To The Students Battling Seasonal Depression
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Health and Wellness

To The Students Battling Seasonal Depression, Your Health Comes Before Your Grades

You'll get there, I promise.

To The Students Battling Seasonal Depression, Your Health Comes Before Your Grades

Winter is a favorite season for many. Thanksgiving, Christmas, snow, hot cocoa, watching holiday movies under heavy fleece blankets — who can blame them? Yet every fall semester, I dread having to turn our clocks back, watching the hours of sunlight decrease and the temperatures plummet.

I am a summer baby. I love wearing crop tops, ripped jeans, and drowning myself in tubs of Haagen Dazs ice cream and iced Starbucks pink drinks. I'm 10x happier and more motivated during the summer. My grades are always better in the spring semester, and I one hundred percent think that it's because of the nicer weather.

Seasonal depression, more commonly referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is clinically described as a change in mood and behavior, as a result of a sudden change in season. Symptoms typically begin in the fall, and gradually progress into the deeper months of winter. Symptoms include losing interest in activities, decreases in your energy and motivation, problems falling asleep, and having difficulty with concentration.

If you're like me and start to feel down in the midst of dropping temperatures (and grades!) and less sunlight, know that the light is not too far away.

It can be hard to reassure yourself of this when you're crumbling underneath an immense workload with the simultaneous overcast of seasonal depression.

My first semester at university was perhaps my worst case of SAD ever. The darkness and cold temperatures consumed me and I lost interest in doing work for all of my classes (which included two biology classes and calculus) and extracurriculars, and I distanced myself from a lot of my friends. My GPA was at its worst. If someone had reassured me or told me something along the lines of, "you're not alone, everything will be OK" it honestly would have helped me a lot. You definitely are not alone, up to 20 percent of the American population is estimated to suffer from SAD, especially in colder regions like the Northeast and the Midwest.

Do whatever it takes to distract yourself from SAD: indulge in holiday activities, spend time with your friends and family, and most importantly take care of yourself. You're not alone, and the light is not too far away.

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