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A Hardened New Englander’s Lament

Friday morning brought the first big snowstorm of the year to the Heights, and, as a result, many of my fellow ‘Baby Eags’ were pretty hyped. I, on the other hand, must confess that I was less than enthused.

Since then, more than a foot of snow has accumulated on campus, and, even though the administration decided that it wasn’t enough to warrant cancelling classes either Friday or Monday and grace us with a snow day, it supplied us with plenty of powdah to build a snowman or sled down the Newton campus hill. Members of the class of 2019 and beyond took full advantage of these fun winter activities, as many of them grew up in sunny southern states or California and were experiencing the magic of their first snowstorm.

IMG_1071As a proud New Englander– born and raised– one would expect that I would enjoy these snow day rituals, but, surprisingly, I decided to sit it all out. Not because it didn’t look fun, but, rather, because I am one of the few who remember last winter. While these storms might have appeared innocent enough to an onlooker, as someone affected, it was difficult not to experience some post-traumatic stress as a result of the previous year’s events.

Like the majority of the BC student body, I resided in Massachusetts last winter and lived through some of the worst weather conditions this great state has ever seen. Boston reached a (record high) snowfall total of 110.6 inches and my hometown of Worcester, MA was hailed the “snowiest city in America” (!!) with an astounding 119.7 inches. (For a frame of reference, that’s about 1.5 Julian Edelmans tall.)

These conditions, brought upon by a series of blizzards– which began in late January and continued throughout much of February– wreaked havoc on the lives of Massachusetts’ workforce and students alike. My high school deemed it necessary to cancel school a whopping nine days last year. This seemingly endless stream of school cancellations might have been a high school senior’s dream with the knowledge that none of these days would have to be made up come springtime, but even as one severely afflicted by senioritis, I found myself tiring of the snow. My level of boredom and the levels of snowfall on the ground rose and rose until it culminated in my doing something I had never even dreamed possible: I climbed out my second floor bedroom window, leapt off my roof, soared twenty feet down, and landed completely unharmed in four feet of soft, puffy snow. Although I was able to make the best out of a bad situation, this unprecedented amount of snow was, overall, a huge pain in the rear. Plans were constantly being cancelled,  driving anywhere was difficult and risky (have you seen Massholes drive?), and the daily snow removal routine proved exhausting.

FullSizeRender-3Although most BC students did not have to deal with snow removal themselves thanks to the phenomenal job that our school’s facilities workers do, they too suffered the pains of these never-ending Nor’easters, trudging long distances, crossing slippery streets, and climbing slushy staircases to reach their classrooms.

In my humble opinion, anyone who made it through last winter here deserves a prize and a spot on Survivor. You can see why even one snowstorm this year is one too many.

This winter, Massachusetts been blessed with unseasonably warm temps  – December and much of January could be described as downright balmy for New England – and on both Christmas Eve and February 1st, the temperature cracked into the 60s. While hearty northerners and curious southerners alike declared their outrage at this blasphemously nice weather, I was part of the minority of those who relished in this small miracle. With so much of 2015 tainted by biting cold and mountainous snow piles, I think it’s only fair that we get to enjoy some more temperate weather for a change.

As I walked to class these past few days as gusts of wind blew wet snowflakes into my eyes, numbing my face, and soaking my hair and clothes, an all too familiar feeling of dread filled me.

FullSizeRender-1Sure, I don’t think snow is all bad. Gasson looks even more beautiful dusted in white. It’s given me an excuse to consume a dangerous amount of clam chowder from Eagles. The look of pure fascination and engagement on my Floridian classmate’s face was enough to keep me from making my usual sarcastic crack at his thousands of layers of clothing. I was almost even won over to the dark side upon viewing the beauty of tree branches glistening in the light of the setting sun – that is, until I heard a deafeningly loud crack and watched as the entire top half of an ancient oak tree right outside my dorm room window snapped off and thudded to the ground.

That was the only reminder I needed to snap me back to my newfound, bitter outlook on winter.

Maybe it’s because I’m slowly inching towards adulthood, or perhaps I’m just forever scarred by last year’s series of unfortunate events, but these first storms have failed to bring me any of the joy or excitement of years past. Furthermore, since I was able to squeeze in my annual weekend of skiing over break, after these two (honestly wimpy) storms, I am officially betraying my roots and probably all New Englanders by being the first to say it – bring on spring!

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