Last updateWed, 17 Apr 2019 4pm


Halloween: Dorm Decorations

Halloween Dorm DecorationsMuch to my hometown friend’s shock (I’m from Long Branch), I choose to live on campus here at Monmouth.  Though I wouldn’t change anything about the life I’ve built in the dorms, the plain white walls can be a bit daunting at first.

It’s for this exact reason that I take every opportunity to decorate my dorm room, holidays and all. 

My basic decorations that I have up year round consist of fairy lights, hand painted canvas signs from over the years, my lucky bamboo plant (appropriately named Rocky Bamboo-a), and a neon sign which includes interchangeable letters that can be used to form any phrase of your choosing.

I also have a dry erase calendar that I have displayed on my desk. While I love how cozy I’ve managed to make my once empty dorm room, the interior design addict in me always finds any excuse to switch out decorations in accordance to holidays. Lucky for me, October presents the prefect opportunity.

I could easily decide to decorate for Halloween with hanging bats and fake blood. However, truth be told, I’m a complete chicken and not the biggest Halloween fanatic. So I end up just decorating for the overall season of Fall. It’s cute, easy and ultimately saves me money when I can easily reuse the same theme for the Halloween and Thanksgiving months. Realistically, as much as I adore the opportunity to decorate, my wallet won’t allow it. 

As a fan of do it yourself (DIY) projects, I typically make a lot of my decorations. Pinterest is my best friend, though I’m sure anyone who walks into my dorm on a daily basis could guess that based off of the gallery wall of canvases that I’ve made myself and the meticulously crafted glitter key holder I have by my door.

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Consequences of Counting Calories

default article imageDo you stare at the food labels thinking about how many calories you have consumed already today? In today’s society, we have become so obsessed with this idea of “the perfect body.”

We tend to constantly compare ourselves to people we see on social media or in advertisements. The tall, thin, perfect body is constantly being shoved down our throats because we tend to only be shown one type of body.

This problem does not only affect one gender, as there are social standards that are created between both males and females. Counting calories is unhealthy because it creates a person to become obsessed over the numbers they are putting into their bodies rather than just focusing on the nutritional value of food.

The intent of calorie counting can be simply because someone wants to lose weight. However, when counting every calorie you enter into your body, it is easy to become obsessed with the action. This can do way more harm than good because the amount of calories that are in foods do not solely signify the nutrition value of that specific food.

For example, there are foods with healthy fats and higher calorie intake than other foods that may be processed but have less calories.

Eating healthy and living a balanced lifestyle is important. Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is a good goal to strive for. However, healthy eating should come from the correct food you put into your body. Food acts as fuel to keep your body running and it is important to be conscious of the foods you are putting into it. Counting calories can become an exhausting process, always being hyper aware of the calorie content of food.

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Becoming Strong Beyond Physical Limits

default article imageWhen we think about the definition of “strength,” our minds automatically resort to superheroes.

Everyone who is strong has muscles and everyone who is strong is indestructible. Rarely do we give enough credit to those who contain elements of the word strength that don’t have to do with physical boundaries.

Growing up my family thought my father was superman, as most of us do. My definition and understanding of the word strength was shallow. I figured that strength only consisted of tangible qualities, until I grew up and became informed by experience.

Physical strength is the most obvious element of the word. Being physically strong is important. We all know that we need to stay fit and healthy so that we can carry on with our daily tasks. Having an active lifestyle and always trying to improve our bodies is crucial for a long and happy life, that’s a given.

Not only is it important for us to have this kind of strength in the physical world, but it helps our bodies endure the mental battles that we face. There is a connection between the mind and body that is undeniable. When we are stressed, when we are sad, when we are feeling lost, our bodies pick up on those signals.

By staying physically strong, we can prevent ourselves from getting sick from daily mental stressors. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins that can boost our mood. It can allow us to use our stress or anger and put it towards something positive: bettering out bodies.

Diving a little deeper into the meaning of strength, I have found much more than just physical features. There is a mental component which is thought based. The evolution of mental strength is unique to each individual, which is a similarity of physical strength.

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The College Experience: Commuter Edition

default article imageWake up, drive to school, go to class, drive home, do homework, possibly eat something, go to sleep and repeat. As an incoming freshman, this is what I believed being a commuter student would be like. While I was most definitely not happy about the fact that I would have to commute to school every day, I had gone about starting school completely wrong.

Each day before Sept. 4 consisted of me begging my mom to let me dorm and each time, the result was always a big fat no. There was one reason for me constantly bugging her, and that was me wanting the full college experience. However, what I did not know was that once school started, I’d be getting the full blown experience just as much as every other resident was.

While yes, you do take all the steps I previously mentioned, there is also so much more that happens in a day than just driving back and forth to school and home. The clubs you decide to be a part of, the sports teams you decide to join, the extra time you have before classes that you spend with new friends are all things that make going to school so much more than going to class and going home.

