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Opinion

Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

Adventures of Me and My Kruizer | Victoria Jordan's Senior Goodbye

adventures_of_me_and_my_kruizerGraduation brings goodbyes. Farewell to professors, dorm rooms, classes, and an invincible attitude. It also brings about a change in friend­ships. The classmates of four years, the roommates you lived with, and the friends you went out with are no longer right across the hallway from you. I have a different kind of story with something I consider to be one of my best friends. With it, I have not only made unforgettable memories but also hilarious life lessons that I am thrilled to share. These are the adven­tures of me and my beach kruizer.

I was given my beautiful orange beach kruizer on my 19 birthday, the summer before sophomore year of college. I know I said that this story is about the four years of college, but I had a mountain bike my freshman year and that just doesn’t add any in­terest to this story.

On my birthday, I knew that this bike would be the pride and joy of my next three years at MU. I would ride it everywhere: class, the beach, Dunkin Donuts, friends’ houses, the gym, you name it and that bike was with me. As I finish my last two weeks as a college student, my bike is still by my side. The two of us have learned many les­sons of everyday life.

“Late” is not a word in my vo­cabulary. There have been numerous mornings where I find myself rushing to get to my 8:30 class. By 8:25, I am zooming by everyone on the road and through campus. By 8:27, my bike is locked. By 8:29, I am sitting in my seat with my notes out ready to go.

Not only do I have to thank my legs for pedaling so quickly, but I also learned that time management does not always mean balancing several responsibilities. It can simply mean making sure I am not rushing myself to get somewhere important.

Although I will be taking a train into work from now on, I realized that being rushed isn’t always the safest option. The good thing about riding a bike everywhere is that I wasn’t oper­ating a vehicle going 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, so I would never get pulled over for how fast I was going. This brings me to lesson number two.

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Jobs Can Wait, Your Youth Can’t

jobs_can_wait_your_youth_cantFour years ago, I was graduating from high school, bringing 13 years of education to a monumental close. I headed to MU the following fall to begin my education as an undergrad. I remember feeling like anything was possible. I would graduate from MU, get a great job, make good mon­ey, eventually go to graduate school, and that would be that. Don’t get me wrong, I still expect those things to happen, but who says they have to happen the day after graduation?

One weekend during this semester when I was overloaded with school­work and barely had a second to breathe, it occurred to me that after I graduate, I have been in school for 17 years. That’s practically my whole life. I nearly had a panic attack think­ing about how my life is basically over.

After I graduate, I will start work­ing until I’m way too old to enjoy life or my successes.

Then I thought, if only I had just a few months where I could do noth­ing. No work, no school, no any­thing. Just relax.

I’m a firm believer in taking time off after graduating college before starting a career. When I say “time off,” I don’t mean time off from job searching, I just mean time off from working a typical summer job, and of course, schoolwork. I also don’t mean a year. I think that’s much too long and employers view that nega­tively. I believe a few months of lei­sure, fun and relaxation while job hunting is a reasonable tradeoff.

My parents own a house in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, so I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be perfect if I could live there for the summer? I would continue looking for job op­portunities, but I would be doing it on a gorgeous beach in Florida. It seemed like the perfect plan to me.

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Staying Jersey Strong

In October, our state suffered one of the worst storms that it had seen in a century. After Sandy had hit, it looked like it would be a while until we recovered. I re­member seeing houses gone, de­bris everywhere, and people look­ing so lost, as they had no idea what to do next.

However, out of this natural di­saster, I saw something that I had felt disappeared for a long time: our community spirit. After win­ter break, I couldn’t help but notice that my fellow students were more empathetic and aware toward one another.

Along with other communities banding resources together to re­build, Monmouth stepped up to help. As soon as school was back in session, our student body came together to do what they could to aid the community that we all have become apart of. Greek life held multiple fundraisers, we held different types of food and cloth­ing drives, and at every one I saw my fellow students, along with myself, giving what they could.

“I think that people are help­ing out each other more, and a lot of people are giving. People have been giving money to help those in need, which I think is great,” said Alex Lustig, sophomore. “I really feel that the community is stronger and that has carried through the semester.”

