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COLUMN: Winter Should Give Us A Break

An Open Letter

For The Heights

Published: Monday, February 17, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 00:02

Dear winter,
Albert Camus said in The Stranger that “in the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer,” but I beg to differ. In the depth of this winter, all I’m learning is that I’m infinitely impatient. Winter, I think you’ve really overstayed your welcome. I knew there was no turning back once I was compelled to take out my winter jacket during those first few blustery days back in October, but at this point I really feel like you should leave.

The idea of a New England winter was charming, in theory. Back in August, I couldn’t wait for the tall snowdrifts and bright blue skies that I saw in college pamphlets and on L.L. Bean’s Instagram account. I pictured myself heading to class all bundled up in wool and plaid. For some reason, I thought my fictionalized Boston winter would be fun.

    But reality struck pretty soon into first semester. I thought you would be so cozy, winter. I pictured a constant Christmas on campus. I imagined snowball fights and sledding and hot cocoa by a fire. It’s pretty clear that this vision of winter more closely aligned with that of a ski lodge than of Boston College.

    The main thing that struck me is how gray you are. All the buildings here are even the same shade of gray as the sky. The sky is gray, the snow turns gray, campus is gray, and everyone’s faces are vaguely gray and depressed-looking. The bright crimson landscape of the fall turned so quickly into a barren and desolate vista. The Gothic feel of campus is beautiful in the spring and fall when there’s a little more color contrast, but not so much in the winter when everything around is monochromatic.

    Winter, I’m sick of you. I feel like I haven’t seen the sun in weeks. I spend my days inside brainstorming the quickest routes between classes or frantically checking TransLoc to minimize the amount of time I have to wait for the Newton bus. My skin is as pale as the snowdrifts, and I think it’s getting even drier with each passing day. It reminds me of the scene in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie when our favorite porous protagonist is drying out under a heat lamp. I feel like Spongebob, except instead of a heat lamp, (I wish) it’s an arctic tundra that lacks moisture. And as we all know, moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.

    I’m not even a winter rookie—it gets pretty cold in D.C. I had more than my fair share of snow days in high school. But the wind and the never-ending snow piles of Boston are just on a whole new level. This is winter 2.0. You’re like the three-headed dog guarding the Sorcerer’s Stone. I just need to get past you and into spring, and maybe I’ll survive.

    At this point, I’m even reminiscing about the gross, humid, and sticky D.C. summer. At least then I didn’t have to worry about the salt residue left on all of my boots or the fact that I look like I’m wearing the same exact outfit every day. It’s hard to accessorize when that big black coat covers everything, anyway. I long for the good old days when I didn’t closely resemble vanilla pudding. I’m even sick of wearing my fleece-lined leggings every day, if that’s possible. Wearing shorts outside seems like a fairytale.

    I have noticed that some people do brave the cold and just wear gym shorts. By some people, I mostly mean freshman boys. Don’t you guys get cold in basketball shorts and sweatshirts when it’s -10 degrees with windchill? Or are you too macho for to feel the cold?
     I went on a run outside the other day because it looked deceptively bright out, and I think I now have walking pneumonia, or something. The cold infiltrated my lungs and made me cough uncontrollably. Four days later, I’m still feeling the effects of my 12-minute run around Newton. Never again—at least not until we’re out of the depths of winter.

    Regardless, I do have hope that spring will come again. I know the groundhog saw his shadow, but let’s not dwell on that. My friends from this area say it doesn’t really get warm until April, but I’m hoping this is the year that spring will come early. I can’t wait for the grass to be green instead of the swath of mud it is right now. I’m excited to see the BC in flowers next to those random stairs behind McGuinn. Most of all, I’m ready to wear one or two layers instead of four or five every time I venture outside.


    
 

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