Last updateMon, 18 Jan 2021 7pm


The Struggle Of Joining Multiple Clubs

One of the reasons I was looking forward to coming to Monmouth University was the wide array of clubs and other extracurricular activities the campus had to offer.

I was excited to get involved on campus as soon as possible. I wanted to join every club or group that I was interested in.

Yes, there's only one time block in the week where clubs are guaranteed the chance to meet (2:30 to 3:30 on Wednesdays), but I figured I could do it since not every club meets during that particular hour.

Some groups I have already joined, such as Hawk TV and even RHA, which meet at night, so I thought I was getting more time in the day to attend other meetings.

Imagine my horror when I attended the Involvement Fair and discovered that not one, two, three, but four groups I wanted to join were all scheduled to meet at the exact same time! Not cool. I can't be in four places at once. This is why we need more club hours (or a cloning machine).

Each time I toured the Universities' campus as a prospective student, I discovered even more ways for me to get involved in my major which made me fall in love with the school even more. This of course evidently led to my decision to enroll at Monmouth.

I was looking forward to arriving on campus and joining each of these groups, such as The Monmouth Review or The Verge because I enjoy writing. I was interested in joining Shadows Yearbook because I have always wanted to work on a yearbook, or even Boom Roasted Productions because I have a passion for theater.

I never expected to be forced to choose between any of them, which probably intensified the shock of the situation. As much as I want to be a part of all of these organizations, it just won't work if they all occupy a single club hour.

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Too Many Legal Ages?

Should There Be One Legal Age For Everything?

The party-planning, the celebrations with friends, the gifts, and more importantly, the rights. What more could you possibly ask for from your 18th birthday?

It's no secret we all spend our entire teen years looking forward to the big 18, but why exactly do we, though? Is it because technically, we're finally considered legal? Is it because we can finally get our adult license?

I remember looking forward to my 18th birthday like it was the greatest thing in the world and I'm not going to lie, I had an awesome time celebrating it.

However, once the weekend was over, it was back to business and being 18 didn't feel any different from 17. It's not even like I registered to vote or anything.

According to the government, after turning 18, I had the options to join the army and legally play the lottery, two things I had never cared for.

The following birthday was even worse. At 19, Uncle Sam gives you his blessing to go ahead and contaminate your lungs. At 19 I was now able to go into any corner store and buy my mom her cigarettes.

I recently turned 20 this past May. Of course the partying was great, but the fact that I was no longer a teenager and still not treated as a full adult really annoyed me. I still can't get into clubs and bars which is depressing.

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The Confusion with Public Relations and Journalism

Does this Communication Concentration Limit Students?

Journalism_PRPublic relations specialists are often referred to as “spin doctors” by journalists. Journalists are often referred to as “blood suckers and liars” by public relations specialists.

If the two do not bring out the best in one other, then why does Monmouth University pair them under one concentration for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication?

Albright College in Reading, PA, has a degree in public relations and advertising, a tactic used in marketing. The college has made a separate degree for those who wish to major in journalism.

Similar is the case of schools out west such as Utah State University who pairs public relations and marketing.

The University of Tennessee instead has public relations mixed with advertising/marketing for a degree option and journalism is paired with electronic media.

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Disconnecting from Technology

One Student Tells His Story About His Phone-less Experience

The answer is yourself, as I recently learned how splendid the effects of distancing yourself from the inundation of technology can be while I was half a world away from home.

My wife Vicki and I took a trip across the pond to England this summer. We crammed our itinerary with tourists’ stops: Stonehenge, Big Ben, Windsor Castle and plenty of pints at the pub.

But a week before we left, Vicki noticed we forgot to buy an international cell phone plan. When she enlightened me of this oversight, I instinctively reached for my phone, akin to a parent covering their child’s ears to protect them from an offensive epithet.

I could see my entire social networking life—everything from AIM away messages to Miley Cyrus tweets—flashing before my eyes.

What self-respecting tourist would dare travel without the capacity to Instagram their experience?

If I couldn’t share my trip in real-time with my friends and run-of-the-mill internet stalkers, what was the point in even going?

After some deliberation, we decided to forsake the extra cost of an international phone plan and take the plunge into the world without electronic contact.

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The Debate Over Minimum Wage

I would go out on a limb and say that most of us work pretty hard for our well-earned cash. Now, would you work even harder if you were offered more cash? Of course you would.

Money is not everything and no, money does not buy happiness. Let’s be realistic; it does buy gas, food, clothes and other important things that are basically necessities.

Many young adults and college students are just starting out on their own two feet, struggling with having to pay their own bills and supporting themselves all while balancing a job with their education.

So understandably, more money is an incentive to work even harder. The point is that it’s time minimum wage is increased. 

Many basic or entry level jobs are the ones paying minimum wage; a measly $7.25 per hour.

However, the biggest dilemma we are faced with is the current economic hardship and an even more competitive job market where you must have the skills and experience to get a decent job while earning big bucks.

That however, puts many young, educated but frankly inexperienced individuals at a serious disadvantage. Young adults step out of college and are often left with a huge amount of debt in loans.

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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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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