On Seasonal Depression

Every year, towards the end of November, the campus changes; the blue skies and green grass begin to fade. The trees that used to hold leaves in every shade of orange and yellow now remain bare and the branches, naked. Not only does the weather begin to get cold, but there’s a cold feeling all over campus. Cold in the sense that this new setting feels uncomfortable and that my idea of what Kenyon should look like no longer remains. Along with this feeling comes my seasonal depression.

Prior to coming to Kenyon, I did not know that seasonal depression existed. The winters back home consist of blue skies and the occasional chilly day. If there was a gray day back home, you could remain hopeful that the next day might be sunny. However, in Ohio, this is not the case. Every winter day in Ohio is gray and gloomy. At times, the snow seems to point even more to the fact that we are surrounded by gray. The contrast is stark, and it reminds me of the days when bright colors such as white or blue were more present.

Some days, it’s hard for me to find the desire to get out of bed. This is because leaving my warm bed means embracing the alternative (the alternative being walking through a cold and dreary Gambier). I hate waking up knowing that I will only see gray during the day and utter pitch black come night. Variety in life keeps things interesting and Ohio skies, for the most part have very little variety. As my years have gone on I have tried to embrace my circumstances, but this is difficult within this gloomy setting.

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Some days even with my best efforts, I feel like my seasonal depression is winning. My friends notice I laugh less and do not have the sunshine-like personality that is unique to me. I get in a funk and finding the desire to do work is a struggle. I want to be successful, and I care about my grades, but my seasonal depression seems to inhibit my ability to work.

I feel like I’m letting down myself and those around me. I love making others smile and laugh but most winter days, I need someone to convince me to smile. However, as time has gone on, I have tried to look at things through a more realistic framework. Regardless of whether or not I have seasonal depression, there will be some days that are better than others. I am not perfect and never will be. I have chosen to accept that everyone has their own challenges and that they do not define us but give us something to constantly be working on. After all, eventually, seasons have to change. I cannot “cure” my seasonal depression, but how I approach it can change my outlook and maybe brighten some of these days.

Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2