I want to talk about something that all of us students in Quebec struggle with daily during this time of year. The sun comes out late and goes down early, dangerously low temperature where you can’t be outside for more than five minutes without getting frostbite, and on top of that, winter depression.
I never believed in winter depression until I came to Stanstead from Poland. During my first year here, for the first time, I experienced the brutal, long Canadian winters without previously knowing what I was getting into. I can honestly say that I had no idea I was experiencing winter depression until late May when the sun came out for the first time in six months and the entire campus came alive. I remember telling Kate Collins that I’ve never been happier to hear the birds chirping at 6:00 in the morning. I was overwhelmed by how big of an impact the weather had on me. It seemed as if my problems and bad temper melted away with the snow.
Next year came around, and I was absolutely terrified of what the winter was going to bring around. I developed a strategy that I thought was quite genius, where I would find something to look forward to as a motivation. And as this approach helped me to get through the hard times of the year, I realized that I spend so much time thinking about what’s coming that I totally forgot to enjoy the present.
But what does it mean to enjoy the present. The definition of the word present is: existing or occurring now. Well, in that case it is nearly impossible to be in the present. Before you know it, the present becomes the past. The future then becomes the present and the second it becomes the present, it becomes the past.
So, here’s my advice: if being in the present is impossible, all you can do is be in the moment. Even though the winter can feel kind of blue, when you are going through hard times, go right through them, feel it, be in it, don’t avoid it, and get out the other end. Don’t try to escape because before you know it, winter will become the past, as will your experience at Stanstead. It would be a shame to look back and regret not being in the moment and only thinking about what’s to come.
But just keep in mind, spring is only three months away!