Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Fending Off the Flu

Fending Off FluThe flu is in full swing this year with the widespread epidemic reaching worldwide including our own campus. Although the demographics that should be most concerned are young children and the elderly, this year’s flu is no laughing matter. This article will help give you ideas on how to prevent the flu and keep it from spreading.

The first line of defense to any virus or bacteria is your own body’s immune system. Most people take a multi vitamin every day, but that isn’t always needed if you have a well-balanced diet. Eating healthy seems impossible when living on campus and eating at the dining hall, but there are options that can help strengthen your immune system.

Incorporating fruits and vegetables when offered can really add the necessary vitamins and nutrients your body needs. As for snacking, try to pick up snacks that contain organic fruits and vegetables to give you that extra boost of vitamins and minerals incase the dining hall pizza was a better suit for dinner that day.

Whether you eat at the dining hall, or on your own, it is important to practice hand hygiene. Washing your hands prior to eating, doesn’t seem like a big deal but it can prevent bacteria and viruses from going from your hands to your food and then inside your body. Sophmore nursing student Marc Anatasico said, “Practice proper hand washing and applying preventative agents such as Purell and alcoholic hand wipes can be used to prevent the spread of the flu.”

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Breaking the Distance

Breaking The Distance1Maintaining long distance relationships, both friendly and romantic, is something that every college student can relate to. Most of us have friends who attend college in other states, and even friends who study abroad. As college students, we are always busy with homework, studying, sports commitments, and attending club meetings without finding time for communicating with friends who live far away. However, in this day and age, communicating with friends is easier than ever.

Freshman music student Bailey Cohen shared her methods of long distance communication. “I communicate with my friend who attends college in West Virginia mainly through text messages or Snapchat, but I’m willing to try creative, unique ways of keeping in touch,” she said. Cohen also shared that a friend wrote his long-distance girlfriend a song to embrace their relationship while tackling the distance obstacle.

Freshman political science student Joshua Vidaurri finds different ways to keep in touch with friends and family from his hometown of Texas. He shared, “my friends still go to school in Texas, so we do group [video] calls as often as we can. I try to text them every day, but it’s hard because we’re all busy.” Group video calls are more fulfilling than standard texting because it is more intimate and makes it feel as if the person is right there with you. This is one of the biggest things our generation is lucky to have that previous generations did not.

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The Life-Saving Benefits of Donating Blood

Donating BloodThe importance of donating blood is underestimated by some and disregarded by many. Donating blood is more significant than people realize; those in need of surgery as well as those with severe diseases and injuries are the primary recipients of donated blood. In fact, your own classmates may one day be in need of a blood transfusion.

Monmouth University offered a blood drive on Tues., Jan. 23 and Weds., Jan. 24, located in Anacon Hall of the student center. Here are just a few reasons why donating blood should be considered by Monmouth’s own students and staff.

First off, the most significant benefit of donating blood is helping others in need. In fact, taking only ten minutes out of your day to donate can help save multiple lives and inspire others to donate as well. Not only is donating blood beneficial to the recipient, but it can also be very rewarding to the donor. According to the American Red Cross, your blood pressure, hemoglobin count, and body temperature will be checked before you donate; you can think of it as a free check-up.

Afterwards, all donors can help themselves to a variety of free snacks; now that’s an offer you can’t refuse! Not to mention, there’s no refusing the feeling of accomplishment gained after knowing that you can make a world of difference in so many people’s lives.

Donating blood is especially important to senior software engineering student Matthew Drew. Regarding his experience at the blood drive, he shared, “I’ve donated blood so many times… everyone can do it, and I had a great time.” Donating blood can have a personal value to some, including a friend of Drew’s, who relied on blood donations for a heart transplant. It is especially rewarding to donate blood knowing that you are giving back to a close friend or family member.

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Valentine's Day Done Right

Valentine's Done RightSt. Valentine’s Day. Always on Feb. 14 and always involving love, red, chocolates, and flowers. Like it or not, this romantic holiday is right around the corner. Here are some ideas for you and your special someone, whether they are your significant other or even just a friend.

The first step in deciding what kind of date you want to plan, is to reflect on your relationship. Is it you and your gal pals celebrating your love for each other or is it a burning crush on a classmate? Once you have done that, think about the other person’s personality and what they would want to do. If you can’t think of anything, food is always the answer for everything.

Go to their favorite restaurant, but call ahead with a reservation and or a special request.

You could go to this restaurant any other day, however, asking to see if the chef can change a dish slightly or for printed reservation cards would add to the night and show your significant other that you have tricks up your sleeves.

Sometimes eating at home can be even more romantic. Ask your love interest to dress up and to arrive when you wish, just in time for dinner. Since you are not eating out, it is important to create the environment you want.

Candles and flowers on the floor leading to the cloth covered table, your kitchen island, or even your dorm desk can be the basic romantic notes that keep the night singing love. Pre-plan the food. Homemade? Take out? Heart shaped pizza? Maybe the two of you could whip up a meal together. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are master chefs.

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New Year, New Organizational Strategies

New Year Organization StratsAs the new semester rounds out its first week, many of us are already starting to feel overwhelmed just looking at our syllabi, thinking about papers and exams that are only a few weeks away. As younger students, professors and faculty have always drilled into us that we should keep a planner, stay organized, and make sure to be on top of our assignments, readings, etc. There are many ways to stay on your “A” game this semester, and to make sure you have everything you need to get good grades and manage everything you want to do.

Director of Off Campus and Commuter Services Dr. Vaughn Clay said, “Since most students seem to take at least five classes per semester, I am a firm believer that using a daily planner/schedule is a great way to keep oneself on track and up to date with all of the different readings, projects, tests, work, meetings with friends, etc. that can come up over the course of a week. Using a daily planner can also help mitigate the amount of stress a student may encounter, especially as a semester progresses and assignments pile up.”

If you leave everything until the day it’s due or until it is too late, your schedule can get jam packed with last minute assignments that can get tedious, time consuming, and even cause burn out in the end. “Students are so busy with a host of different academic, work, and life related responsibilities, that it only makes sense for the student to keep track of what they need to do, so they don’t miss a deadline or overbook their calendar,” Clay added.

As students, we want to be able to get involved in as many things as we can whether they be passion and hobby based or activities to bulk up our resumé, but the number one thing to keep in mind is that grades and your classes are the most important. Senior health studies student Hayley Bray said, “As a trainer at Monmouth, I’m always needing to be somewhere at a certain time, sometimes the hours are odd and each day is a little different, so, when I write things down and plan my day out, it makes it easier for me and my clients.”

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Back and Better Than Ever

Back and Better 1Everyone has experienced procrastination before, and everyone knows that it is not a good feeling. Coming back into the spring semester with a long break off is something that might be hard because you’re still in vacation mode! How can you get your motivation up for the beginning of the semester? There are many tips you can use to help yourself to get back into the swing of things.

The first tip that is so simple, but so helpful is to keep yourself organized. Being organized can be something as easy as writing out lists of your goals. Doing this will make you more likely to complete them. An organizational system is also a great way to keep track of assignments and due dates. Whether it be a planner or Post It notes scattered everywhere, having due dates written down makes it a lot easier to remember them. Another simple way to keep yourself motivated is to surround yourself with other people that are! Find friends and peers that will study with you and encourage you to complete assignments on time. When talking with junior Marketing student Calie Valore, she said, “I was brought up learning how to balance friends and school and that really helped me throughout college.”

Besides studying, making time for friends is so important even if you are stressed because it can keep you grounded, social, and be a distraction when you need it. Other people in your life that can help encourage you to strive for greatness is your family. Sophomore education student Brandon Hilf says, “My parents push me to do my best and I use that as my motivation because I want to make them proud.”

Although it is good to motivate yourself, it is also beneficial to allow others to motivate you as well. Something that you hear all the time and should actually acknowledge is exercising. Not only is it important for your physical health, but also for your mental health. If you make a schedule that allows you time for going to the gym or taking a walk it can help ease stress and keep you healthy. Exercising is a great way to stimulate the brain, and if you work towards physical goals you can maintain that motivation for other aspects of your life.

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Beating the Winter Blues

default article imageThe end of the semester is quickly approaching, so that means finals, heading back home for the holidays, and also the winter blues. As you relax and unwind in preparation for a new semester, you obviously want to make the most of winter break. Give the following tips a try if you don’t want the winter blues to bring you down!

BuzzFeed offers some of the best ways to keep your spirits up, even on the gloomiest, coldest, and darkest of days. One of the first things is to go outside within the first hour or two that you wake up.

It is safe to say that nobody wants to leave the comfort and warmth of their bed to venture out into the cold, but it is still important to get some fresh air and sunshine. You can do something as simple as walking your dog or taking a stroll around the neighborhood.

Not only should you get some sunshine yourself, but let natural light into your home or apartment by opening the blinds and curtains. You can even brighten up your home by getting light colored pillows and blankets. Just because winter has its cold and gloomy days doesn’t mean your home has to be gloomy too.

Senior communication student Elliot McPherson has experienced the winter blues before as the cold weather keeps us trapped inside. “While some people can deal with the isolation, it drains you not being able to enjoy the weather as much and having to constantly battle the cold. Also, the shorter days can really hinder what can be completed during the day,” he said.

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The Importance of Ugly Sweaters

Importance Ugly SweatersFor those who celebrate Christmas, it is a known fact that there are a vast number of people who overdo the decorating aspect of the holiday. For those who purchase an over-the-top Christmas tree to those who simply enjoy their Charlie Brown tree, the spirit of Christmas impacts society in huge ways. The newest phenomenon, however, has been the new love for ugly sweaters, or Christmas sweaters. The true question is, why have they become so popular?

Throughout the past few decades, ugly sweaters have been making their way to store fronts and into people’s lives. Many see it as a way to celebrate and create new traditions with their families.

Junior psychology student, Siobhan McLoughlin took the time to explain how her family utilizes their love for these holiday sweaters: “I love ugly sweaters because my family always does this tradition with white elephant where we switch gifts that are not labeled or anything. So, everybody goes and grabs a gift and every year we always regift these two ugly sweaters. If you get these two sweaters, you have to wear them to Christmas the next year. Right now, my cousin and his girlfriend have them and I cannot wait to see them in the sweaters!”

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Staying Motivated During these Final Weeks

Motivation During Finals WeekUsually during this time of year, people are full of joy that the holiday season has finally begun.  With that being said, the same cannot particularly be said for college students. For some of us, this is a new experience that we have yet to understand. For others, it is a known fact that these few weeks before celebrating the holidays with family and friends can be a living nightmare. 

Homework piles up, assignments seem to be doubled, studying for exams seems to take up all of our time, and our mental anxiety can make us seem insane.  The one thing college students are searching for during this time of mental stress is motivation.  Essentially, we are all working towards the goal of finishing the fall semester with grades that satisfy us, as well as spending the holidays with our families.

Junior social work student, Caileen Makovec spoke about motivation during this grueling time of the semester, she said, “Motivation is very important.  If I’m not motivated to accomplish my goals for the end of the semester, nothing will get done.” 

Makovec also stated that she tries to achieve her goals by completing set tasks at a time.  She said, “Don’t let your assignments pile up, that’s the easiest way to feel the most overwhelmed.” 

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Dodging Grandma's Questions

Thanksgiving isn’t all about the turkey and Christmas isn’t all about the presents. The holiday season also involves spending a lot of time with your family. Of course this is a good thing, but sometimes this brings with it a berating of a million questions that no college age student wants to hear. Some of these typical questions we’ve all probably experienced are, who you’re dating, how you’re doing in school, and if you have a job lined up for after graduation. So if you’re looking to enjoy the holidays instead of answering question after question, Life Hacker lists some of the best ways to avoid them.

The number one way to save yourself from intrusive questions is to either turn the question around or answer the question with a question. If you’re asked something that is really awkward or intrusive, ask the person how they would feel about answering that question. On the other hand, if you’re asked about a post-graduation job, say something like, “I have a friend that actually waited a month before starting a career, isn’t that a good idea?” This then shifts the subject away from you without being too obvious. By using this technique, you don’t have to answer those questions, and it also discourages family members from asking more.

Another great way is to distract them and rid their mind of whatever uncomfortable questions they’ve been dying to ask you is you can ask everyone if they need a drink or anything else while you’re getting up, and then take your time doing so. Then hopefully when you return, you’ll have nothing to answer because they would have forgotten the question. If you don’t have the chance to escape, you can always turn things around and make them be the center of attention. If you’re asked a question, simply say something like, “I’d much rather hear about how you’ve been! How’s your job going, did you get that promotion yet?”

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Cold Weather Style

Cold Weather StyleAs the leaves start falling off the trees, the brisk air surrounds us as we step outside, and jackets are ultimately essential for any outing, you know the winter season is upon us.  Although for some this may not be the most ideal weather condition to be fashionable, there are ways in which we can still look great, while still staying warm.  Although it may seem almost virtually impossible making the transition from nice summer and fall outfits to heavy jackets that overtake an outfit, there are ways in which to alter your wardrobe to stay warm this winter.

When speaking with junior social work student Claudia Sanchez about her taste when it comes to being fashionable during the winter, she shared, “My essential winter clothes are, cardigans, sweaters, scarfs, and tall boots. They are usually something I tend to wear more during the winter season.” Sanchez also noted that she usually tends to layer her clothing more during these cold months to be fashionable, as well as warm.  Sanchez had a few words of advice for anyone looking to alter their wardrobe for the winter. “You can make anything look good, even by adding small details to your outfit such as a scarf, long sleeve, sweater, and sweatshirt.  Most of these pieces will add to your outfit, ultimately making it look more fashionable,” she said.

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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