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Lifestyles

Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)

The Importance of Punctuality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Have Your Best Summer Yet

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

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

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

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

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

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Millennials are the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Benefits of Holistic Living

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

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

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

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

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

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NERD CULTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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"Spring" into Spring with New Shoes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Combating Road Rage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Just Venmo Me” Millennials’ Preferred Payment Method

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

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

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

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

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Spring Ahead: The Effects of Daylight Savings Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Overcome Rejection

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

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

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

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

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Fight Back Against Racism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nike Launches Pro Hijab

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Become a Morning Person

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Money $aving Tip$

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beauty on a Budget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chronicles of the Social Media Foodie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Have Your Best Semester Yet at Monmouth

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

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

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

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

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

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The Benefits of Blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Commuter Life @ Monmouth

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

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

1) Take 8:30’s-

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

2) You Must Leave your Comfort Zone-

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

weaknesses.

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

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‘Suck it Up’: Quit Complaining and Enjoy Life

“Life is tough, but so are you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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CELE[RY]BRATE VEGANISM

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

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

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

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

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

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Forever Young: Life Lessons from Teen Years

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

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

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

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

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Health Food Myths Debunked

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

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

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

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

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

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No More Negative Nellies

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

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

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

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

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LESS is MORE

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

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

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

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

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

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Millennials in Need of Life Skills 101

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

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

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

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

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

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De-Stress at Monmouth

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

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

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

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

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

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It Pays to Be a Student: Discounts with Your ID

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sweet Holiday Recipes

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

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

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Wine & Dine On A Budget

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

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

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

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

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Help Yourself by Helping Others

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

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

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

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

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How to Travel on a College Student’s Budget

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

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

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

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

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

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The Importance of Feminism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Give Thanks for Thanksgiving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Benefits of Getting Involved

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

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

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

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

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Book Recommendations Based on Zodiac Signs

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

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

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

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

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Falling for Fall Traditions

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

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

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

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

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Parents Know Best

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

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

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

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

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#HarmfulHashtags

lifestyles average life goals page 9#Transformationtuesday.

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

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

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

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The Writing Center Unraveled

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

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

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

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

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No Dairy? No Problem: Lactose-Free Recipes

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

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

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Tattoo or Taboo?

The Growing Acceptance of Tattoos in the Workplace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fall DIY Projects

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Put small pebbles in mason jar

Step 2: Put the small candle in the mason jar

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

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

Step 1: Cut burlap into 4X4 inch squares

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

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

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

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

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Skills to Pay the Bills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New School Year, New You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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‘Back to School’ Essentials

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

1. A Planner

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

2. A Computer

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

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Contact Information

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

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

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