What is your favorite season? Summer is my No. 1 pick because I am a big fan of warm weather. I can understand if you like fall — it’s still a little warm and the leaves are pretty. Even winter makes sense if you enjoy the snow.
But in my 19 years of life, I have never heard anyone say their favorite season is spring.
Simply put, spring sucks. There are a number of reasons I could list as to why this is true, but I will stick to the most important ones: allergies, the weather and seasonal depression.
You might think I am a little bit too harsh. Spring is indeed the season of life — flowers bloom, and plants pop with color and vibrancy. Why would I not have more of a problem with fall, the season when everything dies?
First, this season of life comes with massive amounts of pollen. For me, this means a period of very unpleasant days and nights because I am very allergic.
Seasonal allergies are very real and affect the daily lives of a substantial portion of the world’s population, most commonly in the springtime. Furthermore, up to 30% of Americans suffer from hay fever, which can last for the entire season. These allergies not only disrupt your quality of life, but can also slow your cognitive responses and trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms in asthmatic people.
The second issue with spring is the weather. In Boston, weather is very variable, but in no season is it more unpredictable than in spring. Within a week, the weather can vary by 50 degrees Fahrenheit. One day could have a high of 75 degrees and another day has a low of 28 degrees.
No two days are ever the same when it comes to spring in Boston. Every day, there is a new weather challenge to deal with — it’s always too hot or too cold to wear the same style you wore yesterday. Jeans and a sweatshirt might work on most days, but you will be sweltering at 70 degrees and freezing at 30.
Will you be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt to go out, or will you have to wear ten layers of clothing to avoid frostbite?
It is important to acknowledge my privilege in being able to write an article about why I hate spring — I’m a college student living in a dorm that has heaters. Some people across the United States do not have access to a central heating system in their homes or apartments and suffer through the cold of winter without adequate protection from the elements.
For them and people experiencing homelessness — of which there were more than 6,000 in Boston in 2020 alone — spring is nowhere near as terrible as winter. Still, the temperamental weather can continue to threaten those without stable housing. And city revitalization efforts present new challenges, such as construction and increased traffic.
Finally, we must consider mild “winter blues” — a condition that affects around 10 to 20% of Americans — typically starting in the colder months and ending in the spring. Seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression affecting about 4-5% of Americans, is a more severe form of these winter blues.
If you suffer from the winter blues, spring may seem like a good place to start getting back to “normal.” In reality, the constantly shifting weather can exacerbate the issue, further prolonging your winter blues.
A form of SAD called “summer SAD” peaks in the spring and summertime, perhaps in part brought on as a result of allergies. SAD and summer SAD overlap in the spring, but the belief that sunnier weather will cure depression may make this depression less visible. Suicide rates even increase in the spring and early summer.
Ultimately, while I may espouse a particular opinion on the rankings of the seasons, it is up to you to decide if you agree with me and my hatred for spring. However, regardless of your own perspective on the season, you must understand the deeper issues that affect people across seasons and the more profound problems for those who lack heat or suffer from SAD.