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Last updateWed, 17 Apr 2019 4pm

Opinion

Monolingualism

default article imageThere are more Spanish native speakers in the U.S. than there are in Spain, and yet less than one percent of American adults feel they’re proficient at a foreign language they learned in the classroom. According to The Atlantic, monolinguals are the minority in Europe, with 19 percent bilinguals, 25 percent trilingual, and 10 percent speak four or more languages. In America, only 15-20 percent consider themselves bilinguals.

From an outside perspective, America, the land of opportunity and freedom, is praised for its diversity and coexisting cultural variations. However, oftentimes there is lack of representation and embracing from within the U.S., which puts both foreign citizens and Americans at a disadvantage.

In the United States, middle and high school education consists of courses which attempt to prepare students for only harder and more challenging courses for higher education. Languages are a skill that surpasses university, trade schools and careers. Regardless of the path a high school student chooses to take, having the ability to speak another language puts them at a huge advantage from the start. Though it is a controversial subject, whether or not  basic education prepares students to enter adulthood, it is clear that monolingualism in the U.S. only creates a barrier, a gap and animosity between groups.

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American Sign Language

American Sign LanguageLanguage is an interesting concept if you really think about it. Groups of people came together and strung together different sounds and assigned meaning to each of them in order to communicate with one another. I only speak English, but I’d love to be able to speak another language. Nothing common for American students like Spanish or French, though those would also be really nice to know. For me, it’s always been sign language.

I grew up in a school system that enrolled me in multiple Spanish classes, so predictable is practically my upbringing. I’m sure a lot of us had the same experience, being carted in and out of Spanish class after Spanish class in elementary school. I suppose people would think that I’d pick up on it fairly well considering I’m half Puerto Rican and for the most part, they’d be right. I enjoyed learning Spanish and practicing it outside of the classroom, but when the school year ended, I never remembered what I learned in class. It just retreated to the corners of my mind, generally out of reach besides the occasional recollection of random words and phrases.

When I got older, the choices for language expanded. I took a French class in middle school but then in high school I had the option to learn Italian, only to switch back to Spanish. It was a basic language that I was already familiar with and I didn’t want to stray away from what I knew I was good at. I even took two semesters of Spanish here at Monmouth which proved to be challenging but also fulfilling. Through all this Spanish though, there was always one language that I had always wanted to learn. I think that’s why I never truly remembered everything I learnedin Spanish classes. There was no passion behind it.

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Baseball is the Best Season

default article imageWith a little less than three weeks until Opening Day 2019 and MLB Spring Training officially underway, the 2019 season is just around the corner.

We waited long enough for the signing of top free agent Bryce Harper, who just signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on a record breaking 13yr contract for $330 million. At just 26 years old, Harper is considered to be a rare commodity as he was not only elected free agency but is just one of the three sluggers to acquire a $300 million contract.

Not far off is Manny Machado who is off to the San Diego Padres on a 10yr, $300 million deal. After waiting as long as we did for those two to sign, I think we can wait another three weeks for the season to start.

I think we can all agree that it is fun to root for a team. With Monmouth’s Basketball season coming to an impressive end, baseball is a nice spot to pick up. With all of the new acquisitions during this off season, every team has something to root for.

Whether it is the star closer of the New York Mets, Edwin Diaz, or J.T Realmuto, the star catcher now on the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rooting for a team definitely brings people together but at the same time, we all love a good competition. Everyone has an inner competitive side to them, and watching baseball really brings that out.

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Learn to Just Breathe

default article imageJust breathe. No really take a big, deep breathe.

We often forget, though so simple, that breathing is a necessity in resetting out minds. While air is vital for survival, it also has many health benefits for the mind. On days that may seem impossible to make it through, slow down and take deep breaths.

In a society that is constantly on the go, it is important to take moments to slow down, and reset the mind. According to the article, The Health Benefits of Deep Breathing it states many health benefits to taking a deep breath. For example, the article states that breathing calms the nervous system allowing the body to be in a relaxed state.

On days where you feel like you have never-ending school work or obligations, it is important to take a deep breath. While, college can be very stressful both physically and mentally, breathing allows us to relieve some stress, anxiety, and even depression. Taking deep breaths relaxes the mind and helps us to increase our attention and memory, ultimately making you time in the classroom more valuable.

