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Souza: The brighter side of having to set back your clock

Collegian | Taylor Joy MacMahon

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect that daylight saving time will end in the U.S. this weekend. 


Each year, there is a collective groan as most of America begrudgingly sets their clocks back in November — myself and my family included. From thereafter, many who commute to and from school or work will be in pitch-black monotony. Although I don’t agree with the logistics behind daylight saving time, I have to admit I like it better in the dark.

One of the most common reasons people hate winter is because the sun sets early. With less sunlight, people lose motivation, vitamin D and maybe even the will to live. I won’t negate the fact that these are real phenomena, but I feel like we as a society are so quick to latch onto the negatives about less daytime that we don’t appreciate several blessings that also come with it. So consider the following ideas before you are so quick to groan at having to set back your clock.

The sunrises

For most of the year, merely witnessing the sun peek over the horizon means waking up at the buttcrack of dawn. I don’t do that, and I’m sure a good portion of anyone with sanity and the means to sleep in also refuses to wake at 5:30 a.m. Although at the beginning of daylight saving time the sunrise will be earlier than it is now, as the months progress, the sunrises will arrive later. This means that our commutes will soon be painted with a backdrop of stars, morning golds and pinks. The beauty makes cold mornings much less bleak.

A better start

An earlier sunrise is also twofold: Besides witnessing this gorgeous display in the later months, one will eventually be able to sleep in without being woken up before their alarm. The sun has countlessly flashbanged my opening eyes for the past several months, only for me to realize that my alarm isn’t set to go off for another 45 minutes. Although this will only continue for a short while, in a month morning rise-and-shines will have less shine, so you can actually rise.

Holiday season

I don’t know if I’m the only one who uses this logic, but in my mind, the minute America switches back from daylight saving time, it is the holiday season. The start of November — and subsequently the sun setting earlier — signals Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and more. I associate darker skies and shorter days with snow and festivity. 

Exponential coziness increase

This wintertime festivity also carries over into more coziness. When it’s dark around 5 p.m., there’s nothing I’d rather do than cozy up with a good book beside the fireplace, light a candle, grab a blanket and waste the evening away. I recognize that this is dangerous for productivity, but it also stops the winter gloominess from creeping in. Everyone deserves to indulge themself once in a while.

When temperatures drop, the Colorado snow will begin to fall relentlessly. So as we set our clocks back these upcoming weeks, winter frustration and an eagerness for winter break may overtake Colorado State University and its students. But reframing less daylight with a positive mindset is good for all of us.

Reach Emma Souza at or on Twitter @_emmasouza.

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