When the temperature soars above 40℉ in Plattsburgh, that means every student is willing to give up their time in the library to spend time outside.
Warm weather is quickly approaching making it difficult to stay focused during the last few weeks of school.
Not only can it make people slack off, but when the weather starts getting warmer, so do the classrooms. There is nothing worse than trying to pay attention during a lecture when your skin is sticking to the chair. The classrooms become hot and muggy making it almost unbearable for students to retain information. They can find themselves looking out the window and wondering what it would be like to take a dip in Hawkins Pond.
Warm classrooms can contribute to a disconnect during class. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that students exposed to hotter classrooms conditions had lower test scores due to inhibited cognitive development from heat exposure over an extended period of time.
During the last couple months of school in April and May, many students are ready to call it quits. Class work will be put on the back burner and spending hours outside will be prioritized.
Plattsburgh weather can be quite hard to follow. Some days it can be sunny but within 24 hours, there could be flurries falling from the sky. It’s hard to predict and most weather apps aren’t accurate with their information. With Lake Champlain being so close, the wind chill can be brutal. During the first few weeks of the academic year, the temperatures are reaching 80 to 90℉. But once October hits, the weather drops substantially and suddenly it’s winter before it was even fall. The constant up and down pattern students here experience can trigger different emotions making it hard to focus during classes.
The warmer weather doesn’t mean students are purposefully slacking off in school. After the long and cold months that engulf almost the entire academic year at Plattsburgh State, the first small bit of sunshine can cure seasonal depression. Seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression is something that affects more than 3 million people in the U.S. annually. According to Mental Health America, SAD is a subtype of depression that occurs around the same time each year. Most of the symptoms happen during the fall and winter months. Symptoms include loss of interest, mood swings, insomnia, lack of concentration and general discontent.
Junior psychology major Kaitlyn Ames agreed that warmer weather has an effect on her school work. She admitted that during April and May, when the temperature heats up, she would rather spend time hanging out with her friends than going to the library or doing school work.
“I have friends who go to school in Florida and they always tell me that school work is so much harder because they want to get up and go to the beach all the time,” Ames said. “I think I would be the same way. I would have a hard time focusing on school work if it was beach weather outside.”
With warm weather comes a greater responsibility. That means remembering that classes aren’t over yet and slacking isn’t OK. College campuses become more lively but it’s important to keep in mind why you’re there in the first place and that is to get an education.