Even though it was a hor­rible tragedy, I feel that a posi­tive change came out of this. Along with a strengthened bond among our student body, there was a change of heart among our students. I see people being a bit friendlier, including myself, and the petty ideas that used to bother us are now moot points.

We have seen what is truly im­portant after dealing with situa­tions out of our control where we had to rely and focus on each other in order to pull through.

One aspect I saw that really showed a shift in our school was the faculty. From the moment I stepped into my first class after we returned, every teacher was asking how we were all handling the situation. Each one of my pro­fessors offered extra office hours, textbooks, and modified their syl­labi in order to help students reach the end of the semester success­fully.

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End of Semester Guide

There is a light at the end of the semester; it is called summer. Now is the time when students are itching to get out of class and get to the beach. Despite craving to make it out of the semester alive, we have to buckle down and finish the semester strong.

End-of-the-semesteritis has to be an actual term, at least in the college world. The end of the semester is the toughest part. Students have projects, term papers, presentations, home­work, and let’s not forget the whole sleeping and eating thing.

Students have so much on their plate that it could satisfy someone’s hunger just by thinking about it. All of the projects, presentations, papers, and internship deadlines are looming over our heads, blocking our view of summer at the end of the semester.

But wait just a flip-flopping sun-screened second. There are ways to fight end-of-the-semesteritis. First things first, breathe. I’m not talking quick short breaths as you experience a nervous breakdown. I’m talking deep slow breaths. The quicker you breathe, the less carbon dioxide you give off, so in moments of hyperven­tilation, your body uses less oxygen, you’ll feel weak, and you won’t be as productive as you would be if you just breathe. So when you do find your­self getting stressed, remember to sit down and breathe. You’ll be able to clear your mind and it’ll help you buckle down and focus on the tasks you have to do.

Another thing that can help you see that summer light at the end of the se­mester is time management. Plan out all of your deadlines in a planner, and anytime you complete a task, cross it off, and the pay off will feel so good.

Last, but certainly not least, take study breaks. Giving yourself short study breaks allows for the informa­tion to sink in, and it is perfect for giv­ing yourself a breather from all of the academics you’ve been inhaling for the past hour and a half. After an hour or so of studying, take a break, a sip of Juicy Juice, listen some music, and chill out for 20 minutes. You’ll feel re­freshed and ready to get back to work.

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Online Dating Fraud

My boss’s nephew is getting mar­ried in September. I’ve had the plea­sure of meeting the happy couple, and they are a perfect match for one another. You know the type; they finish each other’s’ sentences, have the same ideals, morals, and interests, and know what the other needs before they do. But they avoid telling people the “real” story of how they met, changing it each time, from saying they met at a coffee shop to while rock climbing (by the way, nei­ther of them rock climbs).

The reality is that they met on Match.com. To her, “Going online was easier. You have to pay to be on there, so you know that everyone on there wants to be in a relationship. I didn’t have the time to waste on peo­ple who weren’t serious.” With over 17 percent of the marriages this year being of couples who met online, this idea is becoming less and less odd.

According to StatisticBrain.com, 40 million people have tried online dating, making the annual revenue of online dating sites over one billion dollars. However, with all of these statistics, there is a stigma around on­line dating. Although online dating can make beautiful relationships, we are gaining knowledge of the horrors of online dating.

We’ve all heard the stories. Meet a gorgeous model online and fall in love. She finally agrees to meet you at your local Starbucks only for you to find she looks more like Honey Boo Boo’s mom. How much time did you invest in this relationship? Messag­ing online, talking on the phone. This happens more than we would like to admit as we see in MTV’s television show, “Catfish.”

According to urbandictionary. com, the term “catfish” is, “someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, par­ticularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

With the prevalence of the Manti Te’o scandal, the Notre Dame football player who was fooled into falling for “Lennay Kekua” who “died of leuke­mia,” being catfished is a becoming a mainstream worry to those foster­ing online relationships. In Te’o’s case, Kekua never existed, and the entire relationship blew up in his face in all of the tabloids, news channels and social media. And while this isn’t necessarily what one always should expect while trying online dating, or even just making friends online, it is a real possibility.

