Readers’ Forum Jan. 30, 2018

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BYU Performing Arts Management
Mary Londono of BYU Theatre Ballet invites kids to come up on stage and dance with the ballerinas during the intermission of their fairy tales and fantasy show during their tour in northern California in 2016.(Brigham Young University Performing Arts Management)

Seasonal affective disorder

This time of year, college doesn’t seem to be getting easier, in fact, it’s probably gotten harder. Plus, sweater season is in full fledge and those not accustomed to Utah’s random weather are constantly in a state of confusion: sweater or a down-feathered jacket? With boots, wool socks, gloves, a hat and a scarf? With jumbled brains, tired bodies, cold feet and runny noses, life can be downright depressing.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, seasonal affective disorder, or better known as seasonal depression, is an annually recurring condition that comes with the change of seasons, specifically fall and winter. While you may assume the snow, hot chocolate and cuddles by the fireplace should make individuals happier, the National Center for Biotechnology Information said 10–20 percent of people still experience seasonal affective disorder during fall and winter months.

The Harvard Medical School stated in a health report that seasonal affective disorder “can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels.” So, what can you do to prevent seasonal affective disorder? The Canadian Mental Health Association suggests the following: exercise regularly, eat healthy, maintain good sleep habits, socialize, balance your thinking techniques and learn to manage stress better. While college students don’t seem to have time – or money – to cook a meal other than ramen or even catch a few more hours of sleep, making time to take care of yourself properly could actually save you from the nightmare of catching the SAD bug of depression.

—Jaxin Annett
Greeneville, Tennessee

Friendship vs. rivalry

What do dancers like most about dance? The most common answer will be because it’s a way to express themselves. The way you dance heavily depends on your emotions. For this reason, it’s important to have a positive atmosphere to dance in. The best way to have a positive atmosphere is to have camaraderie, friendship and trust with your fellow dancers.

Unfortunately, we don’t always feel this unity in dance: auditioning for teams, companies, and roles with only a few spots can get very competitive. These competitive feelings create a negative atmosphere detracting from the dance itself and removing the joy dance brings; instead of being rivals, we need to support, help and encourage each other. For several years, I was in a small ballet class with the same girls and teacher. We became very close. We were each other’s best friends. Because of this positive and safe atmosphere, we all felt at ease trying new things and being vulnerable, because we knew nobody was going to make fun of us if we messed up.

We need to let the rivalry go and remember why we love to dance. What are we still going to have 20 years from now, the part in the ballet or the friendships we made? The only way to improve our dancing, have a positive experience and love what we’re doing is to forgo the competitive feelings and replace them with friendship.

—Ciara Hellewell
West Jordan, Utah

BYU bubble

The Brigham Young University bubble can negatively impact students’ abilities in the future. Therefore, students need to become aware of such limitations and do necessary work to expand their cultural awareness. Brigham Young University claims it actively engages in offering every student a well-rounded educational experience.

Part of the university’s mission statement presents the ideal of reaching such awareness concerning others. It cites scriptural doctrine, discussing how God has asked all his children to learn about all good things. Although Brigham Young University aims to accomplish these goals, the prevalent religion can create a bubble for such exploration. Brigham Young University students who do not fit the typical “Mormon mold” do not share the same positive experience.
Students who have gone through such events feel that the university is amazing, but must conform to the radical stereotypes surrounding the religion. Though the religion teaches acceptance and kindness to all, that seems to apply to others whose beliefs reflect theirs.

Brigham Young University students should know everyone is unique, so judging others for being “different” inhibits their progress. Being bubbled by this image of a perfect Brigham Young University student hinders the students’ abilities to look past differences and take people as they are. What many fail to realize is that the real world is filled with innumerable differences.

—Taylor Langston
Prescott, Arizona

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