Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 1pm


Being a Homebody at a Young Age

I have a confession to make: I hate going out. A Saturday night spent in yoga pants, eating warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies, hanging out with my fiancé and my kitten while watching a marathon of Entourage episodes sounds like an ideal night to me.

When my best friend, who is a crazy party-girl calls me up, she knows to offer a night of going to the diner and hitting the mall or movies ver­sus a night hitting the dance floor.

Don’t write me off as a wet towel just yet. I have tried the cliché college girl thing. Early in my four years at Monmouth, I went out most nights, stayed out late and partied. My grades suffered, I was always tired, I gained five pounds, and I was all around miserable.

It was not for me, so I started do­ing things that I enjoyed, such as staying in with a carton of Chinese food and a good book, going home on a weekend to hang out with my mom, laying out on the beach with friends or going window shopping. Simple things like that make me happy.

To me, going out takes money, time and energy, all of which I often feel I do not have enough of. If we are being honest, I have always been the little girl sitting at home, reading a Judy Bloom book or helping my mom make dinner.

I have always liked knowing exactly what I will be doing next, where everything is and the lack of expectations that staying in holds.

In all honesty, I feel that more people are, or want to be homebod­ies. Unfortunately, we feel that we need to go out, party, get crazy or else we’re not living.

Homebodies are judged as boring and lazy losers or having no friends. Homebodies simply enjoy the com­fort, peace, and simplicity of staying in more than the unpredictability, loudness and insanity of a night out on the town.

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Pressure for Romance

Why Women Worry on Valentine’s Day

If there is one thing I have realized as I have gotten older it is that I re­ally hate Valentine’s Day. Not to be a Debbie Downer or come off as the Grinch who Stole Valentine’s Day, but I honestly hate what the holiday has become. Apart from the fact that it makes single people feel even worse about being single, the day has become solely a hallmark holi­day for retailers to play on womens’ emotions.

Women put so much pressure on their significant others to make Val­entine’s Day special that they forget that it is not that important of a day. If your boyfriend or husband opens the door for you every time you go out, buys you flowers and brings you gifts on a regular basis, you should consider yourself a lucky woman. Therefore, why do you feel the need to pressure him into going above and beyond on one particular day?

In any relationship, I always em­phasize that I do not want to do any­thing special on Valentine’s Day. I have no desire to stand in long lines at restaurants waiting for tables, holding the same bouquet of red ros­es every other woman is holding, or getting a cheesy teddy bear that will only end up in a pile of other cheesy teddy bears. I want to feel special on every date, but how can I feel special surrounded by dozens of other cou­ples doing the same thing I am doing on the same day because it is what they are “supposed” to be doing?

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What Do Fairy Tales Really Teach Us About Romance?

“Someday my prince will come.” It is the song that little girls around the world hear Snow White serenade to the little birds and squirrels she calls friends. The princess movies of our child­hood teach us to wait for our Prince Charming. He should be tall, dark and handsome; brave, rich and passionate; kind, caring, and sensitive. Being royal does not hurt either.

But then we grow up, and we enter the real world where we meet the guy who works part-time at the Quick Check down the road between classes and who is only a little taller than you (when you’re in flats). Bye-bye beautiful stilettos you spent two paychecks on. Could he be the one for you? You will never get a chance to find out because instead, we look for a prince.

As little girls, many of us watch princess movies with such a pas­sion that it is almost religious. We drink in what these movies give us, letting the lessons that are in them influence us way past our canopy bed and Spice Girls stage.

So what do princess movies teach us as young girls? What are the life lessons we are absorbing while sitting in front of the televi­sion in a tutu with a wand? Let’s go down the list.

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Being Single on Valentine’s Day

valentines-day-candyThe other day I was in CVS pick­ing out Valentine’s Day cards to send to my grandparents and fam­ily. As I was looking through the red and pink decorated aisle I heard a voice from behind say something that caught my attention.

“Ugh. I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s such a waste. It’s just another excuse for couples to buy presents for one another.” I turned to see that it was a teenage girl talking to her friend as they walked past. The reason why I was so intrigued by the girl’s statement was because when I was in high school, I had said exactly the same thing.

The sudden flash of déjà vu back to my adolescence got me thinking about what makes people so angry about this holiday that is supposed to be about love.

As a girl who, sadly, has never had a valentine, I can understand the hostility that comes from those who are single during this time of year. However, I do remember in elementary school being excited for Valentine’s Day. The whole school would be decorated in student-made hearts and traced cupids with music playing in the morning. Ev­erybody received cards, ate choco­late, and the rest of the afternoon was spent playing fun Valentine’s Day themed games or watching a movie instead of doing our math lesson. Now as a 21 year- old, the day has seemed to lose its loving charm.

Because the holiday is extremely pro-couple, I feel that I have to be defensive about being single. Peo­ple will ask what my plans are for the holiday,and I have to hear those horrible words being uttered, “Oh, that’s perfectly okay. I have spent Valentine’s Day alone and with someone. It’s really not that great either way.”

While it is a friend trying to be supportive, I cannot help but roll my eyes at feeling pitied. They say that having a valentine is not all that it is cracked up to be. Yeah, right. I will remember that when you are showing off that expensive bracelet or new sports jersey you received.

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Kindle’s Influence

I recently purchased a Kindle Paperwhite, and I can confidently say that the ebook has restored a great long lost love I once had for reading books.

A common complaint I have heard in regards to ebooks is, “I’ll lose focus too quickly.” Which leads me to my first point, don’t get a tablet. You aren’t buying a “$200 Facebook machine” as one of my friends so cleverly put it. You’re buying a reader. If you want to spend all afternoon playing Temple Run, updating Facebook, checking Twitter and Snap-Chatting then go ahead and buy an iPad or a Kindle Fire (The tablet version of the Kindle). If your plan is to read, then do yourself a favor and don’t buy a larger version of your smart-phone.

Now that we have established you aren’t carrying around an iPad, what exactly will you lose focus doing? Reading? Why?

Have you ever enjoyed a book so much you carried it around everywhere, trying to sneak in pages during any window of free time you may have found throughout the day? Well, with an ebook, the reading window becomes even more accessible. An ebook allows you to change the size of the font you read (which is awesome within itself). The nice side effect that comes with the size of the font, is how much font you see on a page before you have to tap the screen (so much easier than licking your finger and turning a page by the way) to move on to the next page.

Reading a whole fat book won’t seem as overwhelming now that you aren’t staring at the stacks of pages ahead of you in your peripheral.

So maybe I see three to five paragraphs on a page. Suddenly, I’m able to chip away at my book even if I only find myself with 30 seconds of spare time. I don’t have to wedge a bookmark in horizontally at the halfway point of the page because I already finished the page.

Let the record show, if it is a good chapter or a really good book I would never spoil part of it by only committing 30 second spurts of reading. But some books I would gladly read for 30 seconds and pause.

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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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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