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Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

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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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