity in the College Classroom?

crayola experience paThis past weekend I went to the Crayola Experience, in Easton, PA, with my little cousin Amanda. Walking around the incredible building all I saw were bright colors and tons of innovative arts and crafts for kids to do. 

While Amanda was making her very own crayons, including one named “Daddy” for her number one supporter, my Uncle Justin, I realized that I don’t get to do these fun things anymore. I don’t have a use for crayons, clay or multicolored markers now. 

Why is it that once students start their college career, they stop utilizing our creative and expressive outlets? I’m talking about drawing, photography, painting, and the like. Some of these hands-on learning methods, drawing in particular, are extremely useful in difficult courses such as math and science. 

Drawing assignments out can be a useful tool in logical courses. Whereas using paint and photography are useful in classes such as history and geography, visual comprehension is important in many courses. Aside from art majors, Monmouth requires three credits in an aesthetic course for other majors. It would be beneficial to see creative projects or any type of creative freedom incorporated into other more intense, non-intro, courses.

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Long Distance Relationships: Worth the Wait

In a world of seven billion people, what makes being committed to one person worth forgoing every other option out there?

Maybe it’s the shared pint of Ben & Jerry’s on a Friday night in, or going to a bar and knowing you have someone to go home with. Maybe it’s a hug after a long, hard day or maybe it is just the fact that you always have your best friend there to be down for whatever. 

So what makes it worth it, if you take all that away?

Today many people now find themselves in long distance relationships, whether it be military-related, job-related, or school-related. Couples are not looking to ask the other to sacrifice what they want out of life. Instead they are working hard to support each other to succeed. Even if that support has to come from half way across the country. 

It is often said that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but that doesn’t mean it makes it any easier. 

Relationships are hard. There is no way to sugar coat it. There are elements in a relationship that have to constantly be attended to and a pathway of open communication that must always be walked down together.  Adding a couple hundred miles into that mix does not help. 

Louise Moss, a senior psychology major, was in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend for two years, and recently they have had to revert back to long distance due to her boyfriend’s job relocation. 

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Nine Days of Service for ‘Salud Y Paz’ in Guatemala

This spring break, myself and four other Monmouth students travelled to Guatemala as volunteers for an organization called Salud y Paz. The project consisted of teaching Guatemalan’s studying to become community health care workers, about health and helping to build a clinic.  

Guatemala is a country known for its outstanding culture, traditions and exotic environment. Therefore, in order to achieve both tasks assigned during this trip we had to first read and research about Guatemala. 

The five of us attended a class called HE-398, Guatemala Public Health, which met once a week with Faculty Director of Study Abroad, Dr. Christopher Hirschler, to discuss several articles we had read about Guatemala´s health care system, the needs within the country, the divisions of society, violence, history and the current situation. 

All of this was fundamental in helping us understand all that we were going to experience. In addition the readings helped us empathize with the Guatemalans we would work with. This trip wasn´t about us, it was about the people who were in need of opportunities that would help them escape or overcome the extreme poverty they lived in.

An important aspect of this experience was the language. I am lucky to be fluent in Spanish. Even though it is not a requirement for the course it is recommended. Being able to socialize with the Guatemalans we worked with added richness to my experience. Being bilingual opens a large range of opportunities for travelling, learning and providing you with different perspectives of what is considered normal or common. 

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Unprotected Sex: Are Students Still Not Being Safe?

NikitaSex. Mostly everybody’s doing it, but is anyone really talking about it? No, I don’t mean post-sex details in the locker room or gossiping in class. I’m talking about having that necessary conversation before sex takes place. 

While students should confirm that sex is mutually consensual first and foremost, “safe sex” is another pressing matter to be addressed. Assuring beforehand that sex will be protected seems to be a taboo conversation for college students, yet they are still jumping into bed together. 

A spring 2014 survey conducted by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) questioned 66, 9887 undergraduates from 140 colleges and universities in the United States. The findings include: 

1) 17.3 percent of students have had at least three or more partners in the past 12 months. 

2) 17.9 percent of students cited that they “never or rarely” used a condom in the past 30 days.

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What to Wear to ‘Spring’ into this Season’s Fashion

fashion colorSnow may still be covering parts of the ground, but do not be fooled, warm weather will be here before you can say Winter Storm Juno. Since outdoor activities are still taking a back seat to staying in a warm heated house, what better way to keep your mind off the cold weather than shopping in preparation for those hot summer nights. 

2015 spring fashion season has brought on some bold trends that are sure to spice up your wardrobe. Whereas the past few spring seasons have seen the same floral trends and different pastel colors, this spring offers a breath of fresh, and warm, air. So put on that parka one last time and bear the cold in search of outfits that will keep you looking cool all season long

Fashionistas all around are breathing a sigh of relief with the trends this season. Brett O’Grady, a freshman business major, said, “I have to stay far away from malls right now. Everything in the stores looks so new and unique, I want to buy all the trends and add them into my style.”

One of the biggest trends this year is the reimagined shirtdress. Although a staple in many women’s closets, this year the trend comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. With different waists, longer and shorter hemlines, some even donning high or low slits, it is up to you to find which one matches your style. 

It’s a perfect dress too that goes from the office to happy hour. Krystal Wilson, a senior finance major, said, “I love this trend because it will be a perfect staple to add into my growing work wardrobe. It is comfortable and versatile.”

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Vegetarianism: More than what ‘Meats’ the Eye

eat more plants.jpg colorMany times when you ask a vegetarian why they decided to make this life change, their answer might be “I don’t want to eat animals,” or “I want to try and save the cows, chickens, and pigs”, but there are many reasons to becoming a vegetarian than just saving animals. 

Mary Harris, a specialist professor of communication and a vegan, said, “There are different types of vegetarianism ranging from lacto-ovo vegetarian to vegan or raw vegan. People choose to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for a variety of different reasons including but not limited to personal health, disease prevention, healing health ailments, environmental concerns, cost efficiency, because they don’t want to harm or eat animals, etc.” 

As Harris suggested, there are people out there that choose to become a vegetarian more for health reasons. It’s not all about saving the animals, it’s about what their bodies can handle. This may surprise you, but there are people out there that simply cannot digest meat. 

For some, every time they eat a hamburger or ingest a chicken sandwich, they bring it back up. People who have this problem have no choice but to leave meat out of their diet. There are some people who actually wish they could eat meat, but become vegetarians because their bodies do not allow them to enjoy pork roll or cheeseburgers.

Brianna Graham, a junior communication major, is not a vegetarian but has a co-worker who is one at the deli they are employed at. 

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In“green”dients to Incorporate into St. Patrick’s Day Dishes

shamrock 296458 640Even if you are not Irish, you most likely celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to either drink a lot of beer or munch on a ton of different green foods. Holidays don’t always have to be unhealthy though. There are a ton of foods out there that can be festive as well as healthy. This year, celebrate St. Patty’s Day by impressing your friends and family by whipping up some dishes that contain healthy green ingredients. According to Self Nutrition Data, the following green foods contain vitamins and nutrients that you can  make use of this Irish holiday.

#1. Avocados. You can do a lot with avocados. They make for a great add to salads, salsas, dressings, sauces, and of course, guacamole! Avocados provide close to 20 essential nutrients and although they contain a lot of fat, it is monounsaturated fat, also know as “the good fat.” Cindy Coffey, a history graduate student, said, “I love to use avocadoes in salads and to make homemade guacamole. It also makes a great topping for burgers.” Avocadoes make for a great green and healthy snack for your St. Patty’s party.

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California Here You Come: Los Angeles

La colorLos Angeles86/: the city of angels. For those who live in a bubble, LA is a major city located in the southern California region. Being considered one of the two fashion capitals of the US, aside from New York City, LA is home to countless celebrities, movie sets, and is a major tourist destination that attracts people from all over the world.  LA has a little bit of everything for everyone.

For those who are visiting LA and want to take advantage of the beautiful weather, check out Santa Monica beach and pier. Robert Scott, a specialist professor of communication who lived part of his life in Beachwood Canyon in LA, raved about how great LA’s weather is. “The weather is so consistently comfortable there that many of the social activities take place outdoors.” 

According to US News and Travel, the Santa Monica pier is just west of downtown LA and is a very walk-able part of town. Santa Monica contains one of the most legendary beach scenes in the US and boasts an abundance of great restaurants and excellent nightlife spots. For those traveling with young children or want to bring out their inner child, one of the most popular aspects of this beach is its famous pier, which is not only free entry but it features the coastal thrill rides of Pacific Park and lively street performances. 

“If people are visiting LA and will only be there for a short while, I usually recommend visiting the Santa Monica Pier followed by some shopping and dining on the Third Street Promenade since the two are only a few blocks from each other,” said Scott. 

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Roadtripping the USA

Great American song writer and singer, Willie Nelson, once sang, “On the road again,

goin’ places that I’ve never been, seein’ things that I may never see again.” He glorified what may be one of the greatest experiences you could ever have in your life, the great American road trip. There is no need to travel too far, five or 10 hours gets you pretty far outside this wintery wonderland we’ve gotten used to. If you have no plans yet for Spring Break you are not too late. Putting together a last minute road trip is easy and very budget friendly especially with the recent drop in gas prices. So what are you waiting for? Grab your best friends and a map and get going.

Mike Kulik, a senior political science student, recalls his spring break road trip two years ago. He said, “Road trips are hands down the most fun way to travel. The trip becomes more about the adventure and less about the destination. It’s all about the moment and the people you are with. It’s about everything and nothing all at the same time.” 

Road trips are unique in that they allow you to see so much. Taking a plane or train you zoom past all the middle, not stopping at local land marks, never once stopping and meeting a person from small town USA. Road trips let you live in the moment, you are not sitting on a plane waiting to get to a destination, you are living through every mile. 

Brianna Freno, a senior psychology student, said, “I’m most excited for actually seeing a new part of the country, places I wouldn’t necessarily make my ending destination.”

To start this epic adventure you are going to have to pick a destination. Open up a map and start thinking. So many cities sit closer than you think. Decide how long you want to travel and don’t be scared to take a longer trip and stop over night somewhere. It’s all part of the glory that is a road trip. Nashville, TN; Daytona Beach, FL; or Atlanta, GA, all sit a mere 14 hours away. Washington DC holds history and a great nightlife scene only four hours away. Both Carolinas are no more than 10 hours away and filled with unique quaint little cities. And if you want to go a little further, Pensacola, FL or New Orleans, LA are 20 hours away. 

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Xpire App Allows Users to Self-Destruct Social Media Posts

phoneSome students have been told since high school: “Clean up your Facebook,” “Watch what you say online,” or, “Don’t post something you wouldn’t want the colleges of your choice to see.” Now that these students have made it to the University (perhaps by changing Facebook names, jacking up privacy settings and hiding photos) it’s been a series of: “Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a future employer to see.”

Most students have become aware that if online profiles aren’t treated with dignity it could have negative consequences; however, many have been utilizing social media since high school, maybe even middle school, and haven’t been quite so conscious of their postings. According to many students, it can be quite a bother to go through and clean up your pages, nonetheless even know where to begin. Luckily for young professionals everywhere, the new app, Xpire, is here to help ease the fear of student’s online presence haunting them down the road.

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Spring Break on a Budget: Being Smart about Saving and Spending

Spring break is swiftly approaching. Tropical beaches, foreign cities and unexplored lands are at the front of everyone’s mind. And while scouring through blogs and articles about the best things to do at you intended destination is the fun part of travel, budgeting is the part a lot of us tend to overlook. It’s easy to make a list of all the best attractions in your destination. What’s not easy is knowing how much you are going to spend. 

Rachel Fox, a senior P-3 elementary education major with an endorsement in special education, is going to Cancun this spring break. She said, “I don’t know the first thing about how to budget for spring break. Where do I even begin?!” 

Luckily budgeting for a week is not as hard as it seems. With a few simple tips and tricks you will be able to know exactly how to not be penniless by day two. 

