Last updateWed, 16 Sep 2020 2pm


Volume 91 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2019)

Burrito or Bowl?

Burrito or BowlWhich Mexican food chain builds the best burrito? The best bowl?

Tacos are out of the question. Those are for children, and my Dad. The man loves a good taco. Whenever we go to Chipotle, my mom and I order bowls and then my dad shows up at the register with a variety taco basket.

It all started with Moe’s Southwest Grill. I would get burritos at Moe’s every Monday with my friends as part of Moe Mondays. Plus you get free, unlimited chips! Who doesn’t like free chips?

I am grateful for all of those nights at Moe’s, but I have moved on. There are other Mexican style chains that have higher quality ingredients, but no free chips. That is ok, I will bring my own chips in my purse.

Back to burritos. The first time I had Chipotle, I hated it. I hated the cilantro in the rice and I thought the chips were weird. Then I gave Chipotle another try. I was in love with it, but not with the burrito, with the bowl. You get so much more with the bowl and it costs about the same. Actually, you could ask for a tortilla on the side and made two good-sized burritos out of the bowl. I get both rice, both beans, veggies, chicken, corn salsa, cheese, and lettuce.

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Living in Suburbia

default article imageWhile some people prefer the fast-paced city life, I’m one who prefers the quiet nature of suburbia. A step outside of my house means solitude.

I get to hear the chirping of birds rather than the disturbing sounds of traffic. I am fortunate that I live close enough to New York City to visit when I please, yet able to come back home and enjoy the blissfully quiet life I was meant to live.

People argue that suburbia is boring and lonely, but I would have to disagree. The quietness gives me time to focus on myself and collect my thoughts.

The reserved suburbs offer the perfect opportunities for reading and writing in pure silence, giving me the inspiration I need to grow as a writer.

The abundance of nature gives off relaxing, peaceful vibes. There is so much beauty in the simple things, and you have to be really lucky to see it.

The scenery outside my door has a way of boosting a certain type of creativity that can’t be found anywhere else. I love waking up in the morning to the deer eating the grass and prancing along on my lawn. Living on a treelined street and seeing nothing but green can be mesmerizing.

In the fall, I have the luxury of going apple and pumpkin picking close to home. Living ten minutes away from the local farm has its perks; I get to enjoy the freshly picked fruits and vegetables, the freshly baked goods hot out of the oven, and the delicious homemade jams any time my heart desires.

In the winter, when the freshly fallen snow lays on the grass and the trees, it’s like I’m looking at a painting. The tranquility and beauty that stems from the sparkling snow cannot be compared to the slushy streets of the city.

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The Lost Art of Thank You Cards

Art of Thank You CardsI’ve got a whole lot to be thankful for. I’ve never known anything but the feeling of being showered with love and support from the people I am lucky to call my family and friends. I’ve never been without a hot meal or a roof over my head, and for that I am eternally grateful.

So, how does one quantify or put into words how thankful they are?

I hear you groaning, thinking to yourself “She better not say what I think she’s about to say.” Oh you bet I’m going to say it: a thank you card.

I know, I know, I too groan at my own exclamation, as thank you cards are the bane of my existence. Nevertheless, I believe that the simple, yet tedious, task has the ability to brighten someone’s day. It really is that easy.

Growing up, my mother was adamant about writing thank you cards. As much as I loved celebrating birthdays and holidays, nothing soured the mood like thinking of all the cards I would have to write. Oh, and let’s not forget about all the hand cramps I would suffer through just to thank Aunt Gladys for the socks she knitted me.

Not only was my dear mother adamant about the cards, but she also insisted that we handwrite them, none of those fill in the blank cards I received after almost every birthday party. Nope, true pen to paper cards detailing how thankful I was, how much I couldn’t wait to play with my new toy or show off my new socks, and then a dramatic farewell about how I couldn’t wait to see them again so that I could thank them in person. And if there was white space, like at the top or side of the card, you bet I drew a picture further depicting my love and gratitude. Let me tell you, these cards were a true work of art, yet I just always saw them as a pain in my butt.

Not once did I ever think that anyone actually appreciated my cards.  I always assumed that whoever received one likely tossed it in the trash after reading it. This however, was not the case.

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Halloween: Dorm Decorations

Halloween Dorm DecorationsMuch to my hometown friend’s shock (I’m from Long Branch), I choose to live on campus here at Monmouth.  Though I wouldn’t change anything about the life I’ve built in the dorms, the plain white walls can be a bit daunting at first.

It’s for this exact reason that I take every opportunity to decorate my dorm room, holidays and all. 

My basic decorations that I have up year round consist of fairy lights, hand painted canvas signs from over the years, my lucky bamboo plant (appropriately named Rocky Bamboo-a), and a neon sign which includes interchangeable letters that can be used to form any phrase of your choosing.

