Last updateWed, 12 Jul 2017 2am


Tackling Depression in the Media

Owen Wilson. Demi Lovato. Gwyneth Paltrow. Brooke Shields.

What do all of these celebrities have in common? All have struggled with depression and all have been open about it.

Depression is defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine as “a state of mood of low aversion or activity that affects a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being.”

More and more, celebrities like Lovato and Paltrow have stepped forward with this issue. It is probably wise to say that it has had a positive effect on fans and the public eye and that being in the public eye itself makes managing depression more so a positive thing than a negative one.

For one, it helps those who cannot speak for themselves. Fans of these celebrities often look to them as role models. When they come out as having a mental health issue, it shows that they too are human and makes them relatable.

Being in the public eye also creates awareness about the subject. Depression is not something that is a light topic, but with public figures starting to speak about it, it creates more awareness about the topic. When Lovato came out as bipolar and depressed, immediately the press picked up the story about her going to rehab and soon after, she shared her story. Between interviews on ABC and even writing her own memoir, Lovato has provided more awareness about depression and mental illness than ever before.

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Papers Vs. Exams

Papers and ExamsThere are so many different pros and cons to having your final exam be an essay you write at home or having it be a traditional exam you take at school. In a way the two are almost incomparable because they are in such different leagues, but it is worth taking a look at the way they measure up.



Wiggle Room—with writing an essay, it seems as though professors can be more lenient with grading. There is more wiggle room for you to get a better grade when writing an essay because it is a more subjective way of assessing knowledge.

More Time—if you are assigned the essay in advance, you know exactly when it is due and you usually have multiple days to complete it. Therefore, it is easier to get the essay exactly how you want it.

Don’t Have to Come in on Final Day—for many professors, if they assign an essay as the final assessment in lieu of an actual exam, they won’t make you come in for the scheduled examination period. And, if they do make you come in, it is usually just to hand the essay in and say goodbye!

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Preparing for Finals

Finals GraphIt’s that time of the year again - something that every college student dreads: finals. It’s that point in the semester that makes you question all of your life decisions and wonder why you ever chose the path of going to college. Although finals can be described as an accurate depiction of the underworld, if you prepare for finals the right way, you may be able to walk out them alive, and with a decent grade.

Here are a few ways to prepare for finals:

Get Organized - One good way to start preparing for your finals is to get organized. Sit down and write out each final you have and what it covers.

“For some of my classes, I don’t have a final. As for the finals I do have, some of my finals are cumulative and some only cover specific chapters. I like to sit down, look at my class schedule, list which classes I have a final for and what I need to cover for each of those finals. For instance, my communication ethics class final is based on the entire semester but my public relations final is based on just the last three chapters from the textbook,” said Madison Dorn, a junior communication major.

By getting organized you are preparing yourself for what you need to do, so that you aren’t scrambling when time is running out.

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Invisible Illnesses, Not Invisible Symptoms

According to Molly’s Fund, a charity that supports invisible illnesses, “Invisible disabilities are chronic illnesses and conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living. In the United States, 96 percent of people with chronic medical conditions show no outward signs of their illness, and 10 percent experience symptoms that are considered disabling.”

Invisible illnesses like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and chronic pain are very present in many people, but you often wouldn’t know by looking at someone – or even talking to them. They are diseases that run under the surface, and are often hard for people to understand. These invisible illnesses are tough – not just for the people that have it, also for the people that stick with them – while they’re going through it. Invisible illnesses are emotionally taxing on both ends because it can be difficult to open up about. How do we introduce the topic when we meet someone new? Do we even introduce the topic at all?

There are things to remember when approaching the topic of invisible illnesses. Having anxiety, depression, or ADD/ADHD is physically demanding at times, and obviously even more mentally demanding most of the time. When you have a mental disease, emotional needs can change daily, even every few hours. Here are some things to understand about invisible illnesses:

“But you don’t look depressed? You look fine.”

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When Books Turn Into Movies: Should You Be Excited or Weary?

TPeter Lannisterhe last film in The Hunger Games trilogy, “Mockingjay: Part 2” just hit theaters on Nov. 16. Based off the bestselling book series by Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen is the fierce heroine played by Jennifer Lawrence in the film adaptations. The movies have garnered a lot of attention and soared in popularity since the first movie was released in 2012.

Strong female heroines are the kind of characters that are in demand right now, but as someone who has read the book series, I was very surprised to see that there was no opposition to the casting of Lawrence. In the books, Katniss is described as a 16-year old girl who has straight black hair, gray eyes and olive skin. Sounds like Katniss has features in common with a Native American Indian, doesn’t it?  Jennifer Lawrence is beautiful and a great actress, but does not fit this description. Even though she died her hair a darker color, I still can’t help feel that the casting was off. I remember the uproar over the young black actress (Amandla Stenberg) casted as Rue. It was disappointing to see the double standard of views when Jennifer Lawrence does not look anything like the book description of Katniss.  For the record, I thought Stenberg made an excellent Rue by the way.

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The Introverted/Extroverted Dichotomy

Part of anyone’s personality is his/her tendency to be either introverted or extroverted. Not to say that people cannot possess qualities of both.

