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Last updateMon, 11 Dec 2017 12pm

Opinion

Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

'Tis The Season of Giving

Season of GivingIt’s the holiday season, a favorite of many. Each year, we wait for things like peppermint mocha coffee, being bundled up around a warm fire, and of course, presents; because who doesn’t like presents? One thing that I think many people forget is that it’s not just about getting that expensive handbag you asked your significant other for, it’s about giving. I remind myself of this every year.

You’ve definitely seen it before. Many public places, whether it be in the grocery store, at your local municipal center, or here on campus have Christmas trees set up that aren’t just there for decoration. They are decorated with ornaments that give a child’s age, and what he/she would like for Christmas.

Many people just walk past them without second thought. Have you ever thought that maybe the wish written on that piece of paper is the only gift that child will this year? Have you ever thought that maybe if no one takes that tag off that tree, that child will watch their classmates show off their new, shiny gifts and have to sit and wonder what that feels like?

Of course, Christmas is not just about presents, but imagine being able to make that kid’s day. So every year, my mother and I both pick a tag off of one of those trees and do our best to be able to do just that. They often don’t ask for much, maybe a jacket or a new outfit. These are things people need, not just want.

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Being Called "Pretty"

We live in a society that heavily bases a person’s worth on how attractive they are. People seem to believe that more attractive people have the upper-hand in life, and that they “have it easy,” but this past summer I learned quite the opposite.

Growing up, my weight was always a huge struggle for me. At the tender age of ten, I was told that I was overweight by my pediatrician, and I never looked at my body the same way again.

While I have always been self-conscious about it, I never found the strength to make a change until this past summer, when I was going through a particularly bad break up.

I made the decision to let my break up build me up, instead of tear me down. With a little inspiration from Khloe Kardashian’s own “revenge body,” as she called it, I decided to get a little revenge of my own. I was going to prove everyone who ever called me fat wrong. I started hitting the gym hard, and eating a lot healthier. Fast forward a few months, and I ended up doing exactly what I set out to do; I got my revenge body, and am currently in the best shape of my life.

While getting in shape has certainly had its benefits, like giving me more energy, boosting my self- esteem, getting sick less often, etc., it has also resulted in some very unexpected disadvantages—the most important one being harassment.

At first, compliments were nice. Others were noticing all of my hard work. It was nothing crazy; just things like, “Oh hey, you look like you lost some weight! Good for you!” It made me feel good, but compliments soon turned into remarks, and remarks quickly turned into insults.

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Is Cuffing Season Real?

Cuffing SeasonThe holiday season is here and by that, I mean it is cuffing season! Suddenly, the weather drops, and everyone is cold and lonely and wants to be tied up to a loved one. Depending on who you are, and your relationship status, this can either excite, or terrify you. It is like musical chairs and it seems like everyone is scrambling to be in a relationship. The people that are in relationships, found a chair to sit in, and tell others that one day it may be their turn to find an open seat. The people left still standing are panicking because everyone around them seems to be getting “cuffed,” or paired up. But is cuffing season even real? Or is it just a made-up phenomenon?

Personally, I think cuffing season is an actual part of the cold weather season. Even research has found a common theme with humans getting into relationships as the temperature begins to drop. According to Sameera, a relationship expert, psychologist and CEO of the matchmaking site, Lasting Connections, “People who would normally rather be single find themselves desiring to be tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and spending lots of time inside makes people lonely, so they are looking for someone to spend this time with.”

The cold weather is an ideal time to cuddle, and snuggle up with someone. In addition, all of the holidays and festivities including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas make one want to take part in the activities with a significant other. For example, around the Monmouth area there are so many perfect holiday date ideas- like going pumpkin picking at local farms, ice skating at the ice rink at Pier Village, or even going to Walmart to buy gingerbread houses to decorate.

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Why Thanksgiving Is The Best Holiday

I know we all dread the “how’s college?” question our families always ask us on Thanksgiving. If your family is as crazy as mine, you’ve experienced the cousins fighting over food, the adults arguing over politics, and overall everyone trying to talk over each other at the dinner table.

