Midwest winters affect students’ spirits, studying habits

By Lena Brockway, Staff Writer

During the months of December to February, snow is welcomed to the ground, people bundle up in their favorite layers, and decorations for various holidays are put out.

However, these months can also be the most dreary of the year. The temperature gets to its lowest point, the hours of sunlight are fewer and the cold and flu seasons are at their peaks.

All of these downsides can be discouraging, especially during the school season when finals approach and the new semester begins.

In addition to the stress from school, the dull skies of winter days can remind students of the negative connotations of the season.

Katie Park, sophomore in LAS, said that the winter weather affects her morning routine.

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“I want to bundle up in my bed, I can’t get up in the morning,” Park said. “I feel like it’s just exhausting to get out of bed and walk to your classes.”

Kareena Shah, senior in Education, agreed that the conditions make it difficult to get around campus.

“On campus there’s a lot more walking,” Shah said. “It’s dreadful. The wind is blowing right in your face.”

Similarly, Anna Beth Mercado, sophomore in Grainger, said the inclement weather affects her academics.

“It does hinder my ability to go out and change my academic environment,” Mercado said. “Which is what more so influences my motivation to study.”

For some, spirits are also affected. Shah said she has noticed a difference in her mood due to the weather.

“When it’s gloomy and dark out, you don’t feel motivated to leave where you are,” Shah said. “So you drag out (being there) as long as you can.”

Park echoed this sentiment.

“I kind of get sad when the sun isn’t out … You’re coming home from classes and it’s only like, five or six and it’s pitch dark,” Park said. “You just feel lonely, and when I walk home and I start to think about my future and stuff, it’s like a depressing walk.”

Many students at the University are trying their best to stay warm. However, Park said that some areas on campus could have better heating systems.

“The MCB lab classrooms are freezing cold in winter,” Park said. “I feel like they could definitely turn up the heat.”

Mercado said she wishes the University made things to help keep warm more accessible.

“During finals they have like study snacks and all that,” Mercado said. “But it would be nice for them to advertise more free hot drinks and hand warmers, stuff like that.”

Due to the severity of winters in the Midwest, many students have been preparing themselves to cope with the harsh weather. Park said having the proper winter attire is a must.

“You need to invest in a long coat that goes past your butt, it really keeps you warm while you’re walking home or walking in places,” Park said. “You also definitely need snow boots because I see people walking around with sneakers on and that’s gonna get everywhere in your shoes.”

Park put emphasis on having proper attire, especially for students from warmer climates.

“Especially during January and February, I feel like the winters get worse,” Park said. “After winter break or Christmas, they take it easy, but no, this is when you have to really prepare.”

In addition to bundling up, Shah said she always has a special warm drink on standby to keep warm.

“I’ll have a thermos full of cocoa to get me through the day,” Shah said. “That way I have something to look forward to.”

Although the winters can be hard, they can also bring good and fun times.

Mercado recalled having fun in the cold snow last December when she joined in on the Quad Snowball Fight.

“I actually met up with a couple friends and we built a snowman and a snow chair,” Mercado said. “We never really got to the middle (of the snowball fight) because snowballs lowkey hurt, but we had our own little snowball fight off to the side, it was pretty fun.”


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