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Opinion

Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

Adventures of Me and My Kruizer

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.

Now what you all have been waiting for: the experience that I had that sums up my legacy here at MU. It happened last Friday. I was in story telling class with Professor Mary Carol Stunkel, and part of our class work re­quires us to go off campus and recite stories to children.

The school that we went to was the Hope Academy Charter School in Asbury Park, NJ. Last Friday, I told a story to a class­room full of excited second grad­ers eager to hear what the visitor had to say, and it was a fulfilling experience. Seeing the children gasp when the man in the story disappeared or hearing their an­swers to why the person in the story was a selfish person did it for me.

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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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Google Doodle Disappoints

Decision Not to Feature An Easter Doodle Sparks Outrage

cesar-chavez-doodleAs much as I hate to admit it, one of the things I look forward to on any holiday is seeing what type of innovative doodle Google has come up with. It is always an interest­ing experience to see how creative the different doodles are and how imaginative Google proves to be over time. Therefore, you can only imagine my surprise when I saw that Google’s homepage on Easter Sunday did not feature an Easter related doodle. Instead, the website chose to honor Cesar Chavez who would have been 86 years old.

Although I was surprised, I got over it and moved on. In fact, I thought I would be one of the few people who noticed. It wasn’t un­til the next morning that I realized that I was not alone in my observa­tion. Not only did others notice, but much to my surprise, some were furious.

The controversial decision to forego an Easter doodle sparked outrage among many, ranging from conservative publications to those on social media, many of whom praised Bing for featuring an Eas­ter egg picture.

Fox News host Dana Perino Peri­no tweeted, “I thought the Chavez-google thing was a hoax or an early April Fool’s Day prank. Are they just going to leave that up there all day?”

Other Google users were so angry they threatened to stop us­ing the search engine, tweeting, “Unbelievable! Their true colors are showing! Yahoo here I come!” “Booo!! to Google for making their holiday doodle about Cesar Chavez’s 86th birthday instead of Easter,” “Google uses Cesar Chavez on Easter instead of using something Easter related? Okay, I’m switching to Bing.”

I understand that Google features a variety of doodles throughout the year honoring a wide range of oc­casions, including the birthdays of historical figures. However, on a day when so many people around the world are celebrating a holiday they hold near and dear, it seems a little insensitive that Google would choose not to honor such a special holiday.

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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.

Ironically, I went to Guatemala assuming I was going to be the one teaching, having packed the materials for an entire health les­son. In reality, I think I learned more from the friends I made in Guatemala than I could ever dream of.

Just when I thought we were separate, there would be a re­minder of how we really are all the same. Sitting in Pastor Juan’s classroom as he taught las ami­gas y amigos of the Salud y Paz community health program what it means to practice good health. I couldn’t help but think just how universal his teachings were and that when it comes down to it, we are all human with the same needs to be healthy, to be loved, and to belong.

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Why the Rush? Time Management is Key

Time-ManagementSo, the saying is true. Time flies when you least expect it. Yet, how is it that time can always be slipping away from us?

We’re only human; we run late, miss deadlines, and occasionally forget to do things. But it all revolves around time. Students at MU are trying to master the ways of time management to rid themselves of any lateness whatsoever.

I know that if I could have one super power (other than flying), it would be the ability to control time. I would be a “time-bender.” If I had to meet a tight deadline but was short on time, I would magically give myself an extra two hours to get it done.

What a perfect world.

However, I have created some great tips to managing time and making time your friend, not your worst enemy. You do not have to do all of them- unless you want to be super-crazy organized, then by all means, go for it. But just by doing one of these, you will find that time will become your friend.

Keep your long-term goals in sight: I find that making a to-do list for the week is a good way to achieve your long-term goals. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but crossing things off of the list will alleviate stress and keep you focused and driven.

Schedule anything that you are aware of for that week: In your planner, write down any work times, social events, and even some study breaks to give yourself some down time. Scheduling on a calendar helps you see your weeks and allows planning accordingly.

Start planning tomorrow at the end of today: This way you can know what to expect for the next day and you can set a list of priorities for yourself to make sure that you can check them off your list.

However, it is often easy to stop a task and immediately deal with anything that can be considered a small distraction, and as college students, let’s admit it, we can get easily distracted. But if something new distracts your attention, it is okay to come back to it later.

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Future of YouTube

Website Continues to Expand

On March 20, YouTube announced that it had reached a staggering 1 billion users per month.  The site is continuing to grow, with higher production content for users, and with mobile devices becoming more prominent, it seems a shift could be in the near future. What will YouTube’s next step be to continue their  consumer growth?

Among most members of my generation, YouTube has become more than just another site to see cat videos and people failing horribly at dares and physical activities. I’ll admit I have spent my fair share of time on YouTube, sometimes more than I probably should, but putting a limit on how many videos you watch is like being at a buffet and only eating at the salad bar. YouTube is a smorgasbord of something for everybody.

Since the site launched in 2005, there have been those that have created tutorials, dramas, music videos, and the list can go on and on. YouTube has reached over 1 billion users, which begs the question: What will this mean for video content in the future? It seems that if I want to watch a clip of a television show, the first place I run to is the Internet. YouTube is only one of the several sites that has been attracting consumers for years.

It’s not really hard to see why YouTube has become so popular. There are millions of videos and “YouTubers” that create weekly and daily content that is suggested by their viewers. It seems to be the best of both worlds: creators can make videos that they know will be viewed,  the consumers get what they desire and can give feedback so they know that they are being heard. Imagine doing that with your favorite television show. With these trends, I can imagine that in a few years, if not sooner, content from bigger networks will be making their way to the site. Actors such as Neil Patrick Harris and Ricky Gervais already have their own channels that viewers can subscribe to with original content. It is a fast, easy, and fun way to quickly get content to the masses.

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Full Time Student to Employee

Deciding When to Begin Working After College

Some may disagree, but I think change is good.  Whatever those changes may be, I firmly believe that a person is able to make changes to his or her life by taking a step back to look at things with a new perspective. 

For seniors graduating in May, life is going to throw us a curveball, and we have to be ready to hit it out of the park.  Graduation day is the beginning of the rest of our lives (I know, so cliché).  Realistically, each and every one of us students hope to have a job lined up upon graduating.  Knowing we have some financial security when we leave school would be an extremely comfortable feeling.

However, if those of you reading this are anything like me, job hunting is not the only difficult part of seeking full-time employment. The other is when to begin our lives as full-time employees.

Many of my friends that graduated last year have given me the following advice: do not start working right after graduation.  Each of them decided to enjoy their last summer “off” and postpone their lives as working women until August or September.

They spent the few months after graduation vacationing and traveling. They also used that gap between college and the “real world” as a transition period. However, there are many graduates that begin working the week after graduation.  So, when should a recent college graduate begin working full-time?

The good thing is that there is no right or wrong answer to that question. In my mind, it really boils down to two things: the kind of person you are and the hiring employer.

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Counting Down to Graduation

Senior Student Shares Sentiments About Moving On

graduation

“Time flies when you’re having fun.” “These next four years will fly by.” “You’re going to miss this time of your life.” Have you ever been on the receiving end of these messages? I have on countless oc­casions, and each always sounded so cliché that I never bothered to truly accept the truth about them. Now that I am less than two months away from graduating college, I cringe at the thought of every mo­ment that I took for granted.

Although I am offering the sim­ple advice of cherishing each sec­ond of your college years, I do not want to write for the underclass­men. This article is for the seniors, the graduates of the class of 2013. If you are anything like me, May 22 could be marked down in your di­ary as the saddest day of your life.

In no way am I ready to graduate. Sure, I am pleased with my prepa­ration for the professional world, and an opportunity for a job right out of college looks like a good pos­sibility. So that is not the reason I’m not ready to graduate. Like all of the seniors here at Monmouth (or at least the majority of them), my seventeen years of schooling (in­cluding kindergarten) comes to an end. I went through a short-lived phase of sulking about all of the things that will disappear when I graduate.

Here are just a few of them: being in a classroom setting, sleeping in, procrastinating school work, hav­ing Christmas and spring break, staying out late on a Tuesday, run­ning club meetings, having ample time for the gym, and living within a mile from all of my friends. All of these memories are irreplace­able. Although I do not wish to go back and redo any of them, I do wish I could have more time to en­joy them.

This next month and a half gives me a golden opportunity to create more memories. However, miss­ing these experiences is only half of the reason as to why I am not ready to graduate. The other half is filled w ith fear. I consider myself a risky, courageous, and spontane­ous woman. However, I only know how those behaviors affect me in an environment that treats mistakes as terrific learning experiences. The schooling years appreciate trying and failing. It is in human nature to do so, but I fear for an environment that does not allow me to grow through failure. I fear that the pres­sure I put on myself will be ampli­fied and that brave actions will only matter if they result in success. I fear leaving the comfort zone of a setting that allowed me to dip my hands into as many pots as possible and to try new things.

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Journalism Industry Changes As Digital Media Dominates

Traditional Journalism Gradually Fades into the Past as More News Moves to Online Outlets

Over the past several years, the journalism industry has seen many changes and these changes are proving to be large contribut­ing factors to the gradual decline of traditional journalism.

The most evident change in journalism has been the dras­tic transition to digital media as technology gradually immerses itself into every aspect of our everyday lives. In recent years, more and more news outlets have made an effort to reach out to wider audiences through the use of technology.

“The big change in all news media has been the migration of content to digital distribution,” said Dr. Eleanor Novek, journal­ism professor.

Societal changes and the need for quicker news have also con­tributed to the changes in the in­dustry. As more audiences turn their attention to digital outlets for news, traditional news outlets, particularly newspapers, have suffered. In this day and age, newspapers are no longer timely.

With the use of technology as a source of news, audiences are able to have their information at their disposal at any time of the day with the click of a few but­tons, proving to be a desirable method of obtaining news. Peo­ple today do not want to take the time to buy a newspaper and flip through pages of long articles in order to extract information about news which has already occurred.

“I think journalism is rapidly establishing itself online, as it has become the first place readers go for news,” said Daniel Gun­derman, Editor-in-Chief of The Verge. “In terms of hard news, I see print journalism becom­ing obsolete. There will be no need to flip through a tabloid or broadsheet to see what happened 24 hours earlier when we already received alerts about it on our phones.”

With the aid of cell phone ap­plications for nearly every news outlet in the market, audiences can filter the news they read based upon a variety of factors ranging from interest and political affili­ation to geographic location and time period.

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Separate, but Equal

Are Gender-Specific Facilities Fair?

