Within the coming months, winter weather will be a presence to be reckoned with on campus.
Non-matriculated student Shannon Kelleher said, “I prefer cold weather because I can always bundle up in layers, and I have an addiction to scarves.” Kelleher has always taken a liking towards snow, but the same cannot be said about other students at Hudson Valley.
“I prefer warm weather because I’m more comfortable. If I’m cold, I can’t get anything done. I’m less productive because I can’t focus on anything important. I’m more focused on the extremities that I can’t feel,” said liberal arts student Tyler Brewer.
Brewer has also experienced winter depression in the past. Seasonal Affect Disorder, more commonly known as winter depression, occurs as a result of decreased sunshine in late fall and early winter months. It is believed to occur when our bodies daily rhythm becomes disrupted because of reduced vitamin D.
“[Seasonal Affect Disorder] has already kicked in this semester, which I was not hoping for, but it did,” said Brewer.
Brewer has experienced Seasonal Affect Disorder every winter for the past five or six years. “My environment is negative because it’s cold. For me, I associate being cold with being negative.”
Invasive cardiovascular technology student Jennie Drake has experienced Seasonal Affect Disorder since she was 11 years old.
“There was a period of time that I would sit in front of a light, and the light did nothing for me. Then I had to have my vitamin D tested every year,” said Drake.
Drake attempted light therapy, but she continued to experience symptoms. Treatments to help alleviate winter depression could include light therapy, chronotherapy to avoid going to bed too early or cognitive behavioural therapy to modify negative behaviours or thoughts.
All of the following treatments should be performed with the assistance of a primary care provider, clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. For those experiencing winter depression, a self-care treatment to perform could be exercise. However, more severe symptoms should be alleviated with light therapy, talk therapy or with medication.
Psychology student Payton Beauregard recently relocated to upstate New York after 17 years in Florida. Beauregard believes her view of snow, and of winter as a whole has been skewed because of her time away from New York.
“I love looking at snow. It’s light, fluffy and magical. I have this childhood wonder when I see it,” said Beauregard.
Although students can associate winter with being negative, it can spark up fond childhood memories for students as well.
“Winter is my favorite season out of them all. I love snow, and I love how happy everyone becomes when the holiday season comes around. We’re also finally out of school for a little while when we go on break,” said Kelleher.
Kelleher continued, “I love snow fights. At my last school we had a huge campus-wide dorm snow fight, and there was a huge turnout. It was really fun, and you were able to meet new people. It seems like it would be cool to do on this campus at Hudson Valley.”
Kelleher loves winter, but she believes that students should be on high alert while driving to avoid accidents.
Kelleher said, “The one thing I dislike about winter is the accidents. I’ve been in two accidents because of winter weather, but I think that everyone should try to enjoy winter.”