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Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm

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Advice from Experience: Study Tips for Final Exams

Advice Experience ExamsTo reach the ultimate success during finals season, it is necessary to have a solid studying plan. The key is to plan in advance.

“Studying for finals, you will catch me at 5 a.m. in my room studying,” said Adham Hasan, a senior health studies student.

Hasan feels that accomplishing class obligations in a timely manner and being rested is a benefit to a successful performance on final exams. “Instead of staying up late at night, go to bed early and wake up early,” said Hasan.

“I usually start studying for finals two weeks prior to my final exams, and I try to average fifteen to twenty hours per week,” said Bryan Ochoa, a senior criminal justice student.

“Meeting with professors is very beneficial, especially during final exams. Although I am doing well in all of my classes, I just need to make sure my average does not get knocked down from to a B+ or B range,” said Ochoa.

Junior political science student Joe Raimondi also believes meeting with professors is an advantage. “I have met with professors before to go over study guides and it has been beneficial,” said Raimondi.

It is crucial to still give yourself breaks to relax. “I would definitely say that free time is beneficial for the process of studying because it just keeps me from getting overwhelmed and takes out my stress during finals week,” added Raimondi.

Ochoa also finds free time to be important during final exams. “I play soccer a lot during my free time, and I started playing basketball more,” said Ochoa.

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Gourmet Dining: Saving Lives and the Planet, One Meal at a Time

Gourmet Dining Saving Lives 1As college students realize the influence that their diet has on their bodies, the environment, and animals, it is no surprise that vegan diets were predicted as the largest food trend of 2018.

Vegans consume an abundance of healthful foods such as vegetables, fruits, rice, and legumes. However, they eat the same foods that non-vegans eat: burgers, burritos, pastas, soups, and sandwiches, just vegan versions.

There are even a multitude of vegan ice cream brands sold in local grocery stores. Ben and Jerry’s created seven flavors, including classics Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia.

Research firm, GlobalData, reported a 600 percent increase in the number of vegans in the United States over the last three years. Monmouth’s Gourmet Dining, aware of the rising demand for vegan dishes, has implemented a plethora of new options. 

Those who follow a vegan diet discover many benefits that plant-based foods have on their health.

“Vegan plant-based options are healthy additions for anyone’s diet. Eating more plants should be a health focus on college campuses,” said Mary Harris, a specialist professor of communication and Director of Plants for Peace, a vegan organization.

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States.

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Must-Haves for Every Winter Wardrobe

Must Have Winter WardrobeNow that the weather is growing colder, it is time to transition into our winter wardrobes. The key is to not sacrifice style for warmth, and these tips will help you find a balance.

While fall is ideal for lighter layers, like a denim jacket, New Jersey winters require a heavy coat. That being said, the stereotypical ski-coat is not your only option.

Some peacoats are heavily lined, and Old Navy had them on sale for only $25 this past week. Vests are another cute choice of outerwear. Kristine Simoes, a specialist professor of public relations, said, “My Old Navy puffy vest never fails me.”

Overcoats are also trendy right now; it is a great look to pair it with rolled up jeans and boots. You can go for a traditional neutral color, or something a little more fun like pink. H&M has a couple different options set at reasonable prices.

Another new coat trend for women is the teddy coat. It is as comfortable as it sounds – these coats will turn you into a giant teddy bear.

Most of them are made from Sherpa material, making you feel like you are wearing a blanket. Urban Outfitters has a cute style that is colorful and reversible for $79, which isn’t too expensive for something that you are bound to wear all winter long.

While jeans are timeless, if you’re willing to try something new, try a pair of pleated pants. A plaid or houndstooth design is perfect for the season, and it will effortlessly dress-up any outfit. This is a great winter look for both men and women.

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Holiday Shopping Survival Guide: College Edition

Holiday Shopping Survival GuideIt’s the most wonderful time of the year — for everything except our bank accounts. You don’t need to spend a month’s worth of college tuition on the perfect gifts for your family and friends. There are millions of other ways to show your loved ones that you care about them without spending an arm and a leg on “the perfect gift.”

Samantha Rosenberg, a junior social work student said, “Holiday shopping can be extremely difficult especially when you’re on a budget because there is a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift, especially for someone that you love.” People get so fixated on finding the perfect gift for their loved one and that’s usually associated with a lot of money. But with these tips, you will soon find out that sometimes, the perfect gift can be found on the sale rack.

A universal gift for anyone, boy or girl, old or young, naughty or nice, is pajamas. You can never go wrong with a soft and cozy pair of pajamas. Plus, there are tons of patterns that are sure to please anyone.

Primark, a British Department store, recently took over for Sears in the Freehold Mall. Their pajamas touch upon life’s greatest pleasures. They just came out with a Friends line (you’re welcome) and they even have cozy slippers to match.

