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Winter Blues

The commencement of March is notoriously related with two events: March Madness Basketball and spring. People are thrilled to fill out their “perfect bracket” and eagerly watch games throughout the day. Screams of joy and disappointment will be heard all over Commons during this time. Moreso, people are exhilarated by the return of more sunlight. By the end of March, we will probably already see people lying down on their hammocks enjoying the occasionally nice weather.

As pleasant as all that sounds, March is hell for Bates students. Assignments quickly start to pile up and deadlines for internships, jobs, and other activities draw nearer. The weather slightly improves to an average high temperature of low 40s, but it starts to rain more often than not. By night, coats are still heavily needed and slipping from ice is a much greater possibility. To top it all off, we will have to endure eight weeks of Bates with no more formal breaks. The accumulation of all these factors is what makes second semester an overwhelming experience that will mentally and physically tire the best of us.

So, how exactly should students cope with this rather depressing month of March?

This month, Bates CHEWS’ theme is March Madness to Combat Mudseason Sadness. In the New England region, college students are vulnerable to seasonal depression due to the short winter day with limited sunlight. The symptoms of seasonal depression include social withdrawal, low energy, appetite changes, and more. These symptoms can further be heightened with the stressors of school, internships, and jobs looming over an individual’s shoulders. We are aware of the struggles everyone encounters during this period, and we hope to alleviate some of the suffering through the following suggestions.

First and foremost, always be kind to yourself. Leaving time to practice personal forms of self-care is crucial for health and happiness, whether that be exercising a few times per week or watching a few episodes of your favorite TV Show. Once Daylight savings time hits, go outside! We all need more sunlight in our life after months of staying inside. As always, be mindful of what you consume, sleep an adequate amount every night, and practice healthy eating habits. If life becomes too much to handle, never hesitate to contact Bates Counseling and Psychological Services or other external resources.

Three events will be held in Commons during this month. First, visiting Chef Ken Bergeron will stimulate the mind and palate of a small group of students who will participate in his World of Vegan Dumpling cooking class on March 3rd. At dinner on March 4th he will roll out even more new dishes during an appearance for all at the vegan station. Second, winners of Bates’ Recipes from Home contest will see their recipes featured in an Adventure in Dining at dinner on March 18th. This event is aimed at helping to combat the blues by encouraging students to connect over the concept of “home” and the sharing of family favorite dishes. Lastly, Bates CHEWs will host its annual basketball competition on March 24th, promoting exercise and activity as a remedy. Join CHEWS as we work to turn the tables on March Mudseason blues!

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