Don’t be S.A.D.

For the UAS Whalesong
Starting around this year, if you haven’t already, you may start hearing people talk about “getting sad.” This sounds perfectly normal, especially for the interim between midterms and leading up to finals. But as we descend into the winter months, and especially here in Alaska, the word “sad” might not actually mean what you think it does. The person speaking could actually be referring to the acronym S.A.D., which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
“What the heck is that?” you might ask. Well, S.A.D. is a mood disorder and type of depression that occurs during the same season every year regularly. It tends to begin and end around the same times, making its occurrence fairly easy to predict, if you know that you have it, or are prone to it. In Alaska and the northern hemisphere in general, people are especially susceptible to S.A.D. because of the cold weather and the lack of daylight. Symptoms include depression, a lack of energy and needing/wanting more sleep than usual, irritability, and a change in appetite. Sometimes, you can have or get S.A.D. and not even know it – so, if you’ve been sad and grumpy and extra-sleepy recently, that might be the reason why. Continue reading “Don’t be S.A.D.”


For the UAS Whalesong
If you have spent over an hour in my immediate presence, you’ve probably heard me voice something regarding my distaste for nature. That being said, it then becomes understandable that several people have approached me regarding my participation in the recent camping trip up to Windfall Lake Cabin that UAS Housing put on. So in answer to the not-infrequent question “Why did you go camping?”, I respond that my reasoning was precisely because I do hold little affinity for nature. I don’t like being outside, amongst the elements, “roughing it” in the style of true Alaskans – but I still know how to go camping, and enjoy doing so occasionally, and I have also read many writings that extol the virtue of the Great Outdoors™ and Fresh Air©. Also, I have a Very Alaskan Father who makes fun of me if I don’t do at least one outdoorsy thing each year.
But on this particular occasion, there was even more to it than that. On this particular occasion, my presence on the Windfall Lake Camping Trip of 2015 was a serious case of Hardcore Investigative Journalism to compare it with the Windfall Lake [Winter] Camping Trip of 2014. That was an Experience of an entirely different kind from regular camping, filled with snow and ice and wet gooey marsh and a 5-hour hike in the rain and dark with failing flashlights. (There are some who would argue that the hike took us only 3 hours. I will maintain to my deathbed that it took us 5.) So, my participation in this camping trip was as much to see if conditions had improved and the housing department had listened to our feedback from last year as it was for my own personal edification and exposure to the outdoors. Continue reading “#Nature”

Health Corner: Your Health Clinic

For the UAS Whalesong
The UAS Clinic is Your Student Health Clinic
Many students are not aware of the services provided at the UAS Student Health Clinic. Read on to find out more about your student health clinic: Continue reading “Health Corner: Your Health Clinic”

Taking the Plunge for the Glory Hole!


The Polar Plunge is probably one of the most well-known events that happens worldwide annually. Most of the time it is associated with beginning a new year or jumping for a charity fund-raising event. This event has been a tradition at UAS specifically since 1998. For this year’s Polar Plunge, the campus was raising funds and awareness for The Glory Hole. The Glory Hole is a homeless shelter and soup kitchen located here in downtown Juneau. Unfortunately, they just went through a detrimental event; about two months ago a broken pipe ended up flooding the facility. They were just able to reopen on Feb. 5. What’s really awesome though, is what came about after this terrible event.

Continue reading “Taking the Plunge for the Glory Hole!”