Clouded Skies, Clouded Thoughts
Clouded Skies, Clouded Thoughts
The Battles of Seasonal Depression and Seeking The Personal Counseling Center
By Jezel Tracey ’24
Life is not easy. It sounds like a cliché, but really it is not. No matter the circumstances of a person’s life, there are always other factors that distort one’s feelings of happiness.
Has there ever been a moment where life feels like it is going well or, at least, easy enough to keep up with? Then suddenly, there is a shift and what felt like “keeping up” has now turned into a struggle. For some, this might be a minor shift that lasts for a few days. For others, what begins as a short phase lasts for a season.
As the leaves and temperature fall, so does energy and mental sustainability. The darkened clouds in the sky are emulated in the overcast within one’s mind. This deficiency in vitamin D goes beyond a loss in bone density. Rather, it becomes a catalyst for seasonal depression. Whether one is aware of the technical phrase or not, this is something that affects many people throughout their day-to-day life.
Oftentimes, when thinking about seasonal depression, one will view it as an excessive amount of crying during a specific time of year. However, it is more than that. The effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) range from not wanting to be around people to feeling a loss of concentration, irritable anger, and melancholic feelings with no explainable reason.
Seasonal depression is a struggle that should never be ignored or undermined. For some, it might be hard to hide, but for others, it can be camouflaged with smiles and laughter. It is important to understand that this ability to conceal such a vulnerable feeling does not diminish the impact it has on their life. While they might be able to hide it, it does not mean that they are not being affected as much as people who cannot hide it.
As the weather gets colder and the clock takes away an hour of daylight, it is very important to recognize and address these feelings. Being able to do this should not be embarrassing or shameful, but mindful and necessary to the betterment of one’s mental health. If you or a friend experiences the struggles of SAD, it should not be interpreted as defeat, but rather something that needs help.
The resources to address these issues are easier and closer than one might think. This is not a struggle that should be dealt with alone. There are resources on campus that might not remove this problem but will surely make the battle easier.
This help should not be the last resort or a “worst-case scenario.” These resources are created for you. Any feeling of sadness or loss of control is enough to make an appointment with the personal counseling services at PC. It is a welcoming and safe space for everyone to go to. If you feel that there is something hard to deal with, do not hesitate to call or email personal counseling.
If one does not feel comfortable meeting with someone that they are not familiar with, that is not a problem. The problem arises when those feelings are suppressed and not recognized. Whether it is or is not addressed with a personal counseling appointment, talking to a friend or family member can also be helpful in this struggle.
Seasonal depression should never be interpreted as a weakness or a character flaw. It should be understood as a bump in the road rather than a definition of one’s journey.
Tangents and Tirades
Rivalry of the Seasons
by Joe Kulesza ’22
Of all the geographic regions in the United States, New England is typically the scapegoat for various reasons. Whether it be the sports teams that frequently win titles, the sometimes reckless driving in the cities, or even the touchy personality of some locals, there is always something with which people take issue about New England.
An additional point of contention regarding New England is also the weather. Famous for its long winters and wet and dreary springs, the weather patterns that New Englanders are subject to are often held against this region of the country.
And while it may be true that the perpetually sunny state of California is enticing during the throes of February, New England has one weather attribute that virtually no other state or region can boast about.
The ephemeral period of time wedged between the jubilant days of summer and the long nights of New England winters is autumn, and it is this season that makes up for the deficiencies of every other.
During this time of year, the diminishing levels of chlorophyll in deciduous trees give way to an array of colors, which are entirely absent throughout the preceding seasons.
The arrival of fall also means the advent of better food. The cliché summer foods such as hamburgers and hot dogs give way to apple cider donuts and pumpkin pie.
And lastly, if not for fall, there would be no such thing as the widely enjoyed pumpkin spice latte. It is because of this very reason that every region, not just New England, owes its gratitude to the season of fall.
As Long As You Have Done Enough, You Have Done Your Best
by Jezel Tracey ’24
Being a college student is not an easy thing. It is not just about getting good grades, but is a combination of maintaining a good GPA, having a social life, and simply just existing. Unfortunately, midterms add on to the pressures of being a “good college student.”
While it is said that test scores do not define a person, the pathways to a successful life seem to go against that idea. When it comes to getting into one’s top choice of graduate, law, or medical school, grades do matter.
Exam scores should not be misunderstood as a measurement of what someone is and is not capable of. The scores of assessments are based on what one is able to remember within the given time of the test, not how much a student comprehends a concept.
It is when individuals do not understand or accept this reality about test grades that they begin to subconsciously think less of themselves, creating more stress in their efforts to become, as mentioned above, the epitome of a “good college student.”
During this overwhelming time, it is important to remain grounded and focus on the things that can be controlled.
When students concentrate on the things out of their control rather than those within it, they fall victim to the workings of the mind, causing unnecessary anxieties when, in reality, it is possible to control those thoughts.
Tangents & Tirades
Tangents & Tirades
Worse than Parallel Parking
by Christina Charie ’25
Those who attended the Homecoming festivities this past weekend understand the difficulties of navigating Providence College by car. Parking lots quickly fill while numerous drivers opt for parking tickets on Providence streets. CVS and Target are highly inaccessible for those without a car. After recent public safety announcements, many students might have concerns about walking to these locations. Decreasing the need to walk to off campus locations would put students at ease.
