Winter in Minnesota: a cultural experience

At the U, we don’t whine about the cold; we just pretend it isn’t there.
November 21, 2011

It’s that time of year again. Snow has fallen, ski masks have been brought out, hands have been frozen and the marathon of winter has begun.  

My friends know that winter is by far my least favorite season. Despite having been raised in the Midwest, it’s always been hard for me to appreciate the magic of the season when I’m preoccupied with my shivering body and increasing pallor.  

I almost thought it wasn’t coming this year.  I had been reveling in the warmth and sun of our Indian summer, taking for granted the 50-degree weather, but this blanket of snow on the ground  is an unmistakable sign that winter is making its dramatic entrance at the University of Minnesota.   

As I watch the blizzard outside my apartment window, I dread the inevitability of the freezing temperatures throughout February, and, if we’re being honest, probably into March.  In spite of my anti-winter attitude, I can’t help but be impressed and proud of my fellow classmates who I see still biking around campus with ice and snow on the ground.  

The kind of bravery and gumption shown by the boys and girls in class who still wear shorts and flip-flops even though it’s 15 degrees outside is what makes winter on campus uniquely Minnesotan — uniquely U of M.  

There’s a sense of unity in our communal commiseration — our shared discomfort is an annoyance that we all put up with on our wintry and sometimes painful treks to class. But we suck it up and embrace the cold, not necessarily because we want to but because that’s how University students win the war against winter.  And we all come out blooming like flowers in April — OK, that’s a lie; it probably won’t be before mid-May until all the snow melts.

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