Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


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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Inner Peace: What Is It and How Can We Attain It?

Inner PeacePeace. A simple word, yet with so much depth. What does this word mean to you? What comes to mind first when asked this question.

I asked myself what peace meant to me and I hesitated at first and then something came to me: presence. When you stop your mind from running from you and take a minute to get back down to earth, peace occurs naturally. That feeling of serenity and trust in the universe is enough to stop violence.

Harmonious solutions present themselves, clear perspectives become apparent, and positive transaction is a side effect. All of this can happen when the mind is quiet and turmoil has settled. I’ve learned this first hand because I have struggled with overthinking from a young age. I saw two different paths as I began experiencing these mental obstacles and I started to figure out why peace was being taken from me.

My mind would time travel into experiences that I had already had and to experiences that had never happened to me before. I lost the ability to find my center and it came out in negative thoughts, and bad moods. It has ruined friendships.

When I found peace once again it was amplified and apparent in all areas of my life. While I still struggle with maintaining a peaceful lifestyle due to the turbulence in my mind, I have realized that peace to me is the sound of my breath and the feeling of my heart beating in my chest. Peace is gratitude for the things that I do have and the things that I no longer have.

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The Climates, They Are A Changin'

Climates ChangingDoesn’t it baffle you that people on this Earth do not believe in climate change? The cause of the many drastic changes our planet has been facing for years and is affecting every area of the planet.

Climate change is the altering of the Earth’s climate through an increase in temperature and precipitation, glacier and snow cover shrinking, ocean warming, rising and acidification, increase in wildfires due to droughts and rising temperature, etc. This is all primarily due to greenhouse gas emissions from human activities involving the combustion of fossil fuels.

When hearing about the shrinking of glaciers, I always picture a polar bear stranded on a tiny and thin piece of ice. It’s very saddening to see polar bears in their disappearing natural habitat. Polar bears and other wildlife dependent on glaciers are at risk for endangerment as glaciers continue to shrink. Animals are being forced out of their natural habitats and if they cannot find a new place to properly relocate, they will die.

The rising temperatures due to global warming is affecting the area around Monmouth University. The summers in this area will become warmer and the winters will too, therefore, a decrease in snowfall. As a Texas native, I am used to the heat but hopefully, this area will not see summers with 100+ degrees. The winters also could fluctuate with having warmer and colder days. Climate change has brought new extreme temperatures, new record highs and lows.

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The Jumpsuit Project: Life After Incarceration

default article imageWe are all given a name at birth. Sherrill Rolland had to fight to get his name back. This is his journey. This is his remarkable story that I had the opportunity to witness and learn from, in more ways than one.

On Jan. 29, the University hosted a visit with Rolland, a man who spent ten months in prison for someone else’s mistake. Lies, trust issues, openness towards individuals, proximity issues, and new habits throughout a day-to-day basis were just some new obstacles Rolland has said he faced.  I could not even imagine.

In 2013, Rolland was attending graduate classes when a warrant was set out for his arrest in Washington, D.C.  Rolland explained that for nine months he fought to prove his innocence.

In late October, his trial was conducted and ultimately resulted in him being found guilty, incarcerating him for a year and thirty days. With good behavior he was released after ten months. He later asked for a retrial, and faced a new challenge ahead of him.

Now he has a record. A record that should have been someone else’s consequence. He now had to explain himself. Rolland said, “It is an experience I cannot depress or hide…I then accepted this way of my life, and these are the hurdles I will face with a record.”

Even after exonerating his name, being granted a bill of innocence, obstacles were still present.

We all have qualities and hobbies that we are passionate about.  Being the expressive and independent person I am, I don’t even want to think about having that right taken away.  Rolland’s passion was art.

Rolland said that being incarcerated restricted his value system. He felt as if he no longer had “a sense of safety on campus” and questioned if he ”should even be [t]here.”

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The Power of Boycotting

default article imageWe’ve all learned that boycotting is a peaceful alternative to violent protesting, meant to have the same memorable, change-inducing impact violence has, but without the violence. Peaceful protests are what individuals have been practicing in order to compromise civil issues without the unnecessary brutality. It has been used in circumstances that most of us have been taught during class, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott which further propelled the movement against segregation, or the refusal to purchase British goods during the American Revolution.

We can even recall boycotting moments in more modern times, but, how efficient actually is boycotting?

Throughout history we see the effects of these boycotts, like with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which started in December of 1955, and continued on until December of 1956, but finally came to resolution in November 1956. During this time, Rosa Parks was arrested, Claudette Colvin was arrested, and Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged; all wh ich had to occur in order to emphasize and make it nationally clear the intentions of this protest. Case in point, boycotts can be efficient in their purpose, but the magnitude in the efforts dedicated to the cause determines the impact of said boycott.

After all, how strong is an argument without the support of those who benefit from it?

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the American national anthem, a clear message of his protest and fight against the still existing racism in America, and police brutality. Nike used his name to be the face of a campaign, for which those who protest Kaepernick’s stance boycotted Nike products and even set fire to them. Even President of the United States Donald Trump said that those who protest the national anthem should be fired from ever playing again in the NFL.

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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