It is hard to live up here. There is no way around that. The summers are incredible, beautiful beyond compare and autumn draws color tourists from across the country. The two weeks we see of spring are lovely, perfect and mild, where the air tastes like clean, melting snow and freshly blooming flowers. We start to see the sun on a regular basis again and everyone’s spirits are lifted. But the winters are hard.
Winter up here will slowly wear away at your will to live until you are left to just doggedly plug along, forcing your pale, frozen limbs to get you through each day. We shuffle between class, work and home, just another uniform mass of winter clothing huddled against the wind. We laugh at memes related to the frigidity of the air, identifying with living somewhere it gets so cold it hurts.
We dread the short walks between classes, becoming indistinguishable blobs of fabric, stumbling across campus wrapped in as many layers as possible. Who among us hasn’t had a judgemental thought when confronted with the sight of someone obviously forsaking comfort for fashion? I don’t care how warm you say you are, please put on your damn gloves.
As the days get darker, so do our hearts and minds.
Sure, for the avid skier, snowboarder or other such winter sports enthusiast, maybe these cold, dark months aren’t so bleak.
Good for them.
For the rest of us, this is at least six straight months of a sunless, painful existence.
Winter Carnival is the saving grace of these dark times. It teaches even the most stubborn to appreciate the beauty of the season. It allows people to experiment with the potentially “enjoyable” pastimes others have developed in order to get through this time of year. It changes the dynamic.
These are an incredibly fun couple of days—the inescapable feeling of joy and excitement that permeates campus allows students to see a different perspective. The enthusiasm and eagerness that builds among students as we count down to the minute Carnival officially begins are infectious, affecting far more than just our school—the entire town swells in anticipation of the influx of parents, friends and alumni.
Without Winter Carnival, the time between winter and spring break would be a horrific expanse of darkness and despair. Winter Carnival not only allows us a brief respite from the monotony of our daily lives but also neatly showcases the few good parts of a difficult season.