Before embarking on vacation, the weeks leading up to break is a good time to save and earn some extra cash while you can. Picking up a few extra shifts at work may be killing you right now, but when you have the extra money to buy a few more souvenirs, you will be that much happier you did. 

If you don’t have a job, look for people hiring for a day, ask friends and family if they need any jobs done and want to throw a few dollars your way. Your mom has been meaning to clean the garage for months now; ask her if it’d be ok for you to do it if she gives you a couple bucks. Or ask the young parents up the street if they need a babysitter one weekend. Being able to buy that fancy dinner one night will be worth it. 

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Read More Books, Because Science Said So

Books colorJohn Green. Nicholas Sparks. George R.R. Martin. J.K Rowling. These are just a few authors that have published brilliant pieces in the world of novels. Authors such as these ones have created elaborate escapes for readers everywhere. Unfortunately, many of these interpretive realms are not experienced as much as they could be. 

Reading a good book is a forgotten treasure, especially for students juggling work, class, and internships. In between required textbooks readings and homework, it is rare for college students to sit down and immerse themselves in a good read. Nowadays, so many books are being turned into movies too, so young people do not feel the need to read the story if they can visualize it through a film.

Chelsea Sebastian, a senior English education major with an endorsement in special education, finds time to read. Sebastian said, “I love reading for pleasure because it lets me escape the craziness of being a college student. It becomes difficult to read for pleasure when I have so many assigned readings, but it’s important because it gives me a chance to choose a book I really want to read and get lost in it.”

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Try These: Alternatives to Drinking Coffee and Staying Awake in Class

coffeeWe have each had to pull all-nighters, cramming for that exam the next day, or writing a paper that was due in the morning, but then we suffer by trying to stay awake in class. Many of us resort to coffee. Americans’ dependence on caffeine to get through the morning has become almost a joke. Instagram and Facebook blow up with constant photos of people holding their Starbucks cup, and Twitter’s trending hashtags almost always consist of “#coffeeaddict,” but we all know coffee isn’t the greatest thing to consume, so what do we do? 

Coffee addiction is a serious thing and although it can be a very controversial topic, we can all agree on the fact that Americans rely way too much on caffeine. There are several different ways to stay awake without caffeine. 

#1. Stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water next to you at all times. Hydration is very important and is the key to staying awake. Julie Chenoweth, a junior health studies major, said, “Maybe not drink coffee, but drink tea instead since it’s healthier for you. Or drink ice cold water and even Gatorade.” Drinking plenty of water is sure to help keep your eyes open during class after that all-nighter you just pulled.

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Hello, Goodbye: The Demise of Handwritten Notes

Handwritten NoteRecently, a story aired on CBS New York about an elderly couple who saved thousands of handwritten notes for Valentine’s Day. The couple had their love notes organized by date and year in containers, making it easy for the two to look back on their love, year after year. 

Everyday, since 1974, when Bill and Kris Bresnan met, the two have written each other handwritten letters, accumulating 10,000 letters over time, a lasting documentation of their 40-year love story.

Seeing this story had third parties thinking, at what point in time did handwritten notes cease to exist? Is it a generational gap? 

Maybe these notes still exist ,but are rare in the digital age of e-mail, texts and even typed letters. Think back to the last time you received a handwritten note or card from someone that wasn’t your mom, dad, or grandparents. It was probably in elementary school. 

By the time we became middle school students, the question “What’s your screen name?” was taking the hallways by storm, and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) took over our after school lives. After the instant messaging phenomenon wore out, we all had cell phones and began texting. Somewhere between texting slang and disdain for face-to-face conversation, the long time tradition of sending handwritten notes got lost in translation. 

“I don’t think I’ve gotten a handwritten note since I was in fourth grade. At least within the past 10 years any letter I’ve received, if that, has been typed,” said Alli Ganim, a freshman social work student.

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Forget if You’re Overworked, Underpaid: The Perks of a Part-Time Job

lifestyles starbucksCollege: Arguably the four most critical years of developing into who you are. You learn a lot of things in college, like how to balance equations, how to properly use MLA format, or how to write press releases. 

Depending on your major, your expertise varies upon commencement, but what doesn’t vary from major to major is the valuable life lessons picked up in those four years. 

Although it may seem like a burden at times and maybe not worth the money, having a part-time job while attending college can be beneficial in multiple ways for personal development. 

In a study conducted by Seventeen Magazine and Citigroup, nearly four out of every five college students works an average of 19 hours per week. Many students are taking advantage of the real world experience and life lessons gained in real working environments before even graduating. 

One of the most obvious  benefits from working a part-time job is the money earned. There will always be a satisfaction in making one’s own money and spending it however they feel. 

Thomas Aiello, a senior accounting student and waiter at The Mill at Spring Lake, said, “It all comes down to financial stability, to be able to go out and have a good time. I know so many friends who always are worried about spending money, having a job leaves my life free of financial stress.”

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Seasonal Affective Disorder Gets to the Bottom of the Winter Blues

You make the cold long walk to class, constantly bundling up with  infinity scarves and boots and realize that it’s that time of year again. It’s the middle of winter and all of a sudden Netflix and your warm bed are calling your name.

 You don’t want to go outside unless you absolutely have to. Why would you? That miserable few steps from your front door to the car, or from your dorm to class, trekking through snow, are the last thing on your mind. You ask yourself why you feel this pull to stay in your warm room. 

Maybe it is because your nose and ears are frozen any time you step outside. And then it definitely doesn’t help that your nose instantly drips from the bitter cold. Or could it be that when you look out the window at 5 pm, it really seems more like 8 pm? Whatever it is, you just want winter to end.

Some believe that the answer to these instances can simply be defined as “The Winter Blues.”  It’s the time of year where people have said that they feel like they’re in a “funk,” or seem as if they don’t feel as happy they normally could. 

Even though the “Winter Blues” may feel like a myth, there is something comparable to it called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). lists SAD as a “mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light.” 

SAD affects half a million people every winter between September and April, peaking in December, January, and February. The “Winter Blues,” a mild form of SAD, may affect even more people. 

Dr. Lisa Dinella, an associate psychology professor,  said,  “Although sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, SAD in its clinical form is different than just feeling a little out of sorts because of the cold weather. It is an actual subtype of a major depressive disorder.” 

Dinella continued, “SAD is a clinical diagnosis, used to identify individuals who experience depression that is linked to the changing of the seasons. It is most commonly experienced during the fall and winter months, and, although the field does not completely understand the mechanisms of SAD, research has linked it to changes in melatonin, serotonin and internal sleeping cycles, all of which may be linked to less sunlight during the fall/winter months.”

When asked about a change in moods during the winter months, Jamie Iannuzzi, a junior communication student, said, “I somewhat believe in the ‘Winter Blues’ because there’s not as much to do outside. I’m a very outdoorsy person and the temperature outside affects my day to day activities, even working out. I love to go for long runs, especially on the beach. In the winter it’s way too cold to run outside so I run on a treadmill.”

Getting out of the house and doing different activities may help combat cabin fever and this change in mood. 

Iannuzzi also said, “Life is what you make it. My housemates and I make conscious efforts to be outside as much as possible. There are still fun things you can do when it’s cold outside, like going skiing or tubing. I think it’s fair to say that the ‘Winter Blues’ exist, but how you handle it is up to you.”

Iannuzzi said there are ways to embrace this change of weather. Once the winter months come, the outdoors may seem dreadful but you can replace some of your outdoor activities with others. Ice skating, snowboarding, skiing and tubing are all outdoor activities that can help you get exercise and enjoy these winter months. 

Allie Phillips, a senior communication student, has seen a change in her mood because of the weather and has come up with her own way of combating her mood change. 

“I hate the snow so much, as soon as I step outside I’m instantly irritated because it’s cold and windy. I like to be comfortable so I stay inside and watch movies or something,” Phillips said. 

Phillips is a Resident Assistant (RA) on campus and is currently setting up a billboard in her hallway about the Winter Blues for her residents to learn about. 

Although Iannuzzi and Phillips have recommended ways to combat their winter changes, SAD is a depressive disorder that can be more intense than just the Winter Blues. 

Lindsey Pieschl, a senior psychology major, said, “Basically what happens is that the change in seasons brings a change in the amount of daylight we have. Because we receive less natural light to our brains some people start to produce an excess of the hormone melatonin. This can cause feelings of depression or the ‘winter blues.’ If you know anyone who has been diagnosed with this disorder, you can see the changes start to come along with the seasons changing. It can be really challenging to try to push through.”

Dinella said, “Young women with a family history of depression or SAD specifically may be at increased risk for SAD.”

So if you are feeling an overwhelming sadness because of the transition into dreary weather, fear not: you are not alone. According to ABC News, SAD will affect somewhere around five to ten percent of the population.  

“SAD is treatable. Some people find great help from increased exercise, light therapy, seeing a therapist regularly and some medication, or a combination of all of these. Making an appointment to see a therapist (we have great ones here at Monmouth University) is a great first step for individuals feeling symptoms of depression,” Dinella continued.

Other remedies for SAD actually include food. No, we’re not talking about “eating your feelings.” Nor are we talking about being snowed in and binging on junk food all day on your couch. 

Yes, there are actually legitimate foods that have the ability to fight off the winter blues (in a healthy way) and keep your energy levels high. The College section of USA Today recommends seven foods. These blues-beaters include: salmon, berries, milk, dark chocolate, bananas, oranges and nuts. Each provides a vitamin or nutrient that can ward off SAD.

First, salmon is high in omega-3s which helps to reduce depression. Berries limit the release of cortisol, which is a hormone that regulates stress. Milk has Vitamin D, just as sunlight does, which improves mood. Eating dark chocolate results in the body making phenylalanine, and an increase in the level of dopamine in the brain which blocks pain. Choose a higher cocoa percentage for this to be true. Because of the magnesium in bananas and nuts, they are a great source to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. The Vitamin C in oranges can also lower anxiety risks and provide immunity to sicknesses.

While the cold will remain for a bit longer, the blues do not have to. You just have to understand how to stay positive in the winter.

As Dr. Dinella noted, the University’s Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, located on the third floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC), is open on weekdays for any student experiencing SAD or any other psychological issues.

SnapChat Makes a Savvy Business Call by Creating “Discover”

DiscoverHas SnapChat looked different in the past couple weeks? Swipe your finger to the right twice and scroll past your stories. You’ll find an unfamiliar screen with popular logos of big time companies like National Geographic, Food Network, People and ESPN. Since 2011, SnapChat has been making waves through generations alike, from tweens to young adults. 

The first noticeable change of the app came in the form of “My Story,” which allows for a 24-hour collection of snapchats that sends to all of your friends.  Forbes states that in 2013, the app first collaborated with live events by sharing snaps based on location that can be viewed by users globally.

The latest transformation of stories has led the app into a number of business partnerships with various media companies. SnapChat has launched “Discover” as a way to promote what companies are doing via a feed of live videos and photos. The app creators insist that it is a way to engage viewers while giving editors and professionals a chance to display their artistic creativity.

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Students Seeking Cheap Travel: Test the Waters with These Choices

italiaTravel has become a dream for many young people; however, budgeting international voyages or vacations can be difficult due to insufficient finances. 

You might be looking to travel the world and expand your horizons but not break the bank. With student loans and other debts weighing over your head, it may seem like becoming a globetrotter is nearly impossible. Believe it or not, there are opportunities waiting for you. 

It is not just fun and games, though; Forbes compiled experiences you can gain from working or traveling abroad which include: becoming adaptable, learning to be bilingual, accessing a global network, and gaining experiences to take on higher-level positions in the workforce. 

Dr. Gregory Bordelon, a lecturer of political science, lived and worked in Paris, France after graduating from Louisiana State University Law. 

