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Fearing winter in the Bend?

Analise Lipari | Monday, December 8, 2008

I can’t remember experiencing a winter without snow. I allegedly lived in the South as an infant, courtesy of an Air Force dad, but if I lived through a winter without loads of that fluffy white stuff, I’ve chosen to block it out of my memory.

I’ve been a proud resident of New Hampshire for the past fourteen years – well, when I’m not living in the Bend – and even if there’s no snow on Christmas day, you can safely have faith that the good stuff will come eventually. There’s skiing, sledding and snow-trekking to be had, and it’s all pretty wonderful.

Snow has blanketed campus as well, and I couldn’t be happier. I love that crunch underfoot as I cross snow-laden sidewalks, and the twinkle that lingers on your eyelashes after the flurries have melted. There’s nothing like making snow angels, or having snowball fights (unless you get one of those back-of-the-neck-and-down-the-collar snowball hits that gives you a head cold. Boo).

Well, at least during fall semester.

As I look around a campus clothed in white fluff, I can’t help feeling a slight sense of dread. Like the ethanol permacloud that blankets our skyline in a weird, light-orange haze, the dread of what’s to come has me spooked.

What’s got me so concerned? The threat of February.

I know, I should enjoy the moment and not freak out about the future. (I’ve tried to apply that logic to my senior year, by the way, and have soundly failed.) But if there’s one thing that can dampen my campus reverie, it’s the spring semester winter blues.

You know what I’m talking about – or, if you’re freshmen, you will. I don’t mean more snow in general. I’m talking about the oppressive cold, bone-chilling winds and tundra-like feel to campus that settles in during that second month of the year.

You’ll recognize its arrival. People start complaining of backaches from walking bent-over across the South Quad wind tunnel. You’ll start making fish faces whenever you come in from the cold, trying to establish feeling in your facial muscles. All semblance of a social life beyond your dorm, your classes and your occasional trips for food will cease, unless you, brave soul, dare to trek into the wild.

I decided to go abroad last spring for a variety of reasons: academic concerns, timing issues, et cetera. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to skip out on spring semester winter blues. Turns out that it rarely snows in London, and the only time I experienced real “winter” weather while I was abroad was during a canyon-jumping excursion in the Swiss Alps (which was, by the way, totally ballin’).

Did I miss the winter weather? Sure – I’d be a fool to complain about the joys of snow.

But did I miss February on campus? Heck no.

Ultimately, the weather is what you make of it: vow to stay positive, and you will. Me, I’m just trying to enjoy the beauty of the moment, because it will inevitably end too soon.