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Opinion

Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

Avoiding the Flu

I am pretty sure we have all been hearing about how it is “flu season”. If you have not consider yourself an official resident of 431 Living Under a Rock Boulevard, West Long Branch, NJ.

Quite frankly, I am getting sick and tired of even thinking about the flu which is pretty coincidental considering I actually had the flu, and I did not receive a flu shot.

This flu came with quite a care package. I was running a fever, suffering cold sweats, had mountains of tissues by my side, and unable to move out of my bed.

Dun dun dun.

Cue the dramatic music and everyone take five steps back.

One giant viral mess coming through.

People will absolutely do anything they possibly can in order to prevent themselves from getting the flu. People are guided to home remedies and crazy family superstitions to ensure themselves that the flu bug, more like flu truck, won’t hit them straight in the face.

Honestly, it is like a truck. A big one.

The recreation of home remedies, one would think, would be the quickest and easiest solution. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?

Sadly, Mary Poppins does not have the solution for the flu season in her bag o’ tricks.

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How Much is Too Much Sharing?

Social-media-icons-on-iphoneAs most college students would agree, I have a slight addiction to social media. There is nothing like the feeling of someone liking one of your photos on Instagram, having a secret crush comment on a Facebook status, or finding a funny new video on Youtube. Every time I get a chance in between classes or when I am procrastinating doing homework, I am checking my social media accounts.

While sharing on these sites can be informational and entertaining, there is one question that comes to mind. How much sharing is too much on social media?

In between the pictures of cats and funny e-cards, there are people who pour their heart out onto Facebook as if it were a private diary. When people comment on these statuses, the writer gets mad. If you do not want people to make a comment, then do not put it out there to be criticized.

It can be so frustrating to see people using social media to tell the world their problems and not expect a small backlash in the process, especially if they are criticizing a person, organization, or community they know nothing about. Everyone has the right to free speech, but maybe it is necessary to take the time to think about how people might react to the information and if you want responses.

 This seemed to happen most of the time during the recent election. People were posting articles and opinions about who the better candidate was and who would ruin the country.

However, people were writing things that were vulgar and downright mean to one another on these pictures and public pages.

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Lie-Strong: Armstrong Scandal Sheds Light on Lying

In the midst of all that has transpired with Lance Armstrong and his scandal, I can’t help but ask myself the age old question: why do people cheat?

Armstrong was a highly respected and deeply admired American athlete with much success. He battled and won a fight with cancer only to come out stronger, winning seven consecutive Tour de France titles and a Bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics.

However, it recently came to light that Armstrong had been doping for more than a decade, which he admitted in a sit down interview with Oprah Winfrey. In that interview he said he does not believe that he would have won seven consecutive Tour de France titles without doping.

In 2012, he was banned from cycling for life by the United States Anti- Doping Agency, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, as well as his Olympic Bronze medal, and asked to stepped down as the chairman of Livestrong.

America tends to be a forgiving nation, built upon the idea that everyone deserves a second chance, but Armstrong’s arrogance is what angers the American public almost more than the cheating.

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How to Be Happy

With the New Year upon us, it is time to remember our New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, stop smoking, save more, spend less, Dean’s List, stop watching full seasons of televisions shows at a time on Hulu, all very valiant resolutions. This year, I have a different New Year’s Resolution. Call it the resolution to end all resolutions. This year, I vow to be happier.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not unhappy. I just don’t appreciate things the way I should. I have a great life, but I simply don’t appreciate it enough, and I let the little things get to me and bring me down.

I recently read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. She went on a year long journey to be a happier person. Rubin found herself not appreciating her wonderful life enough, so she documented the whole year and ended up happier and more appreciative. I decided to follow her footsteps and be happier in 2013, and I picked out my top six lessons I learned that can help you on your journey to a happier 2013.

Act the way you want to feel.  The simple act of smiling can greatly increase your mood. So what if you spilled your coffee in the parking lot on your way into work. If you act angry about it, it’s going to poison your mood for the entire day. Everything will soon make you angry because you’re already acting angry. Instead, slap on a smile and act happy. You’ll see an improvement in your mood.

Enjoy the fun of failure. With each failure on a new journey we learn something about ourselves, about how we handle things and how we want things to be in the end. If we begin to enjoy the fun that failure can bring us, we stop fearing failure, ensuring success and growth in our future.