He said, “After a couple of weeks, it clicked [living abroad] and I was able to get by for the most part.” Bordelon also encouraged students “to appreciate and respect both perception and cultural nuance and not come at any ‘differences’ from an American-centric perspective.” Remembering that everything is an experience and should be enriching and valuable helps further the ideas of going overseas. 

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No Boyfriend? No Problem. Invisible Lover App Launches

textCollege is finally the appropriate age where students are actually expected to snag a serious partner. Going home for holiday breaks equals relatives asking questions about your dating life. Societal pressure often leads to our generation dramatizing the rush of relationships.  How many times have you said to friends: (or saw and rolled your eyes on Twitter,” “It’s cuffing season. “ “Where’s bae?” or “I’m going to be a cat lady.”

Of course, the idea of dating, settling down with someone and marriage has been a common ideal throughout history. It is actually more accepted nowadays to put a career ahead of marriage. 

However, something about our age group that also sets this particular societal need apart from other generations is the access to different avenues that can develop relationships.

For one, apps like Tinder have surely changed the dating game. It certainly can be argued that online dating and dating apps have made it easier for people to find a significant other.  

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New Year, New You: How to Achieve and Keep That 2015 Figure

2015New year, new me. Another year has started once again, and with another year comes a vow from so many to make this the year they reach their fitness goals. Vowing to get in shape is a lot easier said than done. Luckily, there are tips and tricks to keeping on these fitness plans until goals are met, or at least before that big spring break vacation hits! 

The most important part of a fitness and diet is to ease into things, Rome was not built in a day and you can’t just change over night. Start out slow, start with a goal of going to the gym three times a week, the next week increase it to four. Same goes for a diet, allow yourself one meal that isn’t in your diet plan a day, then limit it to only five a week, before you know it you will be craving veggies over the sweets and fried food. 

Although you may want results to happen over night they are not going to. Even the fittest people in the world took time to become that way. 

Brier Hawkins, a sophomore accounting major, works very hard to stay fit. “The best way to stay on track is to know each fitness goal takes time. So don’t be discouraged if the results aren’t visible right away,” Hawkins said. advises people to make a long list of all the reasons you want to get in shape and change to a healthier lifestyle. Read this list every morning when you wake up and you are already on the right track to a healthier day. 

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Tis’ The Season For Giving: Holiday Gift Guide For Everybody

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s getting colder, nights are cozier. There is cheer and joy spreading everywhere, and bright red and greens spread holiday cheer everywhere.

As you soak all this joy in you pause in horror and remember this isn’t just the season of cheer, but more importantly, it is the season of giving.

With long lists of loved ones that you cannot forget, the task of finding the right gifts for everyone is daunting. It is always so rewarding when you see the happiness on people’s faces from a gift that just fits them perfectly.

To help you out this holiday season, here is a list of possible presents to make the next few weeks of shopping a little bit easier.

When Dylan DeJohn, a sophomore business major, was asked what he would be getting for his girlfriend this holiday, he said, “I will let you know about that in three weeks.”

Significant others can always prove to be some of the hardest gifts to come up with. To help all the guys and girls out there here are some gift ideas that are sure to wow your partner.

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Go Out of 2014 With a Bang Before You Bring in the New Year

Everyone deserves a chance to enjoy themselves once in awhile; an opportunity to pamper yourself, try something new, re-invent yourself, make a resolution or set a goal.

What better time to do that than right before a new year begins? As 2014 winds down and the calendar turns its page and 2015 descends upon us, now is the time to go out with a bang.

It is no secret that for college students, the end of the year is also the end of the semester. Understandably, the stress of finals, grades, winter break back at home with the family and even possibly graduation sometimes looms over your heads and weighs heavy on your minds.

Jonathan Murray, 2014 alumnus, recalls this end-of-the-semester stress, “Having multiple exams the same day, then having no exams until the very last day … always bothered me.” Problems like this are a common plight that many college students can identify with particularly during finals week and in the last couple weeks of the semester.

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“Tea-Toxing” is The Latest Diet Trend, but Does it Really Work?

The new dieting trend is in: tea detoxing, otherwise known as “tea-toxing.” Individuals are flushing out their bodies and starting fresh by detoxing their body, consuming herbal teas paired with a healthy diet. The purpose? To promote digestion and healthy living.

The use of herbal supplements to rid the body of bad toxins is considered a detox. In order for this to be successful, one must supplement an already healthy and balanced diet with a tea that is high in antioxidants and formulated to aid the organs in improved function. The brand Skinny Tea’s website states that it seeks to encourage customers to meet goals and change lifestyles.  Detox teas promote digestion by cleansing the body to eliminate waste.

“I tried it [a tea detox] because I had a busy schedule which led to bad eating habits. I wanted to clean out my system, and now I can’t stop drinking green tea,” said Tara Cirincione, a senior communication major.

MateFit is a popular tea supplement brand that has recently been in the public eye. According to MateFit’s website, the use of tea detox products has the potential to increase metabolism, increase fat burning and energy synthesis, regulate sugar cravings, improve the ratio of good cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, improve digestion function, and possibly improve your sense of well-being. Not only is tea detoxing beneficial to the body, it aids in weight loss.

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Run, Run, Run: All The Right Reasons to Get Up and Go Right Now

It’s an adrenaline rush that brings about a natural high, and for a moment in time it allows you to forget all of your worries and stress. No, I’m not talking about marijuana or molly; I’m talking about running. If you haven’t experienced the joys of running, you are not only missing out on the numerous health benefits, but a feeling of ecstasy that is incomparable.

Running is much more than putting on a pair of Nike’s and heading over to the treadmill or outside around your neighborhood. Running begins even before track shorts and sneakers.

You can’t just expect to run effortlessly without drinking water or eating a well balanced meal beforehand. Granted, everyone has his or her own preferences about whether to eat or not before a run. However, it is most beneficial to eat a small, carb-loaded meal an hour before-hand.

In other cases, eating the night before is equally as important as the morning of a long run. Running actually encourages increased carbohydrate consumption because it allows for better running performance and also a happier mood.

According to fitness magazine, Runner’s World, eating carbohydrates the night before or the morning of a race is beneficial because they are stored as glycogen in your muscles. When you run, your body burns off the fats stored. Therefore, the more carbs you eat, the more energy you have to prolong a run.

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Craft Brews to Try Before They ‘Fall’ Out of Season

Dogfish-Punkin-2014So many times when we think of beer, we forget all the time and effort that is put into crafting a perfect brew. Beer is an artful crafting of different hops, malt and yeast. Craft beers that differ by season have become trendy. Here are some of the best brews of the fall.

Each season specializes in a type of beer. Summer is a time of pale ales and citrus notes. Summer ales are refreshing after being in the sun all day long. Fall beers tend to be darker and warmer. Fall is home to pumpkin flavored brews, darker ales, and best of all, fresh hops. Autumn is harvest season for hops so these brews only come out once a year while the hops are still fresh.

Matt Harmon, a communication instructor, said, "Craft beers are exploding right now. There are people that love to experiment and check out the different beers the industry is offering right now. Culture is becoming larger by the day because customers are learning that they can really find something that fits their taste and enjoy having a beer now more than ever."

For those of the legal drinking age, to enjoy these craft beers it is important to know how to correctly taste a beer. It is easy to assume all beers the same unless they say there is an added flavor twist but that is not the case. Every type has its own unique color, scent and taste.

When smelling a beer you are looking for notes of malt, hops and yeast in the beer. Malt aromas in a lager smell more like grains and corn while stouts tend to have more dark roasted coffee or dark chocolate accents. Hops give fall beers that citrusy, floral or grassy smell/ Yeast smells fruity or sulfurous.

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Tips to Stay Away from Turkey Day Stress

The start of the holiday season is always the most stressful and chaotic time of the year. We are supposed to have fun, make memories, and enjoy the time with family, not worry and stress the entire time. There are different tips to keep in mind when trying to have a stress free Thanksgiving.

Tip #1: Plan ahead. Brianna Graham, a junior communication major, said, "To have a stress free Thanksgiving, you need to be prepared ahead of time. This holiday is about coming together with loved ones, so why not all pitch in and show what dish you can make?"

Prepare ingredients ahead of time and then cook in the kitchen together as a family. This will deter stress so you are not trying to prepare an entire meal by yourself. You and family can spend time together in the kitchen while you all pitch in.

Plus, desserts and side dishes can be made a day or two ahead of time. This helps you not have as much on your plate when the big day comes. Stuffing, cranberry sauce, brownies, cakes, etc. can be made ahead of time and stored on the counter in containers or in the refrigerator until Thanksgiving Day. Not only will preparing certain menu items ahead of time cut stress down the day of, but it will force you to go to the food store early, before the crowds.

Tip #2: Thaw the turkey ahead of time. Don't wait until last minute to thaw the turkey, especially if you have a big bird. Thawing the turkey last minute can throw off your whole day. The best way to defrost a turkey is in the refrigerator, even though this takes a little longer. Another way is to submerge the turkey in cold water, which tends to speed the process. We all want to have that perfect turkey turkey which can cause stress to this holiday, but if you remember to thaw the turkey ahead of time, you won't have a problem.

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Gen-Y: Can We Really be Considered the Blackout Generation?

We are referred to as the Millennials, and even Generation Y. Now people are beginning to refer to us as something not so positive: The Blackout Generation. Blackout Generation is classified as college aged students who try to get drunk as fast as possible. This longing to be drunk quickly resulting in quickly consuming alcohol, is also known as binge drinking. Being a college student, this is seen as being normal. In actuality, we know it is not safe and poses harm to our bodies.

Binge drinking is not something that only college aged students take part in. However, the regular binge drinking done by young people our age is the reason we are known as the Blackout Generation.

Substance Awareness Coordinator for Health Services, Suanne Schaad, described her thoughts on binge drinking. "We know that all negative consequences from binge drinking are results of binge drinking. The definition of binge drinking is when drink more than five drinks and women drink more than four drinks. These consequences include sexual assaults, accidents, overdoses, and low GPAs. The blackout generation simply describes the generation of wanting to get drunk fast with this sole intent in mind. This problem is not just at Monmouth University, but with all colleges and universities." Schaad said.

The term "blacking out" has becoming a common term and definition among college aged students. This term, and activity, is present on all college campuses around the country. Like Schaad stated, this activity is not just present at Monmouth University. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alchoholism identified problems that go along with college drinking. The institute's website said, "College drinking is extremely widespread. About four out of five college students drink. About half of college students who drink, also consume alcohol through binge drinking. Each year, drinking affects college students, as well as college communities and families."

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Yoga: The Pathway to Wellness

yogaHave you ever considered trying yoga? Well if you haven't already, you should because the practice itself has numerous health benefits and it's enjoyable. Incorporating yoga into your weekly or even daily workout routine is a good way to give you variety in your exercises and open your mind to new ideas.

Yoga is all about connecting your mind and body. According to Caroline Gregoire, a health public speaker and Huffington Post blogger, yoga reduces stress and boosts well-being. She explained that what most people don't know is that it actually has many physical benefits that might even be better than other types of exercises.

Many people believe that yoga does not give you an adequate workout. While most yoga classes do not give you a cardio workout, you are building strength by balancing, holding, and flowing through poses. In addition to building muscles, you are creating a harmony between mind and body, and not many other practices or exercises can do this.

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The Science Behind the Phenomenon of “Cuffing Season”

The weather has cooled down to a crisp temperature and the leaves have transformed to beautiful, bright and fiery shades and are gracefully dropping from the trees. It is time to bundle up in cozy sweatshirts, boots or scarves, and apparently heat things up with a new romance. That's right, "cuffing season" has commenced. This is, at least, according to college students.

So what exactly is cuffing season? As simply stated by Urban Dictionary, cuffing season is a time when "during the fall and winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be 'cuffed' or tied down by a serious relationship ... the cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate."

So basically, cuffing season refers to the yearly phenomenon where singles everywhere enter in to new relationships, for reasons that may be otherwise questionable. Naturally, this begs the question "What reasons?"

