I want snow days back

A student shares how she misses snow days from her childhood.

I miss waking up on a snowy morning to the sound of my mom’s voice. 

She would whisper in my ear that school was canceled and I would suddenly be wide awake. 

As a child, I looked forward to the snow just so I could have a day off of school. Instead of worrying about my six-page paper that was due, I could procrastinate by building a snowman or making snow angels in my backyard. 

On a normal day during high school, I would wake up at the crack of dawn and sit in school for seven hours a day, five days a week. But when the snow covered the ground, I was able to give my brain a day off to relax. 

When last August rolled around the corner, I knew I would soon be packing up my bags and heading to a new place. Not only was I feeling the stress of starting my first year at college during a pandemic, but I was just recovering from an anxiety-induced eating disorder.

Moving to Philadelphia was a weird shift from my hometown in the suburbs, and due to COVID-19, I never even had the opportunity to walk into a classroom. 

Instead, I spent week after week staring at my computer in a small, boxy room.

I thought just rolling out of bed and hopping on a Zoom class would be easy, but I soon found it was difficult to not be able to stroll through campus and feel the fresh, crisp morning air whisp through my hair.  

The last few weeks of school have been especially challenging. With the spring semester in full swing, my workload has only been growing. 

The past two weeks felt different, however. 

On Feb. 1, I watched snowflakes fall from my bedroom window. I suddenly felt a sense of relief. Would this mean that classes would be cancelled?

I continued to check my phone repetitively until I finally received the text message from Temple University. In-person classes were canceled and campus was closed, but online classes would continue as scheduled on Feb. 1. 

I felt my heart sink into my chest. 

Since our spring break was replaced by two “wellness days,” I was angry that I couldn’t even have a snow day to let my brain relax.  

One extra day off would have helped me to catch up on sleep without the dread of logging onto Zoom keeping me awake. 

Instead, I spent the day the same as any other: staring at my computer screen and reminiscing about my childhood days playing in the snow. 

It was especially hard for me to concentrate on school because I had just finished taking antidepressants that weekend. Consequently, I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms that kept me curled in a ball on top of my bed. 

If classes had been canceled that day, I would have been taking a train home to my family. But I was extremely lonely and in unmeasurable pain as I forced myself to sit at my desk and trudge through three hours of classes.  

Yesterday, one week after the last snow day, the snow returned with a vengeance. Once again, campus closed yesterday and today, but online classes remained. 

I wish I could be playing in the snow right now, but at least I can still drink hot chocolate and watch the flakes gently fall to the ground from my bedroom window. 

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