The SAD reason why some students have the blues

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Rahm Shoshana

Americans have endured a lot as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic since mid-March of 2020. There have been lockdowns, stay-at-home-orders, as well as family and economic strife all affecting hundreds of millions of Americans.

With this hardship, people have had to remain indoors for extended periods of time regardless of whether they want to or not. This increase in staying indoors along with the cold winter months has led to an increase in the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) may have been increased in some students due to the cold weather and prolonged indoor exposure.  

SAD is characterized by an onset of a type of depression as a result of the changing of seasons such as the change from cool fall weather to harsh, dark, and snowy wintertime weather. As the  Mayo Clinic explains, a majority of people experience SAD symptoms in the fall months and they continue throughout the winter.

 With the complete shift to online instruction students such as Tai Shoshana feels that in addition to some early hiccups with the transition to online, he feels, “Usually bummed and not has happy.”

 He also feels an obvious “lack of energy.” Despite this, he still tries to, “stick his head into work, trying to ignore the cold weather,” as is very common with college life in the Midwest.  During the winter months, there can be multiple days or even a full week of no sunlight with heavy clouds.

This lack of sunlight for students like Shoshana makes him feel, “Bummed. I just don’t want to be outside when it is cold outside or it is a dreary day, my lack of motivation is super annoying because I lose all interest in working out and being active.”  

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For some students, the pressure of life during the Covid pandemic as well as the cold winter months has caused issues with sleep. However,  this has not been the case for everyone. Students like  Shoshana report that ,“I haven’t found it harder to sleep. Whether it be a stressful exam to prep for or a wintery cold night, my sleep remains the same.”

SAD affects people in vastly different ways. Some people do not even experience any symptoms at all. But, just because some individuals do not feel that SAD affects them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people like  Shoshana are clamoring to travel somewhere warm. “If I can get a good job in Chicago I have no reason to leave just because of bad weather. Bad weather is something everybody deals with.” 

With the recent snowstorm affecting the Chicago area and the state of Illinois, some students felt the effects in drastically different ways. Shoshana was personally impacted by the snowstorm. “I stayed inside and tried to avoid the storm like the plague.” Shoshana’s experience with the storm shows that he is affected by the SAD disorder in some ways since he is trying to avoid the storm at all costs. 

 Shoshana’s statement about the chance to move out and avoid the cold and lack of sunshine was surprising. “ Global warming will affect every state in the future, as it already has in Texas and Mississippi. Pretty soon, there will no warm states in the winter during the future.”