For the younger generation of folks in particular, this trend is very real. But you may be surprised to learn that there may just be a little bit of science or psychology behind individuals' desire to be "cuffed" during the cold.

According to Jack Demarest, a psychology professor, "This is not an unusual phenomenon." As an evolutionary psychologist and from a Darwinian evolutionary standpoint, he said, "This behavior could be a short term mating strategy which provides benefits for both the men and women who adopt them, especially when resources are in short supply." This historically is during the harsh and barren winter months.

In the article "Summer Lovin' or Summer Leavin'?" by Dr. Gary Lewandowski, Chair of Psychology, and co-creator and co-editor of, a chart displaying peak break up times shows spring break as having one of the highest rates. "Notice that winter months are low and summer months have an uptick" said Lewandowski.

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Avoid Early Hibernation: Last Minute Outdoor Activies

horsebackIt's about that time of year where we all break out the warm soft sweaters, start brewing hot chocolate, and find a permanent little spot where we can escape the harsh winter. But before you get too cozy in your fuzzy socks and start a new series on Netflix, take advantage of the cool fall weather.

There is plenty of decent weather to take advantage of in November, and with the fall foliage there's no reason to stay inside. It's going to be a long cold winter; there will be plenty of time to get cozy later.

When someone says fall, one of the first words that comes to people's minds is pumpkin. Halloween may be over, so there's no need to acquire pumpkins for carving, but Thanksgiving is approaching soon and pumpkins will be needed for dinner. Many farms stay open till mid November so there is plenty of time to go pumpkin picking. Or, if apple pie is your favorite, apples are still ripe and ready to be picked.

Get a group of friends together and take a ride out to the countryside of New Jersey to get these apples and pumpkins. If you have to travel a little farther that's all right, fall is the best time of the year to drive.

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Fast Food Does Not Have To Signify Fat Food: Slimmer Options

chipotFast food. Some of us hate to love it and others love to hate it. Fast food can be a guilty pleasure, or just a downright pressure of eating on the fly, especially for college students crunched for time. Some days we face a heavy work load and barely enough time to eat. That is when we virtually have to opt for fast food. We just need to put something quick and cheap in our bellies on the go.

According to Fitness Magazine, the Center For Disease Control found that fast food makes up more than 15 percent of daily calories for people in their twenties and thirties. While most fast food might as well be called fat food, there are options that aren't all that bad. When choosing these quick dining options, its helpful to know what items on the menu pose the least threat to your body.

When you hear fast food, you often think: McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell. None of these are held high in regards to health. McDonalds has an especially bad rep since its SuperSize me days and is infamously known for salty french fries and questionable meat products.

If you must make the trip to the Golden Arches, a premium caesar salad with grilled chicken and low-fat balsamic vinaigrette will do. Add a fruit 'n yogurt parfait and you'll total just 375 calories and less than ten grams of fat. A veggie burger and apple slices from Burger King is 440 calories. Furthermore, a smart menu choice at Wendy's is a large chili with a side garden salad with fat-free dressing. Taco Bell calorie savers include fresco chicken soft tacos.

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Stop Binge Watching, Start Learning: Must-Watch Documentaries

Happy-Movie-Cover-jpgAs the time left in the semester dwindles, it seems procrastination levels get higher. Hours are spent doing anything other than that eight page paper due in a week. College students are all guilty of putting things off to the last minute, but what if you could procrastinate while still doing something good for your brain?

Online streaming channels offer the genre of documentaries among their thousands of other movie options. Can it really be considered wasting time if you are using it to gain knowledge on a subject that interests you? There are thousands of option but with so many it's possible to spend hours just finding a documentary worth watching. To save you time, here are options and recommendations on on some of the most useful documentaries on Netflix, Xfinity and Amazon Instant Video.

If science is your passion look no further than these great flicks. Werner Herzog's Encounter at the End of the World delves into the human condition. Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime, Herzog follows researchers and contract workers who risk their lives and sanity in the great Polar South.

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“Health” Food Myths Debunked

"Eating healthy" is a motto many of us hope stand by in our daily eating habits. However, what exactly is "healthy"? Healthy to some is not healthy to all. This description of ideal food habits is a vague idea that can be confusing, especially to busy, broke college students looking to make the best possible food choices. Often, some foods are generally thought of as good for you but really are not. Luckily, with a little research and willpower, these common health food myths can be debunked.

A diet trending right now is gluten-free. People with celiac disease need these foods, but choosing this diet when you do not need to is not smart. Gluten-free foods are not beneficial and actually decrease our nutrient intake as the products are highly refined amalgams of grains and sugar. In comparison to regular bread, gluten-free bread has less antioxidants and fiber.

One food college kids might gravitate towards is yogurt. Be wary though. Light yogurts are marketed as "reduced fat" but the missing fat is really replaced with more sugar. Choose plain or greek yogurt instead. Rachel Fox, a senior English major with an endorsement in special education, said, "I thought light yogurt would save me calories, but then I switched to greek yogurt to stay fuller because of the protein."

A meat that is usually associated with being lean is turkey. Turkey has become a replacement for pork and beef specialties like bacon, meatballs, sausage. The assumption: if it's made with turkey, it's better for you. This is not necessarily true. Amanda Unanski Enright, a nutrition adjunct professor, said, "Most foods made with turkey meat are more highly processed than their non-turkey original counterparts. This involves excess salt, colors, and flavors being added to mimic the original."

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Lesser Known Music Apps

For a long time, music app users have either been Pandora people or Spotify people. There is always a preference between the two.

While both stations come with limited "skips" and boring advertisements, customization of these apps are key. On Pandora, you can pick multiple stations, and have the company select songs for you within that playlist. On Spotify, you can set up a playlist with as many songs as you want to have songs shuffled without your control. You can also share music with Facebook friends and follow other user's playlists.

There are some issues with Spotify though. If you have bought songs on iTunes but have them in a playlist on Spotify, you cannot listen to those songs on Spotify on your computer. On the phone app, which in my case is a big battery-drainer, you can only shuffle your playlists and music.

Of course, the advertisements can be bothersome too. Kristine Simoes, a specialist professor of communication, used music apps in the past.

"I have used Pandora, Spotify and iFit during runs. The problem is, I had each open at once since my music shut off in the middle of working out. I switched between the apps to avoid ads." Simoes said.

Olivia Wolski, a junior oceanography major, is strictly a Pandora user but does not mind the ads. "I love Pandora. I use it to listen to my 90's Disney station and pop hits. It usually gives me exactly what I want, and it's for free. That's the best part," Wolski said.

Many people also use YouTube to listen to songs fast, and even make playlists on their computers. Some features of YouTube are not as convenient on the iPhone or Android. YouTube will not play in the background on your phone; the video would have to be open for the music to continue playing.

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Embark on Both Real and Make-Believe Haunts Before Halloween

halloweenSo it is that time of year again, witches and ghouls and goblins oh my! It is the one time a year when people want a scare in their life. Of course there is always the scary movie section on Netflix but if you are looking for more thrill, New Jersey is the perfect spot to be. Not only is it home to hundreds of acres of farmland and cornfields, but it's close to haunted attractions in both New York and Pennsylvania.

First looking close to home, there is Casola Farms in Holmdel, located only 30 minutes away from campus. This small farm offers three attractions, a small haunted house, a pitch-black cornfield, and a startling hayride. Recently Monmouth University's Outdoors Club attended the event. The club advisor and an adjunct professor of the computer science and software engineering department, William Reynolds, said, "We had a group of 34 students and it was so much fun squeezing into a wagon designed for 30. My favorite part was the bogus cop car that chased us down."

Brittany Hintze, a freshman photography major, works at Casola Farms. You may find her chasing you through the cornfield and popping out at every hidden corner.

"The best part about working at Casola's haunted corn maze is seeing how every person reacts to being so scared!" Hintze said.

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Apps to Help Avoid Procrastination and Increase Productivity

Apps, apps, apps. We are constantly using the ones we like best and perhaps a little more often than necessary. Even the ones that sit on our home screen lifeless, not so much, but we still keep them around for some reason. For college students, apps usually serve as a means to procrastinate academic responsibilities. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are common culprits.

Sitting at your desk trying to start a paper that is due tomorrow? Scrolling on Instagram before you start seems like a harmless idea. Then, you realize it's a half hour later and you've managed to creep on ten different accounts, meanwhile, your Microsoft word template is blanker than your bank account.

There is no argument that certain features of these mobile apps can definitely get in the way of our progress. There are a number of apps, however, that can be especially useful to improving the every day lives of college students.

One of the key aspects to completing all your assignments on time is to be organized. is an app for this: it lays out a to-do list which you can create daily or weekly. It prioritizes your tasks in the order that you need them done. You can type to add new items to the list or use your voice to include them.

According to the app's website, it is used by millions and won app awards in 2012 by both Apple and Android. Similarly, Clear is another organizational app, but this synchronizes various to-do lists such as: grocery list, homework to do, etc. It syncs your task lits with other devices, making it easy to open in wifi.

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Balancing College Fashion of How to Remain Cute While Cozy

In a professional setting such as a summer business job, we dress to impress, but the fashion stereotype for college students tends to be lazy-wear. This, on the other hand, tends not to impress. Walking around campus you see many students wearing sweat pants and sweatshirts and while this is a completely acceptable style for college students, it is also admirable to dress fashionably.

Transitioning from that summer business job to college can be difficult because you were so accustomed to waking up every day and putting together a sophisticated outfit. Now, you are back in the college groove where the majority of students are dressed in extremely casual attire. So, you struggle between looking sophisticated and fitting in with the majority of college students.

Especially for girls, there seems to be a constant battle between throwing on a pair of your favorite sweats or dressing up for class. Yes, the first option might be easy, but it is not much harder to put together a neat outfit for the day.

Hailey Omiunu, a sophomore biology major, knows how this feels. "Some people love to put effort into how they look everyday and some people don't, everyone is different," said Omiunu.

"Personally I have days where sweatpants and a t-shirt are my best friend, and I feel great. But I tend to have more days where I really want to look nice, so I dress up and I feel even better. Everyone has their own style and should embrace it," continued Omiunu.

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Apple Orchards Around the State for Your Fresh Fruit Needs

20081121-orchards-1When autumn rolls around, it's time for one thing besides pumpkin spice latte's: it's time to take a trip to the local orchard.

In New Jersey, trips to the orchard in the fall are a tradition . Living in the garden state gives multiple opportunities and places for the public to get their fix of cider, in donut and drink form, and many more autumn staples.

Whether you live around Monmouth University, and can take a trip to Delicious Orchards or Battle View Orchards, or farther away to Terhune Orchards, the apples and other fruits are ripe and ready to be picked.

As a local resident of Princeton, my family takes a trip to Terhune Orchards every year. I stock up on cider, donuts and a few apples to bring back to Monmouth and my mom always likes to get a fresh Apple Walnut Pie from the Farm Market. The key to Terhune Orchards is grabbing a bag of cider donuts as soon as they come off of the truck from the bakery. They're slightly hot but you can wash them down with the apple cider, making the perfect sugary combination.

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So Long Summer, Hello Autumn: The “Cool” Fashion This Fall

combats-gsAs the seasons change, so do the styles. As fall sets in, tank tops and sundresses are replaced by cute jeans and cozy sweaters. It's easy to find evidence of this changing style on the streets of cities like New York and Paris – two cities known for their fashion and taste – but this change is just as noticeable on college campuses.

Gone are the light, breezy dresses and brightly colored sandals of summer as the temperatures begin their decent towards the cold of winter. Combat boots in a variety of styles and colors – mainly black – have surged in popularity again, with their versatility making them the staple of many closets.

These shoes, especially in their basic black, can be worn with everything from yoga pants to dresses. They're available in more than just standard black, as well – unique colors like maroon or dark purple can be used to give an outfit an interesting twist.