I also have a dry erase calendar that I have displayed on my desk. While I love how cozy I’ve managed to make my once empty dorm room, the interior design addict in me always finds any excuse to switch out decorations in accordance to holidays. Lucky for me, October presents the prefect opportunity.

I could easily decide to decorate for Halloween with hanging bats and fake blood. However, truth be told, I’m a complete chicken and not the biggest Halloween fanatic. So I end up just decorating for the overall season of Fall. It’s cute, easy and ultimately saves me money when I can easily reuse the same theme for the Halloween and Thanksgiving months. Realistically, as much as I adore the opportunity to decorate, my wallet won’t allow it. 

As a fan of do it yourself (DIY) projects, I typically make a lot of my decorations. Pinterest is my best friend, though I’m sure anyone who walks into my dorm on a daily basis could guess that based off of the gallery wall of canvases that I’ve made myself and the meticulously crafted glitter key holder I have by my door.

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Consequences of Counting Calories

default article imageDo you stare at the food labels thinking about how many calories you have consumed already today? In today’s society, we have become so obsessed with this idea of “the perfect body.”

We tend to constantly compare ourselves to people we see on social media or in advertisements. The tall, thin, perfect body is constantly being shoved down our throats because we tend to only be shown one type of body.

This problem does not only affect one gender, as there are social standards that are created between both males and females. Counting calories is unhealthy because it creates a person to become obsessed over the numbers they are putting into their bodies rather than just focusing on the nutritional value of food.

The intent of calorie counting can be simply because someone wants to lose weight. However, when counting every calorie you enter into your body, it is easy to become obsessed with the action. This can do way more harm than good because the amount of calories that are in foods do not solely signify the nutrition value of that specific food.

For example, there are foods with healthy fats and higher calorie intake than other foods that may be processed but have less calories.

Eating healthy and living a balanced lifestyle is important. Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is a good goal to strive for. However, healthy eating should come from the correct food you put into your body. Food acts as fuel to keep your body running and it is important to be conscious of the foods you are putting into it. Counting calories can become an exhausting process, always being hyper aware of the calorie content of food.

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Becoming Strong Beyond Physical Limits

default article imageWhen we think about the definition of “strength,” our minds automatically resort to superheroes.

Everyone who is strong has muscles and everyone who is strong is indestructible. Rarely do we give enough credit to those who contain elements of the word strength that don’t have to do with physical boundaries.

Growing up my family thought my father was superman, as most of us do. My definition and understanding of the word strength was shallow. I figured that strength only consisted of tangible qualities, until I grew up and became informed by experience.

Physical strength is the most obvious element of the word. Being physically strong is important. We all know that we need to stay fit and healthy so that we can carry on with our daily tasks. Having an active lifestyle and always trying to improve our bodies is crucial for a long and happy life, that’s a given.

Not only is it important for us to have this kind of strength in the physical world, but it helps our bodies endure the mental battles that we face. There is a connection between the mind and body that is undeniable. When we are stressed, when we are sad, when we are feeling lost, our bodies pick up on those signals.

By staying physically strong, we can prevent ourselves from getting sick from daily mental stressors. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins that can boost our mood. It can allow us to use our stress or anger and put it towards something positive: bettering out bodies.

Diving a little deeper into the meaning of strength, I have found much more than just physical features. There is a mental component which is thought based. The evolution of mental strength is unique to each individual, which is a similarity of physical strength.

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The College Experience: Commuter Edition

default article imageWake up, drive to school, go to class, drive home, do homework, possibly eat something, go to sleep and repeat. As an incoming freshman, this is what I believed being a commuter student would be like. While I was most definitely not happy about the fact that I would have to commute to school every day, I had gone about starting school completely wrong.

Each day before Sept. 4 consisted of me begging my mom to let me dorm and each time, the result was always a big fat no. There was one reason for me constantly bugging her, and that was me wanting the full college experience. However, what I did not know was that once school started, I’d be getting the full blown experience just as much as every other resident was.

While yes, you do take all the steps I previously mentioned, there is also so much more that happens in a day than just driving back and forth to school and home. The clubs you decide to be a part of, the sports teams you decide to join, the extra time you have before classes that you spend with new friends are all things that make going to school so much more than going to class and going home.

There is so much going on around campus that commuter students can be a part of that will give us the true experience that residents get. If you don’t make the effort to get involved and be a part of campus life, you won’t get the experience you want. College is everything you make of it, it’s up to you to make it the best it can be.

I get the opportunity to stay on campus with my friends overnight  while also getting to go home, sleep in my own bed, and enjoy home cooked meals. These are the types of perks I never took into consideration when thinking about being a commuter student. I was so adamant on needing to dorm in order to make friends that I persuaded myself that my thought process was correct.

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Better, Best, Bagels

Better BagelsBagels. Those are the rolls with the holes in the middle, right? All jokes aside, I love a good bagel. Poppyseed and sesame are my go to choices.

I am from Pennsylvania, not Pennsyltucky, but Pennsylvania all the same and the only bagels that I had growing up came from Wegmans.

