Don’t let the change of seasons affect you

The change of seasons in Miami happens quite interestingly. One minute, you could be walking across campus drenched in sweat, and the next, you could be soaked because it started raining cats and dogs. Miami is weird like that. For us students, it means always trying to be prepared for whatever weather this city feels like giving us, leaving us quite prone to all types of sickness. As we buckle down and get deeper into the semester, it becomes even more important to make sure we feel our best. It is prime time to prioritize our health, mental and physical.

As college students, we have a lot on our plate, especially if you are heavily involved in on-campus organizations. Older folks looking in from the “real world” might laugh at us, musing that our responsibilities aren’t serious, but we know how hectic college life can really get. From full course loads to extracurricular duties, our days can be full, fuller than those of some working professionals. Think of the student athletes who have to earn a degree while attending daily practices. Think of the low income students who have to work one or two jobs to support themselves. Think of the minority students who struggle to find a sense of community in a school where few faces look like their faces. It is harder than we think.

The change of seasons not only brings colds (make sure you get your flu shot) and runny noses but also dejected moods and seasonal depression. The low temperatures and gray skies can bring a lot of sadness into students’ lives. About five percent of the U.S. population experiences seasonal depression— also known as the “winter blues”— a subtype of depression that typically occurs when the seasons change. Those who experience this shift in mood and motivation know how especially difficult life can be around this time. No one wants to wake up and feel like they can’t give their responsibilities and relationships the effort they deserve.

Along with going to the health center and the locations around campus for flu shots, we should all be doing more around this time to boost our energy and keep our morale up. On a metropolitan, growing campus like ours, it’s easy to feel isolated and drowned out by the happy images of Greek life and tailgates during football season. Though it might be hard to get up in the morning, the first step is unwrapping yourself from your sheets and starting your day. Make sure you are regularly reaching out to your friends for support or scheduling stress-free dates with yourself to check-in and see how you are doing. It is also ok to say no. Don’t overbook or overwork yourself during this time; it’s the small things that add up.

It is easy to lose ourselves in the middle of the semester if we are unwell. From the flu to seasonal depression, there is a range of things that can derail us from the academic and personal goals we have set for ourselves. Take charge this semester and don’t let Miami’s unruly weather win.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

Featured image credit: Jared Lennon