According to the Myers Brigg Foundation, extroverted people are usually seen as outgoing, are comfortable and like working in groups, have a lot of friends and acquaintances, and are more action-oriented than an introvert. Introverts, on the other hand, according to the same foundation, are seen as more reserved or reflective, are more comfortable doing things on his/her own, prefer to know a small amount of people very well, and sometimes think too much about things and end up missing out.

Both personality types are very different, but a person does not have to be purely extroverted or purely introverted. For example, I would identify myself more as being introverted, but that does not meant that I am comfortable being alone. I like to have my few close friends around me whenever I can. The same can be true for extroverts. Just because you are an extrovert does not mean that you love group work. I have a friend who is an extrovert who hates group work. If you ask me, we are all a mix of both. But, yes, there is usually one type that takes the majority of a personality.

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Almost to the Finish Line

Almost to Finish LineWake up, go to class, attend extra-curricular meetings, work an on-campus job, call my off-campus job to tell them I’ll be running a little late, do homework, go to sleep, repeat for the next four days. This constant running from place to place has become a normal routine in my chaotic life. I wonder so much of the time, why do I do this to myself? Working one less job wouldn’t hurt me and I could always cut back on the extra-curricular activities.

But no. I am woman, I can do it all. On top of that, I can even have a social life. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m awake at 2 am finishing a homework assignment that I didn’t have time to do during normal human hours.

As a college senior with any hope of having a successful future after graduation, I am constantly torn between writing that five page paper and eating a meal that isn’t either cooked in a microwave or cereal. As much as I enjoy Frosted Flakes, sometimes real food is just top priority.

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The Best Ways to De-stress

stress ecardBetween school, work, homework, and trying to maintain some type of social life, life can get very stressful and a little hectic. Our body has a process when responding to stress. When the body feels stressed, the hormone cortisol floods our systems, producing a “fight response” in which our heart rate goes up, we breathe more heavily (requiring more oxygen) and our blood vessels constrict. The feeling of your heart rate excelling or a pounding in the back of your head is enough to let you know you’re getting stressed or overwhelmed.

Although that anxious feeling can come upon us quickly, there are many ways to control that feeling and de-stress. Just as the body produces a stress response, the body also has a relaxation response, during which your breathing slows, and your body starts to calm itself down. Here are a few ways to de-stress:

Exercise – during a workout the body releases endorphins which can help release stress. Just 20 minutes can get you to a relaxation point. “Working out has always been my go-to de-stress activity. When I am working out, I become very focused on the activity I’m doing, which helps me forget all about what I was stressed out in the first place. My body throws that negative energy right into exercising,” said Madison Dorn, a junior communication major.

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Staycation, All I Ever Wanted

StaycationWhen I was little there were few things I looked forward to more than the family vacation. Every summer we would go out of state, often going to Myrtle Beach, SC or Fort Myers, FL. For such a wide eyed kid as me it seemed like we would never run out of places to explore. Compared to places like Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, or the majestic beaches of FL, Monmouth County seemed dull by comparison. Even today I enjoy going out to see the world beyond NJ, but as I grew older I began to realize that these extravagant journeys were not always feasible- they simply cost far too much. Last summer it got even worse: air fare soared to prices that neither my family nor I myself were comfortable with. So we drove all the way to FL. Those two days stuck in a car with my grumpy family were not fun.

The world beyond our state’s borders is an exciting one, but contrary to my childhood biases Monmouth County is actually quite far from boring. Let’s face it, we’re not in NY, but we aren’t in one of those giant rectangular states in the Midwest that no one can remember anything about either. Enter the staycation, which is in essence giving up faraway landmarks in favor of more local hot spots. Monmouth is a county with a lot of history behind it, as well as a lot of things to see and do. Granted some of these depend on the season, but nevertheless none are really worth not doing at least once.

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College vs. High School

Going from college to high school can be difficult for some, but to say the least, it is a progression for everyone. There are several things like time management, academic independence, and living situations that are very different between college and high school that take some adjusting.

Time management changes drastically in college because of the independence that comes with college. High school is an environment where you don’t have a lot of privileges, but college is your world of freedom, which can be dangerous. In high school there are clocks and bells everywhere, guiding you from one class period to another and no two classrooms are that far apart. But in college, if you are late there is a good chance you could not be allowed into class. There is no one there to remind you that you have to go to class and complete your assignments – that is your job for yourself. You must manage your time and sometimes sprint all the way across campus within a short period to make it to your next class on time, there are no bells or clocks, and each professor goes by his or her own time.

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Coming Soon to a Kid Near You

Retro TVRemember when you would go home after elementary school and directly sit in front of the television for the next few hours? For many, this was their daily ritual. For most of us as well, our parents would join. Today, however, this isn’t true.

Children’s television today is completely different than what the “90’s kid” generation grew up with.

For one, when we grew up, most of us were watching with our parents. Our childhood shows, like Nicktoons such as “Hey Arnold”, “SpongeBob Squarepants”, “Ren and Stimpy”, or “The Fairly Oddparents” included references that kids wouldn’t understand but adults totally did.

Today, kid’s television is dumbed down. Due to the fact that fewer parents are watching television with their kids, media companies have caught on. Cartoons contain fewer references for adults, and contain more straightforward humor for kids.

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Contact Information

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

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

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