With the crazy winter storm that just struck the majority of the Midwest on Tuesday, you might think that people around here would bar the doors, stockpile nonperishable goods, and wait out the weather with pajamas while watching "Friends" reruns. Well, for some people, you're right. For others, that couldn't be father from the truth, especially when considering people of the *ahem* college variety.
As I sit here writing this article, both of my neighbors are throwing parties on their front lawns, complete with adorable puppies, snow fort and snowman building, and for some neighbors in particular, beer drinking. All of this hoopla simply because class was cancelled after 12:30 p.m. today!
Now trust me—I'm not complaining. I think this is awesome! However, I do think people who aren't from this area might think us Northerners are a little strange. So for the amusement of Midwesterner's and to justify the opinions of people who live in other parts of the country that think we really are crazy, here are the different things that we do on snow days.
I know that this one is a little obvious because who doesn't build snowmen, but it's definitely one of the first things most people do, from childhood and beyond. The difference between Midwest snowmen and many other parts of the country is that ours get pretty intense. I'm talking about multiple 10-foot snowmen around town that people don't even look twice at. It's just so normal. I actually find it pretty surprising if I don't see snowmen after a new snowfall.
While this aspect of a snow day is pretty specifically targeted at college students, it's one that proves to be true fairly often. Blasting music from your apartment window or car becomes a must because a stereo just can't handle that kind of cold for long. The best part about a snow storm party? No need for coolers because you can just store your beer in the snowbank! Also, it's literally one of the only reasons when loud public day drinking outside in the winter is socially acceptable.
Have campus wide snowball fights.
This inevitably happens every couple of years when Wisconsin schools actually cancel classes (it's probably rarer that Bigfoot sightings). Even today, a mere couple of hours after the snow began to fall, I got a Facebook invitation to join the party. It's really not anything special, but it's definitely a good time.
Act like the world is ending.
While this phenomenon is typically reserved for the southern half of the states, Wisconsinites aren't immune to it. Just last night people were flooding Festival Foods, Wal-Mart, and grocery stores across the state to stock up on milk, bread, cookies, eggs, whipped cream, candy—you know, the essentials. But honestly, some people do panic about the implications of blizzards. While they're usually mild enough that everything is OK after a couple days, it isn't necessarily a bad thing to prepare.
Ignore responsibilities (i.e., homework).
As soon as the snow day is officially decided on, a lot of people (including myself) simply ignore their responsibilities and do whatever else they want instead. Whether it's binge-watching Netflix, playing in the snow, or spending way too much time on the Internet, they're all acceptable.
Slip and fall. A lot.
A snow day honestly calls for so much slipping and falling that it goes beyond hilarity. I'm sure you've seen the videos of innocent walkers who don't notice the ice hidden beneath snow piles or shovelers who just can't keep their balance. I know I can't contain my laughter when I watch them, but that's in part due to the fact that I've definitely been there before. I prefer to call it awkward ice dancing rather than slipping. It just sounds better.
Most of all, people have fun on snow days. Yes, there's the responsibilities of shoveling, plowing, driving carefully, and all of those other awful things, but most of us are just used to those activities by now. And all of them can be fun if you have the right mindset. Instead of shoveling your driveway by yourself, invite some friends over, toss a couple cold drinks in the snow, and reward yourself for every 10 shovelfuls you move. Try to remember how much you enjoyed snow days as a kid, and enjoy them!