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Last updateWed, 13 Nov 2019 12pm

Features

Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

How Students Pull Through the Final Semester Stretch

The seasons change in a perfect cycle of inevitability, like the setting and rising of the sun and moon. During college, every semester brings new experiences, struggles, and growth. When the end of the fall semester approaches, it causes us to look back and see how to go about these few short weeks before winter break. Some students crack down studying for finals, and others do nothing at all. As it always has, and will, the real stories come from the students of Monmouth themselves.

Shannon Hood, a sophomore art major, said, “I’m just preparing myself mentally to face all of these finals that I have to take, really. Making sure that everything is in order and turned in on time.”

As the semester comes to a close, all students have to prepare for these exams, and find a balance between friends and work more than ever before. It takes a certain determination to push in those last few days to study, when a month-long vacation is just around the corner.

It’s not like sacrifices of enjoyment haven’t been made before. But entirely focusing on the end of a semester is menial and limited, the entirety of these four months have shaped students through each and every day. What’s been the influence this has had on students?

Hood continued, “The biggest thing I’ve learned this semester is probably time management, responsibility, and having a good balance of work and play.”

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“When I Grow Up I Want To Be...” The Key to Getting Your Very Own ‘Dream’ Job

Dream (noun.): A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal. We used to question our parents about them after a night of sleep, what did that dream mean? Now as educated, inspired, young adults, our dreams are concrete. As we count the days towards graduation, a distinct dream at the forefront of our minds is getting a job or, if we’re really motivated, getting our dream job.

But what constitutes our dream job? For some, it’s a livelihood that we don’t wish to escape from, and for others it’s an opportunity to bring in the cash. But we sometimes come to find that dreams may not always come true, especially when we’re faced with reality.

Once our credits are complete and the tassels are turned, we can either apply for graduate school or apply for a job. But the professional world is a competitive place forcing us to extend our feelers in multiple directions. Days, weeks, and months may go by without ever hearing from companies whom we’ve tried to woo with our entire life experience on a single sheet of paper.

But there’s also a high chance that we’re one of the preferred candidates who gets called back for an interview. When we do finally become the fish hooked in the bay, the question is whether or not we should allow ourselves to get reeled in or fight against the current and swim the opposite way in hopes of a better offer.

After you’ve spent the past 16 years or more in school, receiving your first job offer can be electrifying. If you’ve studied science, you now have an in depth understanding of the inner workings of the brain and other systems in the body. If you’re a photographer, you know the difference between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Or maybe you’ve studied business, and you are confident in your strategic marketing plan. Whichever the skill, you are ready to show the world what you’re made of.

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Singing the Christmas Blues: Why the Holidays are Filled with a Little Less Spirit

No matter what you may celebrate, the holiday season is arguably the most magical part of the year. Whether children are waiting for Santa to climb down their chimneys, or families are lighting the Menorah, there is just something in the air that makes everything a little more special. For some, it’s because families come together to spend time with one another. For others, it’s because of the food and the parties and the exchanging of presents. For college students, it’s time to enjoy being back in their own homes for a whole month.

As amazing as the holiday season is, and as much joy as it brings to people, I couldn’t help but notice that the holiday season does seem a little … different nowadays. For some reason, the spirit that was around when I was younger, and even just a few years back, just doesn’t seem to be the way it used too. Perhaps it’s because everything is so commercialized? Perhaps it’s because Christmas music comes on a month before December even begins? (Even though I’m not complaining about this.)

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the holidays really are special thanks to friends and family. It isn’t so much about getting “stuff” anymore, Christmas lists get shorter every year because you either have everything you need, or the things you want can’t be bought in a store. At this point in my life, fuzzy socks are the most anticipated present on my Christmas wish list, and I’m happy about that.

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The Student Declaration of Independence: College

College marks independence in every student’s life. No matter what college they go to, or how far away they are, when a student lives away from home, a whole new chapter of their life opens. It is up to the students to feed themselves, get their work done, and figure out how to keep all aspects of their lives organized. This is usually easier said than done, and it turns out, many students rely on their parents still, no matter how far away they may be.

When I was younger, my mom forced me into doing my own laundry and cleaning. At the time, I dreaded it and acted like washing my own dirty clothes was an act of torture. Once I got to school and learned I was one of the few people that actually knew how to work a washing machine, I was more than thankful.

I don’t think I deserve any kind of award for this, but at least I didn’t have to rely on my mom for clean underwear. It gave me some kind of independence, the kind that many students I met didn’t quite have yet.

But don’t let that fool you, while I may have skills in cleaning, I lack in cooking. Sure, I can microwave a meal for myself. I can boil water and cook up some pasta. I can even put things in the oven and wait for the beep indicating my food is done. But that’s about as far as that goes.

