It’s Okay to Have a Snow Day

Joseph Montalbano

Being a student (or anyone really) on the first snow of the year is hard. Oftentimes, when fall is just about to peak and the pumpkin and cinnamon is starting to flow freely in my pies and cookies, four inches of snow hits overnight. That often leaves me feeling like fall was cut short, ripped away from me before I was ready and before I had the chance to really appreciate it all.

It’s a terrible thing to happen to us fall lovers, who want to savor the leaves, the flannels, and the hot spiced coffee in the brisk morning sun. I hate waking up in the morning, expecting a cool, crisp, but not intolerable morning to find several inches of snow to wade through to let my dogs run around.

Sometimes the snow feels disorienting, the drive to campus or work becoming a test of wills as much as a test of what you remember driving on snow feels like. It takes a lot of mental strength to get out of bed on those snow days, to brave the cold as you brush snow off your car with shaking hands. It’s even harder to remember the feel of ice under your tires, to take things slow and safely on those days, when it feels like it’s been so long since you’ve had to tap your brakes repeatedly to avoid locking your tires.

Inevitably, not everyone passes this test with flying colors, and several fender-benders dot 19th, 11th, and all over town as people struggle to get where they need to be in a timely fashion.

This risk of commuting and the loss of fall often leads to sharper tempers and occasionally sharper tongues as drivers get frustrated with some driving too fast, others driving too slowly, and itching at the clock, knowing either your class or your boss is waiting for you.

To this I say, as one humble fall lover to another, it is okay. This snow, like snow in years past, will melt, as it already has begun to warm up again in the days following our most recent snow surprise. It is okay to be nervous about driving on slush again and okay to be frustrated about autumn being ripped away again. Fall, although less leaves are on the trees, is still here. The snow is melting, and remember the most important thing is to be safe and be kind in this season of giving, of fun, and of time spent with family and friends outdoors.

The snow will melt very soon and we will have our fall back. I think we can all raise our pumpkin spice coffees and apple cider to that.