Katharine Dix, a freshman political science major said, "Combat boots are wonderful because they go fabulously with any outfit, and then you feel ready to take on the world."

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Autumn Desserts Ought’ To Be Healthy: Smarter Sweet Tooth Options

recipe-for-delicious-gluten-free-vegan-pumpkin-donutsNow that fall has officially arrived, it is now the season to bake. Crisp weather, falling leaves and warm, sweet, delicious treats almost go hand-in-hand. For a majority of the population though, indulging in desserts is simply not an option. Whether the excuse is a diet, weight watching, or just wanting to maintain healthy and wholesome eating habits, many will exclude desserts completely. Fortunately though, there are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your diet. That's right; baking does not have to automatically mean "bad for you, off limits, or fattening."

Sometimes overlooked is the fact that many fresh, healthy, and even organic ingredients can be used in baking recipes to create tasty treats. Fall is the ideal time to take advantage of that while they are in their prime season.

"Healthy desserts can be simple to create as well as very satisfying to enjoy. I recommend using whole food ingredients to create delicious desserts... Again, it's about sticking to ingredients that are in their whole form or at least completely natural," said Mary Harris, a specialist communication professor and a certified holistic health coach and specialist.

Some examples of these ingredients include fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and plants or spices.

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What It Really Means to Have a Life Coach as a College Student

alison-lifestyles-pictureEveryone wants to have someone they can talk to about their hopes and dreams, but may not always know who to turn to. Having a life coach completely turned that around for me. I now have someone I can vent to, but can also help me figure out my goals and plan on how to obtain them.

Dr. Lisa Dinella, an associate psychology professor, explained how college is an important time to seek out someone to talk to.

"We offer an Alumni Mentoring Program that pairs students with successful department alumni to discuss career topics. I think seeking out mentoring through one or more of these sources is very important," Dinella said. Whether you seek out someone on campus, or a certified life coach, it is important to speak to someone.

Some people might be confused about what a life coach is, but the title says it all.

"A life coach is probably like a therapist or someone just to talk to," said Gianna Tringali, a junior health studies major, when asked what she thought a life coach was; Tringali was on the right track.

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Coffee Craze of College Kids and What the Caffeinated Drink Does

Admit it. You stay up late. You eat an obscene amount of junk food. You hardly take your vitamins. You procrastinate. You are living the collegiate lifestyle in all of its glory. You drink coffee to get by and survive the grueling daily routine that has become your life.

According to a report issued out of Harvard’s School of Public Health, 54 percent of adults over the age of eighteen consume coffee every single day.

Coffee is available to students in countless ways. Most universities have at least one on-campus site that brews and sells coffee to their students. Additionally, various coffee shops are strewn all over cities and towns alike. Coffee can be served at any hour in any way that is most convenient to the customer.

Rutgers student Billy Egan said, “I’ll drink coffee every single day. Sometime it’s once a day, sometimes it’s three or four times a day. If I have a huge paper or exam to prepare for, I cannot even get started without getting myself a cup of coffee first. For me, it has become a psychological, emotional, and mental dependency. I love it”.

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Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: This Generation Should Start Snoozing Longer

“Sleep on it” isn’t just an old saying. Sleep enables us to feel recharged, full of energy, and generally in a better mood. The benefits to sleep are endless. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, benefiting your heart, mind, and weight. Yet, why is it that our generation chooses to put sleep below all other responsibilities?

This generation’s lack of sleep is so severe that a study done by Trending Machine national poll found that millennials aged 18 to 34 are, in fact, much more likely than those 55 or older to forget what day it is. This is due to stress and the lack of sleep.

Jenna Hersh, a junior economics and finance major, said, “I think that in this generation it is drilled into our heads how important it is to live your life, get a good job, and have great friendships that we sometimes choose all of that over sleep…in reality though we are being slowed down by not getting enough sleep.”

Millennials are told time and time again to not waste their youth, to live life to the fullest. The playful saying YOLO has in a way defined this generation. This incredibly ambitious and driven generation needs to remember you cannot live life to the fullest if you are not able to function after a good nights sleep.

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Yik Yak App Offers Students Option of Socializing with Anonymity

yik-gsRide the Yak. Ride the... what? You might be familiar with this phrase if you have already downloaded the app Yik Yak. Though it launched in December, the app has just begun to circulate amongst students on campuses across the nation and right here at the University.

Created by two recent college graduates, the app is designed to act as an online community and "virtual bulletin board." The app detects your location and creates a feed within a 1.5 mile radius.

This is why college students are grabbing a hold of it so rapidly. Postings are completely anonymous and a username is not required, so it makes it simple to share thoughts you might not necessarily share if people knew it was coming from you. After all, Yik Yak's motto is "share your thoughts, keep your privacy." The app encourages anyone within your location radius to post jokes, thoughts, questions, etc. without anyone having any way to find out who posted it. The post comes up in the feed as whatever you shared with two arrows next it, which signals other "yaks" to either up-vote or down-vote it, basically like or dislike it.

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Everything in Moderation: A Balance Between Health and Alcohol

wineYou wake up after a long night of drinking. You feel bloated, heavier, and full of regret from all the unhealthy choices you made the night before. Yet, at the same time, you are filled with joy by how much fun you had with all your best friends last night. This is a repetitive scenario many college students of the legal drinking age face. It is a constant juggling act between staying healthy and creating incredible memories on the weekends.

Its no secret that drinking and weight gain are linked, as explained by Substance Awareness Coordinator, Suanne Schaad.

"Most people gain the first year 15 as a direct and indirect result of drinking. We all know that we can directly gain weight by drinking as our bodies consider it to be a carbohydrate.  The indirect results are maybe even more significant... if we are under the influence and get the munchies from Nelly's late night... are we ordering a little side salad with no dressing?  Heck no! We are probably ordering something yummy, fried, and fatty," Schaad said. "We are probably not making it to the gym the next day to work out because we may be a little hangover or tired from a night out drinking. If we do make it to the gym, my bet is that we aren't having the most productive workout. A  hangover includes a reduced level of oxygen in our bodies causing us to fatigue earlier than usual."

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New Nail Polish Created By College Kids Can Detect Date Rape Drug

hands-drinkUndercover Colors. These two words have been put together by four undergraduate students for their new product: a nail polish for women that can detect certain rape-drugs.

Studying in the Materials Science and Engineering department at North Carolina State University, the four first displayed their product in an entrepreneur competition held at their school. Students were told to create a project which could solve real-world issues. For their creation, Stephen Gray, Ankesh Madan, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, and Tasso Von Windheim took home first place and around $12,000.

They continued to build upon the Undercover Colors idea and featured the product in K50 Startup Showcase. From their product illustration at the showcase, the team received $100,000 from an investor.

With the money, the four have expanded their science project into an actual business. The one drawback: the nail polish is not for sale yet. "One of our main priorities is to ensure that we develop a product that tests for a comprehensive set of drugs before we release it. Our proof-of-concept research has been very promising and we want to continue to build on this early success before we officially release a product in stores," the students wrote on their product's Facebook page.

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Follow These Few Simple Steps: Summer to Fall Fashion Guide 2014

The-Kimono-Jacket-II-(4)There are a million reasons to be stressed coming back to school. One of those reasons you should not worry about is what to wear to school. Finding an appropriate outfit after a summer of skimpy cover ups, swim suits, and shorts might seem like an annoying transition to begin. The adjustment from summer to autumn can be simple when you learn how to pair both seasons' trendiest pieces together.

Since it's still hot, you do not want to jump right into winter apparel. We often mistakenly associate the school year with fall right away but thats not the case. Well into the first month of school, light dress wear is necessary. Flip flops, sandals, shorts, tanks, short sleeves, and even bathing suits (at MU) are all still very much appropriate for the weeks following Labor Day.

Lorna Schmidt, Director of Advising for communication majors, said, "I'd consider it very much accepted and appropriate to wear shorts and summer wear until its too cold to."

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Unique Recipes That Utilize Typical “College” Foods

We’ve all heard the stereotypes about “college foods.” From late night Big Mac runs to Ramen noodles in your dorm room, these items become the staples of our four years as undergrads, as much as we try to deny it. By senior year, you may be so sick of canned soup and granola bars that you never want to see them again. But, these recipes will make you reconsider how you view the foods you once survived on.

A jar of peanut butter goes a long way. You can throw it under your desk and whip it out whenever you need a tasty topping on crackers, pretzels, celery, and pretty much anything else you can think of. However, the delicious spread can be used in many other ways than its conventional use.

Spread the smooth stuff in between your French toast and drizzle it with chocolate for the ultimate sweet breakfast treat. Slather it between bread, Nutella and bananas and fry it for a twist on grilled cheese. You can even use this concept in a quesadilla form using bananas or strawberries with peanut butter and chocolate.

For a more savory meal, incorporate peanut sauce into an Asian noodle dish or drizzle it on chicken lettuce wraps.

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Spring Break Destination: Punta Cana

The Dominican Republic Hot Spot is the Place to be this Break

There are only a few more weeks until spring break. Have no plans yet? Lucky for you, there’s still time to book a last minute vacation. Think about it, when are you going to have another chance to get away for a week? The nine to five work days are creeping up quicker than you can say graduation, so rummage through your savings, get some friends together and do spring break right.

Picture this— turquoise waters, sipping corona on the golden sands, endless sun, wildlife adventures, and exhilarating nightlife for a week straight. If this interests you, you should choose a getaway in Punta Cana.

If you have not heard of Punta Cana, it is located in the Dominican Republic, which is an island situated in the Caribbean. It is often overshadowed by the notorious college spring break vacation of choice, Cancun, Mexico.

Cancun has been ranked #1 for US college spring breakers, even getting air time on MTV in the past. Punta Cana, however, has made its way to the top of the list of spring break spots, being mentioned on Travel Channel.

A tropical island smack dab in the middle of the crystal blue water of the Caribbean, Punta Cana is an ideal location for a getaway. Dominicans speak Spanish, but on the resorts English is often spoken.

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How to Keep Your Relationship Alive During College

College is a time of self-discovery, new experiences, and of course, fun. However, you may not want to give up your relationship during your time at school. With balancing class, activities, social life, and a romantic partnership, you may feel overwhelmed, but there are ways to keep your relationship alive while you’re at school, as long as you’re willing to try.

The most important thing in any relationship is communication. Without it, there are always hidden feelings and miscommunications that can turn into something much worse. Whenever you’re feeling a certain way about an issue, whether it be good or bad, let the other person know. If they did something for you that you appreciate, let them know. If you are concerned about something, tell them. It’s always vital to let the person who cares about you know how you feel so you can work on disagreements together.

Chair of the psychology department, Dr. Gary Lewandowski, co-wrote an article, “Relationships 101: Having Healthy Relationships in Your First Year of College.”

In the article he said, “Good communication is important especially when discussing problems. Many people (mistakenly) believe that disagreements are destructive in relationships. However, you should be secure enough in your relationship to discuss the small issues that inevitably arise so that they don’t turn into major drama.”

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It’s A Bittersweet Symphony

Not a Goodbye, But a “See You Soon”

First and foremost, I have to say that I am still in shock that my college career is coming to an end. I still remember moving into Cedar M1 like it was yesterday. I also remember crying like a baby and having a mental breakdown after my parents left me between four cement walls.

It is quite ironic that I’ll probably be having another breakdown shortly after I walk across the stage at PNC in my cap and gown. This entire experience has been one wild ride, with ups and downs, but mostly, memories that will last a lifetime. I wouldn’t have had such an amazing experience at Monmouth if it were not for a lot of people, so I am grateful I have the opportunity to thank them all.

