Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2020 1pm


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,, 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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Athleisure: Practical and Casual Classwear

AthleisureDo you ever have those days where you feel like you just want to roll out of bed in your pajamas and never take them off?

I am talking about those 8:30 classes where you hit your snooze button repeatedly and regret the decision to take that specific class at that time. You contemplate not going but do not want to lose those participation points that always make a difference determining you grade at the end of the semester. Therefore, you get up, look in your closet and pick whatever article of clothing you spot first.

During my first year of college, I did not quite master the art of looking put together but also comfortable. I pretty much lived in my sweatpants and sweatshirt because I play lacrosse at Monmouth and found myself too tired to care about how I looked. However, as time went on I discovered “athleisure” wear and let me tell you that changed things for me.

You may be asking yourself what athleisure wear is. The dictionary defines it as “a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings.” This is taking clothes such as leggings and cute workout tops and wearing it in a non-exercise environment like class, hanging with friends, grabbing a bite to eat, etc. You can dress it up with some jewelry or some trendy sneakers.

This creates an illusion that you took time to get ready in the morning when really you are just as comfortable as you would be in your pajamas. This trend is booming especially with the college community, because no one wants to be uncomfortable in class. Athleisure is not only limited to the female population; many men have jumped on board with this trend. You can find so many boys wearing joggers or cool sweat suits to class.

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To Binge Watch or To Binge Watch

Watch Or BingeBinge watch or go out? Um… Binge watch! Duh!

Binge watching is the new best thing to do and we can thank Netflix and HBO GO for that. I was never a fan of just sitting and watching TV all day until I actually gave it a try.

The first show I legitimately binged watched was Game of Thrones. Is anyone surprised at that statement? It is one of the best shows to watch all day long. Whether it’s a rainy day, a sunny day, a snow day… There is never a bad time to sit down and get lost in The House of Starks drama.

After I discovered my love for binge watching, I moved on to Gossip Girl, which is on Netflix. Nothing like reliving your high school years (except much more lavishly in my case). It was January when I discovered this American drama series made up of six seasons. This is a good one to start when you have nothing but time to waste. Season one is made up of 18 episodes in itself!

More recently I fell in love with Peaky Blinders on Netflix. Wow, I have nothing to say besides wow. I have heard that other people don’t feel the same way as me on this one, but I absolutely loved this show and would watch it again and again. It’s a little hard to follow because of the thick accents, but that’s what subtitles are for! A lot less episodes than Gossip Girl but definitely an emotionally heavier show to watch.

Once I finished Peaky Blinders, I started Sons of Anarchy which I know is a crowd favorite. A little longer than Peaky Blinders and most definitely worth the watch. After Peaky Blinders, I wasn’t into Sons of Anarchy as much but I still really enjoyed it. I even tried being one of their members for Halloween.

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Best Spring Break Locations

default article imageEveryone loves planning to go to different places over spring break. If you feel like you are missing out because you don’t have anywhere to travel to, here are a few destinations to check out for spring break.

Aruba is probably one of my favorite places to travel to. In Aruba it never rains and the weather is always hot and sunny. The best part of Aruba is their beaches. Their sand and water is so nice and calming.

Laying on the beach, relaxing as you are enjoying the beautiful scenery in front of you, there is nothing better. There are so many fun activities to do in Aruba such as jet skiing, paddle boarding, parasailing and many more other things. Aruba has great live entertainment offered at some of the hotels on the island every night.

The best hotels in Aruba to look into are Riu Palace, Divi Village All Inclusive Villas, and Eagle Aruba Resort and Casino. There are also many places to go and check out, such as ATV tours and Aruba Sunset Catamaran Cruise that takes you around the island. I highly recommend traveling to Aruba over spring break!

Another destination to travel to over spring break is the Bahamas. The Bahamas reminds me a little of Aruba. They have the same activities and night life going on there. They are both beautiful islands to vacation to with family and friends. The Bahamas has a lot to offer such as amazing excursions and luxurious accommodations. The best things to do in the Bahamas is the beaches, boat tours, diving and snorkeling. The hotels on the island that are recommend best are; The Cove at Atlantis and Baha Mar. The prefect months to visit the Bahamas is mid-December to mid-April.

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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