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It’s Better To Keep Up Than Catch Up

Seasonal Depression and how it affects our lives

“I feel like during the second quarter time moves too fast, and I don’t have enough time to get everything done in time,” relayed an overwhelmed cadet. Many cadets may feel this way but will probably not know why they feel this way or how to fix it, and then this feeling magically goes away during spring and summer.

On Wednesday, November 29th, 2023 UMA held a dress down day,which was quite different from past dress down days. Instead of having a dress down day for everyone, this one came with a catch. Cadets had to have no F’s or D’s to participate in dress down day.

This dress down day was held as an incentive for cadets to get their grades up. Usually the second quarter of the school year is the worst term for academic grades. Which is pretty confusing, since it makes more sense for the 1st quarter to be the worst because cadets come back from summer not motivated to work on academics.

There seems to be a pattern every fall… academic grades drop. While seasonal depression is a thing and very serious thing, this falls more into a category of seasonal procrastination. Waiting to the last second to turn in assignments or turning in assignments past their due dates, seems to pertain to certain seasons.

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Fall and winter are filled with long breaks from school. In the second term there are two major holiday breaks: Thanksgiving break that lasts one week and Winter break lasting two weeks.  With the anticipation of the breaks, cadets fall back on assignments and prepare for the break. Some cadets leave the week before breaks for relaxing as well. Many cadets find that their breaks are jam-packed with family plans. Finally, cadets are purposefully spend their break how they want, almost definitely not focusing on academics.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of seasonal depression usually start in late fall or early winter. Coincidentally the worst day of the worst academic quarter of the year is on the 23rd of October, a month after the first day of fall, September 23rd. Though most students don’t actually experience seasonal depression, they are probably experiencing  more of not being able to keep up with grades, and leaving bigger assignments off until the last moment.

A good piece of advice was given during formation for the past couple of weeks, “It’s better to keep up than catch up.” It truly is the best way to keep your grades up during the second quarter.

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