Reyna: A Texan’s first winter

Christian Reyna, Staff Columnist

All my life, I loved the hot weather and despised the cold. One hundred degrees was nothing to me; just a normal summer day back home, perfect for me to go out with family and occasionally go to the beach, which was only an hour and a half drive away. If it got down to the 90s, that was amazing, and the 80s were even better. I would survive the heat no problem, but cold weather was my kryptonite.

Cold, to me back in Texas, was 50 degrees. I’d panic if it reached the 40s. I thought the world was ending if it was in the 30s. It was unspeakable to go outside in the very rare instances when it dropped below freezing.

Before I came to Case Western Reserve University, I realized that the weather was going to be a big change. I thought I would be fine in my new environment.

However, I underestimated the change.

Autumn came around and I thought, “well this isn’t too bad.” I’ve never seen leaves change colors before, and it was so beautiful to me. The weather was fine as it dipped into the 60s, and the 50s weren’t too bad with my new winter coat. I thought that if winter was gonna be like this, then maybe it wouldn’t be too bad.

Boy was I wrong. Winter arrived, and I was freezing.

I’ve never experienced such cold and frigid temperatures. As the temperature got closer and closer to single digits, it became absolutely horrendous to deal with. Even with warm gloves, a good winter coat and a beanie, I was cold. I dreaded going outside to class during those days.

The addition of snow only added to my internal chaos. Sure, snow is fun and all as I’ve only seen it twice in my life before coming here, but I quickly learned to not wish for it too often.

I slipped and hurt myself a couple of times. Snow blew into my face, and there were times when I couldn’t open my eyes fully. The beauty of snow that I had seen in movies was quickly removed from my head.

The beautiful autumn scenery was gone as well. Winter killed all the plants, and it looked depressed everywhere I looked. The snow would mix with dirt and debris, and it didn’t look nice whatsoever. The sun only rarely came to say hello. I missed seeing life in full bloom.

I started to miss Texas weather during these cold and lifeless days. My family and friends would tell me of their sunny days back home, and it made me even more homesick. The lifeless weather certainly made me feel like I was far from home, and I was not enjoying it. However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite initially hating the cold and unpredictable weather of Cleveland, I’ve since come to learn to appreciate it. I see it as a way to train me for the cold extremes because I am already accustomed to the hot extremes. By the end of winter, I got used to the cold, and now I think 30s is amazing.

Whenever I see friends and family complain about it getting cold because it’s in the 50s, I laugh and invite them to Cleveland, bragging that I’m thriving in far harsher conditions.

Winters here aren’t too bad, there are just some outlier periods when we’re hit with a polar vortex. Other than that, it’s pretty nice.

But still, I can’t wait to go back to Texas in the summer and tackle the opposite extreme again.

Christian Reyna is a first-year biomedical engineering major who is also planning on minoring in Spanish. He absolutely loves dogs and probably procrastinated in writing this article.