We’ve all witnessed someone in the family screaming at the TV during the football game and then immediately falling asleep on the couch right after. We’ve also experienced being put at the kid’s table with all the little cousins, which makes you wonder if your aunt will hand you crayons and a piece of paper to trace your hand into a turkey.

 But in the end, behind the dysfunction, our families give us so much to be thankful for. There’s way more to Thanksgiving than dealing with our crazy yet lovable families.

While we’re sitting at the table hearing an embarrassing story being retold for the thousandth time or someone going on about what they are most thankful for this year, we realize that we wouldn’t be half of what we are today without our families. We realize that family doesn’t just come and go; they will always be there, no matter what.

Many people prefer the holidays when you’re exchanging gifts and setting up dazzling decorations inside and outside of the house. For this reason, Thanksgiving tends to be such an underrated holiday. However, nothing can beat the warm turkey, the creamy sweet potatoes, the fluffy corn bread, or the delicious pumpkin pie just waiting to be eaten. There’s no denying that we all look forward to the whiff of the turkey right when it comes out of the oven. And the best part is, we get to have another feast the day after with all the delicious leftovers. (Except for the sweet potatoes, which in my family is the first to go)!

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Specializing in Sports

Specializing SportsCollege is the first time in my life that I have only played one sport. It feels foreign. I grew up going from one practice to the next, and now I only have one practice to worry about. I miss participating in other sports.

Today, many young children are told that they must play and specialize in one sport and only one sport.

The thought process is “why be average at three sports when you could be great at one?” Some parents want their children to focus on one specific sport so that they can excel and compete at the most elite level. The fact of the matter is that most athletes do not make it to that level. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), only one percent of high school athletes go on to play at the Division I level, and an even smaller percentage go on to play professionally. 

Additionally, many elite, professional, and Olympic athletes grew up playing multiple sports and did not specify and focus on one until high school or even college.

An ESPNW article listed “Five reasons why you want your kid to be a multi-sport athlete;” fewer overuse injuries, less opportunities for emotional burnout, exposure to different kids, exposure to different roles, and not putting all of your eggs in one basket.

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Ranking of the Thanksgiving Dinner

Ranking Thanksgiving DinnerEveryone loves Thanksgiving. I mean, you see family members who ask a million questions, you are forced to dress nicely in clothing that is itchy and uncomfortable, and you even gain an extra 20 pounds back from the weight you tried so hard to get off. However, the one thing that everyone really looks forward to is the food; the one day a year where you can surround yourself with all you can eat and not feel an ounce of regret. The only problem that arises in the moment that you are allowed to devour everything in sight is what to eat first. There are those who have no order, those who eat their favorite first, and even those who are set on eating everything, beginning with their least favorite and working their way up the list. We all know what our favorites are, but could you list the sweet, mouth-watering goodness from best to worst?

I believe that, especially when we can select which foods to eat, many of us would prefer to skip the veggies. At the bottom of the list, I would place the greens that every host provides, but usually does not get touched. There are people, like my aunt and uncle, who love their veggies because they are personal trainers, but the vast majority of us would opt to stay clear of the healthy options. This does not mean only greens though. Veggies such as corn, spinach, salad, carrots, and asparagus tend to not be a fan favorite around indulging time. Another food that would find itself towards the bottom of the list would have to be cranberry sauce due to the simple fact that it is out of a can most of the time and it just doesn’t carry the same homemade flavor to it.

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Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, & Rook: Which Company has the Best Coffee?

Starbucks DD or RookBeing at Monmouth University has made me realize that I am not alone when it comes to loving coffee. Though many students on campus use coffee for its caffeine after staying up studying or writing a paper, there are also those who see coffee as a flavorful treat to enjoy at any time of the day.

The common question among the student population is what the differences between the big three coffee shops are and why they matter to them personally.

These three locations are Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and rook and while they all provide the students with the same product -coffee- the big three also come with different varieties of this one product.

This creates a vast amount of choices for the customer, the main ones involving price, distance, and caffeine levels. So, which location IS the best and why?

Every college student has a concern for the amount of money they spend, especially on items that are not a necessity. When referring to coffee, buying from outside vendors can be expensive, particularly if coffee is a daily expense.

