Last updateWed, 17 Apr 2019 4pm


Coffee Options Increase with Warm Weather

Hot Iced CoffeeAs the temperature changes from those frigid single digit numbers to high 60’s during the day and low 50’s at night, the conversation has begun yet again of Iced Coffee vs. Hot Coffee. Both coffees are exactly the same but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, one has ice and the other doesn’t; there’s your difference!

But to break it down even further, there are people that will strictly drink hot coffee and think iced is gross, or they will strictly drink iced and think hot is gross. Coffee, just like everything else, is based on personal preference.

Here are my thoughts on which you should choose; if you’re a first-time coffee drinker, get cold brew. When ice is added to the coffee, it separates the rich taste that coffee has and breaks it down to make it less “insane” when it hits your pallet. But in general, definitely iced coffee. What to put in your coffee will depend on what you like. If you enjoy the coffee taste, do cream, milk, half & half, almond milk or coconut milk. If you want a little sweeter, ask for sugar.

As for hot coffee, if you’re home, try a creamer that’s not too sweet and do half a spoonful of raw sugar, this is what I highly recommend. If you run out to get your hot coffee, ask for cream and sugar because some places have different coffee beans than others so cream and sugar will keep it simple and standard across the board.

Dunkin’ has many different flavors when it comes to their coffee from caramel mocha, mocha, butter pecan, caramel, French vanilla, cookie dough, white chocolate raspberry, and rocky road. My advice if you go with one of these choices is to order as follows: medium hot mocha coffee with cream. No. Sugar. It’s already sweet enough and the sugar will be a massive overload! But, if you like the sweet, then go for it.

The place at which to get your coffee is not something people thought about 10 years ago, but now new and hip coffee places are popping up left and right. Where to get your coffee will be based on what you like, how strong you like your coffee, and if freshness is important to you. Dunkin’ has a large number of flavors and blends. The breakdown of blends includes Original Blend, Dark Roast, and Dunkin’ Decaf. The flavored shots, that are unsweetened and sugar free, consist of French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Toasted Almond, Blueberry, Raspberry, and Coconut. Lastly, the flavored swirls consist of Caramel, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Mocha. If you’re looking for freshness from Dunkin’, the best time to go is in the morning before 9am. Anytime after that, you may run into some problems of the coffee not being good or fresh.

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Running a Marathon? No Thanks

Running MarathonDo I want to run a marathon? No. Hard no.

I don’t even like running around the block. I definitely do not want to train and put my body through hell to run 26.2 miles. I am sure that if I were to complete a marathon I would feel very accomplished, like I had just conquered the world.

Oh well.

My uncle ran in a few marathons but after a while he said that he had had enough. He was tired of wearing his body down. My high school softball coach was an avid runner. He would run every half-marathon and marathon in the area. He would run a race and then come to softball practice directly after. I don’t know how he stood on his legs for three hours after the races.

Every year my tennis team participates in the Red Bank Crop Walk. This is a five mile walk/ run to raise money to end hunger. I walk every year. I couldn’t even run the five miles if I wanted to. Sure, we run during tennis practice and matches, but that’s only a few steps per every shot that we hit. After the first half mile, my knees would burn like a match was lit inside of them. Then my right shoulder would begin to ache with every stride. Then my ankles. And let’s not forget about my breathing. I would really be sucking air during this five mile run that is a walk around the block in comparison to a marathon.

Over Spring Break I went on a trip to Puerto Rico with my parents. While we were there a Iron Man race was taking place. This is even more extreme than a marathon. The participants swim in the ocean, bike, and then run. The participants looked like they were struggling. How could anyone enjoy that?  It just seems painful. 

But just because I would never run a marathon does not mean that I have no respect for the people who do. I have even more respect for them, professionals and amateurs alike.

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Major Trouble

default article imageIn my most honest approach to this topic, I believe I should begin with the fact that it took me years to choose a major; not because I did not know what I felt most passionate about, but because of shame and self-doubt.

Most people who are in college go to college in order to look forward to a future with stability: a stable job, a stable income, a stable lifestyle, and jeopardizing such stability would defeat the whole purpose of investing about $50,000 (a year) in your education. Such is the grand belief I had for myself; that while I was unsure of what I wanted for my future, stability and consistency was a must. Especially for someone of troubled background with the responsibility to make something grandiose of myself as first generation. So my freshman year of college I came in as a STEM major, which I knew I was good at, seemed promising, and would impress family and friends.

I learned the very harsh way that not all that is gold is for you. I did well, and I enjoyed my first semester at college, but very quick did I realize that when times were stressful or things seemed pointless, I leaned on literature to get me through. The arts, they have always been crutches in my life; as a toddler, when I used to “read” to a crowd of teddies (much as I knew nothing about the differences between the letter z and t); as a middle schooler, I felt handicapped in America for not speaking English and reading in said language until English became a fluent passage to a world of more art; as a teenager, when, well, teenage things occur and we begin to let our dreams die, I only dreamt bigger.