Keep a gratitude notebook. One of the reasons that I’m unhappy is because I don’t appreciate the great things in my life. This year I’ve committed to writing down something that I am thankful for that day. It helps bring some perspective and reminds me how good I have it. 

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Hosting a Super Bowl Party

0130 page 07Football and food. Is there anything more perfect than that combination? I can think of many things, but most of America begs to differ. I’m not much of an NFL fan, partially because my team is downright awful every season. I rarely watch any games, hardly know any players, and could only tell you a handful of teams in the league. However, I know that the beginning of every February brings a lot of hype for football, media, and of course, food.

Super Bowl Sunday could almost be considered a national holiday. It has evolved into such an extravagant and important annual event not only for football and sports fanatics but also for social butterflies, pizza shops, home-cooks, and the average person like myself. Everyone looks forward to at least one part of the day whether it is the game itself, the commercials, the tailgate food, or a loud and crammed living room. If you are the host of a party, then get your kitchen, big screen, and voice ready for all four of these game day necessities.

Let’s tackle the menu first. Unless you prefer delivery, make sure your fridge is stocked up before the weekend. Plenty of last-minute grocery store trips have taught me to avoid the supermarket at all costs, beginning the Friday before the game. Chips and salsa are a must, but Pinterest, an online site that allows you to visually share your most desired wants, needs, and interests, has such a wide variety of unimaginably delicious and unique recipes for the classic television snack. Chicken wings are another go-to oven-made favorite, so spice up the recipe with a flavored barbeque sauce or toss them on a charcoal grill instead.

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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

ajMany times in our lives, situations occur that are unexplainable and leave us with the unanswered question, “Why did this have to happen?”

This question can lead us to focus on how unfair life seems and cause us to contemplate all the negatives present within the given situation.

By frantically searching for the answers and reasoning behind every struggle or challenge that is placed in our way, we are missing out on seeing the good hidden within the bad.

Some of us attempt to cope through the hard times positively through the assistance of quotes and clichés, such as “everything happens for a reason.” Others may avoid these types of sayings since they appear so vague and complex, and may not seem to bring them enough closure.

Today, I would like to prove that everything does happen for a reason, and that there just may be a reason why bad things happen to good people. By doing so, I would like to share a personal story as an example.

On Monday morning, November 26, 2012, I received the unfortunate news that someone very close to me had passed away. She was my coach, my teammate, and my friend. I was an absolute mess, as I am sure anyone else that crossed Amy Jones-Eades’ path in their life was as well.

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Ways to Spend the Holidays, From Traditional to Unique

opinion-rockettesWant to spice up your holiday season? With a little cinnamon, a little nutmeg, and a dash of pumpkin spice (this combination would hopefully taste delicious), you’ll find yourself a super-awesome-fantastic-unforgettable holiday season.

Okay, so adding spices to your holiday might not exactly “spice things up”, but you get the point.

A lot of people are looking for new and creative ways to make their holiday season unique and special. Sometimes the holidays can be so frantic that people forget to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate with mallows.

What about spinning the holiday season 180 degrees, doing things that you hadn’t done before, or maybe doing the same thing but amp it up a little?

One idea that could freshen up the holiday season would be to host a holiday pot luck. All of your friends and family can come together bringing their favorite dishes to make for the holiday season. By the time that everyone gets together, there would be all different kinds of food, ranging from entrees to desserts. Talk about all those yummy leftovers. There will also be plenty of food, laughter, conversations, and memories.

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Setting New Year’s Resolutions

Enter the New Year with Achievable Goals


Invincible.

That is how most of us feel when deciding what will be our New Year’s resolution. Our goals, hopes, and dreams that we fathom of achieving seem like a hop, skip, and a jump away from becoming reality. 

Go to the gym every day. Eat organic. Become a vegetarian. Quit smoking. No more sweets and desserts. Stop drinking alcoholic beverages. Spend less money on non-necessities. 

Goal-setting is such a wonderful incentive for change, and aiming for tangible and achievable goals is much more practical.

Although the above list is a small portion of the most common New Year resolutions, most of them are not met.  How come?

New Year’s resolutions seem to be spontaneous motives that we make immediately after the holidays.  It is almost a self-evaluation of ourselves during the past year, and we seek ways to improve who we are and want to be. 

Long-term goals are one hundred percent attainable. However, they must be accompanied with short-term goals that allow us to take the small steps that are necessary to get to where we want. 

