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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student


OPINION: Is it spring break yet?


We can’t seem to buy a hint of decent weather. For the past three weeks, it’s been snowing, raining, freezing or something in between. Winter is now in full effect, and I’m not here for it. So, I’ve implemented a new tactic to get over the winter blues: planning vacations. 

Whether it be close and within reach, or a far-out dream, planning a vacation can be a fantastic way to forget the frigid temperatures and dark skies to improve your mental health. I’m going on a trip to Las Vegas in June, and all I can think about right now is the warmth of being in Nevada. 

Sometimes, planning a trip can be just as satisfying — maybe even more so — as the vacation itself. It builds anticipation and excitement, providing something to look forward to or dream about. According to a 2020 National Geographic article, even thinking about travel can make you happy. “A 2014 Cornell University study delved into how the anticipation of an experience (like a trip) can increase a person’s happiness substantially - much more so than the anticipation of buying material goods.” 

This brings me back to the lame, wet weather we’re experiencing here in Bloomington. It can make us feel trapped in our routines because, besides going to classes, we don’t want to go outside. Near distances seem further away in these temperatures and conditions. In an article from Science Media Centre, Laurence Wainwright Departmental Lecturer at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, said the darker and shorter days of winter affect our internal clocks, “We may find ourselves sleeping longer – but paradoxically feeling more tired than usual – struggling to get out of bed, finding it harder to concentrate, and even having a slightly lower mood than usual.” 

At least it is good to know why it’s hard to get out of bed in January. 

Thinking about future vacations has been part of my remedy during this month’s cold weather. It improves my mood. I enjoy looking at photos of exciting destinations, reading about restaurants and checking out cultural activities. Snorkeling in Sydney? Not anytime soon, but it’s fun to think about. A feast in France? Maybe in a few years, but the restaurant menus boost me for now.  

Here are a few tips for planning your vacation, whether it’s in your future or in your mind. Don’t limit yourself and explore various destinations. Look at online photos, read a lot of travel blogs and check out food sites like Head to Morgenstern’s and buy a travel book to keep by your bedside. Or flip on the TV and watch a movie set in one of your dream vacation destinations. I recently rewatched Ocean’s Eleven" to get in the Las Vegas spirit.  

Though we returned from winter break a few weeks ago, I’m already counting the days until spring break and, hopefully, better weather. The dismal winter weather this January may force us to stay inside, but thinking about all the fun you may have on a future or dream vacation can help. And, hopefully, this winter funk will be over soon. 


Jack Davis (he/him) is a freshman studying journalism. 

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