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Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm

Opinion

Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Almost to the Finish Line

Almost to Finish LineWake up, go to class, attend extra-curricular meetings, work an on-campus job, call my off-campus job to tell them I’ll be running a little late, do homework, go to sleep, repeat for the next four days. This constant running from place to place has become a normal routine in my chaotic life. I wonder so much of the time, why do I do this to myself? Working one less job wouldn’t hurt me and I could always cut back on the extra-curricular activities.

But no. I am woman, I can do it all. On top of that, I can even have a social life. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m awake at 2 am finishing a homework assignment that I didn’t have time to do during normal human hours.

As a college senior with any hope of having a successful future after graduation, I am constantly torn between writing that five page paper and eating a meal that isn’t either cooked in a microwave or cereal. As much as I enjoy Frosted Flakes, sometimes real food is just top priority.

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The Best Ways to De-stress

stress ecardBetween school, work, homework, and trying to maintain some type of social life, life can get very stressful and a little hectic. Our body has a process when responding to stress. When the body feels stressed, the hormone cortisol floods our systems, producing a “fight response” in which our heart rate goes up, we breathe more heavily (requiring more oxygen) and our blood vessels constrict. The feeling of your heart rate excelling or a pounding in the back of your head is enough to let you know you’re getting stressed or overwhelmed.

Although that anxious feeling can come upon us quickly, there are many ways to control that feeling and de-stress. Just as the body produces a stress response, the body also has a relaxation response, during which your breathing slows, and your body starts to calm itself down. Here are a few ways to de-stress:

Exercise – during a workout the body releases endorphins which can help release stress. Just 20 minutes can get you to a relaxation point. “Working out has always been my go-to de-stress activity. When I am working out, I become very focused on the activity I’m doing, which helps me forget all about what I was stressed out in the first place. My body throws that negative energy right into exercising,” said Madison Dorn, a junior communication major.

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Staycation, All I Ever Wanted

StaycationWhen I was little there were few things I looked forward to more than the family vacation. Every summer we would go out of state, often going to Myrtle Beach, SC or Fort Myers, FL. For such a wide eyed kid as me it seemed like we would never run out of places to explore. Compared to places like Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, or the majestic beaches of FL, Monmouth County seemed dull by comparison. Even today I enjoy going out to see the world beyond NJ, but as I grew older I began to realize that these extravagant journeys were not always feasible- they simply cost far too much. Last summer it got even worse: air fare soared to prices that neither my family nor I myself were comfortable with. So we drove all the way to FL. Those two days stuck in a car with my grumpy family were not fun.

The world beyond our state’s borders is an exciting one, but contrary to my childhood biases Monmouth County is actually quite far from boring. Let’s face it, we’re not in NY, but we aren’t in one of those giant rectangular states in the Midwest that no one can remember anything about either. Enter the staycation, which is in essence giving up faraway landmarks in favor of more local hot spots. Monmouth is a county with a lot of history behind it, as well as a lot of things to see and do. Granted some of these depend on the season, but nevertheless none are really worth not doing at least once.

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College vs. High School

Going from college to high school can be difficult for some, but to say the least, it is a progression for everyone. There are several things like time management, academic independence, and living situations that are very different between college and high school that take some adjusting.

Time management changes drastically in college because of the independence that comes with college. High school is an environment where you don’t have a lot of privileges, but college is your world of freedom, which can be dangerous. In high school there are clocks and bells everywhere, guiding you from one class period to another and no two classrooms are that far apart. But in college, if you are late there is a good chance you could not be allowed into class. There is no one there to remind you that you have to go to class and complete your assignments – that is your job for yourself. You must manage your time and sometimes sprint all the way across campus within a short period to make it to your next class on time, there are no bells or clocks, and each professor goes by his or her own time.

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Coming Soon to a Kid Near You

Retro TVRemember when you would go home after elementary school and directly sit in front of the television for the next few hours? For many, this was their daily ritual. For most of us as well, our parents would join. Today, however, this isn’t true.

Children’s television today is completely different than what the “90’s kid” generation grew up with.

For one, when we grew up, most of us were watching with our parents. Our childhood shows, like Nicktoons such as “Hey Arnold”, “SpongeBob Squarepants”, “Ren and Stimpy”, or “The Fairly Oddparents” included references that kids wouldn’t understand but adults totally did.

Today, kid’s television is dumbed down. Due to the fact that fewer parents are watching television with their kids, media companies have caught on. Cartoons contain fewer references for adults, and contain more straightforward humor for kids.

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The Many Genres of Gifts

Gift GenresAs the holidays are creeping up on us, I thought we could discuss gifts. There are so many different types of gifts to give someone. There’s the sentimental gift, the extravagant gift, the homemade gift, etc. You can even combine these few categories; you have an extravagant sentimental gift or even a sentimental homemade gift.

There are different levels of how personal each type of gift can be. Yes, a homemade gift is most likely the most personal gift you can give, but it doesn’t mean that buying an extravagant gift can’t be personal. Homemade gifts can be very thoughtful, especially if it comes from a child. But, as we get older, homemade gifts aren’t really that common. It would be a little awkward to give a friend, say, a tissue paper flower as a birthday gift.

But, on the other hand, if you are artistically talented, a homemade gift could be absolutely spectacular! It could also be quite a bit cheaper. Personally, I am still on the tissue paper flower level, but I would love to get a gift from someone who is very into art.

