After a long winter of endless snow, the sun has been breaking through, adding some heat to our final weeks at school before the end of the semester.

Tank tops, shorts, skirts and sandals are the fashion during the days of beautiful weather hinting at summer. It is clear how moods change when the sun shines up above, but what is it about the first signs of warm weather that affect the moods of the students on campus versus the moods during the more frigid and snow filled months?

I’ve heard stories of doctors telling their patients that they should go tanning to get their source of vitamin D in the winter. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our bodies.

According to, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight.

Being cooped up all winter long is not something that I enjoy.

Winter is exciting at first because I get to break out the cute sweaters and watch the snow fall.

After the long winter we’ve had, it’s about time that it’s over.

The first couple of days of summer are cheery, but once the heat tags along, those cheerful moods may turn into something else.

In 2013, there was a link found between aggression and higher temperatures, according to

Higher temperatures made intergroup conflicts rise by 14 percent, while interpersonal violence rose by four percent researchers found.

I’m not sure exactly why this might be. Is it because people get all hot-and-bothered and decide they want to get violent? Sit in front of a fan and chill out.

This same website also states that springtime is a season of hopelessness for some. Suicide peaks for workers inside during the summer and spring for outdoor workers because of the sudden increase in daylight and temperature.

This is really shocking to me because I’ve never known or heard of someone who was impacted negatively by summer.

Spring and summer are my favorite seasons. I enjoy the school year, but once it’s summertime I am able to work and spend time with my family.

Most of my friends agree that spring or summer is their favorite season.

According to, summer allows us to eat more fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables. They said that eating these foods benefit how we think and feel.

“These effects include physical effects like good digestion and clear skin as well as harder-to-measure effects like mental clarity, alertness and energy,” HerCampus states.

The variety of food and treats in the summer is another reason why I think summer is one of the most enjoyable seasons. Who doesn’t enjoy going out for an ice cream?

Learning that suicide rates can be high in these seasons is almost unbelievable.

Learning this certainly came as a shock to me because I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t enjoy a time

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

as beautiful and relaxed as summer.

I think that all the research about weather affecting people’s moods can be accurate, but it depends on the audience that is being surveyed.

Each person is different in their attitudes, opinions and behaviors so it is understandable that every season has a different effect on people as individuals.

I enjoy our changing seasons here in New England.

Some people come here and comment about how there are so many trees or how they’ve never seen a snowfall.

This topic of weather affecting our moods lead me to think about Alaska. Borrow, Alaska experiences seven to 10 days without sunlight.

The loss of daylight brings depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

According to, in a study from 1992 they found that 10 percent of Alaskans suffer from the disorder.

Symptoms include a desire for sleep, craving carbohydrates, fuzzy thinking, feelings of melancholy and a few others.

The Alaskans are used to their months of dark and light. An article from, said, “We plan our activities around the cultural calendar, and the calendar is based on the months of dark and light.”

I feel lucky that there are practically equal times of light and darkness in New England. I can’t imagine living in the pitch black for weeks. I believe that all seasons have different things to offer, both good and bad.

Without the change in the seasons, we would not be able to fully appreciate what each season brings.

Harsh winters certainly make us better enjoy nice warm summers.  And scorching hot summers make us eager for chilly fall temperatures as well.

Heather O’Brien can be contacted at

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