Last updateWed, 28 Oct 2020 1pm


Reasons to Volunteer

Reasons to VolunteerFormer President Ronald Reagan once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Volunteering is a great way to make the first step to at least helping someone.

Many people only think of giving back or volunteering when Christmas rolls around, but giving back is perfect any time of the year. Based on observations at a nonprofit organization, most donations are made at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but summer is the time when they are actually needed most.


According to Help Guide, a resource for mental health, volunteering brings happiness and fulfillment not only to your life, but to the lives that you help. For one thing, volunteering connects you to others in a way that nothing else can. Doing something so small and so simple for someone could mean the absolute world to them. Volunteering also opens your eyes to appreciating everything that you have. Those who are struggling pray to have what we take for granted every day.

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Dealing with Stress

Stress is like a black pit of uncertainty: losing yourself and consciously knowing it. The most heartbreaking part is there’s nothing anyone can do as your mind and soul spiral out of control.

Stress: it’s a side of life that we try to avoid. It makes us uncomfortable, breaks us down, and in some cases, leaves us defeated. There is an abundant amount of stressors we face in our day to day lives; some positive, others negative.

Oftentimes, we allow ourselves to dwell on that which causes us so much pain, and ultimately it cultivates into stress.

This heavy contemplation of our daily losses, whether they be as small as not making the bed in the morning, to failing a midterm are in large part of what stress is. When we reflect upon these negative conceptions, it in turn causes us stress, and there’s nothing to be gained from that type of stress.

Oftentimes when one feels stressed, it’s because we feel out of touch with reality- as though we aren’t in control of our current situation. Communications student Sara Sikora emphasized this notion, stating that “Stress is caused when someone feels like they lack control in some aspect [of their lives].”

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Going the Distance: Relationships From Afar

Distance RelationshipsEveryone knows what it is like to leave the person you love behind when going off to college, whether it is the parent figure in your life, a significant other, your best friends from home, or even just your pet. It is always difficult to say goodbye every time you leave home, but living away is even worse. One of the downsides to living on campus during your college years is not having the people you love most there by your side, but it does not have to be so bad with these few tricks.

Family is a key role in many people’s lives, but when you are away from them, life can seem impossible. For those who live close enough from campus to drive home quickly, take a trip home once or twice a month to visit; eat all of the good cooking, binge watch all your favorite TV shows, and laugh until you are blue in the face. But, what you have to keep in mind, is that college is the time of your life where you can branch out and become your own person.

Do not visit every other day because this will hurt you more than help you. If you are living in the dorms here at MU and your family lives more than an hour away, make it a point to call your family as much as you can. Texting is great and you are able to quickly answer, but it is the second best compared to actually calling. Yes, it may be old schooled, but it is one hundred percent worth it. A phone call a day keeps the blues away and everyone knows that they have access to a phone, so go out and get it done!

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Staying Healthy at MU

Staying Healthy at MUMany people are guilty of saying, “I don’t have time to go to the gym,” or, “I don’t want to go to the gym alone!” However, getting fit is easier than you think, and it only requires a few lifestyle changes.

First off, it’s important to set a schedule to find time for exercise. Find the perfect time to head over to the gym, whether it is in the morning, right after your classes end for the day, or in between classes. Keep track of your exercise in a journal, which will help keep you motivated as well. If you’re uncomfortable going to the gym alone, find a gym buddy whether you ask a friend or just an acquaintance from class. Exercising is actually a great way to bond and make a friend or two!

There are plenty of ways to get fit right here on campus. This fall, take a stroll and appreciate the beauty that engulfs our lovely university. Monmouth’s fitness center, located in the OceanFirst Bank Center, is free to all staff and students and can be utilized for strength, cardio, and flexibility exercises, to name a few. You can even sign up for group fitness classes, such as yoga and kickboxing, on the “Monmouth Recreation” app.

You can always take up an activity off campus to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Freshman animation student Michael Gatta has taken up a great activity to stay fit. He said, “I exercise by fencing with my friends. It’s really beneficial because it’s fun and a great way to stay healthy.” It’s important to have fun while exercising, so grab a few friends and find an activity you all enjoy!

If you find a sport you excel at, you can always join an intramural team on campus! Monmouth University offers a vast selection of intramural sports such as volleyball, tennis, basketball, and softball. You can participate in these intramurals competitively or recreationally. If you’re interested in an intramural sport, keep an eye out for the registration dates!

