As winter draws to an official close this week, we're reminded of the ending of chilly seasons gone by. Our body cringes a bit when we think of trudging through brown snow, wringing out wet socks and bundling on the layers to stay warm.
However, this winter was one for the record books, leaving us well below our typical snowfall. While having the sun grace us with her presence earlier than usual is a welcome addition, it does rob college students of one of the hidden treasures of the higher-education experience: snow days.
Snow days are one of the perks of attending a school in the snow belt. On some campuses, these impromptu vacation days are thrown around haphazardly, resulting in a loss of their nostalgic charm. At other schools, snow days are often mysteriously mentioned but never obtained.
When the first flurries touch down, Facebook and Twitter are ablaze with "can't wait for a snow day!" comments. Some dedicated students even develop their own rituals to guarantee a snow day, like wearing their pajamas inside out or tucking a spoon under their dorm room pillows.
All night, students pace and wait for the official word. Many cross their fingers to hear about the snow day the night before (to allow for maximized sleeping in, of course), but no matter what time that e-mail graces your inbox cancelling classes -- it's magic. Shrieks are heard across campus and feet pound down the stairs to spread the news. Someone heads to the basement to see where the sleds from last year are hidden, while another friend eyes up the quad to see if it's an acceptable area for a snowball fight.
Snow days are captivating no matter how old you are. They take us back to our younger years, when our only responsibilities were making sure our neon-colored snowsuit was buckled properly. It's a remembrance of a time when hot cocoa cured any problem, wearing your pajamas while watching mid-morning cartoons was the epitome of happiness and all of your friends lived on the same block. College snow days evoke some of that charm. During these days, the stresses of term papers, meetings and classes evaporate. For one day, everyone can resort back to what made them happiest when they were a kid -- being surrounded by their favorite people, laughing and truly living in that very moment.
Happy as I am to trade in my snow boots for flip-flops so early, there's a little part of me that would love to have one more snow day for old times' sake. Bring on that Nor'easter!
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