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The sun will come out … not tomorrow, but soon

I took a walk during one of those random warm days that we tend to get in an Ohio February. The sun warmed my skin for the first time in what felt like ages. I even wore shorts. 

I was elated to get out of my room for a little while. I was relieved that I found another way to decompress after a long week of classes besides scrolling on TikTok in my bed. Birds sang as I smiled at other students out on runs and music poured out from the frat houses. People laid out blankets on patches of grass for picnics, and life felt a little easier. 

When I got back from my walk, sitting down in Armstrong Student Center to do my work didn’t seem so daunting. I snagged a booth and enjoyed the way the sun shone down on my statistics workbook. By the time I finished, it was 5:30 pm, but the sun hadn’t set yet. Life was good.

Schoolwork on its own can bring your mood down, but having to walk to class in the cold, holed up inside somewhere to do your work, and then walk home in the dark at 5:00 pm is just brutal. Loss of motivation is something we are all familiar with during the winter. Most importantly, these months can take a toll on lots of people’s mental health. 

Finding ways to move your body every day can be extremely beneficial. 

Sitting in class all day long, then sitting down to do homework, then laying in bed until you go to sleep is an awful routine. It can make you feel tired and sad, especially when the sky is gray and the wind is sharp. 

I feel much better when I commit to doing something active every day. It doesn’t have to be super intense, but something as small as looking up a yoga video to do in my dorm or taking a walk around campus can change the trajectory of my day and boost my mood. 

As students, we all have access to the recreation centers around campus. I admit that I used to feel intimidated by the gym. However, I realized that most people are too focused on themselves to notice that I had no idea what I was doing. 

If you are new to the gym and struggle with this, I recommend starting small. Grab a treadmill and just walk for 20 to 30 minutes. Or find an ab routine on YouTube that doesn’t require weights and snag a spot in the corner. Taking these small steps is a great way to start a healthy habit.

Something else I find beneficial is getting outside, even if it is a little chilly. Various hiking trails surround the campus and can provide an escape from the routine.

South of campus sits Peffer Park, with paved paths and natural trails perfect for a casual walk or an adventure through the woods. Just past Yager Stadium is Bachelor Preserve, an immersion into the trees that makes you feel a million miles away from campus. These woods even feature a small stream and a pond, if you venture far enough. 

When those random warm days roll around, I make sure to create space in my schedule to take on one of these trails and enjoy the sunshine for as long as I can. 

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It is important to remember that warmer days are ahead. As of Dec. 21, we are past the shortest day of winter. Longer days and warmer weather are coming, and soon we will all be laying out on blankets in the grass between classes instead of shivering in our dorms. 

Know that with each passing day, we are getting closer and closer to complaining about the heat rather than complaining about the cold. 

Molly Francis is a second-year journalism major from Cincinnati. She began writing for The Miami Student opinion section this year.