There is a brighter side to the winter season

Emma Tembreull

The end of January is nearing. The Christmas season and holidays have passed. Resolutions have been made and we’re all falling back into more structured routines.

It’s about that time of year when the snow blackens along the roadways and the fever for green grass begins to surface. While we’ve at least been fortunate to be greeted by sunlight in our windows the past few mornings, the typical absence of the sun can easily cast a dismal, monotonous tone for the day.

Why do we put up with these subzero temperatures and the seemingly unyielding darkness?

During summer months, I personally don’t leave any idle time.

I’m constantly on the go between jobs to jump in Lake Superior, climb a conveniently-sized Michigan mountain or simply to read on my porch.

Upon winter’s arrival, the first few snowfalls aren’t so bad, but soon enough there’s a shift in mindset for most, it seems.

There should be worthy reasons as to why we endure the harshest and longest season of the Upper Peninsula and stay to live through it again and again. As with anything we do, it’s important to explore the “why” factor. Is there a point to taking on the cold for you?

Winter doesn’t mean to tell you to slow down on cultivating happiness, but rather it challenges you to find innovative ways to bring you to life still.

If you’re the sporty or outdoorsy type especially, there’s an abundance of great activities to engage in. Snowshoeing is an easy go-to as there are many wonderful trail options locally as well as always having the option to go off the beaten path. If you can’t budget buying snowshoes of your own, the ORC on campus offers rentals.

The options are nearly endless: cross country skiing, downhill skiing, hockey, figure skating, skijoring, ice fishing, fat tire biking, sledding, snowboarding or a classic snowball fight to name a few. A bonus perk of these activities is that they torch calories, making any health-related New Year’s resolutions easier to achieve.

Even if you’re not the most adventurous of sorts, the cold doesn’t have to consist of lonely days cooped up in your apartment. Get together with friends and explore local businesses such as coffee shops to catch up without sacrificing being cozy. There are also many great local events to check out, such as the Rail Jam and UP200 Sled Dog Races.

Essentially, keeping yourself socially or actively engaged in some way helps defeat the blues. If you’re struggling to see past the repetitive gray skies, chances are you’re not alone. Therefore, we can push ourselves with our colleagues to rise above winter griping.

Your days are only as dark as you make them, so embrace what you can do and take advantage of the given seasonal situation. We’re very blessed to live in a smaller community with so much to offer year-round, so kick the winter excuses aside and breathe in the crisper air with a more positive mindset.