As you may have noticed, here in Boston we are approaching the shortest day of the year, or the winter solstice. The winter solstice indicates the day on which our section of the earth is pointed as far as possible away from the sun, shortening the hours of daylight and cooling the earth’s surface. ‘Latitude’ is a measure of distance designed to indicate a position on the Earth in degrees north or south of the equator, or middle of the earth.
In latitudes as far of the equator as we are here in Boston, everyone knows the term ‘winter blues’. This is the seasonal change in activity level brought on by less sunlight, colder temperatures and more time spent inside. If you came to EC Boston from a different climate, the effect of winter blues can be significant! If this is the first time you are seeing snow, or that it is dark when you leave class, the changes can come as quite a shock.
But don’t worry! The shortest day of the year is almost here and from then on there will be more and more daylight and more opportunities to go out and have fun! This is also the time of year when most cultures hold festivals and holidays, perhaps specifically to pull us out of our winter funks. And until there’s more light and the temperature goes up, there are special opportunities to take advantage of that only come once a year 🙂
Here are some good ideas to beat the winter blues and make the most of winter in North America:
- Ice skating at Frog Pond on the common! This is one of my favorite activities, costs only around $15, and has a hot chocolate stand.
- Take a trip to NYC- with round trip bus fare sometimes under $30, this is a wonderful weekend travel option!
- Tour the museums of Boston- during the summer everyone is too busy outside to explore the cultural institutions of Boston, so kick back and take some time to get to know the MFA, Museum of Science and Aquarium.
- Join a book club or social group- one of the best ways to practice your English is to get involved with native speakers, and winter is the time when groups like these heat up. Check out meetup.com to find activity groups, idealist.org to find some volunteer opportunities, or form your own EC student book club, we’ll be happy to loan you a classroom after school for a meeting!