November is upon us


Mason Brooks, Managing Editor

After almost four years of study at the University of Hartford, I can confidently say November is the most challenging month as a college student.  There are a few converging factors that create such a tough environment during these thirty days.

First off, let us talk about the weather.  Here in New England, we have a beautiful autumn for about three weeks spanning from late-September to early-October.  People from all over the east coast drive up to witness the stunning environment showcasing its picturesque shades of yellow, orange and red.  However, by the time November rolls around, New England is not the charming place you see in brochures.  No; instead, Connecticut and the UHart campus appear desolate in the absence of colorful leaves, blooming flowers, and bright green grass.  November introduces us to our first taste of bitter cold and blistering wind, and, if we’re lucky, a shower of just enough snow and sleet to remove all traction from the roadways.

A biological reaction begins to occur in the bodies of college students around this time.  With the changing seasons, it appears as though everyone begins to catch a cold.  Some come down with the flu, others battle strep throat, and then there are those whose immune systems simply give themselves up to whatever strain is floating around campus at that time.  Pairing such gloomy weather with the onslaught of contagion, not only wears down our bodies, but chips away at our psyche as well.  In the Spring months, there is a noticeable glow on students’ faces as flowers bloom, and cherishable sunlight is accompanied by the popping of green in the grass and trees.  However, November imposes the complete opposite mental effects, as we start to quite literally see everything die around us.  While we may not draw much attention to it because we become used to this annual cycle, I am sure I speak for everyone when I say there is an unconscious deterioration of the collective campus vibe.

Not only are we experiencing November’s assault on our mood, but we must also balance it with arguably the toughest workload of the entire fall semester.  As a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, it always seems as though all the important project due dates for my classes land within these four weeks.  Whether by design or purely by accident, for me it seems to be a given that November is an academic grind.  This could be accompanied by the fact that procrastination usually leads us pushing off work until the final due date, but that only makes it more taxing on the average college student.  While we tend to enjoy September and October to the fullest by ignoring the ensuing perils sitting on our syllabi, November hits us as the time to buckle down and focus on actually getting our semester’s work done.  Even though technically we do have Thanksgiving break to console our worries ahead of the big crunch for finals, naturally that added stress weighs us down when thinking about getting closer to the end of the semester.

Now charging into my last November as an undergraduate here at the University of Hartford, I accept the challenges this month brings.  While I respect the opposition November presents me with, I know it will be nothing but a miniscule checkpoint in the rear-view mirror as I walk across the graduation stage at the XL Center this coming May.  So, as someone who has been through it before, I implore you to tough it out, and recognize that even though November is a drag, the Spring bloom will be here soon.