Being a student athlete, I have found deep breathing to be vital to my sanity. On some days, I feel like screaming because I am so overwhelmed. As the to-do list starts building in my mind, I start to feel more and more anxious. However, being a senior I have learned different methods such as, deep breathing and meditation to help relax my mind. With one deep breathe I can start to focus on each task separately instead of looking at the big picture. On some days, our mind is our worst enemy.

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Hard Work or Luck?

default article imageIt is no secret that success is a driving force for a lot of people all over the world.  It’s what people aim for, whether it be reaching a career goal, achieving financial stability or finding happiness in your everyday life.

However you define success, I can’t think of one person on this Earth who doesn’t want to achieve it in one way or another. How we come about this success is the topic for a great debate, so it is here that I pose the question to you.  In finding success, should we place more value in luck or hard work?

Now there are two sides to this debate and I am fully willing to recognize that. Hard work can be seen as how much you put into something which in turn determines how much you get out of it. Luck is determined by what you stumble across to help you out along the way. However, I feel like hard work seems to make the most sense when answering this question.

Let me explain.

The idea of luck is nice, but is it truly a reliable approach? Think about it. How many success stories are there in the world? You have Walt Disney, Steve Jobs and many others who found success throughout history. While luck did help some of them out a bit, it was never a determining factor in their overall success.  It was their hard work that pushed them forward.  Their determination to never give up on their end goals. 

Take J.K. Rowling for example, as the creator of the Harry Potter series that we all know and love, she has found a lot of success in her life. From authoring the books to contributing to the production of the eight movies in the franchise, this woman is a prime example of what success looks like.

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Powerful Podcasts

Powerful PodcastsMusic has always been my go to when I get in the car to drive. When I got home and plopped in my bed, the television was always what I put on.

I was never a person to read in my free time or pick up a newspaper so the only place I was ever really learning was at school. But my whole world changed when I was introduced to podcasts.

Podcasts are the greatest thing ever invented. I had to take Online Journalism over the summer and I absolutely hated podcasts because I was terrible at making them. Once I started listening to them, the class actually gave me respect for the people who are good at them. The podcast I am going to focus on throughout this piece is Joe Rogan’s.

If you have not listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast then you should be suffering from a severe case of FOMO. I know what you’re thinking for those of you who don’t listen to podcasts, “That sounds boring. I don’t want to listen to someone talk for two hours. I have better things to do.” I know that because that’s how I felt until I gave it a chance. Joe Rogan’s podcast changed my mind and I know it will definitely change yours too.

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Importance of College GPAs

College GPASGrade Point Average.

For some, it may mean nothing but a number, but as for myself, Grade Point Average is a reflection of not only how hard college students work at earning his or her grades, but can act as a catalyst to motivate students to achieve an even higher GPA than they did the previous semester. At the end of the day, my GPA gives me a sense of pride, and to strive to always put my best foot forward. Whether you think so or not, your GPA absolutely matters!

Let’s be honest, maintaining a high GPA in college can be rather difficult at times. College is certainly no cakewalk. Between juggling extracurricular activities, working what feels like those seven grueling hours of pain as a college student, along with keeping up with grades can be quite the challenge, especially if you find yourself struggling with time management, something I feel, can be fixed with a little bit of prioritizing.

If college students neglect to keep up with their GPA, they may not necessarily be guaranteed a spot in the college they’ve been dreaming of attending since high school, or qualify for those helpful scholarships that can be put towards pricey college tuition depending on where one applies. And, truth be told, students may view each other a little differently seeing what kind of effort, if any at all, that he or she puts toward their studies. When you take care of your GPA, your GPA will take care of you!

Earning a high GPA not only allows students the opportunity to earn a rightful spot on the Dean’s List, but a chance to join different clubs, or organizations they may be interested in that could possibly lead them to newfound friendships that last a lifetime, or discovering a passion they never knew they had within.

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Reading Opens the Mind to New Ideas

Reading Opens MindsI should start with the elephant in the room and admit that it is quite cliche and obvious that I, an English major, would of course have a passionate adoration for reading. However, such was not that way always; I was not born appreciating Shakespearean tragedies and with the extensive bookshelf I have now. In fact, like most (if not all) the young adults I know now, I used to despise books and the idea of reading anything longer than nutrition facts was a dreaded punishment.

