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Fall weather arrives at Notre Dame

Kaitlin Spillane | Monday, October 15, 2007

On Thursday morning, the students of Notre Dame woke up to something quite unfamiliar: A temperature of below 60 degrees. Ironically, it is the middle of October, where such temperatures are usually expected. This year, however, Notre Dame has enjoyed (or abhorred, depending on what kind of person you are) record-high 80 and 90 degree weather well into autumn.

Flip-flops, skirts, shorts, and tank tops have been worn well beyond the time they were expected to be retired into the recesses of our closets. On North and South quads, resourceful female students were able to accomplish both homework and tanning at the same time even into the late days of September. And those who live in the wonderful dorms without air conditioning were griping and comparing their rooms to ovens right up until last week.

But now, it appears the reality of South Bend weather has caught up to us.

To be sure, the newfound coolness has its benefits. Residents of older dorms no longer have to blow fuses in their rooms because so many fans are blasting. A leisurely walk across campus no longer results in a sweat equivalent to that gained by running five laps around a track. And truly, Notre Dame is at its most beautiful on a crisp fall day.

The disadvantage of this suddenly cool weather is just that-it is SUDDEN. Waking up to a cold rainy day after weeks of sunshine and heat is discomfiting. Moreover, though the temperature these past few days has not been THAT cold, in comparison to 90 degrees, 45 feels like freezing.

The change in garb of the student body reflects the suddenness of the change in weather. Ugg boots, North Faces, pea coats, and scarves have already made an appearance on campus (though a few toughened souls still continue to wear merely shorts and T-shirts).

Many students on their way to a morning class look more like they are on their way to an Arctic trek than to anthropology in the Hesburgh Library. A fellow student, after observing a girl with boots up to her knees and an oversized jacket, said: “It’s only October! Where do you go from there?” Is it true that our extra-long summer weather has now made us too cold too easily?

Perhaps it is the promise of what comes AFTER the fall that makes us want to bundle up with five layers and tug on those winter boots. Come November and December, we here at Notre Dame will be treated to harsh winds, freezing rains, and, very likely, snow. So for now, hard as it may be, let us appreciate the cool winds and the 40 degree mornings. Let us not take for granted the beauty of the Notre Dame campus before all the leaves fall off the trees and our psychotic squirrel friends go into hibernation.

Let us embrace the fall-because, finally, it has arrived.