With somewhat relative frequency, people on my tours ask me about the weather. “How are the winters?” “Does it snow a lot?” “Is it always this cold and rainy?” You get the idea. It’s kind of a shame, too, because, truth be told, there is no solid answer to a question about the weather at Tufts, in Boston, or in New England as a whole, and I have to tell the inquisitive mother (it’s always mothers - did I mention that?) that, well, it depends. We had five snow days my freshman year, zero my sophomore year, and two this year. Sometimes it rains for a week straight, other times it’s 75 and sunny in the middle of March. As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a half hour.
This blog post, in reality, isn’t about weather. You don’t need me to tell you what the weather is like at Tufts - you can Google that. Instead, I’d like to focus on the significance of the weather, because it makes more of a difference than I would have ever have imagined when I was a senior in high school.
So, first, some things you need to understand: unless you happen to go to one of those cool high schools where your campus is outdoors and you walk from class to class in the California sunshine (my high school was very much not such a place), you likely don’t spend a whole lot of time outside. In college, you do. You must be outside to get from class to class and building to building, whether it’s beautiful and sunny or dark and slushy. So what I’m trying to say is that your interaction with weather and The Great Outdoors increases quite a bit once you matriculate. You also should understand that the average daily timeline, at least of a college freshman, is very different from that of a high school student. You have phenomenal opportunities to sleep in like you never have before, but you also have opportunities to be awake all night. I’ve found, therefore, that the average amount of daylight you are awake in as a college student is markedly lower than the corresponding number as a high school student. Finally, and this is more of a Tufts-specific thing, you should understand that the geography of Boston, that is, north and east, causes the sun to go down at really unfortunately early hours of the day. On the winter solstice, the sun sets at 4:15 in the afternoon. There’s no way to put it nicely: that sucks.
But fear not, because I’m not here to freak you out and turn you away from going to college anywhere other than Miami. I’m here, instead, to tell you about spring.
It is the best season. I love spring. People may tell you that fall in Boston is best. While I’m not saying that Boston fall is ugly (it’s far from it), they are wrong. Spring, especially on campus, compounds many golden things that make life better for every single person on campus: each day is longer than the last, the days get progressively warmer, the sun comes out more often, the school year ends (!!), and everybody’s mood seems to go up.
An interesting theory by my sister, who is also of the spring-is-superior mentality, is that part of the reason spring on campus feels so great is because winter can stink. Finally getting out of that dark season and being able to walk outside without a coat on is one of the best feelings out there. And, honestly, I think she’s right. Once the sun finally starts peeking out and brightening things up, everybody on campus gets way happier and way nicer. Don’t get me wrong: it still rains in the spring, and it can still be super cold in the spring, but the ability to say, for example “there’s less than a month until summer break” makes everything amazing.
So, OK, maybe my thesis is this: if you go to school in Miami or Maui or somewhere beautiful, where it’s sunny and 80 every day, that’s great, but you won’t get that gorgeous evolution from cold to warm, dark to sunny, winter to spring that Boston provides. Plus, my god, it has got to get so hot in Miami in May.
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