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MU First Generation Students Need Programming

MU Students Need ProgrammingBeing a first generation student can be really difficult, especially when your parents are from a different culture. Monmouth University could benefit from better programming to assist their students in their transition to college life.

Did you know that Monmouth University’s demographic data on first generation students is nearly half our student body? Two most recent facts-in-brief publications indicate that the fall 2015 incoming class was 42.9% first generation and the fall 2016 incoming class was 40.7% first generation.

Like many others, I am one of those first generation college students. Among our fellow students, there are a number of families that immigrated here to provide a better life and to be able to have the opportunity to live the American Dream.

Being a first generation student means having to get accustomed to having a lot of unknown variables. In many cases, this means that parents’ educations stopped at either high school or below. This in turn meant that students are forced to educate themselves on not just books and math and such, but also FAFSA applications, college applications, and extracurriculars--if that was a possibility. This adds to the foggy understanding of the American college application process. While universities can’t assist students in the application process, they can have an influence in helping in the transition of accepted students. 

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Solitude: Do We Get Enough of It?

Solitude Do We Get EnoughOn an average Tuesday, my busiest day on campus, I am constantly interacting with professors and fellow students; whether I am exchanging ideas in a class discussion, grabbing lunch with friends, creating study groups, or simply just getting involved on campus by attending social events. On campus, we are always engaging in conversation and spending time with others. But sometimes, it can be exhausting.

Of course, humans are social creatures. Social interaction is necessary because it fulfills our need to belong, shapes our behavior and personality, and allows us to learn a thing or two from one another.

In fact, we are constantly trying to find ways to be even more social, such as making new friends to expand our social circle. But do we really spend as much time alone as we need?

We all occasionally need a break from constant communication. We all need a few minutes of solitude in order to relax and collect our thoughts. Solitude can really improve our health and keep us sane as stressed out college students!

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Who Goes To The Movies Anymore?

Going to the movies used to be a fun, spontaneous plan. Had nothing to do on a Friday night? Let’s go catch a movie!

Nowadays, there are multiple reasons that start to beg the question: is it even worth it to go to the movies anymore?

To start off, the fact that going to the movies consists of me spending a month’s salary just at the concession stand is bothersome!

Not only are the concessions expensive, but they are downright unhealthy. There are no healthy alternatives to the yellow, buttered popcorn, and even if you wanted to bring your own healthy substitute, it is prohibited. I can remember various times where I have snuck food into the theatre, hoping to save money and snack healthier. Now, they check your bags to make sure you do not bring in outside food or drinks.

While snacks costing a month’s salary is an exaggeration, movie tickets now can run you at least fifteen dollars a ticket. I feel like my grandmother writing this but I can remember a time when going to the movies used to be an easy, affordable outing. Now you have to be prepared to spend big bucks!

When I was younger, my family and I would go to the theatres for movie marathons. By marathons I mean that we would buy a ticket for one movie, watch that movie, and then afterwards sneak into another theatre for a second film. If we were lucky, we would find three movies that would run back to back to back.

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Good Manners Don't Cost a Thing

Good Manners Dont Cost“Good manners don’t cost a thing.” I can still hear my mother repeatedly drilling this expression into my head at the dinner table. At an early age, my parents conditioned me into having a good sense of manners.

“Please” and “thank you” are two simple words that possess a power far greater than their meaning. I was constantly reminded to say, “Please” when I wanted one of my needs met and say, “Thank you” to express my gratitude.

Fifteen years later, now as a young adult, I have come to the realization that not everyone’s parents were as adamant about instilling good manners into their child.

Too often, I see doors being opened with no “thank you” following the kind act or the absence of a “please” after a request.

On a service trip with my fellow classmates, I received a “thank you” that I will never forget. I was serving an elderly man his lunch at a nursing home, and as I placed his Jell-O and mixed fruit bowl on his tray, he looked at me with the fondest smile. He said, “Thank you. I will remember the kindness you have shown me.” I’d like to believe that this is the meaning behind every individual’s use of these two words.

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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