Sun Literally Kills S.A.D.
If you ask Andy Williams, the most wonderful time of the year is Christmas time (that’s the guy who sings “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” for you millennials out there) and according to my younger brother/little kids everywhere summer is the best, because, well, there’s no school! Those are both pretty valid viewpoints, and while I would never complain about a warm July night, or the jolly spirit that the holiday season puts everyone in, there is one time of year that truly reigns supreme: Spring term.
Waking up on a late February morning in Oregon can become a little disheartening after a while. The holiday spirit is long gone, the sunny months feel so far away, and winter term is in full swing, meaning of course, mounds of schoolwork. It gets tougher and tougher to hop out of bed each morning when you look outside and see (surprise!), another grey and overcast morning. The days are short, the homework is plentiful. Seasonal Affective Disorder–appropriately abbreviated as S.A.D., takes its toll on more than three million Americans each year, zapping the energy, happiness and motivation out of over one percent of the population. S.A.D. occurs for people around the same time each year, and the mood disorder is most prominent during the late winter months.
Brighter times await, however. Just when it starts to look like everything is perpetually terrible, spring time rolls around. The sky looks just a little less gloomy every morning. The days keep getting longer, and sweatshirts start to come off in the afternoons. Flowers start to pop up in fields everywhere you look, and everything smells just a little bit sweeter. That mountain of biology work doesn’t look quite as daunting anymore. S.A.D. runs and hides, and suddenly that hopeless feeling from winter term is gone, replaced by a more upbeat world view. The sun starts to peek out from behind that seemingly endless cloud cover, putting a golden tint on everything it touches.
Just walk around any school during the first few weeks of the spring, and it will be apparent that the general mood of the student body has had a complete reversal. There’s a little more pep in everyone’s step, and a bit more teeth in everyone’s smile. I have absolutely no evidence to back this up, but professors seem to be more relaxed and accepting of late work. As the warm weather approaches, everybody’s anticipation for the end of the school year builds, and it feels as if we all have something to look forward to again.
If at any time during the last few months you felt like the daily routine was getting a bit mundane, you’re not alone. But keep your heads up Panthers, because April 3rd is here, and Spring term is starting. The gloom of late winter is long gone. Everyone, have a fun, healthy, and successful spring!