Most importantly, they’re cheap and ideal for a college students’ budget. You can’t argue with $10 pajamas. This store is a hidden gem that can hopefully make holiday shopping easier and cheaper.

Marshall’s- this store is definitely on the nice list. With brands like Michael Kors, Vince Camuto and Ralph Lauren all at discounted prices, shopping here feels as lovely as Christmas morning. This store has practical gifts at great prices and even better quality.

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Professor Spotlight on Courtney Werner

Professor Courtney WernerCourtney Werner, Ph.D., is an associate professor of English. Those who have had her as a professor know that she is consistently helpful and affable, but many of her students may not be aware of the research she does outside of the classroom.

Werner’s research specialty is digital writing. Regarding the works that she has had published, Werner explained, “My most important pieces are about how my field defines new media and the practical applications of those terms. Other pieces I have published focus on pedagogy: what does it mean to use this ideology in the writing classroom?”

Another one of her research interests is delving into the importance of writing centers.  “My favorite topic to research is actually the ideology of writing centers like our own writing services, and I have a history of publication that looks at digital writing and writing centers,” Werner shared.

While teaching at Monmouth has lessened the amount of time that Werner has available for research, she does not view that as a bad thing. She loves to teach and is happy that since being hired at Monmouth in 2015, teaching now takes up most of her time.

Werner said, “My emphasis on teaching here also informs my research and allows me to think about new projects. It’s also helped me better manage my time and find like-minded, teacher-researchers, with whom I currently have a great writing group.”

It is likely that you may have had Werner for a first-year composition course. “I love the variety of classes I get to teach, but every semester, I insist on teaching either EN 101 or EN 102,” she shared.

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The Great Note-Taking Debate: Laptop vs. Paper

Laptop Vs PaperA laptop is a must-have for all college students; University websites will even give guidelines to what kind of laptops should be purchased. In other words, colleges rely on our ability to have access to technology.

But, this is not a bad thing at all. After all, the internet is chock full of information and as students, we have access to virtually anything at the touch of our hands and the connection to Wi-Fi. Note-taking is quicker and we can make it all neat with just some format adjustments. However, laptops might not be the best way to take notes.

The University as a whole has split opinions on whether it is more beneficial to take notes on a laptop or with pen and paper.

Laptops: many professors will advise against it, some are preforming research on it, and others think it is valuable to have information at students’ finger tips. Frank Fury, Ph.D., professor of English, often lets students have laptops in his classes.

“I think that they can be a distraction sometimes, but it is less about note-taking and more about being a supplement to discussions,” Fury stated.

The old school way to take notes is via pen (or pencil) and paper. Laptops may make note-taking faster, but there is not as much knowledge retention in taking notes with a keyboard.

Physically writing down your notes will spark a mental process that helps you to remember what you have written down. That is why a lot of professors, especially in note-dependent classes, will often advise that laptops are to remain shut.

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How to Plan the Perfect Friendsgiving

Perfect FriendsgivingThanksgiving is the time of year where we give thanks to everything and everyone in our lives. For almost everyone, the people we are most grateful for besides our families are our friends.

Friendsgivings are events similar to Thanksgiving dinners, but the guests are our friends. These dinners are always a lot of fun, but for those who have not planned one before, it could be a very stressful event. Here are some tips for those of you who have never planned a Friendsgiving before.

The Host Makes the Roast-- Everyone Else Brings the Sides

When I had my first Friendsgiving with my friends, all our cooking abilities were very different. Some of us could cook but didn’t have the space, and others had the space but could somehow burn boiling water.

We quickly came up with this simple rule: whoever offered up their place as the site for the dinner would have to make the turkey. It doesn’t always have to be turkey; some friends prefer to bake chicken (because it’s cheaper) or a ham (because it’s easier to make).

The guests would then volunteer to bring sides, whether that be mashed potatoes, broccoli or mac and cheese. Assigning tasks like these will not only make the host’s job easier, but will also help make everyone feel like they are involved.

Have a Theme

Sometimes, especially when you are hosting one of these events for the first time, it can be difficult to get everyone comfortable and to get the ball rolling.

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The Best Student Deals and Discounts

Student Deals DiscountsWe all know the cliché “broke college student.” If you can relate to that description, local businesses offer incredible student discounts all over the Long Branch area to help out Monmouth students.

There’s no reason to sugar coat it – we live in a pretty pricey area on the Jersey Shore. These student discounts really do wonders to make up for that.

If you are looking to get your nails done, you can get a manicure without feeling any guilt. Shannon McBride, a senior communication student, said, “The Affinity Nail Salon gives Monmouth students a discount and they do nails really well.”

When checking out the school’s site, you can easily find a list of some of the discounts that are offered to us. Believe it or not, we have some pretty awesome connections.