My mom has made countless meals and has tried to show me countless times how to put them together. But for some reason, seasoning and preparing and heating just don’t add up in my head. I have no idea when meat is fully cooked through, and whenever I do end up making some sort of dinner, I basically fear for my life that I am eating raw food.

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Instagram Photographers: How Students are Showcasing Their Work on the App

Rising photographers generate enthusiasm for their professional work by exhibiting images through the Instagram app. A growing trend around campus, these creative students are reaching new audiences with the social media app.

“Like all social media, Instagram is a tool to reach a variety of publics. By using relevant or trending hashtags, collaborating with other creative individuals, and branding an online presence around their art, students can reach a variety of new people,” said Mary Harris, specialist communication professor. Harris recognized Instagram as a great way for students to showcase their talents and gather inspiration from other student photographers.

Aspiring photographers choose to post on the app to receive feedback on their images.

“The feedback I’ve gotten on my photos has been unbelievable. The most rewarding part is hearing it from the people I photograph. Getting feedback from the athletes I shoot and getting to connect with students I’ve worked with has been amazing and I’m so thankful for people taking the time out of their day to not only look at my photos, but to say something positive about them,” said Taylor Jackson, a junior photography major, who concentrates on sports photography.

Students have not only been promoting their own art, they have also featured organizations on campus with their images. Liam Frank, a music industry major and photo minor, posts music photography as a method of promotion for Blue Hawk Records. “The photos really help give people an in-depth look at what we do,” Frank said.

Similarly, Jackson updates the campus on special athletic moments in Monmouth sports. “My goal is to become a sports photographer and get signed with a professional organization so I can travel with the team and photograph them on and off the field,” Jackson explained.

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To My Ten-Year-Old Self... Here is Some Advice

As students on the cusp of adulthood, we can often find ourselves reminiscing about simpler times of our childhood, filled with long afternoons of no responsibility. It’s certainly nostalgic to recall the days where our biggest concern was what type of cereal we would have for breakfast, or when our favorite TV show was going to be on. But even though our peaceful days are long gone, we know that the experiences of our childhood shaped us and affected who we became today.

But what if we could say one thing, just a piece of advice to ourselves at that age? What would be important enough to make sure we knew it when we were at such an influential and vulnerable stage?

“At age 10, I had already begun doubting myself. The fight for self-acceptance is what shaped me,” said Erica Walsh, freshman social work major.

When a pessimistic (or even simply negative) mentality sets in at that age, it can severely damage someone’s confidence or other internal functions. But given the chance to change that, someone would need a source of inspiration to solidify the urge to grow, but what would suffice to that?

“I would tell myself that I am beautiful and I can survive anything life throws at me, so keep my head held high and never give up,” continued Walsh.

Positive reinforcement is important at any stage in our lives, and can be especially significant in order to overcome adversity or a stressful period in our lives. But what about the everyday, the nostalgic moments we live to remember and attempt to recapture?

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Bucket List Adventures: What do You Want to Check off Your List?

The Oxford Dictionary defines a bucket list as, “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.”

The idea of bucket lists is common nowadays, from a movie, The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, to dozens of Internet lists that suggest ideas. Many people enjoy the idea of a bucket list, seeing it as a sort of checklist for themselves, a way that they can measure the achievements in their lives.

The content of a bucket list varies, depending on who creates it, some people want to travel, and put things such as visiting all seven continents, or the Seven Wonders of the World. Some have goals that revolve around pop culture, such as watching IMDb’s (the Internet Movie Database) list of the one hundred best movies.

Others are more interested in things on an athletic scale, such as running a marathon or climbing a mountain. Of course, there are more options besides these. Internet articles suggest things such as flying in a hot-air balloon, going scuba-diving, or eating at one of the world’s best restaurants. Some are more career or academically inclined, such as writing a book or becoming the CEO of a company. The only thing that is certain about a bucket list is that it is created by the individual, and often reflects their favorite things in life.

Katharine Dix, a political science major, claims that the top three items on her bucket list are “…to go to the Great Wall of China, to go to the Himalayas, and to meet the Queen of England.”

Meanwhile, Zach Wheatley, a freshman English major, has a more adventurous checklist, which includes, “Buying a plane, going skydiving (maybe without a parachute) and going wingsuit gliding.” The two of them show just how varied bucket lists can be; one involves travel, while the other appears to be a daredevil’s checklist.

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Students Give Thanks to Change: How Have Freshmen Grown While Away From Home?

freshmanMany students, particularly freshman, have changed and grown in their time here at college. Freshman arrived two and a half months ago and have since fully experienced a portion of the college experience. Living on your own, being responsible for all your work, with no one to tell you to do your homework or study for a test, living in a dorm allows students to be in charge of their own academic career.

For some, this has been their first extended experience away from home, so for these people and all other students heading home for Thanksgiving, what has changed? What growth and maturation can occur in a student in just a few months' time?

