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Winter Woccom

It's week 9 of winter term. As we head into the last week of February, it's safe to say that the harsh winter is largely behind us. Campus has weathered the negative temperatures, inches of snowfall, and extreme windchill. And yet, I've managed to survive my first Hanover winter!

My Maryland hometown isn't known for extreme temperatures. Rather, people joke about the "bipolar" nature of the weather. It's sunny, cold, and everything in-between. That being said, I can't even remember the last time I had to shovel snow from my driveway. I was really nervous about the blankets of snow that are characteristic to New Hampshire. 

At Dartmouth, I quickly realized that winter is a culture beyond the weather itself. To navigate it, there is a certain mentality that welcomes a successful season. I braced myself. Eventually, I learned how to tackle the cold temperatures and isolation that comes along with it. 

I always thought that seasonal depression was a myth. The short days and lack of sunlight do make a difference, though. I found it helpful to take advantage of winter activities. Occom Pond is only a 5 minute walk from my dorm. When the pond freezes, we're allowed to go ice skating. And skate rentals are free! I've also been taking skiing lessons at the Dartmouth Skiway. I had never skied before coming here, so I'm really grateful for the opportunity. 

The weather itself is also surprisingly manageable. I did research to find a good, warm winter jacket and snow boots. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. If you're dressed well (layers!), it'll feel like you're walking around in a wearable blanket. Or a big hug :). But there are some times where it feels a bit too cold for comfort. Our campus is pretty small. Yet, you still run the risk of getting frostbite. We're lucky enough to have campus shuttles that run until 2am. I often use it when the 10 minute walk from the library to my dorm feels especially daunting. 

Usually, though, I don't mind the cold walks. Campus looks really pretty after a fresh snowfall. It's a beautiful white that brightens my mood. I always look forward to seeing snow in the forecast, and the drive to the Skiway each Sunday for my skiing lesson. Hanover winters aren't nearly as scary as I thought they would be.

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