the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Alex Shao ’22
Winter this year is no different than any other Westminster winter in my memory: the cold weather, rigorous courses, and, of course, “winter blues.” To clarify, winter blues is not depression and often lasts way shorter than depression. Just like every winter, I am feeling more lethargic and pessimistic because of the coldness and long nights. After talking with multiple members of the community, many people also share this experience of feeling down during winter. So, what actually causes this phenomenon?
I am sure that nobody enjoys walking around the campus layer upon layer while the sharp, freezing wind blows against your face, even through the mask sometimes. Besides, it seems like all the academic and athletic stress accumulated from the fall reaches its peak in the winter, as students struggle to even travel between buildings on campus. Because of class schedules, all of the tests and projects for different classes also concentrate on the same week, giving students more things to worry about.
Surely people find joy in looking at the pristine snow on campus, right? The disordered steps and piled snow that has turned brown on the quad are certainly far from pristine, in my opinion. As the weather gets warmer in February, you are likely to find more of these sluggish, brown snow piles on the side of the road. Sung Min Cho ’22 said that these wretched snow piles are not a great look for the campus and looking at them from his window on the second floor Squibb fishbowl, his mood definitely gets worse. Especially for many seniors — including me — who will be anticipating college results and thinking about the future, the campus setting almost acts like a pathetic fallacy, discouraging me before I even open the college portals.
As the school just had winter long weekend, I hope we are aware that winter blues could still come back in late February despite the much-needed break. What should you do to prevent this, then?
First and most importantly, in my opinion, a fixed sleeping schedule helps you get enough rest and prepares you for the day. I know the temptation to stay up late with friends and family during breaks, but having a stable sleep schedule not only provides you enough rest but also makes the transition back to school much easier. Another strategy I often use is writing down goals on sticky notes and breaking them into smaller steps. It is often hard to motivate yourself when the weather is cold and everything is indoors, but the feeling of accomplishment after each small step will encourage you and help manage your time. Lastly, talking to others is a simple but effective way to battle against the winter blues. Though it is common for many of us to experience this every winter, we should not ignore it because of its commonality. As we have had a tough winter this year, let's not ignore our own health as well as continue to care for others in our community.