Yet how could I even fathom a major in the arts? All my life I did most of my research in the STEM field. I’ve never considered the idea of a non-STEM major and therefore I was unprepared; realistically, the only thing I thought anyone could do with an English major was to… teach? I was unsure if I wanted to end up teaching either, but I did not want the misery that came with doing hard work and no enjoyment for my future.

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The Rush of Attending a Live Concert

Rush Attending Live ConcertIn life, at least for me, there is no greater feeling than going to a good concert. Introduced to a wide array of genres at a very young age -ranging from classic rock, blues, dance, country, jazz and so on- music has always been what I like to call my release not only from the everyday stresses life likes to produce, but an escape to a state of true bliss.

And, what better way to do so than by going to a concert to see a favorite band play some great tunes?

As an avid music lover and constant concert goer, in my eyes, one of the aspects of a good concert is when the front man, or woman, instantaneously kicks off the show not only with a great hit to amp up the crowd, but a conversation with the audience. Whether it’s just a little bit of small talk, or a five to ten-minute story about the inside of the artist’s life, I believe conversation allows a special connection to be had between singer and audience, making the show that much more meaningful.

Another aspect of a good concert is when the music allows you to simply feel. At a good concert, you feel a sense of unity with a whole lot of unfamiliar faces around you who share the same love, appreciation, and understanding of lyrics not only capable of moving thousands, but having the ability to produce waves of all kinds of emotions among the sea of people you are in. Music has a powerful effect on people where tears are brought to the eyes, smiles appear from ear to ear, and a recollection of memories resurface of times good, and bad, giving one a taste of nostalgia once again.

When I think of a good concert, I think back to the times I found myself surrounded by a crowd of people, singing, and waving their phone lights back and forth in a rhythmic manner to Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” head-banging to Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart,” and singing terribly and rather tone deaf to Journey’s very well-known hit “Don’t Stop Believin.’” Not only did all of these headliners put on an awesome show in a matter of three hours, but knowing that I was able to be immersed in a large community of people who shared the same feelings of ecstasy made it that much more of an enjoyable experience.

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Caring for Your Body as an Athlete

default article imageEveryone is chanting your name, the stadium is filled, and you are the big fish in a small pond.

However, imagine being 18 years, old away from your family, and practicing three hours a day, 6 days a week, plus the expectation of doing extra skill work. There are days where you feel like you cannot move out of your bed because your legs are so sore. Everything hurts but you are expected to jump right out of bed and do it all again. Then there is the mental aspect of putting yourself through the same pain as you endured the practice prior. Your legs shake, the arms feel like Jell-O, and you want to quit. How are you supposed to continue? But your coaches and teammates are expecting you to push through. They need you.

The thought of playing a sport in college can sound like a dream until you are fully immersed in what sometimes feels like a nightmare. This is my fourth year of being a Division I college athlete and I am not going to lie, it has taken me a long time to learn how to care for my body.

Over all the years of being an athlete, there are important steps that should be taken in order to keep your body mentally and physically able for the game. First, it is important to be well rested. In an average day, an athlete spends so much time working out physically whether it is running or in the weight room.

What about after those work outs? The only way the body can truly recover is when it is well rested. It is important for an athlete to have at least 9 hours of sleep per night in order to have the best recovery.

Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and constantly replenishing the liquids in your body. In order to have optimal performance an athlete should be putting water and electrolytes in their body to perform to the best of their ability.

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Senioritis: An Epidemic

default article imageAccording to, the term “ senioritis” is define as being “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”

I think most of us had a time in our lives whether it was in high school or college where we have just felt little to no motivation in doing schoolwork. If you are reading this and have no clue what I am talking about then kudos to you, you over achiever.

Your alarm goes off for an 8:30 class and you snooze it about ten different times. There is a whole conversation happening in your head about whether you can afford this absence or if you even care anymore since you will be off in the real world soon. The minutes start to pass and you glance at the clock, well you are late already so mine as well take the absence. Motivating yourself to go to class becomes very difficult.

The last few weeks of senior year are now among us. Graduation letters and emails are starting to take over our inboxes and we feel the pressure of finding a job and moving on from college. This at times can feel scary and make you want to enjoy the time you still have left at college.

College is a great opportunity to make new friends and create a culture where you have a whole support system away from your family and home. But, when you find that time winding down it makes you less motivated for things like going to class because you want to spend time with your friends since you won’t be with the as frequently next year.

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The Power of Partaking in Community Service

default article imageWant to know something that will instantly make you feel better? The answer is community service.