There is so much going on around campus that commuter students can be a part of that will give us the true experience that residents get. If you don’t make the effort to get involved and be a part of campus life, you won’t get the experience you want. College is everything you make of it, it’s up to you to make it the best it can be.

I get the opportunity to stay on campus with my friends overnight  while also getting to go home, sleep in my own bed, and enjoy home cooked meals. These are the types of perks I never took into consideration when thinking about being a commuter student. I was so adamant on needing to dorm in order to make friends that I persuaded myself that my thought process was correct.

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Better, Best, Bagels

Better BagelsBagels. Those are the rolls with the holes in the middle, right? All jokes aside, I love a good bagel. Poppyseed and sesame are my go to choices.

I am from Pennsylvania, not Pennsyltucky, but Pennsylvania all the same and the only bagels that I had growing up came from Wegmans.

I loved Wegmans’s bagels. We had local bakeries, but none of them made bagels. It was not until I came to Monmouth that I had “real” bagels, as my friends would like to say. I have only been to a few bagel shops in the area, so naturally all of them are my favorites.

Hot Bagels is a bagelry (we are just going to pretend that that is a word) in Ocean Township that my coach often takes us to before away matches. If we have to leave early in the morning for a tennis match, we will swing by Hot Bagels to grab a few for the road. The family members who work the bagelry are always busy rolling the dough and placing the steaming hot bagels into baskets. So fresh there is no need for them to be toasted.

Another bagelry that my coach introduced myself and my teammates to is Grandma’s Bagels in Little Silver. Here, you can get bacon, egg, and cheese on your favorite flavor bagel. I am not sure if Grandma still works there, but I would bet my scholarship that the recipe has remained the same. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This summer I stayed in Middletown. My host asked me if I had any good bagels while I had been here in Jersey. I told her my positive experiences at Hot Bagel and Grandma’s Bagels and she recommended another bagelry to me. Sheepshead Bagels in Middletown. She said it was as though the bagels were straight out of Brooklyn. This meant nothing to me since I did not know that Brooklyn was known for their bagels. Nonetheless, I went to the bagelry and ordered an egg and cheese in a sesame bagel. Wow. If this was what a Brooklyn bagel tasted like then I knew where I would be moving after college. 

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Celebrities in the Media

Celebrities In MediaDoes being in the public eye mean that you have less privacy?

Social media is designed to enable people all over the world to make connections with other individuals. Whether or not we wish to share certain aspects of our lives, good or bad, is a decision that most users are able to make on an everyday basis. However, when you are in the public eye, some people feel that the concept of privacy should be taken away. Is this really how it should be?

I don’t think so. This issue has been taking up residence in my thoughts ever since Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan announced their divorce back in early April of this year. What happens between two individuals should not be the business of anyone else, especially not the downfall of a marriage and what went wrong. 

Ever since then, couples who are in the public eye such as YouTube couples David Dobrik and Liza Koshy or Lauren Riihimaki and Alexander Burriss have made videos announcing their breakups that they posted to YouTube. These just don’t sit well with me.

A relationship, in my personal opinion, should remain between the two individuals involved and not involve the spectators of said relationship. 

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Is Social Media Taking Up Too Much of Our Time?

Social MediaImagine a world where technology has completely taken over. It isn’t as far-fetched as you may think.  Though it may be difficult to admit, especially for the younger generation, the concepts surrounding social media are quickly shaping the ways in which we think and go through our everyday lives.  The impact that it has is the reason why I feel so strongly that we, as a society, spend too much time on social media. 

Back in 2013, comedian and actress Charlene deGuzman wrote and starred in a YouTube video entitled “I Forgot My Phone.” The video captures the disheartening reality of social media’s control over our lives, or rather the control we allow it to have. 

The video depicts deGuzman going through her day being surrounded by both loved ones and strangers alike who have an unhealthy infatuation with their cell phones. Whether it was during a lunch outing with friends, a concert or even lying in bed with her boyfriend at night and during the early morning, she is iced out by everyone around her.  The saddest part is how undeniably real this video’s depiction is. 

If I’m standing in line waiting for food at the Student Center or even when I manage to get to class a few minutes early, it is almost guaranteed that there will be people hunched over their phone screens in order to avoid interaction with the people around them. Admittedly, I’m also guilty of the mindless scrolling that social media offers. It’s easy in moments of silence to turn to something that provides us with so much noise.

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Take a Ride to the Big Screen

default article imageIt’s a Friday night. You’re wishing you made plans but instead you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve cycled through all your social media apps. Nonetheless, you’re bored and looking for some good entertainment. But, the sweatpants are on, your face has been washed and your hair is a mess, so there’s no turning back now; you’re in for the night.

