Unexpected winter wonderland

The fountain in front of the Duggan Library.
The fountain in front of the Duggan Library.

Somehow it surprises me every year, but the cold this year seems to have just hit a lot quicker and a lot harder than it usually does. Just last week we had highs in the sixties. That is the perfect temperature for me and it could have stayed like that for … well … the rest of fall.

Sure, it was confusing since it was cold in the morning and hot by mid-afternoon. And sure, I went through at least two sets of clothes a day. But it was all worth it because it felt really nice out, and the temperature matched how nice it looked. That all changed a few days ago.

I put on my coat to go to class like every other morning for the last few weeks and thought it was weird that it wasn’t at least a little warmer when I left. Later that day as I left for class after lunch I didn’t put on my coat as I had a light sweater on and thought that would be good enough.

Boy, was I wrong. As soon as I opened the door I was hit with a gust of cold air and my eyes began to water. I hurried upstairs to grab a coat and headed out in the still freezing cold. And I mean freezing.

Snow already?
Snow already?

This time, I passed by the fountain in front of the library. Usually maintenance turns off the fountain well before it gets below freezing but not today. That’s how quickly it got cold.

Instead I was greeted with mounds of ice on top of the spouts and a frozen surface. I had to snag a pick before rushing to class more so to get out of the cold, not so much excitement for the day. From here it proceeded to get colder and stay cold.

By Monday of this week we had a fresh blanket of snow and ice covering the ground. Instantly, social media blew up with people getting excited. While I hated the cold, I actually couldn’t wait for that evening.

I had a paper to write and was up for a while anyway, so it was no stretch to stay up till midnight for the annual snowball fight following the first real snow. With a few inches on the ground, a few hundred people gathered on Donner Lawn to pelt each other with snow, and it couldn’t have been more fun.

The annual midnight snowball fight
The annual midnight snowball fight.

The snowball fight is perhaps my favorite of all the Hanover College traditions because not only is it fun but it’s completely spontaneous. It could happen at any time of the year. This year it just happened to be well before anyone expected it.

As much as I love higher temperatures though, once it gets cold and snowy I can’t help but be optimistic about it. Campus looks beautiful, I can throw stuff at my friends without them getting too mad, and for some reason, snowy hikes are just as good as any other.

Not to mention it gives me a reason to wear pajama pants and hoodies to class and look like a hobo. With finals and a lot of papers and projects coming up, a good snowball to the face really relieves some of the stress at the end of the semester, too.

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