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There’s More To Life Than Just Existing

More to Life than Existing 1Every moment, we are living and dying with each and every breath. A simple fact of life is that you’re living. However, as we go through the motions of our everyday lives, we often forget this simple fact. Rather than living we begin to simply exist.

We go to jobs that leave us uninspired, count down the days until our next break during the semester, and often forget to tell those around us how much we value them. Our deadlines and daily obligations make us feel as though we don’t have time for others and even ourselves.

That exam we have to study for hinders us from taking a trip to the beach. Our nine to five workday prevents us from taking that much-needed vacation. We often feel trapped in our own lives by our constant obligations.

But here’s a fact that we are often too afraid to admit to ourselves: you can do anything that you want to do. If you’re unhappy with your job, quit. Don’t like where you live? Move. We are not here to live in fear of our own lives. We are here to make them the most fulfilled and amazing they can be.

Mary Harris, a specialist professor of public relations has come to embrace this shift in perspective. Professor Harris’ philosophy behind this idea is the following, “Doing something differently will make you feel more alive.”

Harris encourages people to ask themselves, “Do I feel like there’s something missing from life?” If the answer to that question is yes, then you must ask yourself, “How can I cultivate change?” 

Doing something that makes you feel alive does not necessarily have to include a plane ride or some elaborate adventure, but it can be acts on a much smaller scale. Volunteering your time, going for a walk, star-gazing, or just taking the time to be alone with your thoughts can renew an appreciation for life.

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Healthy Kickstarters for Fall

Healthy Kickstarters FallYou can feel a growing sense of excitement intensify as summer fades, leaving the crisp fall breeze in its wake. It’s that time of year again - apple cider, raspberry pie, and pumpkin spice lattes. We begin to abandon our sun- soaked spots at the beach and begin wrapping ourselves in layers of blankets while binge -watching full seasons of Netflix (we’ve all been there).

 A lot of things can be said about fall - it’s comfy, nostalgic, and most importantly, there’s a lot of food. Often, people use fall as a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to health. With so many holidays around the corner, (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, to name a few), it becomes easy to stray off the path of fitness we set for ourselves the season prior. We become less active, indulge in more food, and lose the spark that motivated us to stay in shape during the summer.

 It’s important to enjoy the fall in all of its sugar-fueled, food-induced glory. Indulging in the occasional apple tart or pumpkin pie is all well and good, but balance is key. Now, people prescribe to the most far-fetched ways to stay healthy. Crash diets and ridiculous workout fads plague our perception of what it means to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

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The Benefits of Running

Benefits Of Running 1For anyone feeling stressed, sad, or just plain antsy, exercise is the best medicine, particularly running. While it can sometimes require lots of endurance, it will leave you feeling happier and healthier. As college students, it is important for us to stay active and be healthy, especially when we have homework, exams, club meetings, internships, and everything else on our plates.

A lot of times, it can be hard for a busy college student to incorporate exercise into their routine. However, running is a great way to clear your mind and forget about everything on your plate for the time being. Fitness Magazine lists the top 10 benefits of running and here’s a few. Getting your heart pumping is one of the major benefits of running along with any other type of excerise.  The magazine says that running is the “king of cardio”, meaning it is good for your heart and significantly reduces the chance of falling victim to cardiovascular disease.

Secondly, a common belief about running is that it really wears on your joints. However, running actually strengthens your joints, contrary to what a lot of people believe. According to an exercise psychologist quoted in Fitness Magazine, whenever your feet slam down on the pavement while running, your bones and cartilage are stressed, which actually makes them stronger. This is different than something like yoga, for example. Yoga focuses more on stretching and the body whereas running benefits your body in ways that low-impact exercises never could.

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Fall in Monmouth County

Fall Monmouth County 1Believe it or not, there is more to fall than a pumpkin spice latte. With fall break just around the corner, there is no better time to learn about what’s going on in our area than to do something seasonal and fun with friends or family! So take a break from homework, papers, and exams, and get ready for Halloween murder mysteries, Pier Village’s fall festival, and more!

One event within close proximity to campus is Pier Fest, a free fall festival at Pier Village. Not only will this be fun, but it is perfect for a college student’s budget. It will be taking place Sunday, October 1st from 12-4 p.m. and there will be tons to do. Tired of dining hall food? Pier Fest not only has delicious food and drinks, but there will be live music and tons of local vendors and crafters. Pier fest would be a great place to go with roommates and friends to release some midterm stress.

