Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 3pm


Alternatives to a Gym Membership

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

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

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

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Why It Is Important to Live in the Moment

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

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

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

It is also beneficial to remember that if you are surrounded by good company, there is no reason to go on your phone because you are with the people that matter to you. Victoria Nelli, a senior communication student, said, “My group of friends only use our phones to show each other things that we find interesting or funny. If I do go on my phone to look at Twitter they’ll tell me to stop and sometimes take my phone from me. However, normally when we all hang out, we don’t really look at our phones because we are all with each other. You should enjoy the friends or family that you’re with and not worry about other things that are going on.” Once you put your phones down, you begin to bond with the people that are around you.

Another way to ensure that you do not spend too much time on your phone is by deleting some of your social media apps. Erin Shevlin, a senior communication student, said, “Over winter break I deleted all of my social media, because I felt like everyone just constantly looks at it and relies on it. Especially during awkward situations, we always turn to our phones. I found that by deleting everything it allowed me to step back and be more in the moment.” This is an excellent way to help you live in the moment because most people are checking social media when they are on their phones. If you remove these apps, you will no longer have a need to check your phone constantly. 

It is important to live in the moment and not behind a cellphone screen. Limiting your cellphone activity allows you to become closer with those around you and fully immerse yourself in the moment. You will be able to experience new things and learn about the people you spend time with.

If you begin to think about what you are missing in the few minutes that you are staring at the screen of your phone, then maybe you will not check it as often. After all, life is too short to be living behind a screen.


How to Combat Cabin Fever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter Break: Expectations vs. Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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A Single’s Survival Guide to Cuffing Season

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

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

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

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

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

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The 5 Best Light Shows in New Jersey

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

1.Historic Smithville

Location: Smithville, NJ


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

2. Cranbury Christmas Lights

Location: 128 North Main Street, Cranbury, NJ 08512


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

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Holiday Gift Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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Festive Holiday Baking Ideas to Get Into the Spirit

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

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

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

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

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7 Songs of Lyrics to Describe Entering Your 20s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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End of Semester Survivial Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fun Ideas to Do & Places to Go For Winter Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151