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Sun!

Throughout the year it has never been an easy or fun task to stow myself away in the library and do work. But I can’t help feeling that with the onset of the gorgeous weather it is just getting harder and harder. Not only do I have less self discipline to pack up my books and head to Gelman, I also get the urge to skip class and instead just enjoy the beautiful day. After talking to my friends, it appears I’m not the only one who feels this way. Doing work or being in class means being inside and not in the sun. And not being in the sun when it’s so beautiful out just seems like a crime.

 

This may not apply for everyone, but for me, there is no worse feeling than sitting inside watching TV when you can see outside how nice it is. Over the summer, I broke my ankle and was sentenced to a lot of couch potato time. But instead of enjoying my free time to explore facebook and every single channel Comcast offers, I would sit inside upset that I was not out and about.

 

Now, more than ever, I want to spend my time outside. Whether eating outside, laying out, taking a walk, playing tennis, or reading outside. Just being outside makes me so much happier than I was the entire winter. It is crazy how the sun has such power over emotion. I don’t know much about it, but Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is characterized by episodes of depression that occur during certain periods (seasons) of the year, and it mostly occurs during the winter.

 

So, how do you feel now that the sun is out? Are you happier? Is it affecting your work ethic? What’s more important- getting your work done, or spending time outside, and being happy?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I completely agree with this post! I dread going to class while the sun is out because it feels so unnatural to be bombarded with fluorescent lights when their is natural sunlight and an abundance of Vitamin D radiating just a feet away. I also believe that a lot of people, particularly students, develop SAD because they are either spending too much time indoors and don’t realize that their lack of vitamin D is actually producing symptoms of depression. Most people attribute low moods to a lack of sun exposure, but I believe a lot of students do not realize that a lack of sunlight can ultimately produce feelings of depression and other SAD symptoms. Sunlight is a necessity and I wish more teachers would move their classes outside! Not all students have time to spend a few minutes soaking up the sun’s rays due to their hectic schedules and as a result of working too hard, students develop low moods and depressed symptoms.

    • April 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      I totally forgot to mention anything about vitamin D! You bring up a very valid and interesting point. It’s not just our mental disposition that needs the sun, but we need vitamin D to allow the uptake of calcium in order to maintain strong bones and keep our body functioning well.

      About having class outside, I’m so torn. On the one hand, I love having class outside. On the other, have you ever actually had a class outside and taken in any of the information the teacher taught that day? Recently my French class was moved outside, and all that ended up happening was our papers flew around and everyone was engaged in side conversations. I just wish that there was some sort of healthy medium between indoor fluorescent classrooms and completely being outside. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that there is.

      • April 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

        On the subject of creating a happy medium, maybe the classroom buildings need to be designed differently. Architects can create classrooms with more exposure to natural light and windows. Yes, the downside is that occasionally the outdoor views can be distracting, but I feel like it would actually help students concentrate because they would feel less ‘trapped’ and depressed without any contact to the weather outside.

        I have classes in GW’s 2020K building, and in the basement where the classrooms are there are no windows whatsoever. I personally feel claustrophobic at times, and miss at least having a window to let fresh air in or light other than harsh fluorescents.

      • April 19, 2012 at 2:26 am

        I also have mixed opinions on having class outside. During high school several of my teachers tried to teach lessons in the nice weather, but were rarely successful. Classrooms with lots of windows normally don’t help the situation either, people are so easily distracted with what is going on outside that they again lose focus. So as much as I enjoy basking in the sun’s rays I feel like you have to make a compromise between that or learning..

  2. HK
    April 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I definitely feel your pain. The beautiful weather adds insult to injury when you’re trapped in Gelman with your textbooks. I highly recommend doing whatever homework you can on the National Mall; it really works for me. If only the park benches had WiFi!

    I also wish some of the buildings on campus weren’t so dungeon-like. A few more windows would make some classes more bearable.

  3. xavierholmes
    April 16, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I agree with this post one hundred percent as this semester comes to a close it seems like my workload is just piling up. The perfect weather definitely doesn’t make the school work any easier especially living on the Vern which is beautiful this time of year. In addition as previously mentioned it is important for everyone to get plenty of vitamin D by spending time out in the sun. Also thank god for day lights savings time nothings worse than having class in a 2020K class without windows that starts when its light out and you leave when its pitch black.

  4. April 16, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I can definitely relate to this post. I spent my 90% of this past weekend at the library, and I definitely would have done anything to enjoy the wonderful weather we just had. This year in general I realized how spending time outside has such a significant affect on my mood. Ideally I would love to have classes outside on the nice summer days, but not only has that not happened yet but also I realized that it takes very little to distract me from the task at hand, and that would probably present a bigger issue. In high school it was generally abnormal for us not to have some classes outside, and if not, anytime we had a chance, we would do work/ enjoy the sunlight during spring. I originally thought that it was strange that people related mood and sunlight, but now I realize compared to a year ago and now, I experienced those exact effects of lack of sunlight.

  5. April 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    SAD and the weather’s effects on ones mood is definitely a threat to school ethics. I find myself changing moods quickly from bad weather to good weather. Do you ever come out, feel the sun on your face and just smile? It’s one of the best feelings in the world. A dark and cloudy day actually darkens the mood and all one wants to do i scrawl into bed and die. Its hard to be productive on a day like that, buts surprisingly I love doing work on a sunny day. I will gladly make a trip to he library to write a paper or study on such a day. A gloomy mood makes it hard for me to concentrate. It actually makes me do the opposite when a need for sleep takes over.

    Spring fever does exist, but its effects may vary from person to person. Not all of its attributes are negative, on many levels its actually productive and works as a motivating channel.

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