3,163 miles is a long way to be from home. True, it could be longer, but I’m often struck that Massachusetts may as well be another country by the climate differences I've encountered so far.
Although I never regret committing to Tufts, swapping my flip-flops for snow boots, and heading east, it has taught me a few things:
1. The Mystery of the Hay Bales
At the start of my first Tufts winter, I was curious why the administration was protecting the trees with hay bales. Questions swirled through my head: Are the roots of the trees sensitive? Is it to keep unaware students from tripping over them? Is there a New England-wide surplus of hay?
Little did I know that the students were what the administration was protecting from the trees—protecting from head-on collisions while sledding.
Trees are hard, but I soon came to learn that hay bales aren’t soft either. After one too many run-ins with the hay bales, I realized they're best left untouched and avoided at all costs. Hopefully, this winter means that I'll be past the freshman move of hitting the hay bales head-on as I speed down the President's Lawn on my sled.
2. Channel Your Inner Penguin
After completely falling on my butt countless times on ice my freshman winter, I learned the art of the “penguin walk.” Most New England toddlers master this skill by the age of four, but for an eighteen-year-old California beach bum, it’s been humbling. One of my best friends, an electrical engineering major with a serious physics passion, explained it to me in my language: nerd talk.
“For the penguin walk, think about evenly dispersing the force over the total area of your foot instead of walking heel to toe. The shifting of weight exerts unequal forces and causing you to slip. Plus, you don't really have great balance to begin with.”
If only someone had explained it in terms of physics earlier… oh well.
3. The Epic Dewick Camping Trip
Snow days mean one thing: camping out in Dewick (or Carm if you’re one of those people…) and hunkering down for a few hours with schoolwork and all the food you can eat. No need to go to the gym—it’s not open on snow days. Even better, on occasion the power will go out, leading to some ~ambiance~ to study in with a hundred of your closest peers.
The secret is the dining staff are the real MVPs here, trekking all the way to campus to feed hungry Jumbos regardless of the weather conditions. They definitely earn all the extra thank you's they get for it.
As a kid, I dreamed of snow days where I could sit at home and not need to go to school. The news they don’t break to you is that for every day of class missed, there’s still all the work to do for it, maybe even more! Gross.
Regardless, there’s still nothing more exciting than a surprise snow day.
With sophomore year winter here in full force, fingers crossed for a snow day or two heading towards Tufts soon!
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If you live in Eastern New England, the last few weeks have truly been the winter of our discontent (unless you’re my snow-loving dog).