Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

To Live With An Old Friend...Or Not?

live_with_an_old_friend_or_notAlthough Monmouth University is only an hour and a half drive from my home in north New Jersey, as a freshman, I was scared.                

As an only child, I was attached to my parents, my pets and my own bed. Moving into a cement walled dorm was the furthest thing away from what I wanted to do, but I had a dream of going to college and getting a degree.

As we began to unload the pick-up truck, bringing tubs and boxes filled with clothes and memories, I only had one saving grace. I would be living in a room with my childhood best friend.

In my experience, living with a friend that I had prior to coming to college was a huge benefit. My friend and I already knew so much about each other that we didn’t have to break the ice.

Any awkward feelings I would have had with a stranger weren’t present with my friend in the room, which was a huge plus for me.

She knew my weird habits and I knew hers and we could talk about any new worries or frustrations we had about school. Not only was it comforting living with someone I knew, but she was also a constant reminder of home.

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What’s With The New iPhone Update?

iOS7The new iOS7 is a trippy update with florescent new features but maybe bringing in the new is not for everyone. It’s seems to be all the talk around campus whether you’ve updated your iPhone or not. Some people don’t want to update because they don’t like the new features, but others don’t want to update because they don’t like change. Come on now, it’s just a phone update.

Like everything in life, change takes some getting used to, but I don’t think this change is necessarily a bad one; I think it’s actually pretty cool. Then again my phone did not crash and it did update fairly quickly.

The iOS7 has a lot of beneficial touches to offer all of us. The update seems very futuristic because everything opens and closes right in front of your eyes.

There are some very cool tools when it comes to the new update; for example it gives you the option to tap out your very own custom vibration patterns for text messages. You can get to your calendar, flashlight, alarm, calculator, camera screen and adjust your brightness all without unlocking your phone.

There are a bunch of new ringtones, even the option to block numbers from texting and calling you for all of you who are still annoyed by that certain someone.

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The Communication Behind Facebook

Since Facebook’s launch in 2004, it has been one of the most controversial means of communication.

Modern teens are specifically targeted as being especially technologically evolved in the sense that they are unable to communicate in any other way.

I can personally cite many examples where people have advised me to not mention “u” or “r” in an email meant for a professor. Personal annoyances aside, I do feel that social networking sites such as Facebook have united our society in an interesting way.

 Hitting “like” or typing the letters “lol” have become our new way of revealing our affection. I bet most of us have had moments where we want to share something—an emotion, a fleeting moment, a certain incident and no one seems to be available.

Such situations are becoming increasingly common as our “To Do” lists keep expanding. Amidst such a busy life, social sites such as Facebook allow us to share our thoughts with our close friends, family members and essentially all of those people whom we interact with on a daily basis.

If anything, posting a status update on Facebook at least makes us feel satisfied that we attempted to share our thoughts with someone. The more “likes” and comments our statuses and photographs receive, the more content we feel.

Also, Facebook allows us to maintain successful long distance relationships with those family and friends who we are not able to see often. It keeps both parties updated on each other’s life events and wellbeing.

Looking at others’ photographs also makes us feel more close to the person despite the physical distance.

Facebook is an excellent means of communication for everyone. If operated appropriately, it can prove to be extremely beneficial. Spending a little bit of time on such a website can make one feel connected to his or her family, friends and even the rest of the world.

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Juggling A Part Time Job While Being A Student

Tuesday: A few months ago, this relatively unsuspecting, always unexceptional day of the week became  the most hectic.

Tuesdays are very chaotic, as well as a lesson learned about balancing a part-time job while being a full-time student.

Every Tuesday for the past two semesters, I have woken up in the wee hours of the morning to start my full shift at work, commuted from my hometown to campus in the afternoon and stayed in class until late night hours.

It seems like an impossible schedule considering the workload from my classes, including assignments to complete and tests to study for.

In addition, there’s work shifts, extracurricular activities, events to attend, friends to meet up with and sheep to count.

As daunting a responsibility as simultaneously juggling work, school and a social life can be, it turned out to be surprisingly worth it. I am so glad that I took it on because the grueling schedule revealed so much about myself and my capabilities that I may not have known I was able to do.

Of course, concern over whether or not you will become overwhelmed with work and school is not ill-placed and I know firsthand that it can become stressful if you bite off more than you can chew.

The secret is to honestly ask yourself what you can realistically handle with your established schedule or personal routine, while taking into consideration your sleeping patterns and when you are most productive.

If you prefer to stay out late and sleep in for example, avoid jobs with morning shifts. If you live on the residential side of campus, an on-campus job between classes would most likely be the most convenient option for you.

 If sports practice dominates your Monday through Friday, you could try looking for a job with weekend availability.

Wherever and whenever you secure a position, make sure to communicate openly with your manager or supervisor so they understand your situation and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Whether you are a commuter like me or an on-campus resident, I still definitely recommend getting a job if you are considering it.

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The Scam With Textbook Prices

“Here go all of my summer savings,” I thought as I swiped my credit card to pay for my required textbooks. According to a recent USA Today study, textbook prices have increased more than 82 percent in the past decade.

