Students who grew up in Oregon are a slight majority of the school’s population (52%) while the rest of the school is comprised of out of state students (38%) and international students (10%). Out of state students coming to Oregon might be experiencing their first cold and wet winter.
For the majority of UO students that come from California, they learn how to cope with a real winter.
San Francisco Bay Area native Maria Falconer has found that having the right winter attire helps rainy days feel more manageable. “Well first of all, I check the weather every morning. If it is going to rain, I wear a rain jacket; if it's going to be cold, I’ll just layer up,” Falconer said.
“Having rain boots is crazy important, especially during winter term because it rains all the time,” Falconer said. No one likes having wet feet, and rain boots can be a simple fix for this.
Many Californians don’t experience seasonal depression until they arrive at UO. Falconer, who has spent several winters in Eugene, sometimes needs to remind herself to get out and socialize.
“Make sure you don’t isolate yourself. I found that I do that sometimes because I’m like, ‘Oh I just want to cuddle up and watch Netflix,’ but that's not good for two weeks in a row. So, hang out with people, get out, go to the EMU, go to the Duck Nest,” Falconer said.
UO offers activities and resources to help students during winter term. Madeleine Boyea, a junior at UO and former SOS’er, found UO-sponsored activities to be fun and convenient.
“There are so many things on campus that they put on, like Ducks After Dark on Thursday nights was something that I really liked — because I was getting out. When I didn’t have a car, it was an easy way to see a new movie,” Boyea said.
Boyea found that increasing her vitamin D intake helped lift a dreary mood. “Go to the Duck Nest and they have happy lights or at the residence halls you can rent out happy lights. It is a light that gives you vitamin D and you just keep it on in your room while you are doing homework or when you are getting ready,” Boyea said.
Our bodies make vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight, and since sunlight is rare in Eugene during the winter, happy lights can help make up the difference.
Junior Megan Gullekson from Tampa, Florida, found that having indoor hobbies becomes increasingly important during the winter months.
“Find something that you like to do inside so that when it's rainy outside, you can still have a hobby that doesn't require you being outside in the rain,” Gullekson said.
Minnie Chen, a senior at UO, found that even the smallest changes can make a big difference.
“With the seasonal depression thing, I love to keep my blinds open during the day so more sunlight comes in and it’s less depressing that way,” Chen said.
This winter, consider attending a Ducks After Dark Movie Night, join an intramural sports team or take the EMX to go bowling with friends. UO and the broader Eugene area have a lot to offer during the winter months. Sometimes, you just have to search a little bit harder for it.