As students brave the frigid temperatures and bone-chilling winds connecting parking lots to campus buildings, everyone in sight is bundled up to fend off the winter weather.
Students have started classes once again, but that is the only thing this time of year has in common with August, a world of 80 degree days and endless sun. Unsurprisingly, this variance in weather can affect how students experience the start of spring semester as compared to the start of fall semester.
Many people report feeling a decrease in motivation, diminished moods and an overall lack of excitement during the colder months. It’s no secret that winter can be a gloomy time for many, with people getting less sunlight and physical activity than they do in the summer.
At the worst extreme of this is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that typically sets in during the colder months. According to Boston University, this disorder affects around 10 million Americans every year. For college students, this can be coupled with the difficulties of starting a new semester and reassuming a load of stress temporarily lifted during the holidays.
However, though some are surely working through a motivational slump, it appears that a number of students at Kirkwood Community College are experiencing a renewed sense of enthusiasm.
“I’m figuring out my schedule better so I can actually incorporate homework time… I feel like I’m just putting school first this semester,” commented Madison Hovancik, a music major.
Fire science major Cody Connors also expressed increased ambition, “because my classes are getting more specific and interesting, I’m getting more involved in the career I want to get into.”
Yet other students addressed the process of getting back into a routine once again as more
difficult. Claire Booth, Liberal Arts, described her new course load as “a lot more hectic. I have a lot more heavier classes, a lot more things to do all at once… It’s really just getting back into the grind of school again.”