The tator

Student suffering has returned to normal after weird week

Sam Johnson

More stories from Sam Johnson

The Tator
November 21, 2022
The tator

A recent study from UW-Eau Claire’s department of vibes (DOV) has found student morale went up by nearly 800% last week and experts are scrambling to find the cause.

Tina Illusion, a research assistant in the DOV, said it doesn’t make any sense.

“Out of nowhere, last Wednesday, students were pumped,” Illusion said. “Normally, when we poll students almost nobody responds, assuming we’re bothering them about political or religious affiliations.”

Illusion said she first noticed things were different when students were skipping down the hill on the way to 8 a.m. classes. Then, as they got closer, she saw they were smiling.

According to Illusion, 100% of students reported improved emotional well-being from the week before. 

“Everybody was doing great,” Illusion said. “It was magnificent to see. Everyone was so happy, it was almost scary.”

Alissa Pretend, the DOV’s head of vibe exploration, said she’d never seen anything like this.

“I’ve been at the forefront of vibes on this campus for 29 years,” Pretend said. “Sure, when finals week is over or Pickle Palooza is happening, we see a spike, but nowhere near these numbers.”

Normally, the DOV does monthly polls. But — after last week’s “shocking” results — it did another emergency check last Friday, which received far more regular results, according to Pretend.

“Unfortunately,” Pretend said. “Things were back to normal — everybody was bummed out.”

The month of November, according to the DOV’s database, is among the lowest in student morale. 

Pretend said the DOV has hypothesized a number of different causes for this.

“Students are burnt out,” Pretend said. “There’s a brief increase before and after Thanksgiving break, but, other than that, people hate November. The seasons change, daylight savings happens and schoolwork is overloaded.”

Asher Fantasy, a third-year geography student and participant in the DOV’s poll, said they know why last week was so fantastic.

“When I get stressed, I watch YouTube videos,” Fantasy said. “For the first time in forever, I wasn’t interrupted by political ads telling me how horrible everything is.”

According to Fantasy, the constant and prolonged political ads were keeping them stressed during their one stress-relieving activity.

Now that the election cycle is over and the votes have been counted, Fantasy said, they have to stress about what it all means. Before everything was decided, life was good, they said.

 They said they have been several weeks ahead for the entire semester because Youtube was “unwatchable,” but their stress levels had been steadily increasing.

Nicholas Facade, a second-year marketing student, said it was something else.

“The weather was great,” Facade said. “It was gray out, per usual, but it was so warm I didn’t care.”

Getting a few fleeting moments of “shorts weather” was all Facade said he needed to have a good week.

Then, once the weather plummeted 37 degrees in one day, things were worse, according to Facade.

Antoine False, a second-year physics student, said he had a different reason to be happy last week.

“Thanksgiving, last year, was the greatest day of my life,” False said. “I went from eating terrible campus food to my family’s delicious home-cooked meals. Then, I had to buy a second mini fridge to fit all the leftovers they sent with me.”

According to False, he looked at his calendar last Sunday and realized how close he was to the holiday. He went to the store, bought $100 worth of Tupperware for this year’s leftover haul and had a great day.

After that, he said, he made the mistake of going to class and realizing how much “crap” he had to do before then, and his mood dropped.

Pretend said there’s good news and bad news about the DOV’s polling anomaly.

“The bad news is; everybody is miserable again,” Pretend said. “The good news is; that’s totally normal.”

Johnson can be reached at [email protected]