What seems to drive up the cost of textbooks nowadays is typically supplemental instructional materials, such as online access codes or practice quizzes. Students in the generations before us had to rely simply on their professor’s notes and the printed text for learning a subject.

How necessary are these supplemental items in the sense that they truly aid the students’ studies? Online practice quizzes may be helpful, they are not an absolute necessity. Study guides can temporarily serve as a revision tool, but they can’t replace the note taking process that is essential for any student to master. 

While the availability of such supplements may be helpful, it should not be mandatory for students to buy along with the textbooks. They unnecessarily increase the overall price and force students to spend extra money.

Another manner in which the publishers victimize students is by releasing new editions of textbooks every year. They justify doing so by stating that they are including new material that has been researched in the previous years in which keeps the students updated with the latest information.

As a student myself, I cannot help but think of the inconvenience of such a system. If I was to buy an older edition of a textbook rather than the latest one with a (more) glamorous cover, what groundbreaking research could the new textbook possibly include that would be absolutely necessary for say, an intro class?

The newer book may only contain a few more images and perhaps even increase the length of some of the chapters, other than that, the basic information will be the exact same. Also price of the newer edition will at least be $50 to $100 higher than the older edition. As a student, I personally do not see why buying the newer edition may be all that beneficial, solely for the sake of a few new pictures. 

The Huffington Post reports that college textbook prices have increased at a faster rate than tuition, inflation and healthcare costs in recent years. Due to this, many students are now opting to buy online editions of textbooks, affectionately called eBooks which are cheaper and only include the actual text, without all the unnecessary supplements.

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On Campus Living vs. Off Campus Living

Many college students cooped up in dorm rooms are ready to escape to luxurious off campus living, and some of upperclassman living off campus are just wishing they could go back to their freshman dorm that they once called home.

 I guess sometimes we want what we don’t have, but it isn’t until one experiences it themselves that we learn what works for us. As with anything, there are both pros and cons from dining hall food to your very own privacy when living on and off campus.

One thing to know when moving off campus is that there are a bunch of separate costs that must be taken into consideration when trying to find housing that works for your budget.

My monthly rent does not include utilities; so cable, internet, electric, gas, and water is paid for separately. If you have to do your own landscaping and snow removal then that is another chunk of change to be handed over.

When living off campus, commuting can be such an inconvenience, and that is what I found to be a huge positive about living on campus. Living on campus allows students to avoid the massive struggle of finding a parking spot and getting to class on time.

Mounds amounts of gas money are also not spent on a weekly basis when living on campus.         

Living on campus is very convenient for those of you who enjoy getting those last minutes of shut eye and rolling out of bed just minutes before that sprint to class.

When living on campus there are many other things at your convenience. If you are trying to avoid the freshman fifteen like the plague, or just trying to stay fit, Boylan gym is only a quick walk away.

Also a little secret for those living on campus, so you don’t find out as late as I did; The Hawks Den is a gym in Oakwood open late for all you night owls. It makes it pretty convenient to go to the gym when it’s on the residential side of campus, especially at late hours.

I was not crazy about the food at the dining hall, (besides for the mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers,) but I can’t deny the fact that it was a social experience after every time Diamond scanned my meal card. Moving off campus made me realize how dull my social experiences were on campus when having my home cooked meals.

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Is Vlogging The New Reality Television?

While taking a study break this week, I logged on to YouTube to listen to some music. As I scrolled through my subscriptions on my main page, I found myself watching the channel “Watch Us Live and Stuff.” The channel stars Anthony Padilla, better known as Anthony from the popular YouTube channel Smosh, and his fiancée Kalel.

On this specific vlog, the couple was tasting foreign candy bars that they had found at a local food market. After watching the twelve-minute review, I thought to myself: ‘Why did I just watch that?’ Then I looked down and saw that the video already received roughly two hundred thousand views in two days. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought this video was somewhat interesting.

With the popularity of reality TV, it can be assumed that people enjoy viewing pretty much anything that others are doing and seeing what the result is going to be. YouTubers have taken their own approach with this idea by creating weekly or even daily videos about little tidbits of their lives.

It is easy to see why this has become very popular. These YouTube celebrities are giving their audience a look into their daily lives, which is an effective way to gain more viewers. However, these videos are not just about them going to a new restaurant or trying new makeup. Some of these vlogs include the YouTubers answering questions their fans ask on social media, or opening up mail and thanking their entire fan base.

These types of videos on YouTube have created a personable atmosphere and the lines of communication are constantly open between the entertainer and the audience. That could be the reason why it has become so popular among the masses, and why these YouTubers have gained millions of subscribers.

These entertainers, writers, and actors, create a casual, friendly, and down to earth virtual relationship with their fan base. Granted, their fans are the only reason they get paid through Google, but fans are also the reason why several celebrities have acquired so much success.

However, do not forget that there are extreme differences between YouTubers and other celebrities.Think about it, do you think we will ever see movie stars like Johnny Depp or Jennifer Aniston casually sitting in front of a computer, recording themselves answering fan mail?

Or would we see them conducting a live video web chat so they can interact and take suggestions from their audience? Would these celebs ever make a “Draw My Life” video talking about their struggles and achievements?