I loved Wegmans’s bagels. We had local bakeries, but none of them made bagels. It was not until I came to Monmouth that I had “real” bagels, as my friends would like to say. I have only been to a few bagel shops in the area, so naturally all of them are my favorites.

Hot Bagels is a bagelry (we are just going to pretend that that is a word) in Ocean Township that my coach often takes us to before away matches. If we have to leave early in the morning for a tennis match, we will swing by Hot Bagels to grab a few for the road. The family members who work the bagelry are always busy rolling the dough and placing the steaming hot bagels into baskets. So fresh there is no need for them to be toasted.

Another bagelry that my coach introduced myself and my teammates to is Grandma’s Bagels in Little Silver. Here, you can get bacon, egg, and cheese on your favorite flavor bagel. I am not sure if Grandma still works there, but I would bet my scholarship that the recipe has remained the same. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This summer I stayed in Middletown. My host asked me if I had any good bagels while I had been here in Jersey. I told her my positive experiences at Hot Bagel and Grandma’s Bagels and she recommended another bagelry to me. Sheepshead Bagels in Middletown. She said it was as though the bagels were straight out of Brooklyn. This meant nothing to me since I did not know that Brooklyn was known for their bagels. Nonetheless, I went to the bagelry and ordered an egg and cheese in a sesame bagel. Wow. If this was what a Brooklyn bagel tasted like then I knew where I would be moving after college. 

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Celebrities in the Media

Celebrities In MediaDoes being in the public eye mean that you have less privacy?

Social media is designed to enable people all over the world to make connections with other individuals. Whether or not we wish to share certain aspects of our lives, good or bad, is a decision that most users are able to make on an everyday basis. However, when you are in the public eye, some people feel that the concept of privacy should be taken away. Is this really how it should be?

I don’t think so. This issue has been taking up residence in my thoughts ever since Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan announced their divorce back in early April of this year. What happens between two individuals should not be the business of anyone else, especially not the downfall of a marriage and what went wrong. 

Ever since then, couples who are in the public eye such as YouTube couples David Dobrik and Liza Koshy or Lauren Riihimaki and Alexander Burriss have made videos announcing their breakups that they posted to YouTube. These just don’t sit well with me.

A relationship, in my personal opinion, should remain between the two individuals involved and not involve the spectators of said relationship. 

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Is Social Media Taking Up Too Much of Our Time?

Social MediaImagine a world where technology has completely taken over. It isn’t as far-fetched as you may think.  Though it may be difficult to admit, especially for the younger generation, the concepts surrounding social media are quickly shaping the ways in which we think and go through our everyday lives.  The impact that it has is the reason why I feel so strongly that we, as a society, spend too much time on social media. 

Back in 2013, comedian and actress Charlene deGuzman wrote and starred in a YouTube video entitled “I Forgot My Phone.” The video captures the disheartening reality of social media’s control over our lives, or rather the control we allow it to have. 

The video depicts deGuzman going through her day being surrounded by both loved ones and strangers alike who have an unhealthy infatuation with their cell phones. Whether it was during a lunch outing with friends, a concert or even lying in bed with her boyfriend at night and during the early morning, she is iced out by everyone around her.  The saddest part is how undeniably real this video’s depiction is. 

If I’m standing in line waiting for food at the Student Center or even when I manage to get to class a few minutes early, it is almost guaranteed that there will be people hunched over their phone screens in order to avoid interaction with the people around them. Admittedly, I’m also guilty of the mindless scrolling that social media offers. It’s easy in moments of silence to turn to something that provides us with so much noise.

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Take a Ride to the Big Screen

default article imageIt’s a Friday night. You’re wishing you made plans but instead you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve cycled through all your social media apps. Nonetheless, you’re bored and looking for some good entertainment. But, the sweatpants are on, your face has been washed and your hair is a mess, so there’s no turning back now; you’re in for the night.

Before you grab the remote to start the endless search for a new movie on Netflix, I’d advise you to take a few minutes to reconsider. There is a lot of entertainment out there, and for the most part, you don’t want to have to get all gussied up for the occasion. Now of course there are the go-to’s: Netflix, HULU, (or any of those illegal sites) or the classic movie theater, but don’t rule out the old school drive-in quite yet.

The drive-in movie theater is a win-win for all types of movie goers; the romantic, the cheapskate, the heavy snacker, the whisperer, the cackler, etc. The drive-in caters to the wants of each and every member of the audience, all in the luxury and comfort of his or her vehicle. Although you may be leaving the house, you’re really only steps away from your own mobile theater. 

Nobody wants to break the bank just to get some valuable entertainment. Drive-in theaters cost anywhere from $4.00-$8.00 per person, while including two different showings. An average theater ticket costs around $12.00 per person, not including drinks or snacks, for just one showing. This is about four times the cost of a drive-in ticket, taking into account the amount of movies being shown. 

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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