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Lifestyles

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

“Generation Hookup”

Should Our Era be Deemed Kings and Queens of Sleeping Around and Not Settling Down?

If there’s one thing that we know for sure, it’s that sex sells. From Marilyn Monroe becoming a legendary sex symbol to Miley Cyrus twerking on stage at the VMAs, people have always been drawn to the hype that surrounds scandal. Yet, can we be blamed? Sex is arguably the most humanistic act we can perform; it connects us to our ancestors as well as our next of kin, it is used for pleasure, and it is a rite of passage in the realm of coming of age. However, how soon is too soon to be hooking up with the guy you just met, your boyfriend of only a short time, or a complete stranger?

It is obvious that our generation is one that feels random hook-ups are widely accepted. However, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), the history of hook ups dates back to the wild days of the roaring twenties. As women gained more freedom due to the 19th Amendment, they felt independence in not being permanently attached to a man.

The APA also noted that the 1960s brought even more sexual freedom with the use of birth control, drugs, and the popularity of the free loving flower power culture. The point is that “hooking up” has been around longer than we have, but our generation is getting all the slack for it.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder May Be Affecting You

With the winter months feeling as if they are never ending and spring nowhere in sight, the “winter blues” are hitting some people pretty hard. Yes, the winter blues are in fact real, along with another condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Even though SAD is common for many people during the colder seasons, there are many ways to prevent and help with symptoms of SAD.

Dr. Christine Hatchard, an assistant professor of psychology, explained that SAD is most similar to Major Depressive Disorder except SAD has a type of “seasonal pattern.” “This means that individuals must meet the criteria for major depression which includes a combination of symptoms such as sad or empty mood, fatigue, difficulties with sleeping, eating or concentration, feelings of guilt or worthlessness and possible suicidality,” she said.

Hatchard continued to say that once a diagnosis of depression has been established, a seasonal pattern then has to be identified. “This generally means that depressive episodes reoccur seasonally, most commonly during the fall and winter and the individual’s symptoms are in remission during other seasons, such as during the summer and spring,” she said. “When making this diagnosis, it’s important to distinguish a seasonal pattern of depression from events that occur seasonally and result in additional stress and possible mental health problems as coping mechanisms are strained, such as returning to college or the holidays.”

The winter blues can be confused with SAD, that’s why it is so important to make sure that a seasonal pattern is recognized, according to Hatchard. “Winter blues can seem similar to depression, but the symptoms are not as severe and are unlikely to result in a high level of distress or significant difficulty with functioning,” she said.

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Valentine’s Celebrations for Both Single and Taken

“Will you be my valentine?” We’ve been hearing this since grade school. Of course, this was back in the days when everyone was everyone’s Valentine, bringing in cards and candy for each classmate on the special day. However, that was when candy wasn’t banned in half of the schools in America and when love was a general feeling among classmates rather than an intimate and sometimes destructive passion among fellow college students.

Some of us have developed a view of Valentine’s Day as a “Hallmark Holiday,” formulated by the media and advertised as the one and only day to show your love. Others cherish it, recalling its meaningful history dating back to both the Middle Ages and the Shakespearean era.

Perhaps for bitter singles, Valentine’s Day is a brutal reminder of failed relationships or a simple annoyance of witnessing Whitman’s chocolate company cashing in on last minute attempts at romantic gestures. On the contrary, for those in love, it is a reminder of romance that is often forgotten once the honeymoon phase comes to an end.

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Top Five Accessories that are a Necessity for the Winter Months

The cold weather is not coming to an end anytime soon, which means dressing warm and layering are an absolute must. These five winter accessories will be sure to keep you toasty and fashionable at the same time during the below zero degree temperatures.

The first winter essential for the winter months is a winter coat. This sounds like a no-brainer but there are so many different types of winter coats, it is hard to make a decision on just one. Some of the styles include: puffer, pea coat, fur, military, slouchy, biker and more. Which style you choose ultimately depends on what look you are going for and how heavy of a coat you want. For extra warmth a puffer coat or a fur coat are recommended. For a trendier look, but a lighter feel, a biker coat or a pea coat is the way to go.

