As the winter has finally hit New England, with those naked trees, cold breeze, early sunset, and seasonal change as a whole, the college atmosphere seems unusually sad and students’ mental health seems to be hindered.
Shorter days are bringing change in some student’s daily life and making them less productive. Teodoro Juarez, a Computer Science major freshman, feels like he is having seasonal depression. “When the season starts to change and snow, I find myself sadder. Around 4:00 PM, as the light starts to go down, I just don’t want to be outside,” said Juarez.
Similarly, Film Analysis major and Sophomore, Molly McNulty said, “When the sun sets so early, I feel like it’s time for bed and I don’t want to work anymore.”
Seasonal depression is a very specific depression form in which a person becomes depressed during certain seasons of the year, especially in winter. How we function during the day is related to light cues in the environment. Lack of exposure to sunlight is one of the main reasons for seasonal depression.
The assistant director for clinical operations at the Wellness Center, Beth Aronson, shared that “One important component manufactured in our body, neurotransmitter serotonin, needs vitamin D. If the serotonin supplies are not great or vitamin D from the sunlight isn’t absorbed well, your sleep cycle and the internal clock is being affected. That is how a person is depressed.”
Students are eventually having social isolation, low energy, low concentration, fatigued feeling, picky sleeping and eating habits, and low motivation when they are depressed. Those things create an impact on physical health as well.
The Wellness Center has multiple tips to help everyone combat this situation. Aronson suggested, “Make an effort to get outside and get plenty of sunlight and get exercise as they help with mental health”.
Connecting with friends, even if you are feeling hesitant about it, is important as social support makes a huge difference for people when they’re down. Thus, Aronson said, “Look at the way you’re thinking about things, have somebody to sort of talk with you can help you see things either more optimistically or can help you not be so hard on yourself”, With that note, Aronson also wants to remind students that the Wellness Center is always there for the Keene State Community as she added, “Feel free to make appointments and approach Wellness Center, we are happy to help you”.
Nirmala Tamang can be contacted at