Winter Shouldn't Be Your Least Favorite Season

Winter Shouldn't Be Your Least Favorite Season

A lot of comfort can be found through the cold.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Colgate University Flickr

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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5 Things I'm Going To Do To Better Myself This Summer

Every summer I tell myself that I'm going to make a change, but this summer is when I'm finally going to do it.

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After years and years of telling myself that I was going to have a summer "transformation", I finally committed myself to it this summer. This school year was a bit rough to say the least. I was sick for six months, in the hospital for a few weeks, my identity was stolen, and I was ghosted by eight different guys... Yeah, you heard me. Eight. So as you can see, my year was a bit shitty. But it took all of that to finally make me buckle down and want to make a change in my life. It's about time that I focus on my mental and physical health and I've never been more ready. Here are 5 of the things I'm going to do this summer to better myself:

1. Kick box

Last summer I started kick-boxing and it is one of the hardest workouts I've completed. Not only was I in the best shape of my life for a couple months last summer, but it also improved my mental health drastically. It gave me an outlet to channel all of my negative energy whether it was in the heat of the moment or if it had building up inside me for months. After the tragedies of this school year, I am more than ready to get back into the gym and get all of my energy out. Not only will I be in great shape again, but my mental health is sure to get back on track in no time.

2.  Practice yoga

Over the years I have dabbled in yoga, but this summer I really want to focus on my practice. I've considered buying a yoga membership but those can get quite expensive, so I'm going to resort to YouTube to practice yoga about 5 times a week. This will not only improve my mental health but also improve my physical health and give me some designated time each day to devote to working on myself in all aspects.

3. Paint and draw

In the past, painting and drawing has been another outlet that I've channeled my bottled up energy. Whenever I've gone through a breakup or had a falling out with a friend, I painted and used my emotion to inspire art from the root of my feelings. The art that I produce when I'm feeling down is some of the best artwork that I create, but if I get in the regular practice of painting, I will have another outlet to channel my energy and focus on the promotion of creativity and mental health. Not to mention, I might have some really cute room decor by the end of the summer.

4. Write

Now I am a writing major, but sometimes I find myself in a rut. However, whenever I get ghosted or whenever I feel self conscious I am completely inspired. I am full of words and thoughts and feelings and there is no better way to channel those thoughts than by putting them down on paper. Getting those thoughts out and making them tangible is a great way to relieve stress and promote good mental health and I plan to focus on that this summer. This will help me to better myself, but also will allow me to enlarge my portfolio, helping me develop professionally in the process.

5. Go to therapy

Last summer I attended therapy quite regularly in the month of August due to my binge eating being at its worst, but I wish I'd attended therapy all summer to help keep things in regulation. This summer I plan to attend therapy every other week, not due to any particular reason, but rather to practice good mental health on a biweekly basis and to be prepared in case of a flare up or an unexpected event. Going to therapy is perfectly normal and healthy and is quite beneficial when it comes to improving mental health and self awareness. I plan to really tackle this this summer in order to ensure a mentally healthy summer and the start of a healthy and happy school year next fall.

I know it's hard to buckle down and tell yourself that you're going to make a change, but I highly encourage you to try it this summer. Even if you only last a week, you still dedicated a week to trying to better yourself and that says a lot. Try kick-boxing or yoga or painting or whatever helps you focus and channel your energy. Even if it's a small start, it's better than nothing, and I guarantee you'll be thanking yourself at the end of the summer.

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