It’s hot then it’s cold. You’re yes then you’re no. We’re in then we’re out. Temps up then it’s down. The Evanston spring can be more frustrating than bubblegum pop.
This trick seems particularly cruel given that so much anticipation is built around finally shaking off the winter. As soon as temperatures get just above 50 degrees, students will scramble to air out their shorts, sundresses and tank tops that have been gathering dust in their closets since November. As spring makes up its mind whether to actually start, it causes trouble for the over-zealous and the over-cautious alike; freezing those baring their knees and boiling those still in down jackets.
Between the trying winter and the teasing spring, it’s not uncommon to hear people complain that they wish they went to school somewhere with better weather. However, personally these winter incursions make me nostalgic. I’d like to squeeze however many last days of cold here I can.
When it gets hot outside, all I want to do is lie out in the sun and chill. That’s much easier said than done though at this school. There are so many opportunities provided here, I often worry I’m not taking advantage of enough of them. I like having the cold there to push me: to shiver me awake in the morning, make it seem not so terrible to study in the warmth of the library, quicken my steps so I’m not late to class, make me want to move more.
I’ll concede, though, that it’s hard to make yourself get out there and do things when you dread stepping outside. Seasonal depression is no joke, and its symptoms can become magnified when so many people become shut in by the harsh weather. For those who hate living on the planet Hoth, I’d encourage them to try and look ahead, that the experience might help them appreciate just how nice the nice weather really is. If you went to school somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line, you probably wouldn’t bat an eyelash at a 70-degree day, but here it is an event.
As graduation looms (knock on wood), I’ve come to feel that this is one of the things about Northwestern I will miss the most: the winter as a test. Northwestern is a tough school. Between the academic standards, quarter system, and general student ambition, it’s hard to imagine a student will ever spend four years here without being challenged. The weather is no exception. In the darkest, coldest days of winter, it can really seem like the world is conspiring against your success, but once it eases up you discover it’s only helped expand the limits of what you can endure.
On my way back to school for Winter Quarter, I often felt a twinge of pride when friends from warmer climates mock that I’m returning to subzero temperatures, and I still can’t help but smile when someone complains that for a day it was “literally below freezing” where they are.
There are countless different experiences to live out at Northwestern, so many so that the student body can often fall into non-intersecting worlds of their own. I’d say one of the most common experiences among us all is at least at one point waking up to a frozen sun, slapping a coat on and having to throw yourself out the door to get things done. The shared hardship of winter is a bond on campus that I will miss, but – even with the occasional sprinkling of snow – spring is coming.