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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Spring in Tucson one of UA life’s simple pleasures

    Spring has sprung.

    By about mid-February each year, I begin to feel as though I’m on the set of a sunshine-drenched feel-good movie about college life, surrounded by tan, cheerful extras.

    What else could account for the impeccably summer-dressed, bronzed masses peopling the UA campus this month, after Phil the groundhog declared six more weeks of winter?

    Elsewhere in the country, college students are still bundling up to make the icy rush from building to building, unable to enjoy even a moment of non-fluorescent light. At the University of Wisconsin, it was 21 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill making the air feel 16 degrees on Saturday. The University of Rochester felt the harsh bite of a 15 degrees (6 degrees with wind chill) afternoon.

    On the college guide Web site, Rochester received a D for weather, and the page was peppered with comments like “”it’s snowy, rainy, and gray most of the academic year.”” Rochester is a great school – it received an A on the same site for academics. But University of Arizona received a respectable B for academics, and an A- for weather. And during weeks like this last one of February, I find myself feeling certain that I’d take that A- in weather over academic rigor. This is, in the long run, untrue – I love the UA for its academics far more – but how can we transplant Tucsonans help but feel a little superior that we’ve got it all, including spectacular weather? I’d rather be in Tucson in spring than almost anywhere else in the world.

    The hardest part about Tucson’s premature spring weather is getting through the school grind. The antsy, cooped-up feeling is palpable in every classroom. The whole campus buzzes with a malady one can’t imagine is real until one has sat through several hours of lectures when the air outside is so warm and inviting. The disease is spring fever.

    Yes, the UA has the bug. Clothing is getting tinier and the call of the outdoors is getting louder. It’s hard to think about anything except taking a between-classes swim at the Rec Center or spending the weekend hiking Seven Falls. In one of my classes this week, at least two-thirds of the students’ clothing revealed some sort of swimming accoutrement underneath, from bikini strings to board shorts. How are we to get anything done in this kind of environment?

    We’ll just have to power through. Sure, midterms are upon us and in reality most of us don’t have time to do anything except study. But studying doesn’t have to mean holing up indoors with your books.

    Campus is full of outdoor corners conducive to a sunshiny study session. After all, vitamin D promotes brain health, and countless studies have shown that sunshine can improve moods and even boost serotonin levels. Serotonin plays a role in anxiety, depression and even sleeping habits. Catching a few rays every day can improve all these aspects. The weather may actually be UA students’ best weapon against the stress inherent in exam season. More exposure to sunlight means everything from a better night’s sleep to a sunnier outlook, even on looming tests.

    So really, what’s not to feel lucky about? It’s easy to get bogged down in this seemingly-interminable stretch between Martin Luther King Jr. Day and spring break. But when you’re feeling down, imagine how much longer this semester would seem if you couldn’t even feel your toes, let alone the delicious tingle of the sun on your face.

    Exams or no, UA students would be foolish not to spend a little time enjoying the weather. It’s one of the great pleasures of this campus, and shouldn’t go unnoticed. And based on the sight of the Mall at noon most days, the sunshine is receiving its due gratitude. People play Frisbee, do yoga, sell cookies (my other favorite part of this month – Girl Scout cookie season) or just lay back and enjoy the warmth.

    So for those of you who have not yet embraced this Tucson treasure, here’s my advice: Try not to think too much about that ridiculous midterm or how hot it’s going to get come June, and revel a little in one of the best gifts the UA has to offer – spring.

    Heather Price-Wright is a creative writing and Latin American studies sophomore. She can be reached at

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