Every woman out there loves shoes and every woman is sure to own a good pair of boots. Boots can be worn with almost everything during the winter. They can be paired with a slouchy sweater and leggings, a blazer and skinny jeans or a dress and stockings. Select boots can even change the look of your whole outfit, making it look formal or casual. Elisabeth Medino, a senior social work major, has several pairs of boots. “I have combat boots, booties and tall riding boots,” she said. “I love wearing them because they are comfortable and they look great with any outfit.”

The third winter essential is a pair of gloves. There are gloves that are fingerless but with the recent cold, fingerless gloves are not the best option. With all the touch screen phones, sometimes people get nervous to wear gloves because they think they won’t be able to use their phones. No need to panic because there are many gloves created with special fabric on the thumb and pointer fingers that allow you to text, make a call, and do absolutely anything on your phone while never taking off your gloves.

Scarves are accessories that are not only worn during the wintertime. However, they are perfect for giving you extra warmth when layering. They come in all different colors which allow anyone to add that extra pop of color to their ensemble. Alex D’Errico, a senior social work major, said that her favorite winter accessory is a scarf. “… I refuse to get my collarbone cold and it always makes the outfit better,” she said.

The fifth and final winter essential is a hat. There are all different types and a lot of people wear hats for fashion purposes, but in weather like this, hats are worn to keep your ears and your head warm. A popular style of hat this year is the beanie. They add a little bit of a hipster feel to outfits. “I don’t do hats, but I love those knit beanies, young girls with straight Marsha Brady hair can get away with them,” said Kristine Simoes, specialist professor of communication.

Other clothing items that are a necessity in the winter are sweaters, cardigans and earmuffs. All of these clothing pieces and accessories make anyone look cute and fashionable in freezing temperatures. So even though we are all counting down the days until we can wear our leather shorts we got for Christmas or that adorable floral pattern dress you for your birthday, just wait a little longer. Be sure to bundle up and soon enough spring fashion will be in full swing.

PHOTO TAKEN by Alyssa Gray

Keeping Up With Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to Stay on Track to Achieving Your Goals Long After January Ends

The tradition to create a far-fetched New Year’s resolution each year seems like a great way to achieve more than you did the previous year. Many people love to set resolutions to improve their health, work life, and grades in school.  But how many people actually stick to their goals after Jan. 1?

Sophomore political science major Kayla Moor said, “I really push myself to overall make more healthy choices and to also make a set plan for my future as in a career like setting up an internship in the near future.”

Her goals are probably very similar to many college students. But what if you don’t succeed? Most people forget about their big New Year’s resolutions within a couple of weeks. Time moves fast and goals seems to be forgotten once hectic schedules begin, allowing old routines to quickly return.

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What to Wear: Holiday Lookbook 2013

The holidays are quickly approaching, and you are probably wondering what to wear. Parties and gatherings call for a more sophisticated look, unless your family has decided to spend the night in their favorite pajamas. However, if you are trying to dress to impress for the special occasion, here are some tips on what to wear.

You can never go wrong with a little sparkle. Whether it be for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, play up the holiday twinkle with your own outfit.

Pair a sequined top with a black skirt for a fun, yet sophisticated look. If you want more bling, find a dress covered in glitter, like the See Me Sequin Bodycon dress from tobi.com. Long or three quarter length sleeves are perfect for winter, and you can wear the dress with opaque black tights and solid pumps.

Junior marketing major Ariel Shilling said, “I plan on wearing a sparkly dress on New Year’s Eve. I feel like the holiday is the perfect opportunity to wear sparkle without looking too over the top. I’ll pair it with solid color heels and keep it dressy by curling my hair.”

