Student Spends a Day of Break Outside, Is Confused by Wind

Art credits to Hannah Usadi!

Art credits to Hannah Usadi!

Hannah Usadi ‘19, Art Editor

Oftentimes, a high school student’s spring break consists of no more than the opening and closing of their laptop. They exercise the skilled practice of “binge-watching”, or consuming a dangerously high amount of Netflix in a day. Usually, the binge-watching experience resembles one of hibernation — many will not see their family, know what the weather is, or participate in physical activities.

While it is easy to spend an entire Spring Break in this lazed state, students would benefit greatly by deviating from this habit. One of the best alternatives to television consumption exists right outside our window — getting in touch with nature. According to a recent study by psychologist Peter Kahn, a greater connection to nature strongly correlates with lower rates of depression and anxiety. Kahn installed both real windows and plasma “windows” (screens displaying views of nature) inside offices of university campuses, and found that those who viewed real nature showed significantly lower levels of stress than those viewing the screens. Additionally, spending time in nature may be imperative for one’s health, as exposure to the sun allows nature goers to retain Vitamin D — a vital ingredient for developing a strong skeletal and immune system. Either way, establishing a connection with real nature is beneficial both physically and mentally.

Junior Austin Hu recalls, “Usually, my spring break consists mostly of viewing animal videos.” When reminded that one could view real animals outside, Austin exclaimed, “Really?” Perhaps the first step for students like Austin would be to close the laptop and open the door.  (Yes, with enough willpower, this action is possible.) It also is important to remember that it is not necessary to take ten-mile hike in order to interact with nature. Activities like walking to the grocery store, jump-roping, swimming, and rollerblading are great ways to experience the great outdoors.

That is not to say that all high school students spend their spring break indoors; senior Jessica Booth exclaims, “ I am a fanatic of the outdoors, I often frolic amongst the daisies in green pastures under the baby blue sky.” While it is not necessary to reach Jessica’s level of natural connection, spring break should be viewed as a time for creating new experiences, taking a break from the ever-present technology students struggle to pry themselves away from.