I wouldn’t classify myself as a feminist, nor do I promote any radical gender reform, but I believe in gen­der equality. As I watched television the other day, a commercial came on for Lucille Roberts Women’s Fit­ness Center. I have never really given much thought to a gender-specific fa­cility before but it got me wondering if promoting such facilities was in our country’s best interest. How can men and women be equal if we keep creat­ing these places that separate us?

Lucille Roberts Women’s Fitness Center opened in 1970 by a woman named Lucille Roberts. Roberts’ goal by opening the facility was to pro­vide women with a comfortable and affordable place to exercise and lose weight. According to the Lucille Rob­erts website, “…we are ladies only because we believe women should be comfortable working out. Our mem­bers can jump higher, squat lower and sweat without feeling self-conscious.”

Curves, another popular women’s -only gym is said to be “an overnight success, as it gave women a support­ive and comfortable atmosphere in which to work out.” Today, Curves is the largest fitness franchise in the world with over 9,000 clubs in over 70 countries.

Personally, I like the idea of a wom­en-only fitness center. I wouldn’t have to put any effort into the way I look when going to the gym, I wouldn’t be self-conscious about the way I run on the treadmill and I wouldn’t fret if I got a little sweaty. A women’s facil­ity would cater to my needs and I see the reasoning behind them, but I feel uneasy when I think about the impact gender exclusive facilities have on our efforts to achieve gender equality.

Now, before all you men start storming Curves and Lucille Roberts with pitchforks and torches, I ask you to recall this past summer, August 20, 2012 to be exact. Does Augusta Na­tional Golf Club ring a bell? If not, let me fill you in.

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Spending Spring Break at Home

Spring-Break“What are you doing for your spring break?” has been the most popular question in my classes I have heard over the past few weeks. As usual, there are the general responses of going to Florida, cruises, skiing, and, of course, visiting grandma and grandpa for the week.

However, among those exciting plans I heard in a surprisingly dreadful tone: “You guys are so lucky. I’m just going to be stuck at home again this year,” from one of my female peers.

Like several of my other classmates, I will also be spending my Spring Break this year homebound in North Jersey. While it would be nice to travel some place warm and sunny with consistent weather, I can attest that as a college student, my budget is currently kept on a tight leash making travel a low priority for now.

Still, to those of you who are staying home, you can still have just as much fun with a well-planned “Stay-cation” this year. You just have to see for yourself instead of moping around on Facebook looking at everybody else having fun.

If you are looking to do something fun over the break, try planning a day trip somewhere. As long as you have some type of transportation and an open mind, you can go anywhere and have a great time. It could be going to a museum in the city, the beach, or simply having a day in the park with your friends.

Something as simple as going out to dinner and a movie with friends can be a great way to shake your stay home blues, and if you are short on cash, have dinner and a movie at your house.

This is a great way to try those new recipes you have on your Pintrest board you have been waiting to try, and show off your wicked cooking skills to all your friends.

However, I know that, like myself, several of my friends from home are on different Spring Break schedules. If this happens to be the case, try to meet someone new, or invite a friend from Monmouth to come hang out with you.

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What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

sanfran33When I was in the first grade, I remember writing down all of the things I wanted to be when I grew up; an astronaut, a teacher, a mommy, a puppy. I wanted to be anything I found inspiring and fun.

As I grew older and realized that I could be anything but a puppy, I realized the many other things I wanted to be along with my original ideas; a lawyer, a doctor, and an actress.

As I reached high school, I thought I had my dreams limited down to what I wanted to study in college. I wanted to be a television broadcaster and work in New York City.

After my freshman year at MU, I switched majors and decided I wanted to study Public Relations. What do I want to be now? I couldn’t tell you.

I honestly wish I had a clear image of what I could see myself pursuing as a career. The truth is that I can see myself doing a lot. I still feel like the little girl who imagined flying to the moon in a space shuttle, teaching kids the alphabet and becoming a movie star.

Although those dreams have slightly changed to be more realistic and tailored to my current interests, I find myself constantly wondering the same question: “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

This has been the toughest question I have had to answer during my entire college career. I still tend to get caught up in moments of stress thinking about it. I am sure every senior feels overwhelmed thinking about what they will be doing after graduation.

There are things I do wish I would have considered pursuing, possibly some of the careers listed above from my childhood.

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Preparing for Life after Monmouth

It is quickly becoming an assumption of the times that recent college graduates and current college students are the most stressed out generation in the U.S. This is correlated with the economic times, which seems to have squashed many college students’ aspirations to begin careers (notice I did not say get jobs) in areas of their interest - especially if they are liberal arts majors.

There are certainly elements of truth in these observations. However, I would offer this reality is at least in part self-fulfilling and moreover that Monmouth students can overcome many career barriers by taking advantage of the career mentoring opportunities the university offers.

Let me being by discussing some things students should be doing during their Monmouth careers in order to prepare for the life-long careers. The first bit of advice is for you all to reflect on why you are studying what you are studying - and the answer cannot be because it is required. All courses, be they general education, major or minor courses, should contribute to your life-long learning goal. If your initial answer to the question “why are you taking this course?” is that it is interesting, I would ask you to dig a bit deeper and ask yourself “why it is interesting?” Is it because you like history and particularly British History? That is absolutely great, but again, why do you like British History? What does the subject matter and the way you learn about it mean to you? What does it allow you to do that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise? Do you enjoy doing research papers and writing about history? Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What, in short, do you learn by studying history (and the answer cannot be facts and dates)?

Next, I want you to reflect on the competencies and knowledge you are acquiring as you take your courses. Reflect on activities such as doing research. The goal of your teachers is to help you learn how to ask questions, collect data (sometimes observations, sometimes numbers) organize it into information, and then analyze and interpret this in ways that answer your questions. In a parallel way, your arts professor is there to help you learn how to ask questions and express your answers visually, in performance, or perhaps as poetry or a short story. 

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Choosing a Travel Method

With Spring Break right around the corner, students must decide whether to take a road trip or fly to their destinations. Both driving and flying have their perks, and they also have their downfalls. When traveling, you have to think about your choices and which is the best option for yourself.

Taking a road trip in a car for multiple hours at a time could be a curse or a blessing depending on how much you like the people you are with.

No road trip is complete without an epic playlist. Before leaving, put together playlists for all possible situations; loud and crazy jam sessions, drives down long deserted roads, keeping everyone awake, and while the passengers are sleeping.

On the other hand, flying gives the opportunity for quicker travel. You can fly across the country in less than six hours. By saving time on travel, it leaves more time for actual activities and fun on your vacation.

In my personal experience, flying has always been more expensive than driving. Each person will pay hundreds of dollars for their plane tickets. However, gas money and tolls split between a car full of people would be much cheaper.

Who is driving and whose car to take is always a decision that has to be made, and sometimes this may or not be an easy decision.

On a plane ride, you are waited on by flight attendants. They are there to help you if you are hungry, thirsty, or cold. The downside of flying is that airplane food can be expensive and is not the tastiest. Complimentary beverages are always good though.

How annoying is it when you are trying to read in a car and you get motion sickness? Reading is a great way to pass the time while traveling. On a long plane or car ride you can finish a good book, but if you suffer from motion sickness, it is more difficult to complete that task in a car.

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Do Certain TV Shows Give Us More Than Entertainment?

the-biggest-loser“The Biggest Loser” and “What Not to Wear” are my two favorite shows. I will not miss an episode of “The Biggest Loser.” I literally would not be able to go to sleep on a Monday night if I did not see who was knocked out of the competition and how much weight they have lost since.

Every time I turn on TLC and “What Not to Wear” is on, my day is made. If I do not watch it from the beginning, I make sure to see the hair and makeup makeover.

What is my fascination with these two shows? Is it because I am interested in the health and fitness industry? Absolutely. Is it because my career calls for professional attire and I need to learn how to coordinate clothing and jewelry better? One hundred percent yes. But I can research health issues and fashion on my own time without watching either of these shows. So what is the underlying reason for my infatuation?

I can relate to them. Each and every one of us can. I am not morbidly obese nor am I considered overweight. But I do not always feel comfortable in my body, especially after splurging on half of a pizza pie and chocolate cake. I guarantee that almost everyone reading this feels the same way sometimes.

Same goes for fashion. There are days that I know Stacey London and Clinton Kelly from “What Not to Wear” would have a heart attack if they saw what I wore to class. Do I really expect myself to get in a pair of jeans on a Monday? No way. But when I go through my closet looking for casual outfits, I usually end up hating all of my clothes. So when I turn on these two shows, I find inspiration and hope. I see an end result and a plan on how to get there. I see other people dealing with similar struggles as myself. That is the beauty of reality television.

Any fan of “The Biggest Loser” understands the concept of the show. Contestants compete in physical activities, learn healthy eating habits and “weigh in” every week. One person goes home after each episode, and there is only one winner.

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Handling Peer Pressure in College

Remember when you were first taught the concept of peer pres­sure back in elementary school? Your teachers educated you on the value of respecting yourself and others around you and to nev­er force someone to do something that they do not want to do. As we get older, the lessons of peer pressure go on without much to say. We experience life and learn from our mistakes. We think that we carry our wits about us every­where we go when we are with groups of people. We may think that we, as college students, do not fall into peer pressure, but it happens more times than we think.

As students from high school transition into college, times can be rough. They have to get used to their new environment and adapt to any changes that come their way. Someone who was not into the party scene in high school might wind up living on a floor that is wild and crazy, and they will have to adapt to their en­vironment in order to fit in with everyone else.

Next thing they know their whole persona changes. They be­gin to think differently, dress dif­ferently, and act differently just to fit in with a group of people. It is crazy to think that a group of peo­ple can have such a massive influ­ence on one person, but someone’s lifestyle can be changed drastical­ly just by conforming and adopt­ing to other people’s values and actions as they forget about their own.

However, peer pressure does not only relate to the party scene. Students can experience peer pressure when it comes to doing well in their classes. If every­one else is stressing out, you are bound to stress as well. Students may also experience peer pres­sure to lose weight or get in shape because their friends are into that lifestyle. There is a wide range of pressure that college students can face.

A perfect example of people always conforming to other’s ac­tions can be seen in Mean Girls. I am not going to give a full blown synopsis of this movie because I am pretty sure, actually 100 per­cent sure, that this entire campus has seen it, or if they have not seen it, know about it.

In relating the movie to peer pressure, Lindsey Lohan’s char­acter conforms to her new social group referred to as “The Plas­tics.” She acts like them, thinks like them, and dresses like them.

