As I begin to say my goodbyes to the clear blue skies, sandy-golden beaches and the 65 degree weather in California, I anticipate stepping off the plane and entering what seems to be a completely different world than the one I left.
As I step off the plane into Wisconsin, I will be back in a place where I can’t walk around in shorts and a t-shirt. My source of heat comes from the heaters inside of the buildings, not the sun. Lastly, I, along with everyone else that saw the sun over winter break, will return to the pasty, white skin color we all became in the early months of winter in Wisconsin.
As a rather naive freshman, I left Wisconsin before winter break with the idea in my head that I had experienced it all. We trekked through the good in fall, where there were 50 to 60 degree temperatures. We experienced the bad, with snow and 20 degree temperatures. Lastly, I assumed we had endured the worst: single-digit temperatures and that unforgiving Lake Mendota windchill. However, as I prepare to go back and anxiously check my weather app, I’ve realized that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Apparently, temperatures get so low that walking to class can cause you to get frostbite!
Although this seems intimidating, there is no reason to fret. Like me, those who find their permanent home in a place where swimsuits can be worn in the winter knew what we were signing up for when we chose the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The most important piece of advice I have learned from experienced Wisconsinites is to bundle up, Badgers! It may finally be time to lace up the snow boots and trudge through the snowbanks.
Instead of looking at it negatively, take advantage of the experiences that some of your friends and family may never have. Find some fun, snowy activities and look for the good in the bone-chilling winds. When spring finally comes around, I promise you will remember the memories you made during the Wisconsin winter weather, not the number of times you lost feeling in your fingers.