I know you might not have been expecting this answer, as it is not an easy fix as getting food or hearing a good joke, but it will make a significant difference in your life. Community service provides students with the ability to apply academic learning to real life situations.

During my high school career, it was a requirement to do a certain number of hours of community service each year. Now at first, this was a burden. Who wants to spend their time going to a particular location to do work for free?

It wasn’t until I arrived at the food kitchen, the park to plant flowers, or the elderly home when I realized how important what I was doing really was. Serving and helping others made me feel good. It was instant gratification. Helping feed the homeless made me appreciate the food on my table, something I had taken for granted beforehand.

Engaging in an act of doing community service or volunteering with a group allows students to gain a sense of community with people who they might not normally interact with.

We live in a world where most people view community service as a punishment, and in most cases, it is. When you get in trouble with the law you might be required to do community service hours for the charges you have received. It may seem like the law is forcing you to be a better person, but in some cases, people actually volunteer to help their community.

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Moving Off-Campus

default article imageLately, I have been hearing a lot of people asking whether they should be living on campus, or if they should look for off-campus housing.

I am a firm believer in staying two years on-campus and two years off to enjoy the full benefits that college has to offer while experiencing the full college transition. Granted, there are things that must be considered such as financial status, location, rooming, etc. before that decision can be made.

Personally, you will have to discuss with your parents what the right options are for you. At the end of the day, most of you will not be providing your own spending money to expend on your living expenses, the money will be coming from your parents. Again, there are many special instances where this is not the case.

Frankly, there are ups and downs to both living on-campus, verse living off. Off-campus, you’re not close to school, and you must deal with the local government when it comes to trash/recycling and noise complaints. When you wake up late you must drive to campus, but when you’re on campus and wake up late, you find yourself sprinting to class.

The benefits of living off -campus are that you are no longer living in a small place, and there is a lot more freedom to do what you want. You won’t be yelled at for having drapes, a microwave etc. Lastly, the major benefit of living off-campus is that in most instances, it’s cheaper than living on-campus.

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When to Have Kids

default article imageNot knowing when the best time to have kids at?  It’s okay! You have time! Around the ages of 27-30 are good times to start a family.

Two big things to keep in mind before starting a family are health and financial security. Before deciding when to have kids, having money aside to help support your future kids plays a good role.

If you are at the stage in your life where you aren’t financially secure yet, maybe holding off a little bit to have kids is a good idea.

When the time comes to have kids, you want to know that you can provide and care for them. Before having kids, you must take care of yourself before bringing a child into the world. Also, your health is really important when determining the right timing to have kids.

A lot of people want to experience their life to the fullest before having kids. Traveling is something that everyone wants to do before settling down and having kids.

When you have kids, traveling with them is great and all, but before putting another life into the world, you want to have the chance to experience everything the world has to offer.

In your early to mid-twenties, you have time to sit back and enjoy your life without having to worry about having kids. However, towards the end of your twenties is a good time to slow down and figure out if you would like to have children. Also, being comfortable enough and having a steady paying job to support a family is an another part to think about.

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Day Trip to the City

default article imageOver spring break, the Monmouth Women’s Lacrosse team traveled to New York City for the day to go to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The MET.

This was a very special experience for some of the women on the team as we had never been there before. We took the ferry after practice on Tuesday, March 19. The idea of taking the ferry was, in itself, interesting because usually you hear about people taking  trains, cars and buses into the city, but not the ferry. This was a first for me, I had never been on a ferry before.

It was a beautiful sight; I stayed outside with a few other brave souls the whole way there and back. I just could not get over the view. I mean, seeing the buildings from a distance set the scene for me right away.

When we got off the boat, we then walked a few blocks to the subway. Taking the subway was a new experience in which we were introduced to a whole new type of person who resides in the city. Most of the people in New York walk with purpose, they have somewhere to be, but these people, they are on a whole other mission.

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Social Media Struggles

default article imageAre you scrolling through Instagram right now (maybe not at this exact moment because you are reading this, but moments prior to reading this) and finding yourself wishing you were someone else?

Maybe you do not want to completely change everything about yourself, but you find yourself constantly comparing physical attributes to other people. It is virtually impossible to not feel jealous when you see images of people who appear to be perfect. They have the perfect family, body, and seems to be getting paid from various social media outlets just for how they look.

Their appearance on social media makes it seem like they do not have any problems and makes you feel worse about yourself. Of course, you should not wish problems on other people but, life can be stressful and it is helpful knowing that you are not alone. However, when someone is having a bad day social media can make a bad day worse by giving the false appearance that some people do not have any struggles in their lives.

 For me personally, I have felt this type of jealously from scrolling through my Instagram feed. Then, I took a step back and realized I am in power of whom I choose to see on my various social media accounts. Many of the people I see on my feed who I feel most jealous and envious of are the ones who I chose to click the follow button at the top of the page.

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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