By Kaitlin Dunn
Elm Staff Writer
The first day of spring is around the corner, and Washington College students are starting to see welcome signs of a change in seasons.
With the change in seasons and temperature comes a change in students’ mindsets as we continue the spring semester.
During the winter, the lack of sun and time spent outdoors, coupled with being unable to spend time with peers, family, and friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic, can breed feelings of depression or malaise.
For those who have become accustomed to a winter mindset and schedule, the transition to springtime may be difficult, especially Daylight Saving Time — which begins on March 14 this year — moving our clocks forward an hour.
According to Cleveland Clinic, “Moving the clock forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in the fall doesn’t just affect your schedule — it can throw off your body’s internal clock, too.”
To help your body adjust to the time change, Cleveland Clinic recommends that people “start preparing a few days early, stick to their schedules, and avoid things such as long naps, coffee, and alcohol.”
These habits can help make the time transition easier on the body, by offering a buffer to allow your internal clock to adjust, as that lost hour in sleep can often leave you feeling groggy and irritable.
In addition to these schedule changes, springtime in general can offer much-needed transitions to one’s daily routine.
Some habits to include may be spending more time outside or waking up with the sun.
However, warmer days do not mean a reprieve on COVID-19 restrictions. As spring break looms closer, schools across the nation warn students to be wary of their activities, with some universities canceling spring break entirely in order to attempt to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.
“I plan on continuing to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines, while also spending more time outside and doing activities I wasn’t able to do during the winter, like eating outside and going on walks more,” freshman Rory Miller said.
An email update from the WC Contingency Planning Group on March 5 highly discourages travel during spring break and emphasizes habits that students must maintain for the duration of the semester.
“It is in everyone’s best interest to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the best way to do that is to avoid or severely limit any interactions that introduce additional risk to yourself and your classmates,” the CPG update said.
However, just because there still restrictions does not mean that students cannot take advantage of the spring weather.
With the campus alert level moving to green the first week of March, students can now gather outdoors in groups up to 10, allowing for outdoor activities such as walks, playing games, or other activities.
In order to help facilitate and encourage student activities during COVID-19, WC installed three large outdoor tents for student usage as “informal spaces for studying [and] socializing,” according to the CPG update.
Despite these seemingly restrictive guidelines, students can still look forward to spending more time outside in the warm weather and enjoying another springtime season on the Eastern Shore.
Featured Photo caption: With another virtual spring semester underway, here’s how Washington College students can transition from a winter to a vernal state of mind with the upcoming change in seasons. Photo by Benjamin Wang.