Goodbye, But Only For Three Months

Freshman year went by as quickly as Speedy Gonzalez, but I loved it. Here are a few of my favorite things about my life at school:

1. My roommate. Freshman year would not have been the same without her. I’m not saying we were besties since day one. In fact, I’m not sure we’ve reached that level. But she was a great roommate and an even better friend. She introduced me to Skinny Pop, New Girl, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy and poetry. She also joined me in my ever ongoing procrastination methods. Needless to say, I lucked out with this whole “random roommate” situation.

2. My new friends. My college friends, especially those that live on campus, became my second “family”. They’re the people I see every day, the ones that ask me how my day went, the ones that make me laugh, the ones that do homework with me, the ones that I go out with, the ones that make a four-hour shift funner than it should be. My friends keep me functioning, and at some points they keep me sane.

3. Round-the-clock freedom. No, I’m not a wild child doing everything she can’t do when she’s home. I’m actually pretty well-behaved for the most part. It’s just nice not to have to let anyone know that I’m going out… (If you live in a Latino-Catholic household you may understand the struggle).

4. The Cities. Boy are they beautiful.

5. Campus is on point year-round.

6. Coffee is but a few strides away. Seriously. It was there when I needed it the most.

So bravo to the end of Freshman year and cheers to the beginning of a much awaited summer.

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Winter Isn’t the Enemy

When people hear me say I hate summer their eyes do that bug-out-of-your-face thing you see in cartoons.  I get it, I’m the minority not the majority, but there are other people who love winter too! For example, my roommate, which is pretty lucky since we have to agree on the temperature of our room. All I can say is that the window is always open and at night it gets cold enough to keep my water bottle chilled.

I’m here to convince all you non-believers that winter isn’t so bad and that it has more to offer than just the pretty white snow.  Being from Wisconsin, and right next to the lake, no less, the Table and I get some of the worst winters there are.  If you don’t know what lake effect snow is, you’re really missing out.  It’s a beast.  Here are my reasons for loving the weather from November to March:

1. Let’s start with the obvious one: snow.

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Here are a few pictures from the winter they cancelled school on six different occasions.  The first one is of my brother peeking through a tunnel we dug on the hood of a car.  The red thing in the second one is our car.  When we opened the garage door that’s how high the snow was.  The third one has the criss-cross imprint of our fence.  We moved the fence and the snow just stayed there because it was so heavy. You can see me in the background and it was almost higher than my waist.

car snow  garage snow  fence snow

When I was little I loved to play in the snow and if I still had a pair of snow pants that fit me I would lay in it and just look at the sky.  Even if you hate everything else about winter, you can’t deny that snow is beautiful.

2. Hats, mittens, and scarves.

Besides the fact that they’re super cute, hats are so fun to wear.  I’ll admit I often wear them around the house just for fun. And I say mittens because I don’t like gloves.  The way they separate my fingers feels like they’re making them colder not warmer.  Below is a picture of a scarf I wove that I’m particularly proud of. The scarf is laying on the next item of my list.

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3. blankets, slippers, and sweatshirts.

The blanket above is special to me because I got it in North Dakota the first time on a mission trip which I now do annually.  Don’t you guys just love curling up inside with a blanket and a movie?

4. Hot Chocolate

I’m one of those people who can eat ice cream year round, but hot chocolate is seasonal.  I don’t like coffee but that can count too.  A warm drink is just ten times better when it’s cold out and you can feel it warming up your insides.  Doesn’t this picture look like it could be a Starbucks add?

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5. Seeing my breath and letting the tips of my ears get red.

I once heard someone compare seeing your breath to feeling like a dragon which I thought was funny, but I think it’s more like seeing my life.  This is evidence that I am alive, and every part of my body is buzzing with the cold.  And then you go inside and press your palms to your ears and you can feel them thaw.  I love that.

6. But one of my favorite parts is the smell.

I could go one forever with this list: ice skating, snow days, icicles, but I always get most excited by the smell that tells me winter is coming. It’s not so much a distinct smell as it is just crisp air.  When you breathe is deeply and it smells cold and fresh.  That’s one of my favorite parts.  So for all you winter haters I hope there’s at least one thing on this list that convinced you to hate the season maybe just 1% less.  Now it’s your turn to convince me why I should like summer.

Baby, it’s Cold Outside…

On Monday, November 10th, Minnesota had its first snowfall! Everything is now covered in white and winter has officially begun. Cue the Northface jackets, hats, gloves, the Timberlands and the UGGs…I kid you not, they are everywhere. Anyway, the entire campus looks beautiful, making it easier to bear the bitter temperatures and the slippery pavement (please say a little prayer for me…ice and clumsiness don’t go well together).

You have not lived until you have experienced a true Midwestern winter. It’s not just about how much better the taste of coffee and hot cocoa is. Nor is it only about numb fingers, pink faces and visible exhales. It’s that and more. It’s also about all the things you get to do because of winter. Suddenly, baking becomes a ritual, snowmen and sledding are the joys of life, the feeling of Christmas strengthens everyday (I saw some workers starting to put up lights already!), and the possibility of a snow day (or a cold day) is never too farfetched of an idea. Don’t get me wrong, the cold isn’t always the best, but we Midwesterners take pride in our ability to withstand the low temperatures.

It’s funny really, I’m not usually so in love with winter. Maybe I’m liking it so much because he does too…