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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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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To The Stressed Out College Student, Be Optimistic For Spring Quarter

I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter.

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As a strenuous ten weeks of winter quarter is finally coming to a close, there is no better feeling than to be rewarded with a week of spring break. For most colleges and universities, this period of time is one of excitement and relief, as students approach a summer vacation that begins in May. Yet, for students with schedules revolving around the lovable (and often hatable) quarter system, it feels as though summer is far from our reach.

On a personal note, my previous ten weeks of classes have been bearable at best. I can proudly say that I have been counting down the days until spring break since our winter quarter began in January, though now that the week is finally approaching, I am reminded by the fact that I have yet another ten weeks of school in the near future. Interestingly enough, I have not started the countdown to June 18th quite yet. Instead, I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter that will leave me feeling energized and accomplished as I enter into a fresh summer.

I believe that the spring quarter withholds a sense of refreshment and newfound energy in comparison to that of fall and winter. Though students on the quarter system will end classes later than others, there is something to be said for spending days on campus when the warm weather finally breaks. Time seems to pass faster than it did in the dark and ominous weeks of winter quarter, and everyone seems to have a more positive attitude - as we can all see that vacation is approaching.

To the stressed out college student, be optimistic for spring quarter. Though tests and finals will still be ever-present, the completion of another ten weeks of classes is excellent motivation to achieve success and reward yourself within the coming months.

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