For the benefit of being thorough, I should mention that English is not my first language. Spanish is. So it all began back when I adamantly sought to absorb the English language and not give the other kids of my class the opportunity to bully me on my lack of proficiency. I felt responsible to learn it, and I took it upon myself to watch all seasons of Friends, Game of Thrones, Skins, Sherlock, Doctor Who and movies like Twilight and The Hunger Games over and over again until I could recite dialogue. I came across a printed, book version of Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) and made it my mission to finish all published books, and continue with the Hunger Games, and found a different form of entertainment I hadn’t really known until then.

It became quite the simplest way to find myself in someone else’s shoes, and have it be therapeutic. For reading is not simply to absorb as much knowledge and big words as possible, but to broaden your perspective, imagination, and in comparison, quite similar to binge watching Netflix.

Holding reading as a hobby was dear to me, and I did not think it important in any way to make it a career. Hence why I was first a biology major. Though I do not regret it, and science is still quite an interesting subject to me, it allowed me to understand my true passion, my dreams of a career, and how reading not only taught me the English language, thematic values and how to grasp knowledge but the importance of following my interests.

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Getting Your News from Various Sources

default article imageTechnology. Technology has changed the way we communicate, listen to music, and most importantly, look at news.

In recent years, technology has increased our exposure to news from an online source via our computers or our smartphones. A website online, journalism.org, gives multiple statistics on how Americans are receiving their information in this current era.

Just about four in ten Americans get their news from an online source, which doesn’t seem to be surprising and is also something that we can only definitely relate to as we navigate our busy lives.

I currently get most of my news from news app updates that I receive via Apple News on my iPhone. It’s rare, if ever, that I turn on the TV to get updated on the news when I’d rather go on my computer and take a look at what’s trending around the world or even searching something that I have an interest in i.e. the latest new tech.

I grew up in a large Republican household, so the network I look at for most of my news is Fox News. With Apple News, I’m able to save certain article interests that I like and follow them so I can constantly be updated  on what’s happening everywhere at any time.

On my phone, some of the networks I follow are Today, Evening Digest, Apple News Spotlight, Smartphones, Buzzfeed News, Politics, Health, and Science.

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Graduate School

default article imageTo go to grad school after graduating or to take a year off after graduating? I think that is a question that most college graduates interested in continuing their education come across. I have done my fair share of research because, I myself, have this question.

I am graduating from Monmouth in May with a degree in Communication. I have applied to jobs in Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising, and Social Media. None of which I am particularly interested in or look forward to pursuing. I think this is where I faced a cross-road. I had to ask myself what I want to do for a living. What am I passionate about and what career path will suit my lifestyle in the long run?

I realized that helping people was a fluent theme in my conversations with ones close to me when trying to figure out what profession I would pursue. I had considered becoming a lawyer with a Communication degree, following my father’s footsteps. I thought that would be the simple fix to my dilemma. I could help people and make money at the same time.

After some thought, I realized that I wasn’t in love with the law. I had gotten a lot of feedback about taking a gap year and saving money before going back to school. People also preached to me about the commitment law school requires and to make sure it was definitely what I wanted to do. For this option, I highly considered a gap year. For those of you who are looking at continuing education and are not sure if it is definitely the career you want, take the gap year.

I figured out law school wasn’t my thing, but that I still had a strong desire to help people. I decided on pursuing a Masters in Social Work. After making this decision, I sought advice on taking a gap year once again. One of my professors said, “I always advise a year off to get some work experience.” On the other hand, one of my mentors said to me, “if you feel like you want to go straight out of your undergrad, then keep the ball rolling. You don’t want to lose that fire,” and that really stuck for me.

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Best Streaming Services

default article imageThroughout my four years at Monmouth University, I’ve always classified spring semester as prime snowstorm real-estate. It’s almost certain that us Hawks will have to fly through one major snow storm during the second half of the academic year. 

With the abundance of snow comes class cancellations, procrastination and a bunch of binge watching TV shows and movies.  So many people go back and forth about which streaming service is the best for these kinds of days.  For me, it’s between Hulu and Netflix.

I think both services share a lot of the same characteristics that make them equally as enjoyable.  They both have their own original shows and movies, from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Marvel’s Runaways to Netflix’s popular movie To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and it’s addictive thriller series You. 

They also have the “My List” or “My Stuff” options that function as a sort of bookmark for the things you want to watch later on.  Let’s not forget the way they both categorize their selection by genres, from kids programming to comedies and everything in between. 

I started out as a loyal Netflix consumer and stuck with that for a while, solely because it was the most popular one at the time and no one else really seemed to be obsessing over any other service.  I guess to be fair, I never really did my research as far as what the different streaming services have to offer.

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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