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Top 10 reasons the semester plummets off a cliff after ‘fall back’ time

The worst is yet to come

<p>Ben Rosenthal is a Top 10 Writer for The Cavalier Daily.</p>

Ben Rosenthal is a Top 10 Writer for The Cavalier Daily.

1. Daylight ceases to exist

I am not a psychologist, but I firmly believe that the sun is good for our mental health. Fall back time essentially robs us of an hour of sunlight by moving sunrise from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. — when nobody in their right mind is awake anyways — while stripping away the light from afternoon hours that people actually want to experience. While I will get more into the specific effects of this later, I wanted to call attention to just how bad of a trade deal this is. It shows a real lack of negotiation skills on our part. 

2. The air temperature turns Antarctic...

While this is not necessarily the fault of fall back time, it certainly doesn’t help us keep warm when the sun goes down by 5 p.m. This semester, we have had abnormally warm temperatures — something which I am against in principle as a believer in global warming but am in favor of as a human being who likes wearing short sleeves. Now, however, our luck is finally running out. The highs are drifting towards the 50s, the sun is drifting towards the horizon, and soon, we’ll be slipping on ice on the way to class.

3. … but classroom temperatures stay the same

Even worse, as we start putting on jackets to make our commutes bearable, we run into the ultimate dilemma. You see, classroom temperatures at the University do not adjust as much to the outside world as I’d like. They tend to stay about five degrees too hot for every occasion — which is fine enough in early fall when we are rocking shorts, but once we start layering on long sleeves and jackets, every classroom in New Cabell becomes an unfortunate sauna. 

4. Starbucks line times rise as seasonal drinks take over

This is more of a side effect of Christmas starting in November — a problem which I will refrain from ranting about because I don’t want to sound like a 60-year-old. But while I do love the occasional white peppermint mocha, I must call attention to just how much these new seasonal drinks bump up the line times. As the temperature plummets into the 30s and our willingness to live drops as well, caffeine hits the spot — especially when it’s flavored like gingerbread cookies and peppermint patties instead of actual coffee. If only the line was ever short enough to justify the purchase.

5. Finishing class when it's pitch black outside

An extension of the lack of daylight hours is this horrible, horrible phenomenon. Imagine waking up at 8 a.m. to a nice, bright morning, starting class at 9 a.m. and then finishing at 5 p.m. ready to enjoy a nice relaxing walk or a game of catch — only to see that you have worked the entire day away. Yes, I know this is called working, every adult reader who has no sympathy for this point. But if you’re reading a college newspaper top 10 listicle, you have to accept that 80 percent of it is going to be complaining. It comes with the territory. 

6. We have less time to exercise outdoors

This is by far the most devastating item on this list. Everybody in my life knows just how much I like to exercise outdoors. Jogging, tossing the good ol’ disc, throwing the pigskin — everything of that sort. It’s just the fact of the matter, and everybody knows that it’s true. But unfortunately, when it gets dark and cold by 5 p.m., I simply don’t have time to do that three-mile jog anymore. Which is a shame, because if I had my way, I would exercise frequently every day, but now there is really no choice but to sit inside and eat Cheez-Its from the box. Oh well. Darn. 

7. The stress of Sabre points returns 

Basketball games returning is a fall semester miracle. I do not want to take away from that — even if I forgot to apply for tickets for the first three games and am currently experiencing severe, pre-emptive FOMO. But I do want to call attention to the fact that basketball brings back the competitive yet unpredictable dynamics of Sabre points. The stress, the fear, the anger, the bargaining — the whole shebang. Get ready to cheer, but also get ready to hate life. 

8. Work is forced deep underground into the libraries

I genuinely enjoy doing my work outside in between classes. It’s peaceful, tranquil and gives me a little chance to desperately cling on to whatever remnants of a tan I still have. But once the temperature shoots into the 40s, we will all be forced into the tunnels of Clark — or the madhouse of Clem, God forbid. Comfy booths will become less available as crowds increase, condemning us to … chairs. It is truly a dystopia we live in. 

9. Winter hats mess up my hair

Look, this is a 10-item list, not all of them are going to be winners. This is a purely personal item. I have been growing my hair out a bit — not as a style statement but to avoid having to go out and do something about it. The only way it looks good is with 30 minutes of careful, yet aggressive, styling — which removing a winter hat immediately undoes. This is without a doubt the worst, most tragic item on this list so far, and I am sure everybody is really sympathetic to this one. 

10. Finals, finals, finals

I could not finish this list without calling attention to the real threat looming over us all. Long Starbucks lines aren’t the real danger. Rather, it is the fact that the two happiest times of the year — Thanksgiving and winter break — are merely slices of bread on a stressful finals sandwich. While there is still plenty to look forward to about this time with family and friends, the reality is, our professors are going to make us earn it. My best advice? Work a little less hard and accept an 85. Mom, Dad, ignore this part. 

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