Apple, Dell and AT&T are just a few of the big names that really come in handy when you’re a student looking to buy some new electronics. Laptops, tablets and/or desktops are some necessary machines for all college students. Prices run pretty high for our beloved MacBooks, so we could all use a discount for that purchase.

With having a mall so close to campus, things can slightly get out of hand. If you hear the Monmouth Mall calling out your name to spend all of your latest paycheck, it’s okay to cave. If you want to get some new clothes or a sweet treat, there are plenty of discounts available to you.

Stores like Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 are among those who will give you a discount. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your favorite store if they offer any deals for local students.

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Tips for Building the Perfect Resume

Building Perfect ResumeIt’s not uncommon for students to struggle with building resumes. Creating a resume can cause stress and pressure, since it’s the main determining factor in getting hired for a job. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult. There are simple tips to follow that will ensure a flawless resume.

If you’re beginning from scratch, six basic categories should be included on every resume: contact information, an objective that explains why you want the job, education, experience, skills, and achievements.

First off, a resume should be clear and consistent. Using only one or two font styles and sizes throughout your resume gives it clarity and consistency. This will mark the difference between a weak and a strong resume. If an employer spends too much time figuring out where to find your experience, skills, etc., your resume will simply be tossed to the side.

Another aspect of clarity that many people don’t consider is name size. The most important part of contact information is your name; it must be large and bold to ensure that it’s the first thing the employer sees upon viewing your resume. It’s your brand name, and your resume must wear it well.

Organizing experience and education in reverse chronological order also gives your resume more clarity while highlighting your current experience by placing it on top. Bullet points offer clarity but should not be used excessively; rather, they should highlight the most important parts of your resume.

Another vital aspect of resume building is keeping everything relevant. Although you may have experience with ten different employers, only list the experience that is relevant to the one you’re applying to. List any past experience that has taught transferrable skills, which are skills that can be utilized in any type of job.

Your resume has to let the employer know that you really want that job. In fact, one of the most common mistakes is sending the same resume to every job you apply for. Rather, each resume should be tailored to a specific job, and the objective should reflect why you want that specific job by basing it on the job description.

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Small Ways to Help the Environment

Help The EnvironmentOur environment is suffering, and there are things that every student can do to help it get better. No effort is too small; everyone has the power to create a positive impact.

Randall Abate, professor of political science and sociology, also serves as Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy. Commenting on the current state of our environment, Abate said, “Global climate change is caused by many factors worldwide, but it has significant impacts here in Monmouth County.”

He continued, “Sea level rise, more intense storms, and more frequent episodes of coastal flooding, coastal erosion, and harmful algal blooms are just a few of the many climate change impacts in our area that are imperiling human health and safety, coastal infrastructure, the local economy, and marine and terrestrial plant and animal species.”

Some Monmouth University students are not involved in the cause to protect the environment, but everyone should recognize why it is important to care. “Students should care about these issues because they impact our daily lives and because we have a moral duty to serve as stewards of the environment to ensure that future generations inherit a habitable planet,” Abate continued.

A simple suggestion is to partake in the use of reusable products. “The easiest ways for students to minimize waste in their daily routines is by using reusable containers for cold and hot beverages,” Abate said.

Sara Sikora, senior communication student, shared, “I use a reusable water bottle that I either refill from my Brita or from water fountains around campus.”

If you are on a budget, measures like this will end up actually saving you money. Instead of having to buy a supply of plastic water bottles every week, you will only need to buy one container that you can refill forever. Some brands, such as Nalgene, are very affordable; you can get a BPA-free bottle for under $10.

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How to Give Back During This Holiday Season

Give Back Holiday SeasonWith the coming of the holiday season, this is a time when we all need to slow down and reflect on what we have and also what we do not. While Thanksgiving break brings happy memories and endless amounts of comfort food, it is easy to forget that not everyone can have that exact experience. Some of Monmouth’s own students are not going to go home to an extravagant feast.

Recently, Monmouth students have organized a full-year donation drive to help out both students who live on and off campus. The Hawk’s Nest is a food pantry in Laurel Hall, open from 4-6 p.m. on Monday and Thursday.

Nick Verzicco, senior business administration and finance student, said, “We have passed out about 40 meal bags so far.” The Nest is a fairly new organization and there is only room to grow.

Verzicco continued, “When you come, bring a friend and spread the word. You can use the hashtag #HawksFeedingHawks.”

The Honors School has also run its own donation drives throughout the semesters. In early October, students gathered in Beechwood Lobby and created bags with hygienic items, non-perishable snacks, and small clothing items like socks.

You do not need to be in the honors school to get involved in events like these. The more help, the more items to donate, and the more we can help soldiers stationed overseas who do not always have access to 24/7 convenience stores.

There will be more opportunities to get involved in other donation drives throughout the semester.  Keep an eye out for posters around the library, student center, and even the residential dorms.

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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