The College has multiple options regarding the transportation issue. With the rising cost of Uber and the unreliability of the RIPTA, offering a student shuttle run by the College on a regular basis would be incredibly helpful for those without cars. Thayer Street, Providence Place, and CVS would be excellent locations for students to get takeout food, necessities, and hang out with friends. Keeping PC students together on the shuttles helps to ensure safety by eliminating the time students potentially travel alone.
The second response to the issue would be to increase the amount of parking available on campus. Huxley Avenue has become difficult to traverse, with cars parking up to the stop sign near Admiral Street. If seniors who live off-campus take their car to reduce walking time, a parking space should be available for them. Parking on Huxley has created a hazard for other drivers. The campus has beautiful green spaces. Some of the least utilized areas could make excellent parking lots. Additionally, the current commuter garage at Anderson stadium is only two levels, with the tennis courts on top. Relocating the tennis courts and adding more levels of parking could also alleviate the strain.
Nevertheless, PC must do more to increase transportation and parking options on-campus.
Let’s Push Back Landscaping
by Erin Garvey ’22
Imagine you stayed up late studying or doing work, and when you finally go to sleep, you are woken up only a few hours later to a leaf blower right outside your window. While some may be able to continue sleeping with this disruption, the majority of students on campus will find they have no choice but to get the day started.
During the week, we all would like to take advantage of a few extra minutes of sleep before we need to get up and start the day. However, when we find that we are woken earlier than necessary because of lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other gardening tools, it can be frustrating.
On a college campus where sleep and education are placed as the highest priority, landscapers should not be allowed to start until at least 10 a.m. This might seem late, but in reality it would allow for the majority of students on campus to ensure restful sleep without being disturbed earlier than necessary.
If sleep production goes down, so will grades, involvement, and other tasks that students are responsible for, which the College thrives and depends.
While, yes, it is important to keep the campus looking its best, it is also important to ensure that the students and their well-being are being considered at all times.
Printing Help Desk
by Jezel Tracey ’24
Have you ever been charged for printing 30-plus pages for class and only received two sheets: one being the title page and the other saying “error”? Well, me too!
At times, it is hard to finish a large number of readings from a computer. Instead, it might be easier to follow along if those documents are printed. However, this becomes frustrating when one is constantly stricken with the fear that their printing balance will be lowered each time they print something.
What makes this anxiety even worse is when one is charged for documents that were not able to be printed. Often, when this situation happens, it is assumed that the money will be restored into the account, and this is where the problem lies.
Depending on one’s major, readings are assigned for almost every class, and some students rely on printing hard copies of those readings. Due to this reliance, the printing system should be treated with an equal amount of importance.
While you can be refunded for printing errors at the HelpDesk in the library, the process of doing so is a bit tedious. Especially on the occasions of last-minute printing, this process will be an inconvenience.
Simply receiving a warning about an error or being refunded through a faster method would make printing at PC a better process. It is important to note that this is not a complaint, rather a request for change.
Grow Into Who You Want to Be at PC
Grow Into Who You Want to Be at PC
By Jezel Tracey ’24
Many times, we determine our ability to do something by the amount of time that we “have left.” Thinking about the four years we have at Providence College is intimidating. Whether it is your first year or your last, the opportunity to be a part of clubs and organizations is still available for you!
Oftentimes, the growth that happens in college appears to only refer to academic and intellectual development. However, the personal development that also takes place plays a vital role within that growth.
As you search for the answers to your discussion questions, you are also subconsciously searching for the answers to your life and the meaning that you connect to it. From the study habits that fit your learning style to your daily existential crises, most of your college career is centered around who you are now and the person you want to become.
It is through forming habits that are not solely academic that this transition begins. In fact, some PC students join organizations to guarantee that their college experience is not centered around doing work and is more about meeting new people. These opportunities can extend far beyond the classroom, including delivering food with Friar Food Rescue or trying new tricks in Club Figure Skating.
When it comes to self growth, it does not matter when you start, but rather where you start. Involving yourself in organizations on campus helps you come closer to taking the first step in cultivating that journey of self-discovery. Although this process is focused on the self, the role that others play is equally, if not more, important.
In this case, clubs and organizations on campus would be considered as the “others” in your personal development. While they do require time and commitment, student organizations provide an outlet in that search for “self.” By becoming a part of these, you will surround yourself with people who have similar interests and motivations.
Generally, through these relationships is how you learn about yourself and the things that will shape you into who you want to become. Yolanda Lewis ’24 mentions that her main motivation in joining the debate club is because of her pursuit in the career of law and how it will “familiarize her with the environment” of which she is seeking to become a part.
Of course, it is not always easy to know specifically what you like. There will be some things that you are not comfortable with, and this is okay because it will help you to learn about the things that you both like and dislike.
When you become ready to cultivate yourself, it does not matter whether time has been wasted or you feel rushed to do so. In fact, it will never feel like the right time to grow. This is why it is very beneficial for you to become involved in anything that you might have a slight interest in.
It is evident in the Involvement Fair that all clubs and organizations at PC are excited to help students cultivate their personality outside of the classroom. There are a plethora of ways to be connected to such outlets. One way is through the Involvement Fairs hosted at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. If you miss any of these, connecting with people that you know that are in the organization is another way you can join. It is never too late, nor is it too early to grow into the person you desire to be. Taking interest in the outlets provided for you is the first step in your personal development journey!