The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


Come for the Winter, Stay for the Summer

Bobby Ruiz
A stream runs under a bridge in the summer weather at Maroon Creek Golf Course.

Cabin Fever is an issue many people face during winter. Just look at the Donner Party; after getting stuck in the winter for five months, they ate each other. You are much less likely to see people eating each other during the summer. This is one of the many reasons why summer is the best season.

Aspen is known for its skiing and amazing winters. Founded as a mining camp during Colorado’s silver boom in the 1800s, the city flourished until the Silver market collapsed in 1893. By 1930, the population had dropped to below 1000 people. However, in the mid-1900s, Aspen’s fortune recovered after the nearby mountain was developed into a world-class ski resort.

Aspen has so many fantastic winter activities, such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and the X Games. You have to admit, it is a great place to be during the winter. Many places do not have the same access to winter activities and opportunities that Aspen has, so their summer activities and opportunities far outweigh their winter activities and opportunities. Even in Aspen, it is a common saying that although everyone comes for the winters, they stay for the summers.

Vitamin D is made when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It has incredible benefits, including protecting you against everything from stroke and heart attacks to depression, cancer, and osteoporosis. Summer is a much better time to fully embrace the benefits of the sun and Vitamin D. In the winter, the gloomy weather often makes it challenging to experience as much sunshine as you do during the summer. Furthermore, the cold temperatures deter most people from getting outdoors and exposing their skin to the sun. You can enjoy the sun in the summer until it sets at around 8:30 at night. It is much warmer and nicer to be outside with less clothing, which maximizes the benefits of Vitamin D.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during certain seasons of the year. Five percent of the population suffers from this disorder, and up to 20 percent of the population experiences milder forms. SAD most often occurs during the fall and the winter, with the worst months being December through February. SAD occurs less during the summer months because of a surge in vitamin D, which is great for so many things. Let us not forget about Aspen’s summer activities. There is mountain biking, hiking, swimming, tennis, golf, horseback riding, sightseeing, whitewater rafting, paragliding, and more. In the summer, outdoor activities are more accessible as it is warmer, the weather is better, and no snow or ice is obstructing any fun. Outdoor activities are great for us. Spending time in nature and experiencing the warmth of natural sunlight improves your mood and reduces stress and depression. Once again, we also tend to be more active in the summer, and physical activity is a mood booster due to the chemical levels in the brain, including serotonin, endorphins, and stress hormones, changing during exercise, which is an excellent thing for mental health.

Engaging in physical activities is shown to have many benefits, and when combined with summer activities, you are in for a great time. Another obvious benefit of outdoor activities is the lack of service, which encourages a separation from our phones. Technology is shown to increase stress, disrupt sleep, affect mental health, and trigger a fear of missing out. Being out in nature without your phone is fantastic for your mental health as it gives you a break from stress and thinking that you are missing out because the truth is, everyone else is missing out by not being out in nature.

Many students also get summer off of school, which is a great destresser. Not having to worry about schoolwork, homework, or tests is a great way to improve students’ mental health. Summer is a time for students to relax and have fun doing things they enjoy. Lastly, summer provides more opportunities to spend time with friends and family. People can participate in physical activities together as a family or with their friends much more easily than in other months when physical activity is limited.

Summer is the best season for physical activity, being in the sun, getting the benefits of vitamin D, and improving mental health.

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