To my mom and dad. Where do I begin? If it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be here in the first place. I could never begin to thank you enough for all that you have done for me these past twenty-one years. You both are the reason I had the opportunity to come to college, a privilege many people wish they could receive. From reading me bedtime stories (which mom claims is what “made me so smart”) to taking me back and forth to school, dance, and every other place I wanted to go, you have both been my biggest fans and greatest supporters. Your encouragement, belief in me, and constant bragging (yes, I’m talking to you dad) pushed me to become who I am today. I couldn’t have done any of this without you, so thank you. And I hope you’re ready for me to come back home after four long years of freedom.

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Thrills, Spills and Chills

The Most Exhilarating Amusement Parks Around the Area

With summer in reach, its time to start ahead on planning daily adventures. Summertime has long been appreciated by college students after two grueling semesters of hard work. Though your summer plans might be taken up by a job or internship, you are usually granted more free time that you lacked during the school year. If you want to take advantage of the warm days with old friends, the area has many amusement parks for you to consider taking a mini vacation.

At a small fee, you can enjoy these theme parks around the surrounding states throughout the summer.

Right in Jackson is Six Flags, probably one of the most frequently used and well known by University students. While many students are probably already familiar with Six Flags, this summer it is introducing a new drop ride.

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A Love Letter to Those Happily Left Behind

Everyone has a past, which means everyone has an ex. Whether it was an ex from a serious seven year relationship or just an ex that you used to drunkenly make out with from time to time. There doesn’t have to be an established title for you to know deep down inside how you felt for that person or if that person was considered an ex or not. If you were involved with him/her romantically or sexually but you aren’t anymore, that person is an ex.

What a lot of us college students need to understand is that it is okay to be single. Dr. Gary Lewandowski, the Chair of Psychology Department, said, “In fact, being single is infinitely better than being in an unhealthy relationship. Use the time that you are single to really figure out who you are and want to be, what you really want in a partner, and what you can do to be a better person so that if you do decide that you want a relationship you’re more likely to find a good one.”

Basically, do not waste your time with someone if they aren’t making you happy. Some of us learned that the hard way, but that’s alright. It is a lesson learned.

I am here today to not only acknowledge the skeletons in my closet but to express some feelings I’ve kept locked up inside. This is a letter to my past exes.

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The Committed Pig Commits to Good Eats

Manasquan Restaurant Offers Unique Burgers and Breakfast Options

Who needs to be in a committed relationship when you can be committed to the next best thing; food? The Committed Pig, located in Manasquan, NJ, will make you wonder how you ever ate a hamburger somewhere else. A little over 30 minutes away from campus, the drive will most definitely be worth it.

Cynthia Estime, a senior criminal justice major, is always willing to travel the distance for some great food. “I love food and as long as it’s not too long,” she said “I would travel a long distance to try food!”

The restaurant is open Monday through Friday for brunch between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, and reopens from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. On Fridays you can enjoy your meal until 9 pm.

When the weekend hits, the burger and pancake house opens Saturday and Sunday from 8 am straight until 9 pm on Saturdays and 8 pm on Sundays. With hours like these, there is plenty of time for you to make your way over to the small, yet charming restaurant.

Tonya Lee, an adjunct Art and Design professor, has this restaurant on her favorites list. She said, “I have eaten at The Committed Pig a couple of times, they are one of my favorite places in the area.”

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Let New Jersey Entertain You

You Do Not Have to Travel Across the Globe to Have Fun This Summer

nj_entertainmentOur society as a whole has unintentionally caught the travel bug and the only cure is to venture, but what if you do not have the means to do so?

Most college students come into the issue of not having any money and thus, are unable to cure their wanderlust. If you are hankered down in New Jersey this summer due to this misfortune, do not think your summer vacation will be dull; believe it or not, New Jersey has much to offer.

Of course the most appealing luxury the state has is the Jersey Shore. Obviously, we are not talking about the television show, but instead talking about the majestic Atlantic Ocean and its various beaches located in New Jersey.

A junior education major, Rachel Fox, said that her favorite summer memories are provided by popular shore destination, Long Beach Island (LBI).

"LBI has a laid back atmosphere, which s perfect for relaxing vacation and of course the beaches are beautiful," Fox said. "My family goes there every year."

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We Scream for ice cream

ice_creamAs the temperature starts going up, so does the want and need of a treat to cool you down. With Monmouth being so close to the beach, students are lucky that they have so many choices when it comes to frozen delights.

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, and gelato are all popular treats when the heat gets to be too much. Places like The Light House Strollos, Carvel, Frozen Peaks, and The Corner Café are all in convenient locations for students. All you need to focus on is what you are going to get.

Everyone has those childhood memories where their parents told them they could get ice cream after they finished their dinner. Whether it was from the ice cream man, your freezer at home, or your local ice cream shop, you made sure that dinner was finished before your parents had time to change their minds.

One of the best things about being away at college is that we don't even need to finish our dinner. We can have ice cream for dinner if that is what we choose.

Just a short three minute drive can get you to one of the most famous ice cream shops known to man; Carvel. Customers get their choice between the classic chocolate, vanilla, or sherbet.

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Plan Instead of Cram

Ways to Make the Most Out of the End of the Semester

In three weeks from today, final exams start. Sometimes this quick arrival of the end of the semester and the spring sunshine can cause students to want to slack off. Skipping class for the mile-away beach, senioritis, or just not caring about the final days of class are common temptations to us.

Just because there is only about a month left of this year remaining does not mean you have to fit in every possible social outing you can and forget about school work. However, this does not mean you cannot go out because you have to slave away to school work in your room all day either.

The best way to make the most of the final days of the school year is to excel both academically and socially. There is a balance to achieving success in school while remaining a social butterfly in these last weeks.

Instead of procrastinating homework until Sunday as many students do, promise yourself to do at least one piece of it on a Friday before you go out, and some on Saturday morning. This way, you will have a lighter load come the end of the weekend and you can use the day time to relax before the busy week.

If you complete your assignments on the weekend evenings, you can spend the next couple weekend days outside enjoying the weather rather than inside cramming a paper.

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An Inside Look at Thrift and Consignment Store Shopping

thrift_store_shoppingWith the economy still in a slump, and being on a tight budget as a college student, dressing to impress can feel like an uphill battle. However, there is an oasis out there in the dry, lonely desert of college broke-ism: thrift and consignment stores. While the image of shopping at places like The Salvation Army or Goodwill might not seem ideal for fashion trends, there is a lot to offer shoppers and it allows them to buy different items that can be a good foundation to a wardrobe.

While it may seem like any other type of shopping, there are some things first timers should be aware of beforehand. The first thing is that there is a huge difference between thrift stores and consignment stores. While both do carry clothing for secondary sales, consignment shops often have newer designs and brand names stocked on their shelves. Both types are useful resources for building a fashionable wardrobe at a reasonable price, but for those who are all about the labels, consignment stores might be a better fit.

"We get clothes in daily except for Sunday, so we have new items out for our customers every day," said Taylor Desantis, the Assistant manager at Back On The Racks, a local consignment store located near Brighton Avenue in West Long Branch. "Some people can't afford clothes, so we try to offer people higher end clothes for a cheaper price." Besides saving money, there is also the chance to make money with certain stores like Back on The Racks where clothing donators get 40 percent of the sale of which their item sells.

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Delicious Delivery around the clock

Restaurants Around the University Offer Delivery Services and Low Prices

It seems like no matter where a college student is, if they are awake at 1 am, they are hungry. After all the dining halls are closed, there is only one option left, delivery. One of the many great things about the location of the University is that we are close to many delicious places that are willing to deliver until the wee hours of the morning.

Known for their fat sandwiches, Nellys Pizza is open until 4 am every single day. From pizza to burgers to burritos, Nellys will satisfy your late night cravings. Want to pretend you are being healthy? A large veggie pizza with broccoli, spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, black olives, and tomatoes is only $15.75. Can’t decide between pasta and pizza? Try the ziti pizza with baked ziti over mozzarella and sauce.

If you decide you do not want the usual slice, fat sandwiches have a little bit of everything. The Fat Nights is overflowing with cheesesteak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, French fries, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. With over 20 sandwiches, there is something for everyone.

If you have been searching for a burger that will make your taste buds thank you, look no further.  JR’s West End will deliver burgers, wraps, French fries, and much more until 2:30 am Sunday through Wednesday and 3:30 am Thursday through Saturday.

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Post-Grad Wanderlust

Plenty of Places to Move After Graduation Other Than Back to Your Parent’s House

If you are coming upon graduation, your college days at the University are about to be a thing of the past in just one month. Even if you’ve still got a year or two left, it is never too early to start thinking of your future. These following thoughts have likely crossed your mind more than once throughout your college experience. Where will I end up? Will I have to move back home? Where can I get a decent job offering? The answer is there are plenty of places to be considered outside of the garden state. You have the power to choose where the wind takes you.

Obviously, NYC and Philadelphia are  predictable choices for students at the University. Each city has accessible internships which can lead to jobs. Both cities are close enough to visit home, but not too close to avoid it. These cities, however, are still quite familiar to many students here. Plus, they can be extremely expensive with high rent prices for small apartments.

There is no argument that just the thought of leaving the places where you grew up might seem terrifying, complicated, and a little nauseating.

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The Turning Point In Your Day

Restaurant Offers Unique Menu and Beachside Dining Experience

It is hard enough waking up for an early morning class, let alone doing it with a smile on your face. You are running too late to get coffee, lines at the Dining Hall or the Rebecca Stafford Student Center are too long and those granola bars you bought two months ago have lost their flavor. The promise you made to yourself to get a bagel after class comes to a quick halt when you realize you are sick of the same old thing.

If this sounds like you then The Turning Point, located just a few short minutes from campus, is about to change your life. Open seven days a week in Pier Village from 8 am to 3 pm, The Turning Point shows people breakfast and lunch in a whole new light.

A senior health studies major Molly Maher said, “I think The Turning Point is a great place to go to lunch with friends. The food is always good and the service is great. There is another location in my hometown that I am excited to try as well.”

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Eat and Drink Well at Inkwell

Inkwell Coffee House – serving you the best coffee topped off with whipped cream and drizzled with hippie-ness in a mason jar.

Located on 665 Second Avenue only minutes away from the University, Inkwell Coffee House takes you back in time to a place where life is relaxed, everyone is calm, nothing but positive energy encompassing you – and oh yeah, lots of food.

Inkwell is unlike your ordinary restaurant. This coffee house is located inside of an actual house. You walk on the porch, loop around the house, and enter through a side door located on the right.

The walls are a little raggedy, and there’s graffiti shouting at you, and for a second, you might think you mistakenly ended up at a haunted house; but then you are reminded by the lovely hostesses that you have entered one of Long Branch’s coffee house landmarks.

You are then seated at a table and handed a menu listing approximately 100 items, ranging from the famous mac and cheese bites for $6, to a buttery, buffalo-y chicken wrap with extra kick to it for around $10.

The menu at first can seem overwhelming, and for someone with a never-ending appetite but a starving wallet, it can be a debacle. But nevertheless, whichever option you choose, both your belly and your bank account will thank you over and over again.

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Sprucing Up For Spring

Tips and Tricks to Get Yourself in the Mood for the New Season

Spring has officially sprung, but have you transitioned from winter? With cooler temperatures and constant reminders of the past season, it may be difficult to get yourself out of that winter slump.  But, if you try these simple tricks, you may find yourself revitalized and ready for sunshine and a new beginning.

Get a fresh start. No one likes cleaning while they’re in the middle of scouring and scrubbing, but who doesn’t like the end result? Although it may not seem like a fun activity, spring cleaning will help you feel refreshed. The winter may have brought clutter and stuffiness to your room or dorm, but sprucing it up will help make it feel more open and airy.

Dust off surfaces, vacuum rugs and get rid of any old papers and junk you may have laying around. When you’re finished with the dirty work, open your windows and let the fresh spring air enter your space. Light a floral scented candle or spray a citrus air freshener to create even more purity.

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Give Old Clothes New Life with Vinted

College students are known for several things, such as: sleeping way too late, eating way too much, drinking on the weekdays and being absolutely broke. We are constantly complaining about how we have no money to spend on anything. Well, here’s a simple way to earn some quick cash and do a little spring cleaning as well.

