After the first snowfall of the school year, students start sporting winter attire. Hats, gloves and winter jackets have been pulled out and are being put to use.
Many students have a love-hate relationship with the long, cold season. Sophomore Bronwyn Crandall is from Duluth and said preparing for winter is second nature.
“For me, it’s easier than for a lot of people because I’m use to it,” Crandall said. “I have grown up with it my whole life.”
However, some students such as junior Paul Mpanga from Uganda did not grow up experiencing winters and had to learn how to prepare for the season.
Mpanga experienced his first winter three years ago at St. Thomas. His advice for students who are experiencing their first winter this year is to make sure to dress warm.
“The first thing I bought when I came here were three oversized pants, so that I could wear all three pants at the same time,” Mpanga said. “At the first frost, I wore three pants and about three jackets, and I went to class and people were wearing T-shirts.”
Junior Anh Do from Vietnam has the same advice for students.
“Get a lot of warm clothes and don’t spend too much time outside when you first see the snow because I did, and I got a cold,” Do said. “It was just so exciting, so I just wanted to spend time outside all the time.”
Casey Speaker, graduate assistant at the Wellness Center, said students might find themselves feeling depressed during the winter due to seasonal affective disorder.
She said students should take advantage of Student Health Services provided on campus if they are feeling, “symptoms of depression, unexplained fatigue, changes in mood, lack of enjoyment in activities that one is normally interested in, changes in eating habits, difficult concentrating and are spending less time socializing.”
Junior Qi Geng from Beijing, China understands what this can feel like.
“For me, I like the weather with all the snow,” Geng said. “But when it’s gloomy and no sun, I feel depressed.”
It can be tempting to stay indoors during the winter, but Speaker advises against this. She encourages students to get sleep but stay active.
“Maintaining your adequate sleep by making a sleep schedule continuing to stay active and continuing to eat right is going to definitely help you get through the winter,” Speaker said.
Geng said students can stay active with many winter activities.
“My suggestion is to talk with friends more often, stay with people, stay active, like go out and do some sports like snowboarding and skiing,” Geng said.
Olivia Detweiler can be reached at email@example.com.