Last updateWed, 28 Feb 2018 12pm


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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry and Beyond


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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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

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