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How to Beat the Winter Blues in Happy Valley

The first snow has officially fallen in State College, meaning the winter slump will soon be upon us. Everyone’s been there. That time of year where it’s too cold to be outside and all you want to do is nap, watch movies, and eat the homemade Christmas goodies your mom sends you from home. Your productivity is the lowest it will be until daylong season begins in the spring.

But have no fear. Here is a list of ways to help you escape the winter blues through the long season ahead.

Go to class: This might not be the number one item on your to do list, but finals are fast approaching and going to class will mean less stress for you when they inevitably come around.

Workout: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Elle Woods speaks the truth.

Make a playlist: Gather all your favorite tunes to jam to on the way to class or at the gym or while studying. Don’t hold back. We all have really embarrassing favorites hidden in our iTunes accounts that we wouldn’t dare risk putting on our iPods. Well I say go for it! As for me, I’ll be cranking the Mamma Mia soundtrack ‘til the snow melts.

Go Out: Okay, so this one’s kind of a given, but go out! Whether you’re getting drunk with your best friends or doing keg stands with randoms or playing board games with your townie cousin who’s living here after graduation (whatever floats your boat), don’t let the weather stop you from doing your thing!

Buy yourself a present: While you’re busy shopping for Christmas presents for family and friends, don’t forget to treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, but it’s always nice to get new things.

Play in the snow:  Unleash your inner kid and make a snow angel the next time there’s enough snow on the ground, or start a snowball fight with your friends. Building a killer snowman is also an effect study break so the next time your feeling stressed just go run around in the snow.

Eat Healthy: This one goes hand in hand with working out, and while the Christmas cookies and treats are tempting, they won’t make you feel good for too long.

Plan things to look forward to: Plan a ski trip with friends or to go to a concert for next semester. Save money until then and make it a weekend you’ll never forget. It’s exciting to have something to look forward to!

Tussey Mountain: So maybe you don’t have the funds or time to plan an entire weekend away, so take a day trip to State College’s own ski mountain with your friends to clear your head and get some semi-quality shred on.

Give to charity: It’s always the season! Look up a local soup kitchen and volunteer your time or buy items to donate for Toys for Tots. There is plenty to do for others in need, and you get a special feeling while helping out.

Talk to your crush: Whether is the cute kid from your creative writing class or that hottie you saw at a frat party, everyone has his or her eye on someone. And there’s no time like the present. Who knows what could happen and who really cares? In a campus this big it’s not too hard to avoid them if it doesn’t work out and you come off as a total creep. Why not?

Retire your sweats for a day:  Some wise ass somewhere once told me: “If you look good, you play good.”  So dress up in real people clothes every once in a while because 1) You’ll feel good about yourself and 2) Your sweatpants could probably use a good wash.

Watch Christmas movies: ‘Tis the season!  Nothing like a good old fashion Christmas movie to get you out of a rut and into the Christmas spirit. Or, if your Jewish, there’s always Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights.

Drink Hot Seasonal Beverages: We aren’t too old for hot chocolate or apple cider so hit up Irving’s for a steaming cup of cider or  indulge in cocoa instead of the usual coffee from Starbucks, and let it bring a smile to your frozen face.

Get a tattoo:  Well, don’t actually do this, but do something out of character that will surprise your friends and family and won’t do any permanent harm to yourself or your future.

Attend winter sports events: Just because football season is over it doesn’t mean you get to slack off from being a Penn State fan.  Ice hockey, basketball, indoor track, swimming and diving, wrestling and gymnastics all need support from the student sections, so lets fill the seats at every game or match. And what better way to cheer up than to cheer on your fellow Nittany Lions.

Maybe you’ll choose to do all of these, or maybe you won’t do any, but whatever you do keep busy this winter season. Nothing comes from slugging around all winter except maybe a few pounds and some self-loathing.

About the Author


Sophomore majoring in Journalism and minoring in Sociology.
From Albany, NY


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