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The Hype Over All Things Healthy

The organic food craze has undoubtedly swept the nation in recent years and its popularity is only growing. But despite the huge trend organic foods has become, it still faces criticism Not being able to afford the high price tag of organic foods; and not trusting how organic foods are processed are just a few complaints typically heard from people.

  In today’s society, our focus is on quickness, convenience and instant gratification at the snap of a finger. Most of the time, we can do just that. Fast food chains and artificially processed rubbish are everywhere. But do we know what are we compromising ourselves to eat just for the convenience of faster, cheaper, and easier?

Sadly, even the big name supermarkets’ shelves are stocked with foods containing pesticides and chemicals that many (including myself) would argue are harmful to our health. While the switch may seem strange to many, having to spend those few extra dollars is worth it.

With organic foods it comes down to how the animals are nurtured and how plants are grown.  Organic means that the products are clean of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or genetically engineered seeds. Many people believe that because of these aspects, organic foods are safer and healthier over all.

You do not have to be a health freak to go organic. Organic products are tremendously beneficial to any lifestyle, and the changes necessary to make the switch are truly miniscule in perspective.

The high demand for organic products has it much more accessible to the general public by being available in supermarkets such as Shoprite, Stop & Shop, and even Wal-Mart. The reality is organic foods are usually only a couple of dollars more than their non-organic counterparts.

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Enough Backlash With Young Stars

backlash_with_young_starsLet’s face it - it is hard to deny that those in the public light live extravagant, glamorous lives. I am sure most of us would not have a difficult time accepting the offer to become famous overnight. Al­though, remembering that living in the public eye entails constant pa­parazzi stalking, harsh public scru­tiny and the spreading of ridiculous rumors might make us think twice before trading in our ordinary, non-famous lives.

As college students, these are the years where we are expected to make mistakes and grow as in­dividuals. Fortunately for any slip­ups made on our part, we are able to shrug them off and learn from them. Nowadays, what seems to be the main focus is young stars who are desperately trying to grow and mature while in the spotlight. Stars such as Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber are constantly having their every move analyzed and criticized by the public. In today’s society, it seems that audiences are more en­gaged and some may even call it ob­sessed, with the daily lives of stars.

Let’s rewind to three weeks ago at MTV’s “Video Music Awards.” What seems to continue to be the topic of conversation is Miley Cyrus’ risqué performance during the awards show. Some may say the media is fixating way too much on Miley’s recent image and inappro­priateness. As a “Hannah Montana” fan, I was also in shock at what took place during that awards show, but I moved on. I feel the media is spending too much time focusing on the shocking performance. At the end of the day, Miley Cyrus is a young twenty-year old woman who is trying to shed her Disney image and mature as an artist. I am not a fan of the direction she is going in, but those are her choices. In an interview clip a few days after the VMA’s, Miley said it best herself, “What’s amazing is, we’re three days later and people are still talk­ing about.”

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The Anticipated Transition from Summer To Fall

transition_from_summer_to_fallAs a person gets older, it feels as if their summers become shorter. Before they know it, the dogwood tree fades from white to red and their closet changes from tee shirts to sweaters. Many tend to look at this transformation as glum and dreary, but I simply adore it.

Nearly everyone likes a good party and changing from summer to fall is the ignition of the party season. While it can be argued that summer has fun holidays, such as Memorial Day and Fourth of July, fall signals the long awaited festivi­ties involving lights.

Heading back to college is the most obvious reason why party season begins, but fall also is the catalyst to the holiday party sea­son. Starting off in October, we are blessed with Mischief Night and Halloween. Then comes No­vember, we have Thanksgiving where everyone in America fol­lows the feasting stereotype given to our country.

Included in the fall’s busy sched­ule is one of the most beloved American traditions: football. Ev­ery Sunday, family and friends gather around a television screen no matter the size to watch their fa­vorite team. When that team scores a touchdown, the wings begin to taste better, the air begins to smell fresher, and the tailgate becomes bigger.

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Increased Facebook Advertisements

As with most college students, Facebook has become a staple of socialization for me. Since it was created, the site has gained hun­dreds of millions of users. How­ever, over the past few months it seems that Facebook has been trying to increase revenue with more adver­tisements on the main news feed page. Originally, they used to just appear on the side bar of the site, but now the format has completely changed. Ad­vertising is the main way for online sites and companies to gain most of their income if they are not a business with a tangible product.

Normally, it never bothered me when I saw ads on the side for different stores, brands, and movies. Even if sometimes it felt a bit creepy that it was tailoring what advertisements were shown based on my likes and interac­tions with others.

Since the change, there are ads interwoven into my news feed in between the pictures and statuses of my Facebook friends. The ads themselves look like regular sta­tuses with like and comment sec­tions for people to use and share the advertisement. They do say that word of mouth is the best form of advertising; companies are just taking a more modern ap­proach on the idea. I do not nec­essarily disagree with the idea of Facebook increasing the amount of ads they present on their news feed. To me it is just an unim­portant annoyance I can live with or without. It is not like they are those annoying pop-up ads that you used to have to block on cer­tain sites.

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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