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Holiday Hot List: Gifts Ideas for Everyone

It is the most wonderful time of the year, except when you are a broke college student. With finals cutting it close to Christmas, holiday shopping is the last thing on our minds. However, it is the season of giving, so you have two choices, set aside some time from studying for finals and plan a trip to the Monmouth Mall, or save all your last minute shopping for when you get home. If you lack the patience to come up with the perfect unique gift for your loved ones, here is a list of what is definitely going to be decking the halls this December.

Shopping for a girlfriend, sister, mother or other lady in your life? Alex and Ani jewelry, especially the bangle bracelets, are in. Almost half the price of Pandora bracelets, Alex and Ani are beginning to show up on every girl’s wrist. The bracelets are especially timely for the holidays because they can be customized by occasion. The Alex and Ani website says their charms are “truly personal and made with positive energy.” If you have a lot of female family members to buy for, there is free shipping on over $100 spent online.

Sophomore Spanish education major, Nicole Iannotta, has received Alex and Ani bracelets for her birthday and anniversary with her boyfriend. “I suggest this jewelry because it is unique to every person, each charm could mean something different to each person, the hope symbol charm could have one meaning to me, but have a different meaning to someone else who has it,” she said.

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The “Freshman 15” Can Extend Past Freshman Year

The Freshman 15 weight gain can be caused due to lifestyle changes during any period in time, not just during college years. With the holidays approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the sweetness of it all, but it is important to consider how this will affect your health in the future.

Experts agree, freshman year is when so many lifestyle changes occur that can contribute to weight gain when entering the new realm of college life. For example, late nights, take-out food, drinking, high stress, lack of sleep, large workloads, living on your own, and malnutrition are just some of the factors that encourage the scales to tip a little too much.

However, even though your freshman year is over, you may not be in the clear. If you are continuing to make poor eating choices, this can turn into a vicious cycle.

Speaking of scales tipping, Thanksgiving just passed, and now more holidays are coming up. This means that many people will be indulging in high-caloric foods, drinks, and desserts on more than one occasion. Imagine eating and drinking as you do during the holiday seasons, but picture that as an everyday occurrence. Of course you would see a difference in the way your pants fit. There is a time to indulge and there is a time not to, and moderation is key when it comes to this.

Eating is one factor that can affect your health, but there are also others such as a lack of sleep. You may not notice right away the damage that staying up too late can cause, but it catches up soon enough. Whether it is staying at the office or the bar too late, experts agree that your body needs a chance to recharge.

Nanci Hellmich of USA Today explains that scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.

Brian Miller of CNN suggests that in order to avoid the freshman 15 dorm rooms should be free of junk food, but this also is good advice for any residence where weight gain is unwanted.

Senior management and marketing major, Kaitlyn Cassidy said, “I’m sitting here eating Cheetos at 10:27 am and I’m a senior. I would have to agree that weight gain is determined by the choices you make and the way you live your life.”

Experts claim that watching what you are eating can determine which side the scale tips to. Unhealthy options are always available, whether it is at the school cafeteria or on your lunch break from work when you are no longer a student. Even though you may be home for break, your usual Ramen noodles and chips may only be replaced with different kinds of unhealthy foods. During the holidays, dishes like stuffing, potatoes, cakes and pies are in abundance. These may seem tempting, but you will notice the consequences later. Of course, you can enjoy some of these choices in the spirit of celebration, but avoid taking it too far. Health nuts agree that the healthy options may be more difficult to find, but in the end they are more favorable. You may want to reconsider passing up the vegetable platter and sweet potatoes.

While on campus, the Dining Hall may seem like the only option. However, some people have ulterior motives for going.

Senior health studies major Patricia Fontaine explained why she goes to the Dining Hall.She said,“Eating is a social event, so I ate more to make more friends.”

Even though you may be finding yourself making more than one trip to the dining hall daily, you should always consider the health options, like fruit, vegetables, and the salad bar, that it has to offer.

The holidays are another reason to eat socially, but make sure you are aware of the healthy options available at the dinner table.

With the holiday season also comes consumption of alcohol. Lead researcher of the Eating Behaviors study, Sherrie Delinsky said, “Not only does alcohol contain a lot of calories, but people also make poor food choices when they’re under the influence.”