Vinted is a website and a smart phone app that people can use to sell their secondhand clothing. Their website states, “It’s our mission to make secondhand clothing the best and easiest choice. You liked those shoes enough to buy them — someone else will, too. Save them from the landfill and earn yourself some cash. What’s not to love?”

However, this website and app not only allows people to sell their clothing online but it can also be used to buy clothing from other sellers. Alex D’Errico, a senior social work major, said that Vinted made her think of Ebay or a consignment shop. “… I use Ebay so maybe I’d look into something like this. It depends what I was looking for,” she said.

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Noodles & Company Provides Good Eats Close to University

No matter how many times you walk around the food court at Monmouth Mall to get your free samples, your options will not change. If you take just a few short steps away from the food court, you will find yourself at one of the newest additions to the mall; Noodles & Company. A restaurant that opened in Nov. 2013, Noodles & Company allows you to take a journey through noodle heaven. Whether one is in the mood for some Japanese pan noodles or the traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs, this place has got you covered.

As college students we look for three specific things when choosing food that is not part of our meal plan— cheap, tasty and fast.

For a small pasta dish at Noodles & Company, the price is a low $4.69. To upgrade to a regular side, all you have to do is find another $1.20 lying around your room. Taste plays a huge part in the food we consume, but there is no worrying about that here.

The flavors that go into each dish make your taste buds want to thank you. There is a perfect amount of each ingredient in all dishes, and if you need more there is a special “add meat or tofu” option for all orders. When you are pressed for time, Noodles & Company allows ordering to be done online so it is ready for when you pick it up. At other times when you just want to have a quick bite with friends, the food is still brought out pretty quickly.

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Hot Makeup Trends for Spring

The winter blues are coming to a close and finally spring and summer are quickly approaching.  Many beauty trends seen both on and off the runway are easily achievable in the comfort of your own home.  A lot of this season’s trends involve makeup that most people have sitting in their beauty drawers at home and can be done in no time at all.

You can never go wrong with a classic smokey eye.  This season, we are seeing more of a brown smokey eye as opposed to the usual black and grey combination. This brown smokey eye trend allows you to still play up your lips along with your eyes.  Always remember that the trick to a smokey eye is big lashes. Benefit Cosmetic’s “They’re Real!” and Stila’s “Major, Major Lash” mascaras give you this look.  The perfect pairing to a smokey eye is a nice pink pouty lip. The lip gloss “For Keeps” from Smashbox can help you achieve this flawless look.

Everybody wants to know how to perfect the natural beach look.  Most people do not like to go to the beach with a full face of makeup on, and certain products can help you get the effortless look.

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Get Your Shamrock On

Parades Around the Area Pay Homage to Saint Patrick

Are you looking to truly “March” on this month? Then spend your Saint Patrick’s Day at a local holiday parade this spring break. Since the Irish celebration occurs during our week off, there are numerous parades happening across the state for everyone to partake in.

One of the biggest and perhaps most famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade is in NYC. As a tradition for over 250 years now, the parade is normally held on the actual holiday, March 17, unless it falls on a Sunday. This year, the holiday occurs on a Monday, which is when the parade will be taking place. The procession can be viewed on 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street. The marchers begin at 11 am but it is suggested you get there ahead of time because of crazy crowds.

Nicole Comito, a senior art major, said, “I went to the St. Patricks Parade in the city when I was a senior in high school. I remember it was really crowded, but everyone was dressed up and having a great time. My dad was there, and since he’s a police officer I was able to walk through closed streets to get an awesome view of the parade.”

If you would prefer to miss the madness and watch from home, NBC streams the parade annually.

Another grand parade takes place in Philadelphia. This year, the parade is held the day before the holiday, on Sunday, March 16. Those attending the parade are welcomed to also attend mass at the St. Patricks Church beforehand. Similar to the time span of NY’s, this parade has been around for over 240 years. With a heavy history of Irish settlers in the Philadelphia area, the parade has been quite historic in honoring the heritage. The Parade begins at noon on 16th and JFK Boulevard The CW Philly will cover the parade on TV, so those who want to remain home have the option of viewing the celebration from their couch.

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Spending Spring Break at Home

How do you make the best out of spring break if you’re “spring broke?” Spring break has long been viewed as a tradition where college students spend their week off with all-inclusive party packages somewhere tropical.

Unfortunately, this cannot be a reality for everyone. These trips can be a chunk of money that students who are already in debt just do not have. If you’re one of these “spring brokers,” don’t be a pessimist just because you’re stuck at home this spring break. There are still a ton of local places to go and enjoyable ways to spend your days off without flying 1500 miles or spending $1,000.

Staying in proximity to Philadelphia this break? Well, there are multiple ways to make the most of your week off in March. The Flyers play rival, The Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center on March 15 at 1 pm. You could buy tickets and tailgate with friends. Tickets begin at around $95.

Not so much into hockey or sports in general? You can still find other entertainment in Philadelphia if you enjoy music. Rapper 2 Chainz featuring Pusha T will be at the Tower Theatre the following Saturday, March 22, at 8 pm. Tickets are around $60.

If you are 21 or over, splitting a hotel room with friends for a night out in Atlantic City is another option. Our week of spring break happens to be the same time that the Tropicana is hosting Whiskey Week.

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Can You Feel the Beat?

Music Festivals of All Genres Are on the Rise

With all this talk of more snow there needs to be a reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The summer music festivals of 2014 are that light.

As the snow falls down outside your window, turn up your favorite artist, close your eyes and let yourself be taken to a hot summer weekend with your best friends. Your favorite band is on the stage, you are surrounded by thousands of strangers and you are all contributing to the best weekend of your lives.

Music festivals have been on the rise in recent years. A new one appears each summer, allowing more people to have the concert experience.

According to Equipsupply, a retail distribution company, there was a 27.3 percent increase in average attendance at music festivals from 2010 to 2012. The lineups get longer and the headliners get bigger. There is one for every genre, so no matter what music you like, there is a music festival for you.

So, which festival is right for you? We’ll start off with Coachella, April 11 - 13 and April 18 - 20 in Indio, CA. Although not many students can afford to hop on a plane to CA and miss a week of school, Coachella is important to include in the list because it is one of the biggest music festivals in America.

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Packing Light: Ways to Travel Efficiently and in Style

Traveling is exciting yet also complicated. It’s always a struggle to decide what to pack and what to keep at home. Most people bring way too much stuff, filling their luggage to the brim. But, with extra baggage fees at the airport, many of us want to streamline our suitcases in order to be more efficient. Knowing how to travel lightly, but with the essentials, will make your spring break and other vacations much more enjoyable.

With the weather being as frigid as it has been lately, you are probably escaping to a warmer climate. It may take some getting used to since we have been bundled up for months, but breaking out the summer wear will definitely be a breath of fresh air.

Of course, what you pack depends on where you are going and how long you are staying. For a two week escape to Europe, you’ll need more options. But, for a four night stay in the Caribbean, you can get away with packing light. Warm weather clothes are always less bulky and smaller than winter gear.

However, you don’t want to go crazy with packing dozens of shorts and tops. Bring items that you can mix and match with. A pair of white or denim shorts can go a long way when paired with different tops and accessories. A few tank tops can always be layered to create different looks, and you can even wear them to bed. This goes for leggings as well, they provide added warmth on chilly nights and double as sleepwear.

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New York Fashion Week 2014

The Biggest Trends to Grace the Runway will be Hitting the Streets Next Fall

It’s hard to think about the cold returning once again when the only thing on people’s minds are hot summer days. But, last week in NYC the cold weather was overshadowed by all the great new fashion trends that will be seen in store windows; last week was New York’s Fall Fashion week.

The major trend that carried through the entire week was warmth. Maybe it was this year’s abnormally cold winter that inspired designers or maybe it was simply a trend that everyone agreed on. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt you will be keeping warm next season in style.

Coats were a major trend, from puffy parkas to shearling jackets. Large, bulky warm outerwear was seen all over the runways. There was not one show that did not include a puffy jacket. All the warm jackets make it almost exciting to know that next fall it will be cold again.

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Save Big With Groupon and Living Social

Who doesn’t love a deal or discount? With the Groupon and Living Social apps, you can get great prices on all types of items in seconds on your phone. Without the hassle of coupon clipping, these sites give you up to 90 percent off on everything from gifts to getaways to exotic islands.

After downloading the app or visiting the website, you can type in your zip code in order for Groupon or Living Social to narrow down the best deals around you. They have general pages of featured items that you can browse, but they also have categories if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

You can also search specific products or deals to see if they are offering anything. Both systems show you the original price of the item and the price you’d pay by purchasing a voucher, as well as how many people have already used the same discount.

A sophomore psychology major Caitlin Golden said, “I like these apps. They always have great deals and they also give you great ideas for gifts.”

Deals are always changing, so you can find new products and packages daily. There aren’t just products and vacations, there are also coupons for restaurants and activities. BounceU of Eatontown has up to 55 percent off on Groupon, and Tre Amici offers a $50 dining credit for only $25. There are also nearby yoga, dance fitness, and pottery classes for discounted prices.

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“Generation Hookup”

Should Our Era be Deemed Kings and Queens of Sleeping Around and Not Settling Down?

If there’s one thing that we know for sure, it’s that sex sells. From Marilyn Monroe becoming a legendary sex symbol to Miley Cyrus twerking on stage at the VMAs, people have always been drawn to the hype that surrounds scandal. Yet, can we be blamed? Sex is arguably the most humanistic act we can perform; it connects us to our ancestors as well as our next of kin, it is used for pleasure, and it is a rite of passage in the realm of coming of age. However, how soon is too soon to be hooking up with the guy you just met, your boyfriend of only a short time, or a complete stranger?

It is obvious that our generation is one that feels random hook-ups are widely accepted. However, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), the history of hook ups dates back to the wild days of the roaring twenties. As women gained more freedom due to the 19th Amendment, they felt independence in not being permanently attached to a man.

The APA also noted that the 1960s brought even more sexual freedom with the use of birth control, drugs, and the popularity of the free loving flower power culture. The point is that “hooking up” has been around longer than we have, but our generation is getting all the slack for it.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder May Be Affecting You

With the winter months feeling as if they are never ending and spring nowhere in sight, the “winter blues” are hitting some people pretty hard. Yes, the winter blues are in fact real, along with another condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Even though SAD is common for many people during the colder seasons, there are many ways to prevent and help with symptoms of SAD.

Dr. Christine Hatchard, an assistant professor of psychology, explained that SAD is most similar to Major Depressive Disorder except SAD has a type of “seasonal pattern.” “This means that individuals must meet the criteria for major depression which includes a combination of symptoms such as sad or empty mood, fatigue, difficulties with sleeping, eating or concentration, feelings of guilt or worthlessness and possible suicidality,” she said.

Hatchard continued to say that once a diagnosis of depression has been established, a seasonal pattern then has to be identified. “This generally means that depressive episodes reoccur seasonally, most commonly during the fall and winter and the individual’s symptoms are in remission during other seasons, such as during the summer and spring,” she said. “When making this diagnosis, it’s important to distinguish a seasonal pattern of depression from events that occur seasonally and result in additional stress and possible mental health problems as coping mechanisms are strained, such as returning to college or the holidays.”

The winter blues can be confused with SAD, that’s why it is so important to make sure that a seasonal pattern is recognized, according to Hatchard. “Winter blues can seem similar to depression, but the symptoms are not as severe and are unlikely to result in a high level of distress or significant difficulty with functioning,” she said.

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Valentine’s Celebrations for Both Single and Taken

“Will you be my valentine?” We’ve been hearing this since grade school. Of course, this was back in the days when everyone was everyone’s Valentine, bringing in cards and candy for each classmate on the special day. However, that was when candy wasn’t banned in half of the schools in America and when love was a general feeling among classmates rather than an intimate and sometimes destructive passion among fellow college students.

