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Sweater weather

Courtney Cox | Tuesday, October 5, 2010

While lounging beside the pool in the middle of July, autumn is viewed with longing. Being welcomed back to our gorgeous campus by our best friends consumes the minds of many Notre Dame students. We look forward to “sweater weather” with all the enthusiasm of our beloved cheerleaders.

Autumn is upon us and it is full of awkward moments that many may have forgotten in the process of idolizing fall in South Bend. We may have entered the season of fall, but many of us are still clinging to the last days of summer.

Before leaving in the morning I must stop and contemplate, do I really need a jacket? Mornings at Notre Dame are freezing, but many suffer through the 15-minute walk across the quad without a coat and reap the benefits when they are able to show off how comfortable they are in the afternoon sun.

Classrooms are decidedly hit or miss as well. When contemplating wearing a skirt, I must actively think through the buildings I will enter. Entering DeBartolo can be an arctic tundra one day, but a stifling desert the next, hence the diversity of clothing seen as appropriate during this season of transition. Sitting in class, surveying the shoes of my fellow students, I notice the stark contrast between one girl sitting in shorts and flip-flops and another in jeans and Uggs. When will the day come that all students collectively decide that it’s too cold to be considered Summer.

It’s perhaps even more awkward for freshmen. Before they set foot on campus for the semester they are told not to bring too many clothes. In the heat of summer it can be easy to believe that summer will undoubtedly last until fall break and a sweatshirt will suffice for the time leading up to break.

Clothing is not the only aspect of student life that suffers through an awkward period of transition. This being the beginning of October many students wonder if it is too early to begin relying on the dorm heating. Old dorms become permeated with the smell of ancient radiators, but the windows remain open so as not to truly give in to the idea that summer is truly over.

While kids from Texas bundle up and try their best to deal with the cold, New Jersey folks leave their windows open in the hopes that it might somehow beckon summer back to our welcoming campus.

Whichever camp you fall into it is clear that there is an awkward divide between those willing to accept fall in all its glory and those who choose to deny its coming. In the weeks leading up to fall break we will collectively play limbo between the two seasons. When returning after a week away, it will become undeniable. It will be time to close our windows, crank the heat and truly embrace sweater weather.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Courtney Cox at ccox3@nd.edu