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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Goodbye seasonal depression; hello sunshine

Isabelle Wang
I promise that I will become more productive and happier when spring rolls around.

From the months of December to February, the cold and dreary weather practically begs me to stay indoors and be unproductive. All I want is a hot drink while watching a movie under a weighted blanket. When someone tries to persuade me to do something more than being a couch potato, I become frustrated and snap at them.

I had assumed all this was just me being overly sensitive and trying to find an excuse for not wanting to study for upcoming finals on top of my extracurriculars. But as I complained more about gray clouds and how I wore the same hoodies every day, I realized this was something more than just being overly sensitive. 

Turns out, such a thing exists. Seasonal Affective Disorder (ironically abbreviated to SAD) is an actual medical diagnosis that falls under depressive disorders. It can result in drowsiness, anxiety, weight gain and trouble focusing. 

According to Hopkins Medicine, when it’s dark outside, the body makes more melatonin, a sleep-related hormone, hence explaining why and how people are more easily tired during the winter. On the other hand, longer days with more sunlight help increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that acts as a messenger between nerve cells and the rest of your body and affects your mood.  

While I haven’t been officially diagnosed with SAD, I think we can all agree that the weather seems to dampen our spirits. 

When I was younger, I read storybooks that portrayed winter as a season of drinking hot chocolate or building a snowman in my front yard — descriptions that are a bit unrealistic when California only reaches the low 40s on a regular winter day. Nevertheless, I used to enjoy winter for the somewhat cozy feeling. 

These days, I just want spring to be here, but the rain seems to drag time out as long as possible. 

If a year is a book, March is indefinitely a new chapter of its own. A new season, a new feeling of positives. In fact, the Roman calendar actually began with the month March, and to this day, some cultures and religions still celebrate the new year in March. This makes sense: Why would you welcome the beginning of the year with storms or blizzards and the resulting inconvenience? 

With all that said, I now appreciate spring much more. March also comes with Daylight Savings, giving an extra hour of light to be productive. The light brings awareness to the body and forces me to focus on my work. 

Despite my Rudolph-red nose and bleary eyes from the pollen, seeing all the flowers and bright green trees gives me an overwhelming sense of relaxation and peace. 

I can now get a drink of water or tea and study outside for a change of environment or take a break and meet up with my friends for a chat under the sun. Even short walks home or runs up to Villa Montalvo brighten up my mood. 

Spring is also the best time to travel, as it’s a perfect equilibrium that’s neither scorching hot nor piercing cold. The weeklong April break in second semester seems precious because the weather is nice all over the world. The entire season feels precious; it’s one of the few times we get the right amounts of sunshine, productivity and positivity. 

I cannot wait to leave behind the cold and dreary mornings for longer days of sunshine and blue skies. It’s a well-deserved break after the winter’s cold and gloom.

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