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Leaving a Legacy Behind

One Student Discusses Importance of Diversity at University


diversityIt is so close to graduation. As a senior, you look back at your years here and say, “Did I leave a legacy here? Did I make an im­pact on this community in West Long Branch, NJ?”

Personally, one of the things that find I myself looking for is the defining moment. What is that one experience that I have had that can define four years? I don’t know if it is possible, but there is one moment that I believe repre­sents the things that I want to see changed here at MU.

Let me introduce a fact from collegeboard.com that I found in­teresting about the University.

Four percent of the students here at MU are black. Four per­cent seems like a small number, but when I saw two black students on the MU homepage when I was applying, I thought that the popu­lation percentage would in actu­ality be in the tens.

However, I am not voicing a gripe with the institution, but ar­guing a call to action for minority students who attend this univer­sity. Leave a legacy. And no, I am not referring to the bricks that you walk past every day on your way to class. Leave a legacy that people will remember for the rest of their lives.

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Keep Your Skin Safe Year-Round With Sun Protection

sun_protectionIt’s July of 2010. Alex had a bit too much to drink the night before and fell asleep next to the pool at his friend’s house without sun­screen on. He would later wake up with third degree sunburn from head to toe. He would be so dehy­drated that he would require four IV’s of fluids at the hospital four days later and his knees would lock in a 90 degree angle as his muscles seize.

My fiancé now has scars all the way down his chest, arms and legs that make it look like his “nipples are crying.” All of this because he was irresponsible with his sun pro­tection.

As the weather warms, we all look to shed the layers upon lay­ers that the cold of winter forces us into. But before you put on your tanks and flip flops, make sure that your sun protection routine is up-to-date and that you have it down pat.

According to the Center for Dis­ease Control (CDC), in New Jer­sey, up to 20 percent of residents have some form of melanoma of the skin. This condition, which can come in the form of basal cells, squamous cells or serious mela­noma, can be skin cancer and re­quires removal of the area. It can even cause death if allowed to spread.

Skin cancer and melanoma can be easily prevented. The number one cause of skin cancer is the exposure to Ultra Violet rays, or UV Rays, which come most often from the sun. These rays can be blocked with sun protective factor (SPF). There are three top ways to increase your sun protection. Use sunscreen, seek shade and avoid indoor tanning.

First, use sunscreen. It’s what your mom told you every day all summer when you were running out of the house to hit the beach. “Don’t forget the sunscreen!” She was right. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 containing both UVA and UVB protection is vital to sun protection. And not just when you know that you are going to be in the sun a lot – always. Is it winter? Wear daily lotion with SPF in it. Cloudy out? Slather on that sun­screen, baby. The sun gets through the clouds and often is more inten­sified with the increased moisture in the air.

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Senioritis: The Contagious Epidemic

Students Combat the Temptation to be Lazy During the Last Few Weeks of School


senioritisFinal exams begin in three weeks. Summer break begins in four weeks. Graduation is in five weeks. With the semester’s close in sight, the anticipation of time off from school work, a new job and beach season slowly start to take precedence in students’ minds.

With distractions like these, it is accurate to assume that some, or many, college students may have a little bit of a struggle maintaining focus on school responsibilities.

As a senior graduating in May, I have quickly realized how dif­ficult it is to evenly divide my at­tention between both school work and the many other distractions that come with the end of the se­mester. In fact, an even distribu­tion is close to impossible at this point.

I have heard a lot of other se­niors commenting on their non­chalant attitudes toward the re­maining weeks of school. This has often been referred to as “se­nioritis”.

Every person can have his or her own definition of what se­nioritis really is. Merriam-Web­ster surprisingly documents it as an actual term with the following definition: “an ebbing motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences and lower grades.”

According to Urban Dictionary, those with senioritis are prone to the following symptoms: lazi­ness, an over-excessive wearing of sweat pants, a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude.

The only known cure is a phe­nomenon known as graduation. Here’s the thing with senioritis: I think it affects more than just seniors. Let me break it down by grade.

