There are a lot of reasons to hate winter. As soon as it snows, it becomes nearly impossible to wear your favorite shoes, trapping you in snow boots for the remainder of the season. Eyelashes frost over and hair freezes into icicles as soon as you step out of the shower. The sky loses its color and only moves on a scale from gray to black. Days become shorter and darker, the only light reflecting and blinding from bright white snow. Greenery dies and only pine trees live through the frost. The once pristine snow turns to sludge by mid-February and doesn’t go away until early April.

Freezing rain, slush and general cold make a lot of people board up their doors and stay inside for the winter. Though a pair of flannel pajama pants, a warm fire and fuzzy socks are a good break from the winter elements, these exact comforts are the same things that create cabin fever. It's easy to get claustrophobic and anxious when cooped up inside for too long, even if you are in fuzzy socks. I think that people experience cabin fever because they long for spring, forgetting the reasons why winter is so magical.

I think that people all too quickly forget the joy of winter. Three months in, and they’re bored of the crisp clean air, the snowfall and the cozy sweaters. All they can see is the misery of darkened days, trees without leaves and people walking around with their faces cast down.

When I look at winter, I see something different. Nothing wakes me up quicker for an early class than stepping outside to a breath of cool air. As I walk by other students on the path to class, I see snowflakes sticking to their hair, reflecting light around their faces. I see color in their cheeks and brightness in their eyes as their bodies react to the freezing air. I see more kindness in the winter, as friends bring each other hot chocolate and strangers offer rides up the hill to campus. Everything feels grander in the winter, from massive snow banks to frosted mountaintops.

Instead of seeing dead branches, I see trees coated with ice, glistening. Instead of frozen toes, I appreciate the magic of ski socks and thawing by a fire. Instead of lamenting at mud and brown snow, I look forward to every time a fresh blanket falls.

Winter is slipping down icy paths and getting back up again. It’s snowball fights followed by hot chocolate and blankets. It’s scraping off a car covered in a foot of snow and warming up inside. It’s long johns, tights, leggings and sweatpants, sometimes all at the same time. It’s comforts found after a little bit of discomfort.

It’s too easy to cast winter off as a least-favorite season. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of snow, try to experience a little bit of the outdoors this season, rather than staying cooped up until spring.