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Volunteering to Make a Difference

One Student Realizes Importance of Helping Others After Experience at Charity Bike Race

VolunteeringThere was a time when I thought that volunteering was simply a part of community service. People volunteer or do community to impress schools he or she wishes to attend or in order to fulfill a certain amount of hours for being caught party­ing a little too hard off campus. Maybe it is so that one fulfills her sorority’s requirements or because the university makes ev­ery club and organization pitch in for the Big Event. Regardless, no one volunteers without an ul­terior motive.

About a year ago, I found my­self with a brand new internship at the Multiple Sclerosis Soci­ety. I did typical intern things: I stuffed envelopes, ran labels, and ran errands around town. But I had one other thing I was required to do; attend the events that the organization held.

During the events, I mostly ran left and right but there was a few times when I had the chance to speak with the event partici­pants, volunteers, or those living with the disease.

It was overwhelming. Here were people all around me to­gether for one cause. They were all working toward the same goal, all there not because they had to be, but because they want­ed to be.

To the girl who had never vol­unteered a day in her life and never felt a need to, seeing all of these people investing time, money, and emotion into this event blew me away.

There is a plethora of reasons that one should volunteer. It is no longer necessary for a volunteer to be someone affected by the cause, working off community service hours, or someone trying to get into college or to put their experience on a resume. Volun­teering has so many benefits, es­pecially for a college student.

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Response to: A Challenge for More Faculty to Participate in The Outlook

To the Editors of the Outlook:

This reply is in regard to the article that appeared in this week’s Outlook:  “A Challenge for More Faculty to Participate in The Outlook.”   It generated much discussion within my department since we were singled out as being among those departments who were most egregious in failing to involve ourselves in the activities of our school newspaper.  One outcome of this discussion is that we found the accusation to be grossly false. One of my colleagues was curious as to just how involved we have been, and did a search for “psychology” and by last names over the last 12 months in the search option on the Outlook website. That search turned up 15 times that a faculty member from our department is mentioned in an article that appeared in print (eight of us are listed, by the way… the list is included at the end of this email).  I have no idea how many times we were actually asked to reply to an inquiry or how many times our replies went unmentioned in the paper, but I was asked via email 3-4 times since September, unfortunately about matters of which I have no expertise.  In one case I replied (see below) and in the other cases I forwarded the request to the rest of the faculty in my department.  I see from the search on your website (listed below) that all of these requests were responded to by another faculty member in my department.  

I think it is also important to point out that some of my attempts to publish something or interact with the Outlook have been ignored or set aside, a phenomenon known as “selective survival” in archival research on the topic of what gets published in print media.  For example, last fall, I responded to an email request from someone representing the Outlook about our fascination with vampires.  I wrote back that I have no expertise in this area but did some Google scholar research and sent the reporter three lengthy published articles on the topic.  I checked the Outlook over the next 3-4 weeks but never saw an article on vampires (if it appeared, my research assistance was not mentioned).   This would be one type of “selective survival” in which an individual’s attempt to work with one of your reporters was not credited or was simply ignored. On another occasion last spring, I wrote a short article for the Outlook about the undefeated season of the Lacrosse Club, trying to encourage students to attend the final game that weekend against the other undefeated team in the league.  I’m the Lacrosse Club advisor and, since it seemed newsworthy, I wanted to draw attention to the upcoming game which would have determined the League champion.  I also thought my article was newsworthy since the success of the club has been an important factor in the decision to make Lacrosse the next Division I team at Monmouth.  Unfortunately, the article was never printed, another example of “selective survival” of an attempt by a faculty member to contribute to the news of Monmouth University.  One last example of “selective survival” of faculty involvement in the Outlook involves the Argentine tango classes that were offered at Monmouth University in the fall, 2012.  I was involved in those classes as a participant and a photographer came to take pictures for the Outlook, taking names and asking questions about tango.  I looked again for several weeks for an article to see if they included my photo or my comments but none appeared that I could find. 

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Balance Needed : Credits Which Prevent Students From Graduating

One Student’s Reaction to the Recent Knowledge She May Not Graduate on Time

Commencement_20130118_BN_232Imagine the spring semester of your senior year in college. Schoolwork seems like a piece of cake, nights and weekends are well spent, and job search­ing is an exciting new adventure. The only thing standing between you and the professional working world is graduation.

As the May Commencement rapidly approaches, the thought of the four years at college com­ing to an end is bittersweet. Un­less you are attending graduate school, the thought of prolonging your college career rarely crosses your mind.

My case is different. During an afternoon last week, I received an e-mail stating that I was not on-track to graduate in May. After the knots in my stomach settled, I called the Registrar to clarify this terrifying news. Long story short, I was missing nine credits of electives.

During the past four years of creating my schedule on my own, I made sure to complete all of the requirements that were listed on my academic audit.

I was under the assumption that once all of the requirements were met, I had no more credits to ful­fill.

Where was my mix up then? What I failed to realize during my four years of scheduling classes is that near the top of the academic audit is a “Balance Needed” num­ber that I passed right over every year, assuming that the require­ments were the only necessary classes.

I was not graduating in the May Class of 2013. My eyes filled up with buckets of water ready to stream down my face as my mind raced for solutions. Nine credits. That is what was separating me from walking across the stage and receiving my diploma in May.

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A Crackdown on Cursing in Public?

Swearing in public has become common for most Americans, es­pecially among teens and young adults. Cursing while driving and during conversations, the scenarios are endless. While some consider cursing to be a sin or taboo others are voicing their First Amendment rights to swear in public. Has our swearing soci­ety gone too far?

Middleborough, Massachusetts thinks so. During a town meet­ing on June 11, 2012, residents of Middleborough voted 183-50 to make their foul-mouthed neigh­bors pay fines for public profan­ity. Residents encouraged the proposal by the chief of police to impose a $20 fine for swearing in public. It was made clear that this new law was not intended to cen­sor casual or private conversa­tions, but rather to control loud, offensive language primarily used by teens and young adults in public settings.

However, the line that con­stitutes a word as a curse word seems to become more and more blurred each day. Over time, words that were once thought to be vulgar have evolved into words that we say and hear on a daily basis, becoming less of­fensive and less harsh than the meanings that they were once as­sociated with.

Many now believe swear words do an outstanding job of express­ing strong feelings because other words fail to communicate. For example, “What the heck are you doing?” doesn’t seem to ex­emplify the same feelings and emotions as “What the f*** are you doing?!”

The Corpus of Contemporary American English found that of the 5,000 most commonly used English words, the F-word ranked in at 4,655. Four other curse words also made it onto the list. Does this mean Americans are just overly expressive?

It seems that cursing has be­come a part of our language. John McWhorter, opinion writer for CNN.com, describes our common use of profanity as “col­orful.” He supposes that our soci­ety is simply more informal than it was when our grandparents were our age. It is difficult to say whether this is positive or nega­tive for our society. But it seems that Middleborough is taking a few steps in the wrong direc­tion by demolishing their speech rights to avoid cursing in public from time to time.

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Being a Homebody at a Young Age

I have a confession to make: I hate going out. A Saturday night spent in yoga pants, eating warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies, hanging out with my fiancé and my kitten while watching a marathon of Entourage episodes sounds like an ideal night to me.

When my best friend, who is a crazy party-girl calls me up, she knows to offer a night of going to the diner and hitting the mall or movies ver­sus a night hitting the dance floor.

Don’t write me off as a wet towel just yet. I have tried the cliché college girl thing. Early in my four years at Monmouth, I went out most nights, stayed out late and partied. My grades suffered, I was always tired, I gained five pounds, and I was all around miserable.

It was not for me, so I started do­ing things that I enjoyed, such as staying in with a carton of Chinese food and a good book, going home on a weekend to hang out with my mom, laying out on the beach with friends or going window shopping. Simple things like that make me happy.

To me, going out takes money, time and energy, all of which I often feel I do not have enough of. If we are being honest, I have always been the little girl sitting at home, reading a Judy Bloom book or helping my mom make dinner.

I have always liked knowing exactly what I will be doing next, where everything is and the lack of expectations that staying in holds.

In all honesty, I feel that more people are, or want to be homebod­ies. Unfortunately, we feel that we need to go out, party, get crazy or else we’re not living.

Homebodies are judged as boring and lazy losers or having no friends. Homebodies simply enjoy the com­fort, peace, and simplicity of staying in more than the unpredictability, loudness and insanity of a night out on the town.

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Pressure for Romance

Why Women Worry on Valentine’s Day

If there is one thing I have realized as I have gotten older it is that I re­ally hate Valentine’s Day. Not to be a Debbie Downer or come off as the Grinch who Stole Valentine’s Day, but I honestly hate what the holiday has become. Apart from the fact that it makes single people feel even worse about being single, the day has become solely a hallmark holi­day for retailers to play on womens’ emotions.

Women put so much pressure on their significant others to make Val­entine’s Day special that they forget that it is not that important of a day. If your boyfriend or husband opens the door for you every time you go out, buys you flowers and brings you gifts on a regular basis, you should consider yourself a lucky woman. Therefore, why do you feel the need to pressure him into going above and beyond on one particular day?

In any relationship, I always em­phasize that I do not want to do any­thing special on Valentine’s Day. I have no desire to stand in long lines at restaurants waiting for tables, holding the same bouquet of red ros­es every other woman is holding, or getting a cheesy teddy bear that will only end up in a pile of other cheesy teddy bears. I want to feel special on every date, but how can I feel special surrounded by dozens of other cou­ples doing the same thing I am doing on the same day because it is what they are “supposed” to be doing?

The true test of whether he is the right guy or even a good guy is by observing how he treats you every other day of the year. If he buys you flowers and has them delivered to you simply because it is Tuesday, he is a keeper. If he stops by your house on his way home from work just so that he can give you the chicken soup he bought for you because he knows you have been sick all week, he is a good guy. If he opens the door for you everywhere you go, whether it is at the grocery store or an upscale restaurant, he might be the one.

However, I am not going to call my friends and tell them that I am hearing wedding bells simply be­cause my boyfriend bought me flow­ers and candy on Valentine’s Day, nor would I consider him a keeper just because he actually took me to a restaurant where we did not have to read the menu through the car window at a drive through. I want to be treated to fancy dinners and chiv­alry on a regular basis, and if I am given that, why should I put more emphasis on any one specific day of the year?

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What Do Fairy Tales Really Teach Us About Romance?

“Someday my prince will come.” It is the song that little girls around the world hear Snow White serenade to the little birds and squirrels she calls friends. The princess movies of our child­hood teach us to wait for our Prince Charming. He should be tall, dark and handsome; brave, rich and passionate; kind, caring, and sensitive. Being royal does not hurt either.

