Creative outings cure the winter blahs
February 28, 2014 • 912 views
A new semester has begun. New assignments claim our attention, new applications consume our time and new love interests catch our eye. But this winter weather? It’s getting a little old.
The winter woes are real. Have you been feeling perpetually tired? Are you losing the ability to feel upbeat and energized? According to the Wellness Center posters we all read with careful consideration, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that can be prompted by the weather in the dreary days of winter. People over the age of 18 are especially susceptible. Whether you have SAD or just a case of the Mondays, fear not. Read on, and you’ll find an abundance of ideas to conquer the seasonal slump. A change of perception (and perhaps a vitamin D supplement) is really all you need to flip your mood from dreary to delightful.
Outdoor Adventure Day
There’s just something about a pile of untouched snow. The glistening, undisturbed powder unleashes the child in us all, who desires nothing more than an afternoon of frolicking in the snow. So put on your boots, coat and mittens and take advantage of the winter wonderland outside. Although it may seem impossible now, soon enough campus will once again return to its grassy state, teeming with bees and mosquitoes, so appreciate this bug-free time while you can. Stuff a few extra carrots and grapes from the Caf into a pocket and use them to make a friendly snowman. Borrow (and return!) a tray and head over to Old Main hill for an afternoon of sledding. Find a friend and build your dream igloo. Then finish your day by making my favorite cold concoction: Collect some snow, toss in a splash of vanilla, sprinkle on some sugar and voila – snow ice cream is served!
Feeling too lazy to venture outside? Want to spark your imagination while remaining in the cozy indoors? I have just the solution: Host a crafternoon! An afternoon devoted to arts and crafts will surely fend off any lingering laments against the bitter breeze. First project: greeting cards. Yes, while Valentine’s Day, the quintessential crafty holiday, has passed, why not surprise your friends with a Happy St. Patrick’s Day note in their P.O. boxes? Pinterest has a plethora of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. If homemade cards aren’t your forte, you can always embellish a store-bought card and claim it as your own. For those of you seeking a new hobby, try project number two: knitting. There is nothing like a homemade scarf to keep you warm and happy throughout the winter months. Don’t know how to knit? Head on over to the Mellby Hall lounge on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., where Stiches for Peace, the St. Olaf knitting club, meets. New friends and a new talent? Talk about conquering the cold.
As Confucius once said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” As we artsy Oles know, music serves as one of the best antidotes to the winter woes. The Twin Cities have dozens of concert venues, most of which are a mere bus ride away, so grab a friend and head to a concert downtown. On March 13, Slightly Stoopid will be playing at First Avenue. Even if you’ve never heard of this band, the venue alone is worth making the trek for. Tickets are only $26. Another exciting concert is coming up on March 28. Dessa, a singer, rapper, spoken word artist and native of the twin cities will be performing at the New Century Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online for only $25. If you’re adamant about staying on campus, take advantage of the top-notch music programs this school has to offer and attend one of the many junior or senior recitals coming up. If you’re looking for an idea for a date, these concerts are conveniently close and, better yet, free of charge.
Dinner at Carleton
I think we can all admit that as much as we love our home on the Hill, it gets a little old eating the same meal in the same room with the same people every single day. Did you know that our meal plan works at Carleton, too? Have you ever actually ventured over there? Hop on the free bus to the college down the hill and enjoy one of the two cafeterias Carleton has to offer. If nothing else, this will allow you to check out the school (and its students) incognito. Or perhaps, if you’re feeling bold, you could dress up in St. Olaf gear for your field trip (though if you do, I cannot be held liable for any potential scuffles that may result from this daring demonstration of Ole pride).
It is far too easy to let the winter weather control your mood. If you aren’t careful, your happiness and well-being may get buried under the next ten-inch-deep snowfall. Spring break may be just around the corner, but until then, make the most of the wintry wonderland outside and transform your “bah-humbugs” into “hoorays!”
Graphic Credit: ALLI LIVINGSTON/MANITOU MESSENGER