Freshman Thoughts: Focus withers in spring weather

    The second the weather turns pleasant, the campus comes alive. Booming music is inescapable, sunbathers are laying out on every available patch of grass, new outfits are being flaunted and the overall feeling of happiness is infectious.  If anyone is in a bad mood, coming to Rider on a nice day is highly suggested. The question is, when spirits are up because of warm, sunny days, do grades drop?
The first instinct for many on warm or hot days, which Rider has been experiencing recently, is to go outside and soak up the sun. Just by surveying the campus it is clear to see that the activities of choice include playing sports, enjoying iced beverages and, of course, sunbathing. It appears that only a few people want to work on the computer, fill out worksheets or read a book for class while spending the day outside. It is understandable. Most students want to focus on enjoying the weather, rather than letting the day pass by as they bury their heads in a pile of homework. Of course everyone would prefer to take in the natural surroundings than spend a day working — who wouldn’t? With the end of the semester and the beginning of finals right around the corner, however, the importance of holding off on the longing for summer for just a few more weeks should not be forgotten.
Do soccer players and sunbathers struggle in class when the weather gets warmer? It is impossible to generalize such a wide spectrum of students at Rider. Something quite clear is that not all struggle with the work versus weather issue. Some people, like myself, feel more alert and motivated as the weather improves. It is difficult to deny that when the sun is shining it is far easier to wake up to attend an early class than when the day is gray and dreary. Of course, there is no doubt that class attendance seems to dwindle as the days grow more enjoyable. While the weather may be a distraction for some, it is the perfect push for others to finish up the semester on a high note.
As a commuter, I can confirm that driving to school is a far better experience than in winter. Gone is the everyday curiosity of whether or not ice will need to be scraped from the windshield, the wonder if traffic will be bad because of poor conditions and the torturous wait for the heat to kick in while en route to school.  While this is not a worry for those who live on campus, surely everyone can agree that it is easier to get to class on time when the path is free of ice and snow.
When there is music playing and people laughing just outside the classroom window, it is hard to concentrate at times. The great thing about college is that there was not an inch of summer lost as there is in grade school and high school. Though it is difficult to imagine when New Jersey is experiencing 90 degree days, the best of summer has yet to arrive, and when it does, college does not have any intention of getting in the way. Not letting weather interfere with class is a pressing issue, but it is certainly one we are all capable of working through.

-Casey Gale
Freshman journalism/American Studies major

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