Some of us have developed a view of Valentine’s Day as a “Hallmark Holiday,” formulated by the media and advertised as the one and only day to show your love. Others cherish it, recalling its meaningful history dating back to both the Middle Ages and the Shakespearean era.

Perhaps for bitter singles, Valentine’s Day is a brutal reminder of failed relationships or a simple annoyance of witnessing Whitman’s chocolate company cashing in on last minute attempts at romantic gestures. On the contrary, for those in love, it is a reminder of romance that is often forgotten once the honeymoon phase comes to an end.

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Top Five Accessories that are a Necessity for the Winter Months

The cold weather is not coming to an end anytime soon, which means dressing warm and layering are an absolute must. These five winter accessories will be sure to keep you toasty and fashionable at the same time during the below zero degree temperatures.

The first winter essential for the winter months is a winter coat. This sounds like a no-brainer but there are so many different types of winter coats, it is hard to make a decision on just one. Some of the styles include: puffer, pea coat, fur, military, slouchy, biker and more. Which style you choose ultimately depends on what look you are going for and how heavy of a coat you want. For extra warmth a puffer coat or a fur coat are recommended. For a trendier look, but a lighter feel, a biker coat or a pea coat is the way to go.

Every woman out there loves shoes and every woman is sure to own a good pair of boots. Boots can be worn with almost everything during the winter. They can be paired with a slouchy sweater and leggings, a blazer and skinny jeans or a dress and stockings. Select boots can even change the look of your whole outfit, making it look formal or casual. Elisabeth Medino, a senior social work major, has several pairs of boots. “I have combat boots, booties and tall riding boots,” she said. “I love wearing them because they are comfortable and they look great with any outfit.”

The third winter essential is a pair of gloves. There are gloves that are fingerless but with the recent cold, fingerless gloves are not the best option. With all the touch screen phones, sometimes people get nervous to wear gloves because they think they won’t be able to use their phones. No need to panic because there are many gloves created with special fabric on the thumb and pointer fingers that allow you to text, make a call, and do absolutely anything on your phone while never taking off your gloves.

Scarves are accessories that are not only worn during the wintertime. However, they are perfect for giving you extra warmth when layering. They come in all different colors which allow anyone to add that extra pop of color to their ensemble. Alex D’Errico, a senior social work major, said that her favorite winter accessory is a scarf. “… I refuse to get my collarbone cold and it always makes the outfit better,” she said.

The fifth and final winter essential is a hat. There are all different types and a lot of people wear hats for fashion purposes, but in weather like this, hats are worn to keep your ears and your head warm. A popular style of hat this year is the beanie. They add a little bit of a hipster feel to outfits. “I don’t do hats, but I love those knit beanies, young girls with straight Marsha Brady hair can get away with them,” said Kristine Simoes, specialist professor of communication.

Other clothing items that are a necessity in the winter are sweaters, cardigans and earmuffs. All of these clothing pieces and accessories make anyone look cute and fashionable in freezing temperatures. So even though we are all counting down the days until we can wear our leather shorts we got for Christmas or that adorable floral pattern dress you for your birthday, just wait a little longer. Be sure to bundle up and soon enough spring fashion will be in full swing.

PHOTO TAKEN by Alyssa Gray

Keeping Up With Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to Stay on Track to Achieving Your Goals Long After January Ends

The tradition to create a far-fetched New Year’s resolution each year seems like a great way to achieve more than you did the previous year. Many people love to set resolutions to improve their health, work life, and grades in school.  But how many people actually stick to their goals after Jan. 1?

Sophomore political science major Kayla Moor said, “I really push myself to overall make more healthy choices and to also make a set plan for my future as in a career like setting up an internship in the near future.”

Her goals are probably very similar to many college students. But what if you don’t succeed? Most people forget about their big New Year’s resolutions within a couple of weeks. Time moves fast and goals seems to be forgotten once hectic schedules begin, allowing old routines to quickly return.

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What to Wear: Holiday Lookbook 2013

The holidays are quickly approaching, and you are probably wondering what to wear. Parties and gatherings call for a more sophisticated look, unless your family has decided to spend the night in their favorite pajamas. However, if you are trying to dress to impress for the special occasion, here are some tips on what to wear.

You can never go wrong with a little sparkle. Whether it be for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, play up the holiday twinkle with your own outfit.

Pair a sequined top with a black skirt for a fun, yet sophisticated look. If you want more bling, find a dress covered in glitter, like the See Me Sequin Bodycon dress from Long or three quarter length sleeves are perfect for winter, and you can wear the dress with opaque black tights and solid pumps.

Junior marketing major Ariel Shilling said, “I plan on wearing a sparkly dress on New Year’s Eve. I feel like the holiday is the perfect opportunity to wear sparkle without looking too over the top. I’ll pair it with solid color heels and keep it dressy by curling my hair.”

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Holiday Hot List: Gifts Ideas for Everyone

It is the most wonderful time of the year, except when you are a broke college student. With finals cutting it close to Christmas, holiday shopping is the last thing on our minds. However, it is the season of giving, so you have two choices, set aside some time from studying for finals and plan a trip to the Monmouth Mall, or save all your last minute shopping for when you get home. If you lack the patience to come up with the perfect unique gift for your loved ones, here is a list of what is definitely going to be decking the halls this December.

Shopping for a girlfriend, sister, mother or other lady in your life? Alex and Ani jewelry, especially the bangle bracelets, are in. Almost half the price of Pandora bracelets, Alex and Ani are beginning to show up on every girl’s wrist. The bracelets are especially timely for the holidays because they can be customized by occasion. The Alex and Ani website says their charms are “truly personal and made with positive energy.” If you have a lot of female family members to buy for, there is free shipping on over $100 spent online.

Sophomore Spanish education major, Nicole Iannotta, has received Alex and Ani bracelets for her birthday and anniversary with her boyfriend. “I suggest this jewelry because it is unique to every person, each charm could mean something different to each person, the hope symbol charm could have one meaning to me, but have a different meaning to someone else who has it,” she said.

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The “Freshman 15” Can Extend Past Freshman Year

The Freshman 15 weight gain can be caused due to lifestyle changes during any period in time, not just during college years. With the holidays approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the sweetness of it all, but it is important to consider how this will affect your health in the future.

Experts agree, freshman year is when so many lifestyle changes occur that can contribute to weight gain when entering the new realm of college life. For example, late nights, take-out food, drinking, high stress, lack of sleep, large workloads, living on your own, and malnutrition are just some of the factors that encourage the scales to tip a little too much.

However, even though your freshman year is over, you may not be in the clear. If you are continuing to make poor eating choices, this can turn into a vicious cycle.

Speaking of scales tipping, Thanksgiving just passed, and now more holidays are coming up. This means that many people will be indulging in high-caloric foods, drinks, and desserts on more than one occasion. Imagine eating and drinking as you do during the holiday seasons, but picture that as an everyday occurrence. Of course you would see a difference in the way your pants fit. There is a time to indulge and there is a time not to, and moderation is key when it comes to this.

Eating is one factor that can affect your health, but there are also others such as a lack of sleep. You may not notice right away the damage that staying up too late can cause, but it catches up soon enough. Whether it is staying at the office or the bar too late, experts agree that your body needs a chance to recharge.

Nanci Hellmich of USA Today explains that scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.

Brian Miller of CNN suggests that in order to avoid the freshman 15 dorm rooms should be free of junk food, but this also is good advice for any residence where weight gain is unwanted.

Senior management and marketing major, Kaitlyn Cassidy said, “I’m sitting here eating Cheetos at 10:27 am and I’m a senior. I would have to agree that weight gain is determined by the choices you make and the way you live your life.”

Experts claim that watching what you are eating can determine which side the scale tips to. Unhealthy options are always available, whether it is at the school cafeteria or on your lunch break from work when you are no longer a student. Even though you may be home for break, your usual Ramen noodles and chips may only be replaced with different kinds of unhealthy foods. During the holidays, dishes like stuffing, potatoes, cakes and pies are in abundance. These may seem tempting, but you will notice the consequences later. Of course, you can enjoy some of these choices in the spirit of celebration, but avoid taking it too far. Health nuts agree that the healthy options may be more difficult to find, but in the end they are more favorable. You may want to reconsider passing up the vegetable platter and sweet potatoes.

While on campus, the Dining Hall may seem like the only option. However, some people have ulterior motives for going.

Senior health studies major Patricia Fontaine explained why she goes to the Dining Hall.She said,“Eating is a social event, so I ate more to make more friends.”

Even though you may be finding yourself making more than one trip to the dining hall daily, you should always consider the health options, like fruit, vegetables, and the salad bar, that it has to offer.

The holidays are another reason to eat socially, but make sure you are aware of the healthy options available at the dinner table.

With the holiday season also comes consumption of alcohol. Lead researcher of the Eating Behaviors study, Sherrie Delinsky said, “Not only does alcohol contain a lot of calories, but people also make poor food choices when they’re under the influence.”

Liquid calories should also be considered. They hide in many drink choices, especially alcohol and soft drinks. Not only does alcohol contain a lot of calories, but so do the mixers that get combined with it. Soda, juice, and even iced tea are packed with calories, sugar and carbohydrates. Whether you are drinking beer, wine, or egg nog during this holiday season, keep in mind that calories also reside in liquid.

It is obvious that there is a time to indulge and a time to be conscious of what you are consuming. Having your holiday gorging habits transfer over to everyday life would be a dangerous lifestyle change. Enjoy the holiday drinks and desserts, but don’t let it become a daily habit. Whether in college or in the real world, experts say lifestyle changes could be to blame for weight gain.


Indoor Activities for the Cold Winter Months

The fall semester is rapidly coming to a halt, just like the fall weather has already done. The cold December weather has finally crept up on us, leaving any signs of anything over 50 degrees a distant memory. It is quite apparent that people tend to be more depressed and all around grumpier in the winter.

According to Web MD, those who face seasonal depression feel better when exposed to more light. Because the sun now sets around 5 pm, you may feel like the night just drags on. Between the cold run from the house to the car, scrambling to put on the heat, and having to walk around campus in below freezing temperatures, wintertime sadness is inevitable. During winter you are more prone to miss out on outdoor adventures, so you should make the most of your time indoors and fight off those winter blues. Here are a few ways in which you can do so.

Start scrapbooking. With social media sites taking over, almost all photographs are online. What happened to Kodak moments? Keeping track of your life on paper and printing out your most important memories could have a greater effect on you later in life. Sure, the Internet is awesome, but having a book full of memories to show your kids one day is pretty cool too. Be old fashioned. Stop refreshing your Facebook and Pinterest out of boredom, go get some scrap book crafts and begin your project. You’ll be both surprised and impressed at your creative ability.

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Non-traditional Thanksgiving Recipes Sure to Please

Thanksgiving is that special time of year when family and close friends gather around the dinner table to give thanks for all that they have, while stuffing their faces with enormous amounts of food. Every single year, many families prepare the same old traditional Thanksgiving dishes. There’s the turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, corn bread and let’s not forget that scrumptious sweet potato pie.

Although these classic food choices are delicious, year after year they tend to get boring. Non-traditional dishes can spice up a Thanksgiving meal. Who knows, they may eventually become part of the tradition. Even though you may not think so, there is a way to incorporate these dishes without Mr. Turkey feeling offended. With these non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes incorporated into your family’s Thanksgiving food tradition, you can create a unique feast.

Some students already have non-traditional foods that they eat on the holiday.

A sophomore biology major Danielle Raiano said, “My family eats antipasto and Italian wedding soup on Thanksgiving. It’s delicious.”

A senior education major Jaclyn Franzi experiences the same kind of non-traditional meal. “I eat ravioli before turkey on Thanksgiving. Since I’m Italian, it has become somewhat of a tradition,” Franzi said.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151