"I think that the independence that students experience would make it a little strange going back to a place with less freedom," said Jamie Goodwin, an instructor of psychology.

Students often find that the most attractive aspect of the college experience is the lack of restrictions and increased freedoms that come with living away from home. Going back to visit family is a wonderful thing, but it will be a testament to a student's growth as an individual to see how they react in returning to that situation. As Goodwin said, students have become used to their own independence and better-rounded as adults in their time away.

Homecoming is an act that has been written about, praised, dreaded and discussed in every other way imaginable. The feeling of returning home can be felt by anyone, regardless of location or following events. It is one of the oldest feelings in the world and, especially for students that didn't go home for fall break, it's perfectly normal to feel a little strange.

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Home Sweet Home: Why Students Can’t Wait to Go Back

cominghomeFor many students, Thanksgiving is one of the best times of the year to spend at home. There's all that delicious home cooked food and endless pumpkin pie. While this semester is flying by, many students cannot believe it's already November. Before we know it, this semester will have concluded and the winter season will be upon us. As the dropping temperatures warn us of frosty months to come, students are eager to get a break from the grueling schoolwork and approaching cold walks to class.

Thanksgiving is the holiday known for being appreciative. As a kid, you grow used to having your parents do certain things for you, and you don't give them as much thanks as they deserve. But after spending almost three months at school, eating questionable dining hall food and paying to do your own laundry, most students are pumped to head back to their households.

Most students are eagerly awaiting the upcoming break. Malcolm Chavis, a sophomore theater major, is looking forward to many things, including "home cooking, not having to do laundry, using my car and seeing friends."

When he is home, Chavis appreciates the time he gets to spend with his family since he doesn't get to see them much during school. The big thing Chavis truly appreciates while being home is his beloved means of transportation. "I really enjoy my car; it makes me happy to sit in it."

Others are also looking forward to the time spent with family. Alexandra Stambaugh, a sophomore music education major, is looking forward to being home because she appreciates her parents and everything they do for her.

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The Black Friday Blues: What is Worth Standing Outside at 12 am for?

blackfridayOh, Black Friday, the day when you shop till you drop, literally. This chaotic day is toxic to our bank accounts, even though almost everything is on sale. Unfortunately, it adds up. Although it is the biggest day of the year to blow money, most of us still participate. Hey, what's not fun about shopping at three in the morning, right?

Black Friday has been a day after Thanksgiving tradition for ages. People are known to lineup outside of stores as early as the night of Thanksgiving in order to achieve the Christmas gifts they desire. Riots often break out due to chaotic crowds swarming in right when the clock strikes 12. Who knew new electronics could be worth an injury?

My family and I go Black Friday shopping almost every year. We scout out some good sales, but we do not do anything excessive. We definitely do not sit outside of a store for hours in order to obtain an item. I am not even going to try to persuade my parents to do that this year; I already know the answer would be no.

It would be quite interesting to sit outside of a store at midnightthough. I'll try it when I'm older...maybe.

The best item I have ever bought at a Black Friday sale was probably a two-dollar scarf. I know, not too exciting. Maybe this year I will switch it up and get a nice pair of shoes or something.

I am sure students and faculty on campus have gotten more interesting items on sale than me. Someone on campus must have camped out outside of Walmart in order to buy an Xbox, but then again, maybe not. Some University students might surprise you and some might have some clever alternatives.

Nicolette Pezza, a freshman communication major, said, "I actually do not participate in Black Friday. I am more of a Cyber-Monday kind of girl. I do not really like the idea of getting up to go to a store after midnight; it just seems stressful, honestly."

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Thanksgiving Traditions: How the Times Have Changed

1993-football-gameThanksgiving is an American holiday celebrated every fourth Thursday of November. However, the meaning of this holiday has transformed over time.

The tradition dates back to 1621 when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony had a feast with the Wampanoag tribe. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proposed making Thanksgiving a national holiday, but it was not until 1941 when Thanksgiving Day was made an official holiday by Congress.

Since the original Thanksgiving feast, much has changed.

For example, the indulgence of turkey does not trace back to the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe. The original Thanksgiving meal incorporated small fowl and five deer, not turkey. Most of the food was not provided by the Pilgrims but instead was brought by the Wampanoag tribe.

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner we cherish today was created by a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. Often referred to as "The Godmother of Thanksgiving," Hale climbed the ranks to become editor of Bodey's Lady's Book, the 19th century's most successful woman's magazine in America. She used her leverage to publish Thanksgiving dinner recipes, including those for turkey and pumpkin pies.

According to CNN, 253.5 million turkeys were raised for Thanksgiving in 2012 and 242 million were raised in 2013. The numbers for this year, although they cannot be solidified until after Thanksgiving, are expected to increase five percent from 2013's total.

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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