A great way to enjoy yourself and help those in need would be to participate in Lunch Break’s Crop Walk, 2017. The wonderful nonprofit organization is looking for walkers to help them reach their goal of $120,000, and 14,000 lbs. of peanut butter, rice, and beans. Former Lunch Break interns across the board highly recommend helping out this organization in any way you can. Lunch Break is so much more than just a soup kitchen. They feed and clothe those in need, and give them access to basic amenities like taking a hot shower. Most importantly, Lunch Break gives them the hope they need for a better future. Registration for the walk will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15 and then will start at 2 p.m.

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The Benefits of Musical Theatre

Benefits Musical TheatreWe have all watched at least one musical in our lives, whether on Broadway or right from our TV screens. Grease, Hairspray, Annie, and Wicked are just a few of the most popular musicals that have left long-lasting impressions on us all. No matter which musical you watch, they all have the same components; a close-knit cast, outstanding acting, infectious tunes, and a heart-warming message.

Who could resist the captivating tunes that escape right from the stage of a musical? Watching the actors sing and dance with joy around the stage will transport you into a whole other world. Both the lyrics and the melody evoke such strong emotions both on stage and in the audience. The music is sure to make you jump out of your seat, sing along, and dance! The music produced by the cast is such a powerful way to tell a story, to inspire others, and to teach a strong, lasting message. The compelling melodies will be stuck in your head well after the curtains have closed.

Freshman criminal justice student Gabriella Franco has experience in musical theatre. She shared, “When you’re in a cast with everyone, it gives you a sense of community and builds up a foundation for friendship.” Being a part of musical theatre is a great way to meet friends with the same interests as you. Franco also added, “If you’re having a rough time in your life, theatre is a form of escape.” No matter who you are, acting brings you into a whole new world and allows you to explore the depths of your character in a fun and exciting way.

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The Struggles of Commuting

Struggles Of CommutingIt is safe to say that every Monmouth student who commutes to campus hates the parking situation. With 59% of Monmouth’s student population living off campus, it’s safe to say that parking is one of the many struggles that commuters face.

Those who live on campus have the luxury of waking up at 8 a.m. for an 8:30 a.m. class. Commuters have to wake up early to ensure that they have time to get ready, pack everything they need for the day, sit in traffic, and then struggle to find a parking spot. Most days you will see students handing their keys off to valet as they rush to class.

Adjunct professor in Foreign Language, Aurora Schlegel, had a lot of thoughts on the parking situation. “I definitely think the lots are overcrowded. Even though professors have their own lots, we still have similar parking issues as students. For example, I don’t always feel comfortable leaving my keys with the valet, and I know a lot of students feel the same. I would rather just park my own car and have my keys on my person.” The valet parking can sometimes leave people feeling uneasy, but sometimes it is a real life saver. When a commuter is running late because of parking, it is so nice to have the option to just drop your car and run.

Senior communications student, Kayla Cardona, who has a long commute, explained her frustration with the parking situation. “I am always so nervous that I’ll be late to class due to not being able to find a parking spot. It’s a huge inconvenience since we pay so much for tuition and parking still manages to be an issue.” She also expressed that she does not feel comfortable leaving her car with valet, despite its availability.

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Falling for Fall

Falling For FallWhat’s not to love about fall? The vibrant red and orange leaves, the fresh apples waiting to be picked, the smell of pumpkin floating around in the crisp, cool air. This colorful transition from summer to winter gives us plenty of opportunities to get together with our friends and family, whether we are creating spooky Jack-O-Lanterns for our Halloween porches or dorm rooms, or eating warm turkey from our Thanksgiving tables.

One of the most exciting parts about fall is that first morning when you look out your window and see a whole new world. As we take a look at the breathtaking autumn trees that resemble a scene from a magnificent painting, we notice that the leaves no longer contain their rich, green color. Junior biology student, Justin Badamo, explains why leaves change color in the fall. “It’s a chemical process,” he says. “Chlorophyll, the pigment that gives leaves their green color, breaks down in the fall and allows the leaves to appear yellow, orange, or red.”

It’s time to let go of that summer heat and to break out all of the comfy items from your fall wardrobe, especially those big, warm sweaters and cozy scarves. Lecturer of Psychology, Dr. Michele Van Volkom, loves the autumn weather. She enjoys this time of year when “the air gets cold and crisp and that humidity goes away.” Autumn is a lovely change from the hot, humid weather we were used to in the summer.

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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