Shake off the winter blues

There’s plenty to love as temperatures drop

Last winter for the first time in almost ten years, I saw snow. Real snow. Not the mountain-top frosting or frozen grass in the morning, but feet upon feet of rock-hard, gray, unforgiving and completely fall-on-your-face-able snow. I have to say, I was a little less than enthused as I found out the “winter” boots that had gotten me through four years of hiking in the red dirt of Hawaii and walking through the rain drenched sidewalks in northern California were hardly sufficient for the treks across campus.

However as I search Amazon for more sensible footwear and buy, like, 16 pairs of gloves, I find that I secretly love the Cleveland winter. The gray skies may make me forget what true warmth feels like, and the potholes may bring back the unpleasant memories of being driven in the back of cattle cars during basic training, but January and February in the 216 are where it’s at. For these 11 reasons and a million more, here’s why you should be grateful to be spending the lovely winter months here at Case Western Reserve University.

1. No awkward eye contact: Do you struggle with seeing people you kind of remember while rushing to class and feeling compelled to stop and chat? Well no more. Heads down, everyone, keep the snow out of your eyes and get where you’re going.

2. Fun hats: Spring and summer are pretty limited in the area of exciting headgear. Winter is really the only time you can express yourself through dome coverage. So take advantage of your chance to slap on some ridiculous ear coverings and walk boldly. You are being practical.

3. Snow: Like it or not, it’s cool to see this fluffy white stuff around and, as some of our staff found out at a conference last week, some cities take all the snow out of the city for disposal. Screw that noise. If it’s going to be cold and windy, I better be able to go outside and hit someone with a snowball.

4. Brite Winter festival: Enough said.

5. Easy conversation starter: No longer do you have to flounder for responses when your barista or greenie driver tries to make small talk. Weather conversations may be boring, but they can fill those valuable moments you spend waiting for your Case Cash to get approved.

6. The vent on the side of Mather Dance: It’s so warm you almost miss the cold. You also get some cool melting patterns. A little bit of joy on your path from the Mather Quad to Kelvin Smith Library every day.

7. Permanent ice heaps: That pile of snow that the plows put up on the sidewalk is going nowhere until March, but now you have something in the middle of a wide open space that you can use as strategic cover and concealment in the coming zombie apocalypse.

8. Networking: Science has shown that baristas are the coolest people in the world. They have tattoos. They wear aprons. Their hair is always fabulously disarrayed. Winter is the perfect time to get to know these beautiful creatures. Hot chocolate and espresso await.

9. Toboggan rides: If you have not yet made your way out to the toboggan chutes in Strongsville, you are absolutely missing out. These slides—700 feet tall—are the coolest winter activity you can find for the price. You can’t find that kind of craziness anywhere else.

10. Crowd control: No one wants to be outside in four-degree weather. Except those who have no choice. When you’re rushing to try to get to Starbucks before it closes, enjoy the fact that you are the only one crazy enough to be outside walking around.

11. Everyday heroics: There is nothing quite like witnessing someone completely wipe out on the icy sidewalks of campus, then see them just laugh like it didn’t hurt and proceed to walk to class. Falling on your face in public is pretty awful, but what a chance to prove your mettle to your peers and teachers.