The cold weather and somber days can be hard to handle when paired with the heavy workload of a Dawson student. Known to many as the “winter blues”, an expression of melancholy throughout the cold weather commonly found in students. Rest assured that it is merely seasonal.
Sunlight is Mother Nature’s mood-boosting gift to us all. It has been proven by Dr. Norman Rosenthal at Georgetown University that we absorb “feel good” hormones known as endorphins through the Sun’s rays. Due to shorter days in the winter, one may experience sleepiness as well as feelings of being unmindful due to a lack of the endorphin production in our bodies. The lack of sunlight has been especially impactful on our Dawson student body.
Sydney Stroppetti, a fourth semester Social Science student would agree. “[Winter] is like hibernation time. When it’s cold and dark outside there’s less motivation for work”. In fact, according to TIME’s Health Editor Paul Desan, Canadians are eight times more likely to experience a winter depression than other countries due to geographic location.
The winter blues can hit a lot of students hard, yet it is not the situation for all members of the student body. According to Gabriella Mastrangelo, a fourth semester Diagnostic Imaging student, “There is less to do in the winter, so it feels good to be cooped up in school, doing your stuff. There is no pressure to run around and do things, no rush to leave. In the summer all I want to do is get out and do things”. Many students would agree that the desire to spend more time at home has had a positive impact on schoolwork. “I want to do anything but study in the summer, in the winter I have nothing to do but study. I work a lot harder because I can’t spend as much time outside”, says Stroppetti.
For other Dawson students, winter brings much more than just snowy weather. It is a bittersweet experience to have to work harder and still appreciate all that this season has to offer. “It can be hard to focus on school without sunshine, but I love a good winter day. Snow, skiing, skating, I love it all”, Ciara McLaren, fourth semester studio arts student. The prevalent feeling of lacking in motivation needed to pursue the workload of a student without access to much sunlight seems to resonate within many Dawson students.
Luckily, Desan has a useful recommendation to relieve the common Dawson winter depression. An efficient way to soothe your winter blues is to expose yourself to bright light in the mornings for 30-45 minutes. After sticking to this treatment, many people feel alleviated from their despondent moods.
With half of it behind us, this winter season has been a tough one to endure. “It’s cold and it’s dark, but I do what I have to do. I really enjoy learning and I enjoy most of winter. I just remind myself that summer is around the corner if I ever feel down” McLaren. The winter blues may have hit the Dawson student body with force this season, but it has yet to stop many.