Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Beat the cold: Tips on surviving the winter season


Dec. 11, 2013


It’s that time of year again: the weather gets colder, motivation begins to drop and strangers start ending a friendly conversation with “Happy Holidays.” Once these things start happening, it gets more difficult to stay focused. Essentially, we kiss our motivation good-bye and begin daydreaming of all the magic the upcoming season has to offer.

Hayley Hughes
Commentary by Hayley Hughes, Staff Writer

With the changing of the seasons, it’s no surprise that there is lack of motivation around campus. Suddenly that 9 a.m. class is too early, that hour in the gym doesn’t seem so important, another bowl of mashed potatoes at Esker suddenly seems appetizing, and hey, why not watch that movie for the seventh time this week?

Don’t stress, this winter routine gets the best of all of us. Here’s your how-to guide on surviving the change of seasons and the start of a new semester.


“Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands”

In the 2001 movie “Legally Blonde,” a famous line is spoken in the climax of the movie. A peppy and uber-confident Reese Witherspoon shouts across a courtroom:

“Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins makes you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”

While none of us are contemplating murder, winter days may seem like the death of us. Make an exercise plan and more importantly, stick to it. It is bound to make the change of seasons a smooth one.

Many residence halls post a fitness class schedule in their main lobby, where you can check out upcoming classes offered at the Williams Center.

Grab a schedule of the fitness classes to keep on hand and make sure you post your exercise routine in a spot you look at frequently. The consistent reminder of what you should be doing will help to motivate you like never before.

If a fitness class doesn’t seem like the right option for you, create your own work out schedule. You don’t even need a gym membership to do a few sets of crunches and pushups in your room.


So simple, even a college student can do it

It’s so easy to grab an extra bag of chips or skip that workout session. The winter months are not always a college student’s best friend.

Whitney Henley, health and wellness coordinator at University Health & Counseling Services, has many tips for staying healthy and fit throughout the winter months.

  • Purchase only healthy snacks. Make sure to stock up before finals get here.
  • Make a study schedule. Get organized and review your due dates.
  • Schedule fun and relaxing things to do as well.
  • Take frequent study breaks. A few stretches will do you good.
  • Stay hydrated, which prevents you from getting sick.

Henley also recommends that students get plenty of sleep and participate in fun activities to prevent stress levels from rising.

“When you’re stressed, your immune system is weaker, so all of these things can help,” Henley said.

Henley also recommends washing hands frequently and avoiding touching your face with germ ridden hands.

If you don’t have a gym membership, Henley recommends checking out YouTube videos. At no cost to students, they make a great winter time-filler. You can search for yoga, cardio, and Tabata videos, which are similar to the group fitness classes offered at UW-Whitewater.

“Stay off your phone 30 minutes before you go to bed, and silence it while you sleep, so you aren’t disturbed in the middle of the night,” Henley said.

Although it may be tough with our ever-changing schedules, waking up at the same time every morning is another great tip.


Keys to the classroom

Now that we’ve covered what to do during break, here are some tips for starting the new semester.

Dawn Doering, an accounting professor at UW-Whitewater, knows the ups and downs of the academic world.

“First and foremost, students should be an active listener in class,” Doering said. “You are spending the money and taking time out of your day to come to class, so take notes and ask questions.”

We all know one person who’s more interested in their Twitter feed than the story we’re telling them. It makes you feel unimportant and maybe it even makes you mad. Sometimes your professor feels the same. Be an active listener; your friends will thank you, your professors will be grateful, and you might even get an A on that tricky exam.

“Professors I know here, and other universities, will stay longer, they’ll come in early, they check their email at 10 or 11 o’clock at night, they’ll answer phone calls in the wee hours.” Doering said “They’re willing to do whatever it takes to help students that have already shown them that they’re trying to the best of their ability.”

By showing up to class and using office hours, you’ve already made it halfway through the checklist. Grab a notebook and your favorite pen (come on, we all have one) and start taking notes!


Start off on the right foot

By keeping these tips in mind during break and as we return, you’re sure to have a good semester. Eating right, staying motivated and creating a healthy lifestyle are habits that can last a lifetime if you stay committed. I’ve started some of these habits myself and can already feel a change. Here’s to a much needed break and great spring semester; happy holidays!

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Royal Purple encourages readers to voice their opinions via the online comments section. Comments may be monitored for appropriateness and viewer safety. If a comment is harassing, threatening or inappropriate in nature, it may be taken down with editor's discretion.
All Royal Purple Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Founded 1901
Beat the cold: Tips on surviving the winter season