When a winter storm strikes in Cullowhee, many WCU students may be forced to stay cooped up in their dorms for days, unable to travel anywhere safely. With nowhere to go, or no 4-wheel-drive vehicle to get anywhere, the inevitable cabin fever blues are likely to strike, making many dorm room bound students bored out of their minds.
Fortunately, many students were able to beat their cabin fever during the area’s last winter storm on Jan. 10 and found ways to stay entertained and enjoy the snow.
Haley Jamieson, for example, went sledding outside her apartment with her roommates.
“My roommates and I went sledding at Rabbit Ridge,” said Jamieson, a WCU Senior and resident of Rabbit Ridge Apartments. “It was cold and wet but we didn’t care. We stayed outside most of the day, and then went back outside to play in the snow at midnight.”
A full sized igloo that was made in The Village and a smiling snowman at Reynolds dorm proved that other students on campus had fun playing in the snow as well.
“I did get a little bit of cabin fever, so I went sledding around Madison Residence Hall, and the marching band practice field,” said WCU junior Ryan Wall.
So there are definitely ways to beat boredom outdoors. But of course, many students want to stay warm and remain indoors showing that there are also fun ways to pass the time in the comfort of your dorm room.
Jamieson, for example, found a variety of ways to keep busy.
“I made food a lot because I got cabin fever and I watched my favorite movies and my favorite shows,” said Jamieson. “I also made hot cocoa, of course.”
Ben Arant, a WCU junior living in The Village suggested that playing board games or rearranging your room would help occupy your time
“I usually watch T.V. or movies,” said Arant. “But you can also play board games and card games when you’re snowed in, or rearrange your room – if you’re into that kind of thing.”
But you don’t always have to be alone, and sometimes having so much free time can be relaxing.
“I had friends over who did not have power, and I was able to get caught up on some sleep,” said Wall.
“The worst thing is when you run out of food, or you can’t go and see your friends,” said Jamieson. “But you can do just about anything to get your mind off of leaving the house and it’s not so bad,”
So while many students are finding their own ways to stay entertained through the snowstorm, wisebread.com suggests six tips that can easily liven up your snowed-in day without costing you a dime.
Tip # 1- Open the Shades
Extra sunshine in your dorm room can help your feel a little brighter as well. At dark, make sure you re-close all of the curtains and shades to keep the cold night air out.
Tip # 2- Get Walking
Taking a small walk in the morning for 15-30 minutes, even in the snow, can help give you a boost, give you more energy, and get you in better shape. Walking in different areas each day can also help because a change of scenery might do your mind some good since you have been staring at your four walls for too long. So put on those rubber boots and get outside!
Tip # 3- Eat Better
Your diet plays a large part in your emotional wellbeing. You tend to lack D vitamins during the winter months when you are more likely to be out of the sun. Eating green vegetables and an overall healthy dietcan help boost our energy levels and just feel better overall, so try eating upstairs at courtyard or at Einstein’s for a healthier on-campus selection.
Tip #4- Help Others
During the winter, it can be easy to get depressed but sometimes, as bad as it seems things are, there are others who are much worse off than we. If you are struggling with cabin fever and boredom, take some of your time and volunteer it to help others. If you can drive, The Community Table in downtown Sylva has many opportunities where you could lend a hand. If you’re interested visit http://www.comunitytable.org.
Tip # 5- Plan Forward
If you are really anticipating the warmer spring weather, (and I know many of you are) start planning now for the different ways you can take advantage of it as soon as it hits. If you are an outdoorsy person, compare different campgrounds where you might want to go when the weather breaks. Research what places you want to go on spring break, and plan a big vacation. Include your friends in the conversation and plan a vacation for everyone.
Tip #6- be Grateful
When all else fails, slow down and think about all the wonderful things you have in your life, no matter what season it is. Chances are it will bring a smile to your face and make you feel better. Remembering all the wonderful things you already have instead of focusing on what you don’t have might bring you more peace throughout your entire life. It might not fight off cabin fever totally, but will certainly help you to stay happier until the snow melts.