But then we grow up, and we enter the real world where we meet the guy who works part-time at the Quick Check down the road between classes and who is only a little taller than you (when you’re in flats). Bye-bye beautiful stilettos you spent two paychecks on. Could he be the one for you? You will never get a chance to find out because instead, we look for a prince.

As little girls, many of us watch princess movies with such a pas­sion that it is almost religious. We drink in what these movies give us, letting the lessons that are in them influence us way past our canopy bed and Spice Girls stage.

So what do princess movies teach us as young girls? What are the life lessons we are absorbing while sitting in front of the televi­sion in a tutu with a wand? Let’s go down the list.

Cinderella, arguably one of the most popular princess mov­ies, teaches young girls to cook, clean and be nice to people who are utterly terrible to you. Talk to animals it is totally normal. Don’t try to fix any of your own prob­lems, just wallow in self-pity and someone will come and give you that pricy gown and one-of-a-kind glass slippers. Want to meet a man? Go to a ball, act completely different from who you are, make him fall for you but then leave without giving him your number or your name and expect him to rescue you from your horrid life with an extremely obscure object.

How about Snow White? She lives with seven men and cooks and cleans up after them. She eats apples from creepy old ladies. Ba­sically, she dies until some guy comes and kisses her dead like body.

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Being Single on Valentine’s Day

valentines-day-candyThe other day I was in CVS pick­ing out Valentine’s Day cards to send to my grandparents and fam­ily. As I was looking through the red and pink decorated aisle I heard a voice from behind say something that caught my attention.

“Ugh. I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s such a waste. It’s just another excuse for couples to buy presents for one another.” I turned to see that it was a teenage girl talking to her friend as they walked past. The reason why I was so intrigued by the girl’s statement was because when I was in high school, I had said exactly the same thing.

The sudden flash of déjà vu back to my adolescence got me thinking about what makes people so angry about this holiday that is supposed to be about love.

As a girl who, sadly, has never had a valentine, I can understand the hostility that comes from those who are single during this time of year. However, I do remember in elementary school being excited for Valentine’s Day. The whole school would be decorated in student-made hearts and traced cupids with music playing in the morning. Ev­erybody received cards, ate choco­late, and the rest of the afternoon was spent playing fun Valentine’s Day themed games or watching a movie instead of doing our math lesson. Now as a 21 year- old, the day has seemed to lose its loving charm.

Because the holiday is extremely pro-couple, I feel that I have to be defensive about being single. Peo­ple will ask what my plans are for the holiday,and I have to hear those horrible words being uttered, “Oh, that’s perfectly okay. I have spent Valentine’s Day alone and with someone. It’s really not that great either way.”

While it is a friend trying to be supportive, I cannot help but roll my eyes at feeling pitied. They say that having a valentine is not all that it is cracked up to be. Yeah, right. I will remember that when you are showing off that expensive bracelet or new sports jersey you received.

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Kindle’s Influence

I recently purchased a Kindle Paperwhite, and I can confidently say that the ebook has restored a great long lost love I once had for reading books.

A common complaint I have heard in regards to ebooks is, “I’ll lose focus too quickly.” Which leads me to my first point, don’t get a tablet. You aren’t buying a “$200 Facebook machine” as one of my friends so cleverly put it. You’re buying a reader. If you want to spend all afternoon playing Temple Run, updating Facebook, checking Twitter and Snap-Chatting then go ahead and buy an iPad or a Kindle Fire (The tablet version of the Kindle). If your plan is to read, then do yourself a favor and don’t buy a larger version of your smart-phone.

Now that we have established you aren’t carrying around an iPad, what exactly will you lose focus doing? Reading? Why?

Have you ever enjoyed a book so much you carried it around everywhere, trying to sneak in pages during any window of free time you may have found throughout the day? Well, with an ebook, the reading window becomes even more accessible. An ebook allows you to change the size of the font you read (which is awesome within itself). The nice side effect that comes with the size of the font, is how much font you see on a page before you have to tap the screen (so much easier than licking your finger and turning a page by the way) to move on to the next page.

Reading a whole fat book won’t seem as overwhelming now that you aren’t staring at the stacks of pages ahead of you in your peripheral.

So maybe I see three to five paragraphs on a page. Suddenly, I’m able to chip away at my book even if I only find myself with 30 seconds of spare time. I don’t have to wedge a bookmark in horizontally at the halfway point of the page because I already finished the page.

Let the record show, if it is a good chapter or a really good book I would never spoil part of it by only committing 30 second spurts of reading. But some books I would gladly read for 30 seconds and pause.

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Avoiding the Flu

I am pretty sure we have all been hearing about how it is “flu season”. If you have not consider yourself an official resident of 431 Living Under a Rock Boulevard, West Long Branch, NJ.

Quite frankly, I am getting sick and tired of even thinking about the flu which is pretty coincidental considering I actually had the flu, and I did not receive a flu shot.

This flu came with quite a care package. I was running a fever, suffering cold sweats, had mountains of tissues by my side, and unable to move out of my bed.

Dun dun dun.

Cue the dramatic music and everyone take five steps back.

One giant viral mess coming through.

People will absolutely do anything they possibly can in order to prevent themselves from getting the flu. People are guided to home remedies and crazy family superstitions to ensure themselves that the flu bug, more like flu truck, won’t hit them straight in the face.

Honestly, it is like a truck. A big one.

The recreation of home remedies, one would think, would be the quickest and easiest solution. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?

Sadly, Mary Poppins does not have the solution for the flu season in her bag o’ tricks.

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How Much is Too Much Sharing?

Social-media-icons-on-iphoneAs most college students would agree, I have a slight addiction to social media. There is nothing like the feeling of someone liking one of your photos on Instagram, having a secret crush comment on a Facebook status, or finding a funny new video on Youtube. Every time I get a chance in between classes or when I am procrastinating doing homework, I am checking my social media accounts.

While sharing on these sites can be informational and entertaining, there is one question that comes to mind. How much sharing is too much on social media?

In between the pictures of cats and funny e-cards, there are people who pour their heart out onto Facebook as if it were a private diary. When people comment on these statuses, the writer gets mad. If you do not want people to make a comment, then do not put it out there to be criticized.

It can be so frustrating to see people using social media to tell the world their problems and not expect a small backlash in the process, especially if they are criticizing a person, organization, or community they know nothing about. Everyone has the right to free speech, but maybe it is necessary to take the time to think about how people might react to the information and if you want responses.

 This seemed to happen most of the time during the recent election. People were posting articles and opinions about who the better candidate was and who would ruin the country.

However, people were writing things that were vulgar and downright mean to one another on these pictures and public pages.

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Lie-Strong: Armstrong Scandal Sheds Light on Lying

In the midst of all that has transpired with Lance Armstrong and his scandal, I can’t help but ask myself the age old question: why do people cheat?

Armstrong was a highly respected and deeply admired American athlete with much success. He battled and won a fight with cancer only to come out stronger, winning seven consecutive Tour de France titles and a Bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics.

However, it recently came to light that Armstrong had been doping for more than a decade, which he admitted in a sit down interview with Oprah Winfrey. In that interview he said he does not believe that he would have won seven consecutive Tour de France titles without doping.

In 2012, he was banned from cycling for life by the United States Anti- Doping Agency, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, as well as his Olympic Bronze medal, and asked to stepped down as the chairman of Livestrong.

America tends to be a forgiving nation, built upon the idea that everyone deserves a second chance, but Armstrong’s arrogance is what angers the American public almost more than the cheating.

Throughout Armstrong’s career, he was suspected of cheating on a consistent basis, and he was tested more frequently than any other cyclist in what was sometimes referred to as a “witch hunt.” However, Armstrong’s tests never prevailed positive, further encouraging Armstrong in what he probably considered a “fool proof” cheating scheme. In the face of persistent allegations, in his interviews during the past decade, Armstrong was adamant about his innocence, going so far as to pose the question to the media asking whether a man who had just survived a serious battle with cancer would put himself in jeopardy in order to use banned substances.

Through his career, Armstrong became an American hero. Young athletes looked up to him because of his ability and cancer patients looked up to him because of his perseverance. People trusted him and believed in him, never doubting for a second his innocence. Thus, when the news of Armstrong’s cheating broke, there was more than shock on the faces, in the minds, and in the hearts of the American people; there was disappointment. They could not fathom how a man who so vehemently proclaimed his innocence could actually be cheating all along and fooling the public.

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How to Be Happy

With the New Year upon us, it is time to remember our New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, stop smoking, save more, spend less, Dean’s List, stop watching full seasons of televisions shows at a time on Hulu, all very valiant resolutions. This year, I have a different New Year’s Resolution. Call it the resolution to end all resolutions. This year, I vow to be happier.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not unhappy. I just don’t appreciate things the way I should. I have a great life, but I simply don’t appreciate it enough, and I let the little things get to me and bring me down.

I recently read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. She went on a year long journey to be a happier person. Rubin found herself not appreciating her wonderful life enough, so she documented the whole year and ended up happier and more appreciative. I decided to follow her footsteps and be happier in 2013, and I picked out my top six lessons I learned that can help you on your journey to a happier 2013.

Act the way you want to feel.  The simple act of smiling can greatly increase your mood. So what if you spilled your coffee in the parking lot on your way into work. If you act angry about it, it’s going to poison your mood for the entire day. Everything will soon make you angry because you’re already acting angry. Instead, slap on a smile and act happy. You’ll see an improvement in your mood.

Enjoy the fun of failure. With each failure on a new journey we learn something about ourselves, about how we handle things and how we want things to be in the end. If we begin to enjoy the fun that failure can bring us, we stop fearing failure, ensuring success and growth in our future.

Keep a gratitude notebook. One of the reasons that I’m unhappy is because I don’t appreciate the great things in my life. This year I’ve committed to writing down something that I am thankful for that day. It helps bring some perspective and reminds me how good I have it. 

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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

ajMany times in our lives, situations occur that are unexplainable and leave us with the unanswered question, “Why did this have to happen?”

This question can lead us to focus on how unfair life seems and cause us to contemplate all the negatives present within the given situation.

By frantically searching for the answers and reasoning behind every struggle or challenge that is placed in our way, we are missing out on seeing the good hidden within the bad.

Some of us attempt to cope through the hard times positively through the assistance of quotes and clichés, such as “everything happens for a reason.” Others may avoid these types of sayings since they appear so vague and complex, and may not seem to bring them enough closure.

Today, I would like to prove that everything does happen for a reason, and that there just may be a reason why bad things happen to good people. By doing so, I would like to share a personal story as an example.

On Monday morning, November 26, 2012, I received the unfortunate news that someone very close to me had passed away. She was my coach, my teammate, and my friend. I was an absolute mess, as I am sure anyone else that crossed Amy Jones-Eades’ path in their life was as well.