Before you grab the remote to start the endless search for a new movie on Netflix, I’d advise you to take a few minutes to reconsider. There is a lot of entertainment out there, and for the most part, you don’t want to have to get all gussied up for the occasion. Now of course there are the go-to’s: Netflix, HULU, (or any of those illegal sites) or the classic movie theater, but don’t rule out the old school drive-in quite yet.

The drive-in movie theater is a win-win for all types of movie goers; the romantic, the cheapskate, the heavy snacker, the whisperer, the cackler, etc. The drive-in caters to the wants of each and every member of the audience, all in the luxury and comfort of his or her vehicle. Although you may be leaving the house, you’re really only steps away from your own mobile theater. 

Nobody wants to break the bank just to get some valuable entertainment. Drive-in theaters cost anywhere from $4.00-$8.00 per person, while including two different showings. An average theater ticket costs around $12.00 per person, not including drinks or snacks, for just one showing. This is about four times the cost of a drive-in ticket, taking into account the amount of movies being shown. 

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Fall Break? Fall Break.

Fall BreakAs October is finally here, there is one thing I’m sure most of us are thinking about…Fall Break. The semester is starting to pick up and classes are becoming busier and busier. The summer daze is finally wearing off and we are fully immersed in classes and extracurricular activities. We have stopped counting the hours of sleep we are getting or the cups of coffee we are consuming. The due dates of assignments start to appear faster and the anxiety of classes are now in full swing.

Fall break gives students and faculty a time to catch their breaths. In such a fast pace society, we sometimes forget the power of breaks. There are many schools that do not give fall breaks because they do not feel it is necessary to take more time out of the academic school year.  Emma Stukenberg a senior at Monmouth University said, “Fall break is important especially to freshmen who are transitioning into college. It is most likely their first time being away from home and it allows them to spend time with their family and refresh before continuing the rest of the semester.” 

The Monmouth Plague is in full effect right now. Think to yourself how you have been feeling lately. As the temperatures start to fluctuate there starts to become more sicknesses roaming around campus. Especially, when living in the dorms it becomes a Petri dish of sickness. Having a break does not only help your mental health but also your physical health. Getting away from your dorm rooms for a few days can improve your health immensely.

Mental health is a very prevalent issue for college students in today's society. There is great pressure of performing at high levels in the classroom. This stress can cause a lot of issues not only in short terms but also long term. A study done by the Associated Press said, that eight in ten college students have experienced some type of stress in their daily lives. As a result, stress can cause students to perform at lower levels because the pressure is crippling.

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The Benefits of Chores

Benefits of ChoresGrowing up, my mother would give me a white, plastic bucket on a nice summer’s day.  She would then say that I could not come inside until I had filled the bucket up five times with pinecones. Pinecones. This woman had me picking up pinecones all around the yard. I hated it. When I was not picking pine cones or pulling weeds in the yard, I was folding towels or vacuuming the floors of the house.

My childhood consisted of chores, chores, and more chores. Often times I had to tell my friends, “Sorry I can’t play today because I have chores to do.”  Although I disliked chores when I was young, I am glad that my parents made me help around the house. Many of my friends never had to do chores. They never folded a single towel or picked up a single pinecone.

I have moved on from the pinecone days, thank goodness. Now, when I come home for breaks from school my mother has me paint. I do not paint murals or portraits of our pets. I paint the cinder block walls of out basement, but only after them have been vacuumed. I paint the back of the steps, or even the floors. Not to toot my own horn but I am a pretty good painter.  My mother really wants me to embrace our off-brand artist name. It is only a few letters off of the famous French painter, Henri Matisse.

When students come to college they have more responsibilities. They are own their own and must take care of themselves. I think that those who have done chores as a child are more prepared for college and life away from home. They know how to do laundry, clean the dishes, and vacuum the floors. And those that never had to do chores often find that their rooms are littered with water bottles and dirty clothes scatter the floor.

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Finding Inspiration in an Age of Social Media

default article imageMore often than not we see people grabbing for their phone in times of silence and automatically open up Instagram.

Why are we so attracted to the ins and outs of other people’s lives? Are we searching for a way to take the focus off of ourselves or is it a need to improve our own realities?

In an age where there is so much information, it’s hard not to be influenced in different directions. Our control over the definitions of what is beautiful and what is cool have strayed from us and developed from what is put in to the media.

I have found by being selective in what accounts I follow, I can remain to true to myself. Some of the inspirational people I find helpful are Iskra Lawrence, Nonstop Travelling, and David Goggins.

Iskra Lawrence is one of my favorite accounts to follow. In a time where I struggled with perfectionism and discovering myself, I found strength in her posts. She has set an example for women of all sizes, all body types, and all ethnicities.

Iskra is a model who does not fit the typical mold. In her life, she has taken what set her apart from others and used it to her advantage. After following her for a while, I started to look at my differences as positives.

Her pictures are unfiltered most of the time and display what it’s like to be human and authentic even when she’s under the lime light.

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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
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu