The Winter Ahead


Amelia Lawrence

Snow falls in State College on Nov. 15, marking the first snow of the winter season.

We are quickly approaching winter and with it comes the excitement of the season. We can look forward to the change in weather and the first snowfall, the wonder of the holidays-the good food, celebrations, time with friends and family, and the anticipation of a new year. As winter approaches we also notice the days are shorter so we experience less daylight. We don’t get outside as much so we get less fresh air. We see people less regularly, maybe because that beautiful snowfall or dip in temperature turns into ice or just frigid air and keeps us from wanting to go outside as often. This hibernation mode can impact our mental well being. The decrease in daylight could disrupt our body’s internal clock. Our feel good hormones (serotonin) could drop. These things alone can lead to a dip in our energy levels and disturb our brain’s ability to regulate our mood. We could even begin to experience feelings of depression. 

What are some ways we can combat the negative effects of winter? According to, a few of the best ways are to keep active, get outside in natural daylight, and see friends and family. We know that sometimes this is easier said than done, but one of the ways we can check these boxes is to get involved in a winter sport or activity at State High. The benefit of being part of a big school is the variety of activities and clubs. Chiadika Oputa, a Junior at State High said she is joining winter/indoor track to make memories with her peers, stay engaged, and in shape. No doubt, Chiadika’s involvement will help her combat the effects of a long winter. Not only can she connect with her peers and be social, she will also be incorporating exercise into her days.  If she wasn’t involved in the team, she may be less likely to keep active. Chiadika is also setting goals for herself. “Setting and achieving goals can do wonders for your mental health,” according to Chiadaka hopes to get a PR this season in the 400 meter race. “Setting goals can add more happiness… provide a sense of direction and purpose,” says therapist Rebecka Warren There are lots of options at our school to keep us busy this winter. We could join a team like basketball, swimming, or indoor track. You could join a club ranging from Ski Club to Mini Thon to the arts. Whatever it is you choose-keep in mind and ask yourselves these questions: Is this engaging me with my peers and/or friends? Am I keeping active? Are you getting outside from time to time? If you answer yes to any of these questions you may be on your way to enjoying all of the wonders of the winter and the short, dark days that come with it.