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Beauty is Pain

Beauty Pain“Pain is beauty and beauty is pain” is an old saying often used to explain the trouble women goes through to maintain their looks. Compared to men, women spend a greater amount of time and money on their appearances. Between makeup, nail care, hair care, and clothing (just to name a few), you’re looking at a lengthy daily routine and an empty wallet for the average woman.

In August, Cosmopolitan published an article about Kim Kardashian’s daytime makeup routine, which costs over $1,700 in products and hours worth of time. Kim Kardashian may seem like an extreme case, but she’s actually not far off from the average woman. In 2013, InStyle reported that women spend upwards of $15,000 on beauty products in their lifetime, and in 2012, Jezebel noted that the cost of the average woman’s health and personal hygiene upkeep totaled over $2000 per year.

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The Odyssey at MU

As a college student, finding content online that comes from a fellow college student’s point of view is golden. College students understand what their peers have to deal with on a day to day basis. This is what makes The Odyssey Online so great. It is a website that has articles written by college students from all across the United States. To top things off, they have articles on virtually every topic. So no matter what you are interested in, it is virtually a guarantee you will find an article of interest.

Do you ever feel like you are the only one who deals with certain problems as a college students? Well you certainly are not and it is always nice to read about people with similar issues. Usually those types of articles are done with a comedic tone, making you feel a little better about your problem. Whether it is something like “Things You think About When You Are Late for Class” or “How to Stay Awake in Anthropology,” the writers totally understand where you are coming from because they are living it too.

It is more than just the typical college life that is talked about at the Odyssey Online. Maybe there is a big news story that you are really intrigued by. So would you rather hear about it from the point of view of some politician you do not know on TV, or read about it from a fellow college peer? Personally I would rather take it from the perspective of someone I think I can relate to.

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So You Didn’t Cheat, but You Did

The meaning of dating has changed so many times that it’s hard to keep track anymore. Millennia’s have stretched the term ‘dating’ to the furthest contexts, to the point where “Netflix and chill” could even be considered a first date these days. Imagine explaining “Netflix and chill” to your grandparents who lived in a time where dating meant actually going on dates. Dating as in getting picked up at the front door, going to the movie theatre, actually watching the movie, kissing goodnight on the porch, and waiting for a call saying he had a good time. Back when there were no cell phones, relationships started with actual attraction and communication in person rather than scrolling through Tinder and hoping a hook up turns into more. The way we fall in love and fall out of love has changed so drastically over the years that it only makes sense that cheating has as well.

The problem with cheating is that no one knows what cheating means anymore. There’s no universal decision about what constitutes as cheating. Many people would consider having sex with someone else to be cheating, but obviously there are many different forms of physically cheating. Even flirting crosses some type of line despite the fact that there’s no physical boundary being passed. The act of physically cheating on someone is discussed so often that emotional cheating is often unheard of. Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend didn’t have sex, make out, or even kiss someone else, but they’ve been thinking about someone else since they met him or her. What does that count as? It’s emotionally cheating.

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...Already?

Santa TurkeyChristmas is my favorite holiday—hands down. I am guilty of listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album all year round. But just because I listen to this all year round doesn’t mean that I am totally okay with how early Christmas is advertised in ads, stores, etc. My rule of thumb, if you will, is that it is okay for Christmas to be advertised and generally thought about after the first day you put your heat on. For me that day was Oct. 17. When you first smell and feel that heat kick on, that’s when it really starts to feel like the Christmas/holiday season is beginning. I am guilty for being overly enthusiastic about the holiday season, but it does make me upset that we glaze over Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is also one of my favorite holidays (okay, I just love holidays in general). Thanksgiving to me is the epitome of family. Yes, Christmas is about family too, but sometimes buying and giving gifts get in the way of what is really important. Thanksgiving has no gift-giving element; therefore, Thanksgiving is much more focused on the family. So, when stores and commercials start to advertise for Christmas at the end of Oct., I feel like they don’t even give Thanksgiving a chance to be popular, which is a shame if you ask me.

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Modern Day Role Models

When I was a little girl growing up in the 90s there were many positive role models. I remember cuddling in front of the TV to watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Sister, Sister. Melissa Joan Hart and Tia and Tamera Mowry were the kinds of girls I wanted to emulate. They were brave, smart, funny and caring, but not without their awkward or vulnerable moments like every young girl has to endure at one point or another in their life. The most important thing is that I could relate to them and learn lessons about growing up. This makes me disappointed when I look at the scarcity of positive role models on television for young girls and boys today.

Parents back in the 90’s did not have to worry too much about their children being exposed to a Disney child star turning into Miley Cyrus. I often wonder how “Hannah Montana” fans feel about Miley Cyrus now. If Cyrus “twerking” on a man her age was not shocking enough then maybe her recent onstage spat with Nicki Minaj at the MTV Movie Awards was. There were children that looked up to her as a role model and it must be difficult to read all the salacious news about her now. 

Today, the reality is very different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. This digital age of media has made it more accessible for kids to be caught up in the latest popular trends and celebrities. Back in the 90’s when shows like “Smart Guy”, “Captain Planet” and “Harriet the Spy” were about children trying to make a difference in their community, today we have “Toddlers in Tiaras” about self-entitled princesses. Who can forget “Honey Boo Boo?” I still can’t believe how popular that reality show was. Today we idolize anyone or anything that makes it into the first headlines of Entertainment Tonight or E! News. It is very discouraging to see.

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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