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Ways to Spend the Holidays, From Traditional to Unique

opinion-rockettesWant to spice up your holiday season? With a little cinnamon, a little nutmeg, and a dash of pumpkin spice (this combination would hopefully taste delicious), you’ll find yourself a super-awesome-fantastic-unforgettable holiday season.

Okay, so adding spices to your holiday might not exactly “spice things up”, but you get the point.

A lot of people are looking for new and creative ways to make their holiday season unique and special. Sometimes the holidays can be so frantic that people forget to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate with mallows.

What about spinning the holiday season 180 degrees, doing things that you hadn’t done before, or maybe doing the same thing but amp it up a little?

One idea that could freshen up the holiday season would be to host a holiday pot luck. All of your friends and family can come together bringing their favorite dishes to make for the holiday season. By the time that everyone gets together, there would be all different kinds of food, ranging from entrees to desserts. Talk about all those yummy leftovers. There will also be plenty of food, laughter, conversations, and memories.

Another idea that could sizzle the season up would be having a holiday scavenger hunt. Come together with all of the families in your neighborhood (or hey, maybe even in your dorm floor or building) and compile a list of holiday themed items to find. Divide everyone into teams, and every time they get a holiday item, they have to take a photo with it. By the end of the scavenger hunt, they’ll have a holiday photo album.

Now I’m going to pull out the big guns, but don’t worry, tickets to this gun show happen to be free.

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Setting New Year’s Resolutions

Enter the New Year with Achievable Goals

Invincible.

That is how most of us feel when deciding what will be our New Year’s resolution. Our goals, hopes, and dreams that we fathom of achieving seem like a hop, skip, and a jump away from becoming reality. 

Go to the gym every day. Eat organic. Become a vegetarian. Quit smoking. No more sweets and desserts. Stop drinking alcoholic beverages. Spend less money on non-necessities. 

Goal-setting is such a wonderful incentive for change, and aiming for tangible and achievable goals is much more practical.

Although the above list is a small portion of the most common New Year resolutions, most of them are not met.  How come?

New Year’s resolutions seem to be spontaneous motives that we make immediately after the holidays.  It is almost a self-evaluation of ourselves during the past year, and we seek ways to improve who we are and want to be. 

Long-term goals are one hundred percent attainable. However, they must be accompanied with short-term goals that allow us to take the small steps that are necessary to get to where we want. 

When we desire for these goals to be met immediately, we lose sight of those minor yet significant steps.

Without a realistic and practical approach to how your resolution will be achieved, it will be broken.

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How Young is Too Young for Marriage?

Engaged at 21, One Student Shares Her Experience of Impending Marriage

“But you’re so young! Don’t you want to live?” I always laugh when people ask me this. As far as I know, you don’t stop living once you’re married. You don’t fall into a void of nothingness where you no longer do anything.

In fact, I’m hoping not, since I’m engaged to be married soon after I graduate in May, and yes, I’m only 21. I believe I’m lucky. I found the man that I want to spend my life with early, and we both believe that we are mature enough to take the next step.

I’ve always been the classic 21 going on 30. I hate going out, I am a complete homebody, and I worry more about paying off my student loans and getting a great mortgage rate more than anyone I know.

It’s important to note that marrying relatively young is not for everyone. Everybody isn’t ready for a lifelong commitment such as marriage, and when it’s forced, more often than not, it will crash and burn.

Most of us have seen a divorce up close and personal, be it our own parents, a friend’s parents, or a family member. This may scare many from marriage, especially when we are often seen as immature and not fully knowing of the evils of the world.

I’ve felt this myself. My parents married when my mom was 20 and was craving any excuse to escape her own family. They divorced 14 years later, and my mom is always telling me they were simply too young to understand what they wanted at the time.

My fiancé’s parents suffered a similar fate. They were married when his mother was 18, and they divorced 5 year later. She too, tells me that she was too young and looking for what to do after high school with college not in her future.

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Starting Traditions

It is now December and holiday traditions are in full swing. Some traditions are small, some traditions are large, but traditions are traditions. From playing it simple, like making snow angels, to kicking it up a notch, like ice-skating in Rockafellar Center, traditions come into the holiday season stronger than ever before. Traditions can be found at the root of our families. They date back to as far as anyone can remember.

Let’s take my family for example. We’re big, we’re loud, and we’re Italian. Add the holiday season into the equation and you’ll get a whole mess of crazy, big, and loud Italians who love food.

One tradition that my family does around the holidays is that we bake and bake and bake. All the women in my family meet at one of our houses (usually mine) and we bake tons and tons of holiday cookies for our friends and family. By the end of the day, we would have baked over 600 cookies. Sugar rush, anyone?

Then we have to frost and decorate the sugar cookies, dust the linzer tarts, and try not to eat any of the special Italian cookies that our Nonna made. Houses cannot withstand the amount of noise that 13 Italian women who are continuously drinking make. I know my house can’t.

Another tradition that my family does is on Christmas Eve. My uncle thinks that it is good luck to eat all the fish eyes from the fish we make for the meal. He believes that eating the fish eyes will make you smarter for the year to come. I just find it gross.

My uncle does not speak the greatest English, he just tends to babble, and otherwise he’ll speak Italian.

“This is good for you, my girl!” my uncle would say.

After I would decline, he would persist and chace me around the living room with a fish eye on a fork and try to get me to eat it. I do not care how smart I would be, I ain’t eating no dang fish eye.

However, some family traditions are not as crazy, loud, and wine-filled as mine are. Some are just quite simple, and less loud. Joe Boyle, junior, keeps his family’s traditions humble. His family likes to exchange some gifts during Christmas Eve.

“It’s something we’ve been doing ever since we were little, and it just kind of sticks with us every year,” Boyle said.

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College Brings About Change

New Priorities and Circumstances Accompany Senior Year

“These four years will fly by.”  How many times have you heard that cliché? I know I was told that when I entered both high school and college, and it is more of a reality than I ever expected.

As this semester of my senior year rapidly comes to an end, I’ve had my moments of reminiscing about my previous three years at the University. My father was so accurate in telling me that I will enter college as a young girl and leave as a young lady.

Of course, four years ago, I thought he was just commenting on my high school immaturity and little knowledge of the world.  Now, I hope to offer meaningful insight on the “growing up” that takes place during the college years.

I have made so many changes to my lifestyle since my freshman year that thinking of the habits I had back then is quite amusing. The following is the shortest advice I could possibly give about the most common habits that I had during my previous three years of college (most underclassmen probably have them too) and how I approach similar issues today. 

However, I am taking a unique stance by deciding if I am too old for the following habits that I used to consider the norm.

Am I too old for: finding the most outrageous frat or toga party? Yes. As a freshman, dressing up in a bed sheet wrapped uncomfortably around my torso was apparently one of the best ways to meet new people, and so was paying a $10 cab ride to a party where you were so easily identifiable as a freshman that it was basically self-torture. 

Looking back, none of those people I met are my friends today, and I would much rather wear jeans and a tee to a place where I know I have good company. Underclassmen, enjoy these days before you realize how silly they were!

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Alternative Press’ ‘Artist of the Year’ Stirs Controversy

How does someone who has been arrested twice in the past four months for domestic assault and injuring his fans deserve an award as prestigious as Alternative Press’ Artist of the Year?

Rock Magazine, Alternative Press, announced that Falling in Reverse, a post-hardcore band, was their Artist of the Year. To a point, music should be just about the music, but when it comes to giving awards, kids are going to start to look up to the band. Lead singer Ronnie Radke is no role model.

The reason this is causing controversy is because Radke has not been a model citizen. Let’s take Radke’s past year step- by- step. In August, Radke was arrested for domestic assault on his girlfriend. In September, during FestEVIL at the Jackson, NJ Six Flags, Radke threw four microphone stands into the crowd at the end of the band’s performance.

There were at least two fans that were hurt with alleged head injuries. Radke was then arrested.

This fall, while touring with Falling in Reverse, an opening band, I See Stars, was arrested for possession of drugs. Radke, a recovering addict, kicked them off of the tour.

The band then begged Radke to stay on tour and offered him their pay. Radke agreed after making them sign a contract of secrecy but then ended up kicking them off the tour again.

Fans of I See Stars had already bought tickets for that night and were assuming they would be there. A group of fans started to chant “I See Stars.” Radke kicked the fans out of the show while maliciously shouting at them.

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Exercising Indoors Made Possible with Some Creativity

Use Imagination to Keep Cold Weather from Standing in the Way of Staying in Shape

opinion-exerciseAs the temperature drastically takes a turn for the chilly-willies, people are finding it harder and harder to keep up with their workout routines. Everybody is succumbing to the “oh it’s too cold outside to work out anyway” mode.

We have all experienced this mode. We stay in and munch on sweets and watch movies. But who ever said that it is too cold outside to get a good workout in your day?

Last time I checked, no one did.

There are plenty of different exercises that you can do inside (oh yes, we are taking the cold days out of the equation) to keep in shape during the winter. Who needs the gym when you can get your fitness on right inside your dorm room?

Get ready to work up a sweat. Because I know I did.  

I decided, in order to give you guys the best at-home workouts I possibly can, to throw myself into the fire, and try multiple routines myself.

Thanks to the magical and organized world of Pinterest (you know it, it’s addicting), I found some excellent workout routines to try inside.

I tried a cardio blast that was “the fastest work out.” I had a specific amount of time, such as 30 seconds, for each exercise. By the end of my cardio blast to out of breath world, I found myself sprawled out on my floor.

Despite my inability to do a bridge for 30 seconds (looking like an awkward giraffe if I may add) the cardio blast workout definitely got my heart racing. However, it only took up 10 minutes. This is excellent if you only have 10 minutes to spare-10 sweaty spare minutes.

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University Community Adjusts to Schedule Changes

Superstorm Sandy Causes Professors, Students to Alter Original Plans as Semester is Shortened

It has been almost a month since Superstorm Sandy has hit, and both students and faculty are trying to get back to a sense of normalcy. However, there has been some dispute as to how the rest of the semester will go now that students have a shortened semester.

Some students have had to meet their original deadlines as professors continue to follow their syllabi while others are adjusting and trying not to overload their students.

“My professor has been making adjustments to a lot of assignments, and I had to go to a make-up class, so it has been a bit more stressful because there is even more of a workload than there usually is this time of year,” said Mary Fulco, junior. “I have been spending a lot of time at the library trying to get things done because now I do not have a lot of extra time.”

It is not only the students that have been stressed about the constrained semesters. Several professors have had to change test dates, guest speakers, and revise their syllabi schedule for the rest of the semester.