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Staying Confident This Summer

Avoid Feeling Self Conscious in a Swimsuit


swimsuitsAs the semester soon comes to a close, warmer weather is on its way along with day trips to the beach, class outside, and of course the tease of summer vacation. While this time of year is supposed to be pleasurable, it also seems to create a type of dread for some people I know, specifically my female peers.

Almost like clockwork, every year girls will start their “summer diets” in order to look attractive in summer clothing. While I know that I have had my own fear of fitting into my bath­ing suits that have been crammed in the back of my closet for almost eight months, I have seen women’s desire to be attractive go overboard with crash dieting and excessive exercising.

Before you continue reading, I would like to say that there is nothing wrong with losing weight or exercis­ing to stay healthy. Those who main­tain a regular healthy lifestyle, I ap­preciate your commitment to eating right and exercising properly.

The main point I am trying to ex­plain is the unhealthy dieting, which women and men in our country suc­cumb to every day. Some people may think they are getting ahead by try­ing to lose weight in a short amount of time, but they may end up severely harming their bodies.

According to the National Associa­tion of Anorexia Nervosa and Associ­ated Disorders (NAANAD), out of 91 percent of college women surveyed, 86 percent reported having the start­ing symptoms of an eating disorder by age 20.

This quest for physical perfec­tion does not just affect women. The NAANAD reported that an estimated 10-15 percent of people suffer from anorexia or bulimia. Even children as young as 11 are insecure about their bodies and desire to be thinner due to the media’s interpretation of the per­fect physique. These issues affect over 24 million people of all ages, races and genders with dire consequences .

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Pets On Campus

If you are like me, when you left your home for college, you left a dear, beloved friend behind, your pet(s). I left my two cats Lucky and Maggie when I moved from my home in Montgomery, New Jer­sey to MU. Leaving them behind made it difficult to settle in at school my freshman year. Even though I begged my parents to let me take my cats with me, offering to pay the fines if and when I got caught, they still said “no,” so I moved into Cedar pet-less.

Currently, MU does not permit pets to live in the dorms or in off-campus housing, leaving us pet owners with no choice but to bid farewell to our furry companions until winter break. I know this might be farfetched, but what if pets were allowed to live with us at school?

By allowing pets to live on cam­pus, both the University and the students would benefit alike. If MU turned an off-campus housing sec­tion into a pet-friendly residency, MU could charge a fee for a pet ap­plication to be approved by the Of­fice of Residential Life, as well as monthly fees to cover the pet living in the dorm, extra cleaning accom­modations, etc.

Eckerd College, located in St. Petersburg, Florida, has one of the oldest pets-in-residence programs in the nation, and is frequently sought by other colleges looking to imple­ment its own pet policies. Eckerd College allows domestic animals in all housing complexes during the fall and spring terms as long as they are properly secured in a cage.

Permitted pets include dogs under 40 pounds, cats, ferrets, birds, ham­sters, guinea pigs, rats, turtles, fish and non-venomous snakes under 6 feet long. Additionally, pets must be at least one year old. Eckerd College has a Pet Council to decide what pets are permitted to reside on campus. They also deal with all other issues and concerns regarding pets at Eck­erd.

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Reflections from Guatemala: The True Meaning of Health

One Student Shares a Touching Experience of a Spring Break Trip to Guatemala


GuatemalaSome things in the world are universal: kindness, a smile, laughter, a hug. These are the things I experienced while in Guatemala despite an enormous language barrier between “las amigas” (my friends) and I.

As part of an independent study project with Dr. Christo­pher Hirschler, assistant profes­sor, four other MU students and I journeyed to Guatemala during spring break to deliver health education on a variety of impor­tant topics, including the health effects of tobacco use, alcohol abuse, proper lifting techniques, stress management, and dehydra­tion.

Although we had prepared for months in advance by completing readings, research papers, and viewing documentaries regarding the political and cultural history of Guatemala and the Mayans, there were not truly understood until actually visiting Guatemala.

Culturally, I noticed differ­ences in the things we prioritize, such as the value of sleep and the types of foods we are willing to eat for breakfast, lunch, and din­ner. On the other hand, there were many similarities, such as the mutual appreciation of breaks to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and play basketball.

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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