Keeping woes at ease

SPU students share little things that help get them through winter blues

Helen Petersen, Staff Writer

Illustration by Mia Eshima

Short days and long nights. The sun disappears before many people have even finished their work day. An almost-constant dark drizzle of rain. The constant increase of coursework and strenuous amounts of material to study before important exams. All of this combines to create the perfect recipe for stress and worry during the winter quarter at Seattle Pacific University. 

Students have reached the point in the academic year where the struggle with sadness is more difficult to keep subdued. The darkness surrounding them does not aid them in their quest to beat the winter blues. However, many students have found ways to combat their woes and break out into the upcoming beauty of spring with a smile on their faces. 

First year business administration major Elena Queen explained her frustration with the darkness in Seattle during winter. The feelings conjured up by winter can affect all aspects of a person’s life, including their mentality. 

“I would say the cold weather definitely makes me feel sluggish, and that can make my motivation almost nonexistent,” Queen said. 

While many students feel the negative effects of Seattle winters, some are unaffected by them. First year English major Antonette Rice stated that while they have noticed that many non-local students struggle with the dreary weather, it does not bother them as much. 

“For me, who is used to it, I actually prefer the darkness, but I might just be an outlier case,” Rice said. 

Rice also expressed that they find excitement in the opportunities that the cold weather provides to get off campus and explore the greater Seattle area.  

“Since the weather is so gloomy, tourists don’t come here as much, and you’re less likely to run into as many locals during a weekday. If you want to visit any of the tourist destinations like Pike Place Market, the waterfront and the Seattle Center, now is your chance,” Rice said. 

Rice also shared some of their tips for managing the stress of the winter quarter and keeping the blues away.  

“Hanging out with people, keeping a schedule and a morning and night routine helps tremendously. It is also important to make sure to leave a little bit of time for a hobby each day,” Rice said. 

For Queen, connection with a trusted social circle has also been a source of joy.

“Talking with my family and friends is also something that lifts me up as well. It fills me with comfort when I can confide in them,” Queen said. 

While it can be difficult to keep spirits up during the darkest part of the year, SPU students must remember that the sun will come out again and the flowers of spring will slowly begin to bloom. For now, the focus must be put on the little things that make life joyful amid the darkness. 

“Whenever I’m feeling down in the dumps, I like to focus my attention on my hobbies and things that make me feel happy. I either draw, dance or take a walk. Overall, I’ve been putting in the effort to focus more on positivity and less on things that can make me sad,” Queen said.