“For the most part, my courses are following their current syllabi,” says Dr. Stanley Blair, English professor.

“Because of several university closures on assignment due dates, some of those due dates necessarily had to be shifted later by a week or two. In the case of one portion of one course, I have changed the course content delivery method from student presentations to lecture and discussion to ensure that course content will be unaffected. The post-Thanksgiving portions of my courses are generally unaffected,” said Blair.

There have been a lot of adjustments for both students and professors alike, especially seeing as some are still having issues with transportation and power. Even with all the extra work, students are trying to remain optimistic.

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Holiday Season Begins Too Early

Stores Commercialize Holidays Earlier Each Year

opinion-earlier-holidaysLike any child growing up, I loved the holiday season. It meant getting presents, endless trays of cookies and sweets, and of course, no school for two weeks.  The whole holiday season is supposed to be a special time of giving, seeing loved ones, and just an overall sense of cheer. The reason why it is special is that it comes once a year, or at least that is what is supposed to happen.

It seems that over the past few years the holiday season has been getting longer, and every year all of the holidays seem to be becoming more and more commercial, especially Christmas. I started seeing ads about upcoming Black Friday sales in October, and it all seems ridiculous.

 

Yes, stores do need to advertise in order to make money, but they already know that this is the most profitable shopping season of the year, so why can’t they wait at least until I finish my Halloween candy before they start advertising for the door busters and the one day only Christmas sales?

What goes on inside the stores is a whole other story. When I was shopping for Halloween decorations in late September, there were aisles already filled with bright red and green ornaments and silver tinsel. It was barely a month into school.

Why did I need to worry about decorating for a holiday that was two months away? The whole idea that people were already preparing for Christmas seemed inconceivable and absurd. Why did anyone need to buy decorations in September?  They are just going to end up being stuffed away somewhere and forgotten.

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Classic Movies Remain Timeless Through Many Generations

Memorable Films Outlive Their Decades, Continue to be Beloved by People of All Ages

opinion-classic-moviesClassic movies just never seem to fade away. You all know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m talking The Goonies, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard, Grease, and for the sake of the holiday season, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Frosty the Snowman. These movies have a special place within all of us; they are too good not to love.

What’s the big deal about these movies anyway?

Well besides the fact that they are PHENOMENAL, they were passed down from our older siblings and our parents. I remember being five years old sitting around the television with my family, watching That’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a movie that my parents had watched when they were kids.

They even watched Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer when they were young. There is a tradition that comes with each classic movie. How could you not respect such holiday classics?

Considering that the holiday season is all about tradition, it is the perfect opportunity for families to implement their holiday traditions into their routines. Whether it’s sitting in on a Wednesday night watching ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas specials, or having the family get together to bake over 500 sugar cookies for Christmas, it all comes down to tradition.

Holiday traditions can also be brought to campus. Bringing in all of those holiday movies (or waiting for them to come on TV), decorating the dorm, or taking holiday photos are all great ways to create a holiday tradition with your friends at school. Monmouth is our home away from home, so creating traditions here will make this school feel even more like home.

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Community Members Unite in Wake of Severe Storm

Volunteerism, Compassion Strike Chord in People as Many Hurry to Help Others

Words cannot begin to describe the sorrow and grief I feel for those that lost a little or everything during Hurricane Sandy.  The images and video footage that most, if not all, of us have seen displays the heartbreak that many along the east coast have had to endure.  Losing a neighborhood, a city, and a home is enough devastation to crush any bit of hope of reconstruction. 

I am thankful to have only lost power for a total of twenty minutes throughout the entirety of the storm. Other than that, my town, home, family, and pets are safe.

When I learned about previous natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the typhoon in Haiti, I thought of life from a new perspective. I imagined it with no home, no warm clothes, no hot meals, no bed, and no hope. 

If I were ever placed in a situation like that, I would want people to care.  When I evaluated the life that I do have, I realized how simple it was to take it for granted. 

No longer did it need to be about me, me, me or I this and I that. I wanted to help those families, animals, towns- everything.  There’s a new kind of spirit and attitude that I had toward life and others after the occurrence of a natural disaster.  I wish I could motivate myself to act in these ways all the time but like many of us, I often find work, school, and stress to be distractions.

Unlike Katrina, Haiti, and the countless other tragedies, Hurricane Sandy hit home.  It destroyed the beaches where my family and I have vacationed ever since I was an infant.  It wrecked train tracks and rail lines that affected work schedules.  It swept away the homes of family and friends.  When I felt that new spirit and attitude of putting my own life on hold to help these victims, I knew I would finally be close enough to help.

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Hurricane Sandy Causes People to Re-evaluate Priorities

After Storm Ravages Homes, Livelihoods, Many Take Time to Consider What is Important

Too many people have seen innumerable amounts of destruction over the past few weeks at the hands of Hurricane Sandy. She blew through our towns and took with her lives, property, hopes, and spirits. However, despite the hurt and pain she caused, I can only hope that there was an important lesson to be learned by everyone, whether they felt major effects of the storm or not.

The age old cliché tells us that we should be appreciative of the things we have because we don’t really know what we have until it is gone. Most of the time, we roll our eyes and let this piece of advice go through one ear and out the other, but it is at a time like this when truer words have never been spoken. Sandy took so much with her and left behind levels of destruction never before seen in many parts of New Jersey.

While some people lost their electricity for a mere few hours, there are much more people today still living without heat, running water, or electricity. As one of the people who only lost power for two days, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to my sister’s house with electricity. Finally being able to turn the lights on, charge my cell phone, check my email, and take a hot shower felt like the greatest gift I had ever been given. I had compared the previous two days to torture.

It was not until I finally got in front of a television and saw the real destruction left behind by the hurricane that I realized that my two days without electricity and internet were nothing when compared to other people, especially those living in the Long Island area, who would not have electricity or clean water for weeks, had no transportation to local grocery stores which may or may not have any food, and had not seen any government assistance until days following the storm.

Although the decimation of the Jersey Shore is the most prominent effect of the storm to many people, the loss of lives and homes is what is more prevalent.

An episode of Dateline on NBC profiled a family which evacuated in time for the storm, but they went back a few days later to survey the damage, and what the family saw was incredibly moving.

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Restrictive Dining Hall

Students See Less Food Options

Where’s the food?

Obviously there is food on campus because if there wasn’t, we may have a problem. I’m talking about the options. The options are becoming monotonous.

The dining hall, the Student Center, Raising Canes, Shadows, and Java City all have options for us to choose from, but is there really variety? In the dining hall there are omelets, pizza, sandwiches, salads, burgers, chicken, and specialty meals with names I can never recall, and you can find the same type of meals at the Student Center as well. Java City is where the coffee and bagel addicts can be found, and Raising Canes and Shadows are where remixed fried chicken and fat sandwiches can be found.

Let’s set the record straight. The food on campus is okay. It’s not my Nonna’s homemade pasta fagoli, but it is still pretty good. The food on campus gets the job done, and the students on campus have options, but not as many as they would like to have. Of course we have the options within each food stand on campus, but are there really options between having fried chicken from Raising Canes, to the fried chicken in Shadows, to the fried chicken in the Dining Hall and the Student Center? Nope.

I love chicken. I could eat it almost every day, but giving me the option to eat it at four different locations is a little bit monotonous, especially if it is all the same chicken. I can get chicken wraps and chicken sandwiches in all four locations on campus, and I can even order out and get the same food too. When it comes to getting chicken from the dining hall or the Student Center, you still get chicken.

What about bringing It’s Greek to Me to campus? Having gyros and falafels for the first time changed my life. Talk about an outer body experience. Simply giving students an option for something out of the ordinary could liven up their eating lifestyles.

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Minnie Gets Madeover

Disney Reveals Skinnier Minnie Mouse

It seems that Disney has been making a lot of headlines in the past few weeks with the “Skinny Minnie” issue. For those of you who don’t know, Barney’s has altered Minnie Mouse’s  usual curvier image along with the other Disney characters for a film that will appear in their window displays on November 14 to launch their holiday campaign “Electric Holiday.” The film shows Minnie shopping in Paris and sees a dress in a shop window. It then goes into her fantasy of walking down the runway as a model in a pink Lavin dress, a change from her classic red and white polka dot ensemble.  Other characters along with Minnie go from their cute Disney selves to sleek models including Goofy, Daisy Duck, and Cruella De Ville that are no longer recognizable in order to give a “proper portrayal of the fashion world.”

People are now outraged and signing online petitions to get the film changed for the brief moments of Minnie looking tall and extremely thin.  One of the petitions, “Barney’s: Leave Minnie Mouse Alone” from Change.org has over 17,000 signatures since this debate has started. 

As a result of the backlash, Disney and Barney’s have released a statement. According to the article on People.com, the two companies said, “We are saddened that the activists have repeatedly tried to distort a lighthearted holiday project in order to draw media attention to themselves.”

Aren’t they the ones distorting our beloved Disney character to fit into a Lavin dress? 

I can see why people are upset. I hate it when any of the characters  change in my favorite shows whether from childhood or that I presently watch, and now they are slimming down one of most famous female Disney characters because she does not “fit” in their outfit.  Barney’s has said that it is only for a brief moment that Minnie Mouse appears in her slim alter ego, and then at the end of the film, she returns to her normal self wearing the same outfit. If she ends up wearing the same outfit at the end of the film, why change her at all?

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Internships Influence Career Paths

As an upperclassman, I am gaining as much hands-on experience in my field as possible through my on-campus involvement and internships. My activities with school clubs have been a fun way not only to socialize with other students seeking a similar career path but also to gain quality experience in many different areas of interest within my field. 

However, my internship experiences have not met a lot of my expectations, and I am sure some other students can relate.  In fact, my internships were much less enjoyable than I would have hoped.  I could have walked away from them as soon as I started if I was offered a better opportunity.  However, I learned just as much through these poor experiences.

Our vision is always 20/20 when looking back, so I was able to find a lot of beneficial and positive advice for myself and others based on my negative experiences.

Before I begin my long rant, I want to give a very vital piece of advice to underclassmen: begin your search for an internship now.  Even if a company, organization, or business does not refer to it as an “internship,” volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door. 

Not only is it a resume booster, but you can develop important and long-lasting relationships with professionals and potential employers.  Networking cannot be emphasized enough during your early college years.

My summer internship was with a small health foundation near my hometown. I wanted to follow my passion for health and wellness and was thrilled to be in a hospital environment.  The foundation also had connections to a Wellness Center that had just opened, so I had every intention of learning what kind of public relations and writing was done for the entire foundation. 

