Beat the October Blues!

Nicole La Pietra

In October, we find our attitudes and well-being changing just as the leaves change color. As soon as students solidify a normal routine, the weather gets colder, our work load becomes greater, and, before we know it, midterms creep up. This may leave some feeling overwhelmed, as balancing school work and a social life becomes more difficult. But there are ways to overcome these “October Blues,” and even prevent them.

Stay Warm
It’s getting cold and many students aren’t prepared for the chilly evenings, so layer up
and don’t think it’s too early to break out your fall boots, sweaters and jackets. Something else to keep in mind is the sun. When it’s out, take advantage. Catching some rays will not only brighten your mood during a busy week, but studies have shown that the sun also helps insomnia. Daytime exposure to sunlight increases the melatonin production, which helps regulate sleep throughout the night. Being prepared for the on and off cold weather could benefit students in the long run and prevent them from getting sick.

With midterms coming up, the Learning Center has been packed with students trying to get extra help. The library is another popular place to be during October. Right before midterms, the library becomes a useful and necessary resource for students from dawn to dusk, with cubicles and study rooms always full.

“I find myself in the library at least two days a week, and on those days, I can spend anywhere from five to 10 hours, and my coffee intake increases tremendously on those days specifically,” sophomore Katie Lupardi said.

Managing your time is key, that way your caffeine intake can remain as low as possible. Keep yourself organized with planners and perhaps reminder apps on your phones.

While stressing over tests and homework, taking care of yourself can be hard. Working out tends to fall last on our to-do lists, behind school work and clubs.

According to associate director of fitness and wellness, Tami Reilly, working out can be beneficial during our hectic schedules. “Finding even a little time for some physical activity can only benefit you, for it eases the mind and keeps your body running, especially when you need energy to study for midterms,” Reilly said.

A half hour at the gym would give students a break from studying and doing work, as well as help their physical health. However, sometimes it is good to take time off from a workout schedule, especially if students have been staying up late and consuming excessive amounts of caffeine; their bodies will have no fuel or energy to work out which could lead to injuries.

During October, attendance at fitness center declines in comparison to the beginning of the school year. Due to preparation for midterms, athletic directors and gym class teachers see less people in their classes and on the machines. However, the regulars who do go to the gym don’t stop just because of midterms. Reilly said it is completely okay to take a week off and not beat yourself up about it.

Join a Cause
Among the many causes that October helps bring attention to, awareness for breast cancer and domestic violence are ones the Quinnipiac community holds dear to its heart. The sorority Alpha Chi Omega, which works to fight domestic violence, hosted its annual event, Frisbee Fest, held in honor of one of its sisters, Elizabeth Pernel, who died during a domestic violence attack. The organization raised $30,000 for the Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven.

Many organizations on campus work to raise breast cancer awareness. QuinniPR held Passionately Pink, an event where students could buy pink hair extensions. The profits were donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The American Cancer Association also sponsored its annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk,” allowing members of the Quinnipiac community to make teams and walk in New Haven to stand up to breast cancer.

Because it is breast cancer awareness month, many groups on campus are getting involved by selling T-shirts, promoting a walk for breast cancer or putting pink in student’s hair, such as QuinnaPR’s Passionately Pink for the Cure Event Oct. 10.

Lastly it is also World Food Awareness month, where efforts for collecting and sending out food to stop hunger. Quinnipiac’s radio station, WQAQ, is hosting Music for Meals at The Space on Oct. 26. Admission is free as long as you bring two canned goods to donate to the Hamden Food Bank.

Combat Cabin Fever!
Plan a trip with a few friends, even if it’s just for the day. Now that fall has arrived, it’s a great time to go apple picking. Stop by nearby orchards such as Bishop Farm and Hickory Hill Farm in Cheshire, just 10 minutes away.

“Hickory Hill has a tremendous assortment of baked goods,” sophomore Natalie Frey said. “I bought apple cider donuts and mini pumpkins for my common room.”

Also, take advantage of New Haven during the day. Museums, restaurants and shopping in our neighboring city will help relieve some midterm stress, and offer great student discounts too!

Take October day by day, we’re already halfway through! Use these tips to beat the blues.