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Opinion

Early snowfall prepares students for long winter

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November 14, 2014

“But baby it’s cold outside…”

I don’t know if you noticed, but there is now snow on the ground. But hey, it is November; this could have come a whole lot sooner. Think about that as your feet and hands slowly become numb due to the icy chill.

At the beginning of the school year, I wrote an article talking about the good aspects of autumn. This is similar to that, except I am solidly a summer-person and can think of only a few things to enjoy about the winter months.

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

Perhaps if we sing it enough, we will begin to share some of the optimism present in the song. Snow comes, snow goes, snow stays until it gets dirty and gross, but at least when it first falls, snow is very nice to look at. The world becomes a winter wonderland and all the nuisances of the landscape become pure and white.

So, at least for some of the time, winter has the shallow appearances aspect for us to enjoy. Another “benefit” is we get to work on our driving skills. Instead of speeding along random roadways, we have to drive slowly and smartly. Like riding the car in front of you? Not in the winter! If you do this with ice-covered roads, you are asking for an accident. I doubt karma will deny you for long.

Those Falcons who have to drive to and from school, please be careful out there! Those rules you learned in driving school long ago? This is the time to remember and act on them. At least three seconds between you and the person in front of you. Four seconds on the highway.

When stopping behind a car, make sure you can see their rear tires touching the ground. That way, if the person behind you starts to skid and hits you, there is less chance of you hitting the car in front of you. This will make both you and your insurance company happy.

Of course, you can’t talk about the benefits of winter without mentioning winter sports. Hockey, figure skating, the various types of skiing, and snowmobiling make up the main winter sports we get to do. Plus, of course, there are snowball fights and snowmen making contests. Olaf anyone?

Also, since most of us don’t want to go outside, we get the opportunity for crafts and baking that we wouldn’t otherwise. But honestly, many will probably take this time to catch up on Netflix and perhaps do some school work.

Another benefit, we all get to look like marshmallows! Tall, short, dark, pale, large, or small, it doesn’t matter in winter. We will all be round, large, and cloth-covered marshmallows waddling across campus trying not to crash into each other. Who cares about appearances when you can’t see any of it?

As participants in a non-essential business, we get another serious benefit in winter. Snow days!

Think about it for a second. Hospitals can’t shut down due to snow. The government probably shouldn’t either. Schools, however, can and will have snow days. Given, we haven’t had an official snow day in a while but when the snow and temperatures start to fall, professors usually tell their students either not to come or to use their best judgment.

So despite the cold, take the day off and catch up on those assignments and readings you have been ignoring for the last week. But don’t forget the hot chocolate to help keep yourself warm and your spirits up.

Winter is a time of cold and snow. In the beginning we get to think of the holidays but slowly the season seems never-ending. However, the sun will come up, eventually. You can bet your bottoms that by June there will be sunshine.

Counting November, that’s only seven months to go! So Falcons, although the weather outside is frightful, go out and enjoy the snow. Winter is coming. Winter is here.

Rachel Molitor is a student at UW-River Falls.