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People Opt to Make Costumes

Halloween Gives Way to Creativity

It’s that time of year again. It’s the time to get out all the decorations to hang around the dorms, apartments and houses, and to celebrate the pure fun of the holiday.

It’s that time of year that people get dressed up in costume, scare each other, and eat inhuman amounts of candy.

It’s Halloween.

Halloween is approaching fast and everyone is feeling the time crunch to order costumes, the best costumes, to dress and impress others. Over the years, Halloween has transformed.

Remember those days when your mom would make you a homemade costume, complete with too much glitter and a cape to wear?

I remember one year I wanted to get the Princess Barbie costume. I had told and begged my mother for her to get me that costume; I even gave her the four dollars I had in my piggy bank.

After constantly asking my mother to get me that costume, she said that I would be the prettiest Princess Barbie of all, until I saw what she had made.

It wasn’t Princess Barbie, but a pink cloth covered in glitter with a cardboard and tinfoil tiara. Walking around in a glitter covered pink froofy cloth with a tinfoil tiara was unacceptable for my future princess reign!

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Students See Change in Behavior as Weather Shifts to Winter

Does Weather Affect Mood, or is it Mind Over Matter?

We have officially reached the point in the semester when students are cranky and find themselves having to drag their bodies to class. Apart from a simple lack of desire to go, there could be another factor altering our moods: weather.

You look out your window first thing in the morning and see darkness in the sky and puddles on the ground. It is already apparent that you are in for a long day, and you are automatically in a bad mood.

There is something about having to wear multiple layers including a hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants, and rain boots that seems to put people in a bad mood. However, when we put on our flowery blouse, Bermuda shorts, and wedge sandals, we feel good because we know we look good.

Admit it. There is an extra spring in your step when it is 70 degrees and sunny. You are a lot less moody and pessimistic about the day when you look out your window and see that the sun is shining without a cloud in sight.

On the other hand, you are noticeably grouchy when it is cold and raining, forcing you to bundle up with multiple layers.

Just as you leave your dorm and are halfway to your class it starts to rain. As you struggle to wrangle your umbrella out of your bag while balancing your coffee and your books, you are now in an even worse mood.

After being beaten by the rain, you get to class and already cannot wait for it to be over so you can go back to bed. When the weather is bad, it feels as if one bad part of the day leads to another, and it is all downhill from there.

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When is the Right Time to Put the Flip-Flops Away?

Students Continue to Wear Summer Footwear Despite Unfavorable Weather Conditions

opinion_flipflopsWe are all aware that flip-flip season is coming to an end. Or is it not coming to an end? Does flip-flop season ever end? Maybe the season to flip and flop is not officially over. I mean, I still wear them in my apartment, just not outside. Or maybe some people still wear them outside. How do we know when exactly to kick the flip-flops off and put our furry boots back on?

When was there ever a rule that flip-flops should be officially taken “off season?” When would the “off season” be? October? November? Maybe even December? I have come to notice that many people are still wearing their flip-flops.

I am not totally against wearing flip-flops during the fall and winter months. Let’s face it: they are very convenient and comfortable.

When I am in my apartment and I need to do my laundry, why would I pack on thick socks and boots to walk all the way downstairs. I do not know about you, but that sounds like too much work to do my laundry. So hello my Old Navy (best brand ever) red colored flip-flops, we are about to do laundry.

However, I have seen, on campus, a few students who are still wearing them outside. This is the part where you all envision me bowing down to them because I am pretty sure all ten of my toes would snap off. I feel like once my toes are cold, I am done for the day.

All I would need is a warm blanket, really thick fuzzy socks (you know, the ones your mom always gives you around Christmas), some hot chocolate, and a good movie.

I give out major props to all of those students still strutting in their flip-flops; your feet must be impervious to the cold.

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Students Adopt Unhealthy Lifestyles During College Years

Many Incorporate Poor Diets and Nutritional Decisions into Life After College


opinion_food“You look…different.” I feel as if these three words are the most used and heard during a person’s college years. Being told that your physical appearance has changed can either be positive or negative. However, it tends to be the latter during a person’s four years away from home.

For some people, the phrase is almost anticipated when they return home to family and friends for Thanksgiving. College is meant to assist in growth, but it should not alter your lifestyle in unhealthy ways. Students are faced with temptations everyday that can cause harm to their personal well-being. This made me wonder: is college the beginning of unhealthy lifestyle habits for the rest of our lives?

The daily schedule of a college student is constantly changing. Sleeping, eating, exercising, and socializing routines are always varying. The demands of college interfere with the perfect routine that each student desires. Although daily schedules are not always the most convenient, a person’s overall health should not be put at risk for long-term issues due to poor decision making throughout his or her college career.

I have created the “College Student’s Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits Wheel” that focuses on the four biggest issues that I find to be problematic.

The first section of the wheel is poor nutrition. Food selections on a college campus are a tough transition from home-cooked meals and five-star dining, but healthy options are always available. Most students find that there is “not enough variety” at on-campus locations. I felt the same way during my first few weeks of freshman year, but I learned that there were better options than macaroni and cheese and pizza. At that year’s Thanksgiving, I certainly was told that I looked “different.”

Your body is meant to be fueled with nutrients that sustain your health. Being creative with the food options allows you to develop a more diverse and fun way to eat healthily. Practicing poor eating habits throughout your four years at college encourages the same behavior to continue post-graduation. Such poor choices can lead to health issues that may be irreversible if unchanged.

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Step Away from the Shoulder Pads

Unfortunate Fashion Trends that Refuse to Go Away

opinion-polka-dot-dressAdmit it: we all have participated in an embarrassing fashion trend. Let’s put it out in the open right now. I am totally guilty of wearing knee high socks, a Penny Lane dress, with my hair in pigtails when I was five years old, but, let’s not reminisce about my childhood fashion fiascos.

But yes, we have all experienced some major fashion failures, and I’m going to go through a few of them. I may not be a fashionista, but these clothing pieces would be nowhere near my “wear” board in Pinterest.

First up are the dreaded shoulder pads. I would love to talk to the per­son who believes that women look more attractive when looking like linebackers. Shoulder pads are sup­posed to, like everything else, change the way a women’s body looks. How­ever, is it really appealing to like a girl who looks like she is ready to collide head on with a lineman? No.

Women should be able to accentu­ate what they already have. I already have broad shoulders. Add the shoul­der pads and a helmet, and presto, “put me in coach.”Shoulder pads need to tackle themselves to the ground and never get back up again.

Up next is the bandana under the fitted hat. The only person that I have seen somewhat work-it is 50 Cent. I know that people do not go walking around on campus wearing bandanas under their hats, but I have seen it in action, and it is not appealing. There is no “swag” when it comes to the bandana under the hat trend.

What do you think of when you hear the words “leg warmers?” Did anyone have a mini 80’s throwback party with themselves like I just did? Was Patrick Swayze there? Or maybe the cast from the Breakfast Club?

I have never actually worn leg warmers, so I cannot judge them on their effectiveness. I believe that these are okay to wear as long as it does not look like I just got farted on by an 80s rainbow. If you can avoid that, then I award you points.

Okay, here is a big one: shirts with stupid sayings on them. And if you are a little bit confused as to what I am talking about, I will provide you an example.

You are walking down a path, and then you see someone with a “Cool story babe, now make me a sand­wich” shirt on.

What sandwich?

And since when am I a babe?

I did not know we were on this level.

Granted, some of the sayings found on graphic tees are quite amusing, but this one takes the cake. I think it is hilarious. Only because there is abso­lutely no way that I would ever make a guy a sandwich because his shirt told me too.

What if I wore a shirt that said, “Cool story bro, why don’t you text me back?”

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Trains, Planes, Automobiles: Ugly Truth of Sharing a Seat

Avoiding the Awkwardness of Sitting with Strangers on Public Transportation

opinion-crowded-planeI travel quite a bit. Whether it’s by train to NYC, by bus to and from Pennsylvania, or by plane to and from different states, I have had more than my fair share of hazily staring out windows. My rear-end has some not-so-nice things to say about that. On most of my travels, I have had the un­welcomed company of strangers sitting so close to me I could smell the flavor gum they were chew­ing. I even offered a few of them a piece.

Some of my commutes began as early as 4:00 am and some have ended as late as 2:00 am. The last thing I dreamt of doing at those wee hours of the morning was having uncomfortable physical contact and intrusion of personal space from a complete stranger. Travelers like me understand the awkwardness in these sorts of en­counters and the utter disbelief at those doing it. I thought I’d share a few stories and offer my own advice to those being victimized-and those victimizing (pay close attention!).

Six hours to cow country: I took many road trips to see my boy­friend at his small college in the middle of Pennsylvania. My com­mute consisted of a train ride to Penn Station, an eight-block sprint to the Greyhound terminal, and asix hour bus trip with no televi­sion. The seats were extremely uncomfortable, but I perfected the technique of turning a sweatshirt into a pillow to provide myself with a headrest that wouldn’t leave the back of my neck sore. The most entertaining part of those bus rides were my fellow passen­gers. About 20 people were on ev­ery bus I’ve taken out to PA, and there were more than enough seats to accommodate us all.

Tip #1: Claim your seat…all of it…and your floor space. I’ve wo­ken up from many peaceful naps against the window to strange, large men in camouflaged jumper suits sitting on the aisle seat next to me. I’ve also had little kids crawl­ing under my seat and across the row like it was a McDonald’s play­ground. My most unforgettable memory was when an overweight middle-aged man in a hunting suit asked to sit next to me in the two-seater so he could talk to his wife in the three-seater across from us for the remaining four hours of the ride. If you find that you have done any of the above or worse, get yourself some common sense. I like my space, and I crave it even more when it is plentiful.

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Wisely Managing Time

Organization is Key to Management

It’s a month into school. You’re taking 15 credits, working, have club obligations, plans with friends, and still have midterms coming up that you haven’t even begun to study for. Sound famil­iar? In a world where everything is done fast and demanded faster, it can be hard to keep up with­out completely losing your mind. However, there are ways to en­sure that you can do it all. You just have to manage properly. It is a hard task, but once it be­comes routine, it makes life a lot easier.

One of the most important things to keep in mind with time management is to know your limits. Do not feel obli­gated to say yes to something just to please someone. If you do not have the time, be upfront and honest about it. It will look worse if you promise to do some­thing then forget or back out at the last minute because there is a conflict. Being overwhelmed by taking on too many projects can make you stressed out, unhappy, or even sick. The University has workshops for some tips and tricks that can be really helpful. Some professors will even give extra credit if you go, so you can learn how to manage time and get a few bonus points in the process.