Liquid calories should also be considered. They hide in many drink choices, especially alcohol and soft drinks. Not only does alcohol contain a lot of calories, but so do the mixers that get combined with it. Soda, juice, and even iced tea are packed with calories, sugar and carbohydrates. Whether you are drinking beer, wine, or egg nog during this holiday season, keep in mind that calories also reside in liquid.

It is obvious that there is a time to indulge and a time to be conscious of what you are consuming. Having your holiday gorging habits transfer over to everyday life would be a dangerous lifestyle change. Enjoy the holiday drinks and desserts, but don’t let it become a daily habit. Whether in college or in the real world, experts say lifestyle changes could be to blame for weight gain.

PHOTO TAKEN from getfityou.com

Indoor Activities for the Cold Winter Months

The fall semester is rapidly coming to a halt, just like the fall weather has already done. The cold December weather has finally crept up on us, leaving any signs of anything over 50 degrees a distant memory. It is quite apparent that people tend to be more depressed and all around grumpier in the winter.

According to Web MD, those who face seasonal depression feel better when exposed to more light. Because the sun now sets around 5 pm, you may feel like the night just drags on. Between the cold run from the house to the car, scrambling to put on the heat, and having to walk around campus in below freezing temperatures, wintertime sadness is inevitable. During winter you are more prone to miss out on outdoor adventures, so you should make the most of your time indoors and fight off those winter blues. Here are a few ways in which you can do so.

Start scrapbooking. With social media sites taking over, almost all photographs are online. What happened to Kodak moments? Keeping track of your life on paper and printing out your most important memories could have a greater effect on you later in life. Sure, the Internet is awesome, but having a book full of memories to show your kids one day is pretty cool too. Be old fashioned. Stop refreshing your Facebook and Pinterest out of boredom, go get some scrap book crafts and begin your project. You’ll be both surprised and impressed at your creative ability.

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Non-traditional Thanksgiving Recipes Sure to Please

Thanksgiving is that special time of year when family and close friends gather around the dinner table to give thanks for all that they have, while stuffing their faces with enormous amounts of food. Every single year, many families prepare the same old traditional Thanksgiving dishes. There’s the turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, corn bread and let’s not forget that scrumptious sweet potato pie.

Although these classic food choices are delicious, year after year they tend to get boring. Non-traditional dishes can spice up a Thanksgiving meal. Who knows, they may eventually become part of the tradition. Even though you may not think so, there is a way to incorporate these dishes without Mr. Turkey feeling offended. With these non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes incorporated into your family’s Thanksgiving food tradition, you can create a unique feast.

Some students already have non-traditional foods that they eat on the holiday.

A sophomore biology major Danielle Raiano said, “My family eats antipasto and Italian wedding soup on Thanksgiving. It’s delicious.”

A senior education major Jaclyn Franzi experiences the same kind of non-traditional meal. “I eat ravioli before turkey on Thanksgiving. Since I’m Italian, it has become somewhat of a tradition,” Franzi said.

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Holiday Decor: Turkeys, Pilgrims and More

Right after Halloween, the world seems to jump right into the winter holiday season. It seems like we make a jump from spider web and jack-o-lantern covered homes to colored lights and reindeer.  We tend to overshadow the holiday right in the middle, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Thursday is even overshadowed by Black Friday, when everyone fights for the best gift deals for the next upcoming holidays.

A junior public relations major Laurel Weber said, “I don’t think it’s right that Thanksgiving in general gets overshadowed by holidays like Christmas because Thanksgiving is a holiday that our country was founded on, whereas religious holidays, only some of the country celebrates. Decorations for Thanksgiving should be essential for everyone to take part in the holiday spirit, not just skip onto the next one.”

Nonetheless, if you don’t rush your holidays away and wish to appreciate each one of them, there are plenty of Thanksgiving decorations to use. Don’t feel like spending too much money, but want to get in the spirit of Turkey Day? You’re in luck.

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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