Students become restless after multiple snow days
Sarah Poland Collegio Reporter
With snow blocking cars, doors and enthusiasm, some Pittsburg State University students spent their snow days developing their own versions of cabin fever.
While there are many definitions of cabin fever, it is often thought of as irritability and boredom as a result of having to stay inside for an extended period of time. Kathy Ware, freshman in English education, says spending the snow days cooped up in the dorms caused her to become tired of others.
“I got annoyed with the people I was around,” Ward said. “I just started picking people off in my mind.”
Matthew Schultz, freshman in biology, says he started feeling things like boredom, irritation, anger, claustrophobia and a need to move.
Ward and Schultz say they tried to find things to get being stuck inside off of their minds. Ward says she went out and bought a deck of cards and watched people play pool to stay occupied. For Schultz, it helped to have friends and an imagination to keep him busy.
“I watched a lot of movies, played in the snow and went to the dining hall, but a lot of the time I was stuck inside doing homework,” Schultz said. “My floor did a have a carpet skating and Nerf gun fight, and that was fun.”
Although some students were restless from the time spent indoors, Kayla Thompson, freshman in biology, says the snow days were a good way for her to catch up.
“I tried to even out my time by relaxing during the snow days, something I needed to do, and by studying or catching up on homework,” Thompson said. “The best part about my time off was I got to spend some quality time with God, in the Word and in prayer. I started reading ‘Crazy Love’ and it was a great way to re-energize myself.”
Cabin fever is not a diagnosed psychological condition, but Sean Lauderdale, professor of psychology, says it is not good for people to be alone without anything to do for long periods of time.
While the term cabin fever doesn’t have a clinical meaning, and is rarely used by psychologists, The Discovery Channel TV series “Mythbusters” investigated it. To test whether cabin fever actually existed, two of the show’s hosts isolated themselves in a cabin in Alaska for an extended period of time. The show tried to record the effects of the isolation by giving the hosts stress and cognitive tests but they were inconclusive. The hosts did exhibit some of the symptoms they were looking for to determine if they were experiencing cabin fever. These symptoms included irritability, forgetfulness and excessive sleepiness. “Mythbusters” concluded that it was plausible for one to go mad from being left alone for too long.
Nevertheless, after a total of five snow days, students are back to classes and their regular schedule. Cabin fever is left for another day.