When it comes to homework, organization is key. I keep a planner with all my homework assignments and plan when I am going to do homework. By sched­uling studying time, you will not feel so overwhelmed during the week. Setting reminders will help out in the long run as well, especially if you have a lot of events going on in a week. One method that works is using dif­ferent colors to block out times and to highlight what is impor­tant. To-do lists can be a big help too. They can help organize your workload and goals. Try keeping one on the fridge or in a note­book. Then, as items get crossed off, treat yourself to a trip to the beach, some TV time, or go out with friends.

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School Spirit Sees Steady Decline in Recent Years

Do All Hawks Truly Fly Together?

opinion-school-prideLast weekend, the Univer­sity had its annual Battle of the Buildings. My roommates and I were excited to take on the other teams and sport our amazing tie-dye t-shirts. However, when we did arrive there was a little bit of disappointment. The quad was quite empty and the teams only had about seven or eight people each. The occasional passerby would stop and cheer for their prospective dorm, but the pep was still lacking a bit for the af­ternoon.

Since my freshman year, I have noticed that students do not have the same amount of pride as they used to, or they just do not out­wardly show it anymore unless it is at big events that everyone is going to, or there is the bribe of free food and prizes. Even then, it seems like there is no support. Whatever happened to partici­pating because a person wanted to show that they supported their University?

Last year during a few bas­ketball games that I went to, it seemed that it was always the same Monmouth students there cheering on our athletes. It was great to see students with their faces painted and chanting on our Hawks and heckling the other teams. Still, it would have been nice to see an increase of students at all the games and not just the ones where there were free t-shirts. There seems to be a certain type of apathy that has spread amongst students, and it is a little bit upsetting to see that people are not taking the initia­tive to show pride in their school, especially with the smaller events that happen on campus.

Even at tables, I see people just walk on by because they cannot be bothered with a Greek Orga­nization trying to raise money or a club handing out pamphlets to get the word out. It was painful to see people say they did not have the time and then sit at a table or bench nearby on their phones or chatting with friends.

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Microwave Recipes Give Flexibilty, More Options

Dinner Made from Comfort of Dormget

There is definitely a stigma about microwavable food. Every­one thinks that the only food that can be made in the microwave is Easy Mac, Chef Boyardee, Ra­men Noodles, Hot Pockets, Taqui­tos, appetizers, etc.

What if you want to get a little fancy with your microwavable meals? I have stumbled upon (and created) some of these new mi­crowavable recipes. I decided to master the art of making micro­wavable peanut butter mug cake, red velvet mug cake, and lasagna.

Yes… I just went there.

The first recipe out of my “su­per delicious microwavable con­quest” was the peanut butter mug cake. Being that this was my first time actually trying to construct something from scratch in the mi­crowave, I wanted to make sure I executed this perfectly.

It is as simple as combining all the ingredients in an oversized glass mug and whisking them thoroughly. Microwave the mug on high for one and a half min­utes. When it is done, check to see if it is fully cooked through. If not, place it back in the mi­crowave in 30-second intervals until it is fully cooked. It is just the right size for when you want something little but not too sweet.

The next microwavable mug confection I wanted to try was the red velvet mug cake. Red velvet cake is by far my favorite cake to eat, so obviously, I had to make it. This one involves a little bit more time, and a little bit more ingredi­ents; but it is totally worth it!

Combine all of the ingredients for the cake into the mug. Whisk thoroughly. Microwave the mug for one and a half minutes. It might need an additional 30 sec­onds, but be careful not to over­cook the batter because it will become rubbery and gross (that happened on my first try!).

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Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry and Beyond

opinion-laundry

Are you there Mary Poppins? It’s me, Rachel.

Okay, everyone, is it just me, or is living on our own demand­ing? We have to cook, clean, and do laundry. What is this mad­ness?

I miss the good ol’ days when tying a red blanket around my neck qualified me to be a su­perhero. And the blanket forts, those were fun too. However, being a sophomore in college, I am feeling the heat. We all have these responsibilities now and we have to get our priorities in check. Where’s Mary Poppins when you need her? I want a spoonful of sugar!

Ms. Poppins, may I please have a home cooked meal? Are you there? Maybe she is busy.

All in favor of a home cooked meal raise your hand (I am se­rious, raise your hand). I miss the good stuff; the homemade pasta sauce, lasagna and freshly grown fruits and vegetables. Not saying that the food here does not satisfy my food-adoring pal­let. It does, to an extent. Every­one can admit that nothing tastes as good as a homemade meal. It gives us a warm, cozy feeling in our bellies. Now I am munch­ing on Ramen Noodles and fruit snacks.

It is also safe to say that I am no Emeril Lagasse.

If I could make myself a deli­cious chicken dish with out hav­ing the kitchen explode, then I would give myself a gold medal. I am thinking about resorting to bringing out my inner Ju­lia Child and just cook my way through cookbooks… and Pin­terest.

Okay Mary Poppins, I need you to snap your fingers so that all my clothes can be picked up and the apartment can be cleaned. Hello?

Dang it.

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The Positives of Actually Doing Your Homework

If there is one thing that many college students can agree on, it is the fact that we do not take any enjoyment in homework, and we simply do not like doing it.

However, there are benefits to having but more importantly, doing homework. Homework in college is different than the homework usually assigned in high school.

Long gone are the days of be­ing required to use twenty vo­cabulary words in sentences. We are now past the years of having teachers assign us homework which involves coloring, draw­ing and turning it in the next day for credit.

Homework in college is meant to serve as an additional learn­ing experience outside of the classroom to ensure that stu­dents are fully grasping the ma­terial. If students do not practice what they learn in the classroom, how can they be prepared for the exam?

This is one of those situations where practice really does make perfect. Putting to use the mate­rial you get from the textbook, as well as class lectures, is what tells you where you stand in re­gards to how much you have ac­tually learned. Simply being in a class and reading the textbook does not automatically consti­tute learning. Putting in the ef­fort to test your knowledge, by doing homework is what alerts you as to what you have actually learned.

For instance, in a math class the benefits of doing homework on a regu­lar basis should be obvious. As a finance major, and s o m e o n e who has to take more math class­es than I would like, homework in these classes is vital to your surviv­al. Doing homework helps with preparation for the next class, and it will outline your strengths and weaknesses in a class, as well as tell you what you need to have clarified by your professor. Not doing homework can be the quickest way to fall behind. The last thing anyone wants is to feel totally lost in a class that is a ma­jor requirement.

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Pout Heard Around the World: McKayla Maroney’s Facial Expression Takes on Life of its Own

opinion_mckayla-maroneyFrom the third week in July to the beginning of August, I was glued to my television watching the Olympics every night like the rest of the world. As I was watching the women’s gymnastics individual all-around, there were a few things that surprised me. The first was McKayla Maroney’s pout that she had on her face during the medal ceremony, and the second was world’s reaction to it after the fact.

Since that moment when Maroney made that face, it has gone global on the Internet with humorous captioned photographs or “memes” appearing on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. On the other hand, people have been commenting on it saying that it was “bad sportsmanship”. Honestly, these people seem to be making this a bigger deal than it really needs to be. So she made a face, I’m sure that she is not the first and certainly will not be the last Olympian to be disappointed by their final standing in an event.

That’s what it seemed to boil down to: disappointment in herself that she made that fatal mistake that caused her to get the silver by a one hundredth of a point. Her expression may have seemed like she was acting a little petty, but it comes with the territory of being an athlete. Maroney, like many others, has trained practically all her life to make it to the Olympics. She was a crowd favorite and demonstrated her amazing and unbelievable talent as she, like a rocket, went into the air on the pummel vault. It looked like the gold was going to be hers for the individual event. Then, it is taken away by a simple and unexpected mistake in front of millions of people. Wouldn’t you be upset as well?

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A First Year Student’s Guide to College

opinion_classroomWhy can’t the time period for back to school have more glamour, some more glitz? Everything can be cured with a little glitter. Glitter just isn’t for holidays, you know. It also doesn’t help that Billy Madison isn’t singing to us about going back to school, with our lunches packed up and our boots tied tight (I’m not ashamed that I know the lyrics). Whether we like it or not, it is time to get back on that academic grind.

But what if you are a freshman, new to the whole college experience? Well, being that I survived my first year of college, I’m pretty familiar with this song and dance. However, for the new froshies that are now on campus, there are quite a few things that people do not tell you for your first year in college:

Let us address the “Freshmen 15.” The whole concept, which everyone knows, is that the first year in college is when students are more prone to gain an extra 15 pounds; that, my new Monmouth loving newbies is NOT true. The “Freshmen 15” can happen during your sophomore, junior, and senior year. Just because you are a freshman, does not mean you gain an automatic 15 pounds. Unless you are eating insane amounts of mozzarella sticks (which will be spoken of later on) at 3:00 am, you probably won’t be gaining 15 pounds any time soon. Is it very easy to verge toward unhealthier food? Only if you surround yourself by it. So be smart with what you eat and drink (wink).

Taking time out to venture by yourself or with friends is a great way to get to know the campus. Do not be afraid to explore and discover things on your own. Getting involved is another great way to meet people and make friends. Take advantage of the involvement fair and sign up for as many things as you want. The fair has everything from A to Z. Thanks to the involvement fair, I got involved with so many different organizations, and it allowed me to expand my horizons on campus. Being a part of clubs is always going to give you something to do and something to look forward to doing.

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Starting School Right

Three years ago, I was lugging my belongings up two flights of stairs into Willow Hall. I was about to begin my long-anticipated adventure of college life. It has been so much more than an adventure. My college years have seen me enter as an immature young girl and leave as a mature, young lady. As a senior, I am able to look back on each of those years at the University and view things in 20/20 v ision. All of my habits, good and bad. My decisions, right and wrong. My expectations, high and low. I have one final year to prove that all of those mistakes, decisions, and expectations were worth making. I also have this year to create new stories to tell in my many years that follow graduation.

As I recollect my memories of my previous fall semesters, I have one simple phrase of advice to offer not only to myself but also to fellow seniors and underclassmen: start your semester on good terms. It is so simple to wander down new paths and get lost in a world of new faces, new schedules, and new drama. Trust me, I would know. It is exhilarating to be on your own, to do anything you please when and where you want. However, there is no time in your college career more important than the beginning.

Those of us who have experienced the first few weeks at the University know the temptations that lie ahead. Skipping class for the beach. Having a tad too many beverages on a Tuesday night. The list is endless, but you can still enjoy these endearing pleasures while keeping yourself on track for a successful start to the semester. Here are my top five tips for upper and underclassmen.

Tip # 1: Go to class. For Pete’s sake, the semester just started! The class may not have anything to do with your major, but neither will you if you flunk out due to absence.

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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