by Katherine Wright 

Whether you love the cold, and frolic around in your brand-new mittens catching snowflakes on your tongue — or you absolutely despise it, and mutter complaints under your breath as every unwelcome burst of wind slaps your face — I think we can all agree the quick-falling darkness associated with winter is the absolute worst.

You take a nap at 3:30 p.m. and then suddenly wake up in complete darkness, trying to figure out what, where and who you are. You go on a mid-afternoon grocery run in broad daylight, then haul your snacks back to your room in the middle of an apparent eclipse. You try to do homework, motivated by the sunlight, and then fall asleep at your desk by 5 p.m., tricked by the outside darkness into thinking it’s bedtime.

We have all been attacked by the cruel realities of the quick-setting winter sun, and shamed ourselves for once finding joy in the fleeting extra hour of sleep caused by the evil end of daylight saving time.

I imagine I would be a different person if the sun set at a normal, human time. I would be productive, energetic and alive with the infinite possibilities of the day. I would run a marathon and write a novel and go skydiving. The world would be my oyster, filled with daylight and opportunity.

Well, it would at least be slightly closer to that vision of reality. As it is, I’m not equipped with the vampire-like skill of being magically productive in the darkness. And I’m not talking about those 1 a.m. procrastination-inspired bursts of energy (because we’ve all been there). I’m talking about the early-onset, middle-of-the-night period that now occurs at 5 p.m. I’m no vampire — I’m not capable of being very productive at that time.

Especially with the pandemic and virtual learning, the short-lived daylight hours feel more drastic. A year ago, you would walk into your afternoon classes in the light, and emerge in the darkness. It was a strange feeling, but at least we walked outside surrounded by people. (Note: I promise to never complain about this experience again.)

Now, we sit hunched over our computers and slowly watch the sun go into hiding. Because we often stay in the same place to do our homework, attend classes and even eat meals and watch TV, it makes evening drowsiness that much more prominent. The scenery stays the same and the days blur together.

As we slowly move toward DST, I will look forward to the steady increase of sunlight. I will finally appreciate the daytime, even with the temporarily disastrous one less hour of sleep.

But in the meantime, I guess I’ll have to look into going nocturnal.