Last week, we got our first real snow at the University of Michigan. Some of you may be surprised that Michigan is not in fact under permafrost year round — it’s true it does get warm here. And we’ve had an exceptionally warm November. But with the exception of out-of-state freshman, students here know how much snow we get and how by the end of winter, everyone is dead tired of that damn white stuff that keeps falling out of the sky. No one here seems to be thinking about that today though.
My Facebook news feed is dominated by pictures and updates of the new snowfall. People are making snowmen, sledding, having snowball fights — despite the fact that we received a mere two inches in Ann Arbor. But all around campus, 18-22 year olds are acting like small children on Christmas morning. One friend of mine even posted about his disappointment about being out of town and missing the snow (to be fair though, he is from the Upper Peninsula, which is seemingly under permafrost all year).
I’m right there with them. I’m already inclined to act like a small child — for instance, I was coloring last night while it was snowing. But there’s something invigorating about the first snow that relieves some of the stress of classes, papers and exams. Maybe the snow waited until we were on the brink of an exam-induced breakdown at the end of the semester (my Extreme Weather professor is shaking his head at me right now). Whatever the cause, up here in the Mitten, we’re pushing the rational part of our brains that reminds us of how annoying it is to trudge to class in snow drifts and brush a foot of snow off your car — or the fact that my roof is already leaking — and going out to make snow angels.