When we desire for these goals to be met immediately, we lose sight of those minor yet significant steps.

Without a realistic and practical approach to how your resolution will be achieved, it will be broken.

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How Young is Too Young for Marriage?

Engaged at 21, One Student Shares Her Experience of Impending Marriage


“But you’re so young! Don’t you want to live?” I always laugh when people ask me this. As far as I know, you don’t stop living once you’re married. You don’t fall into a void of nothingness where you no longer do anything.

In fact, I’m hoping not, since I’m engaged to be married soon after I graduate in May, and yes, I’m only 21. I believe I’m lucky. I found the man that I want to spend my life with early, and we both believe that we are mature enough to take the next step.

I’ve always been the classic 21 going on 30. I hate going out, I am a complete homebody, and I worry more about paying off my student loans and getting a great mortgage rate more than anyone I know.

It’s important to note that marrying relatively young is not for everyone. Everybody isn’t ready for a lifelong commitment such as marriage, and when it’s forced, more often than not, it will crash and burn.

Most of us have seen a divorce up close and personal, be it our own parents, a friend’s parents, or a family member. This may scare many from marriage, especially when we are often seen as immature and not fully knowing of the evils of the world.

I’ve felt this myself. My parents married when my mom was 20 and was craving any excuse to escape her own family. They divorced 14 years later, and my mom is always telling me they were simply too young to understand what they wanted at the time.

My fiancé’s parents suffered a similar fate. They were married when his mother was 18, and they divorced 5 year later. She too, tells me that she was too young and looking for what to do after high school with college not in her future.

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Starting Traditions

It is now December and holiday traditions are in full swing. Some traditions are small, some traditions are large, but traditions are traditions. From playing it simple, like making snow angels, to kicking it up a notch, like ice-skating in Rockafellar Center, traditions come into the holiday season stronger than ever before. Traditions can be found at the root of our families. They date back to as far as anyone can remember.

Let’s take my family for example. We’re big, we’re loud, and we’re Italian. Add the holiday season into the equation and you’ll get a whole mess of crazy, big, and loud Italians who love food.

One tradition that my family does around the holidays is that we bake and bake and bake. All the women in my family meet at one of our houses (usually mine) and we bake tons and tons of holiday cookies for our friends and family. By the end of the day, we would have baked over 600 cookies. Sugar rush, anyone?

Then we have to frost and decorate the sugar cookies, dust the linzer tarts, and try not to eat any of the special Italian cookies that our Nonna made. Houses cannot withstand the amount of noise that 13 Italian women who are continuously drinking make. I know my house can’t.

Another tradition that my family does is on Christmas Eve. My uncle thinks that it is good luck to eat all the fish eyes from the fish we make for the meal. He believes that eating the fish eyes will make you smarter for the year to come. I just find it gross.

My uncle does not speak the greatest English, he just tends to babble, and otherwise he’ll speak Italian.

“This is good for you, my girl!” my uncle would say.

After I would decline, he would persist and chace me around the living room with a fish eye on a fork and try to get me to eat it. I do not care how smart I would be, I ain’t eating no dang fish eye.

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College Brings About Change

New Priorities and Circumstances Accompany Senior Year


“These four years will fly by.”  How many times have you heard that cliché? I know I was told that when I entered both high school and college, and it is more of a reality than I ever expected.

As this semester of my senior year rapidly comes to an end, I’ve had my moments of reminiscing about my previous three years at the University. My father was so accurate in telling me that I will enter college as a young girl and leave as a young lady.

Of course, four years ago, I thought he was just commenting on my high school immaturity and little knowledge of the world.  Now, I hope to offer meaningful insight on the “growing up” that takes place during the college years.

I have made so many changes to my lifestyle since my freshman year that thinking of the habits I had back then is quite amusing. The following is the shortest advice I could possibly give about the most common habits that I had during my previous three years of college (most underclassmen probably have them too) and how I approach similar issues today. 

However, I am taking a unique stance by deciding if I am too old for the following habits that I used to consider the norm.

Am I too old for: finding the most outrageous frat or toga party? Yes. As a freshman, dressing up in a bed sheet wrapped uncomfortably around my torso was apparently one of the best ways to meet new people, and so was paying a $10 cab ride to a party where you were so easily identifiable as a freshman that it was basically self-torture. 

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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