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Lifestyles

Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

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). MentalHealthAmerica.net 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.

PsychologyToday.com 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 ScienceOfRelationships.com, 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. Any.do 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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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

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The Outlook
Monmouth University
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Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu