Last updateWed, 18 Nov 2020 1pm


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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Spending the Holidays at Two Homes

Spending Holidays Two HomesAround the holidays, the large majority of people on campus are ecstatic to go home and celebrate with their loved ones, whether they live on campus or not. Those on campus do enjoy the time at home more, but either way, the holidays bring joy and comfort to everyone. Although this may be the case to the vast majority, there are a number of those students who find the holidays stressful and difficult.

Students who struggle with parents who are divorced, or in other family situations, may view the holidays as a time of picking or choosing sides and hurting the other side’s feelings. In this article, however, students that do find these times particularly hard will discover a few ways to cope with this.

Considering that having divorced parents is not a child’s choice, it would be nice for the families to acknowledge that. Sadly, this is usually not the case. When reaching the age of being able to decide where to go for dinner or who to spend the day with, it can be overwhelming on the child. “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” or “What if they get upset with me?” Questions such as these tend to run through the young adult’s head when given the option of where to go. In order to cope with this, one should sit down with both parents and explain how they are feeling. For example: “Hey, I just want to let you guys know that having this decision every year of where to go really stresses me out and if we could all come to a solution together I would feel a lot better about all of this.” Planning the holidays may be a tad insane, but if this decreases the amount of anxiety and overwhelming stress placed onto the young adult, then why not take a chance?

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Best Foods for this Thanksgiving Season

Best Food Thanksgiving 2017October has officially come to a close. Our focus begins to shift once we toss out all the extra Halloween candy. Stores have already begun decorating their shelves with gifts, vibrant lights, and counterfeit snow. Christmas season is officially here. This tradition of skipping over one of the most important holidays is nothing new, but still rather appalling.

To skim over a whole holiday, one that celebrates gratitude (as well as food) is a flawed tradition. Rather than use Thanksgiving as a segue to Christmas, we should experience Thanksgiving in all of its turkey induced glory.

That’s why, to make it easier for you, we at The Outlook have already compiled a list for you of the top five foods to have on your table for Thanksgiving.

When interviewing students as to what their favorite dish is to have at the table, the winner was clear: turkey. “It’s one of the main courses for Thanksgiving; without turkey, is it really thanksgiving?” said junior communications student Jordan Smith.

Junior business student Robert Disko went on to emphasize the importance of turkey. He said, “It’s just dinner; without turkey Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving.” The second central food to a great Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes. “Mashed potatoes compliments turkey. They go great together.” Junior business major Max Sobrano commented.

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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