I have a love-hate relationship with winter. It’s actually an unfortunate state of affairs, because when I was younger I loved winter. I loved the soft snow falling and chomping on icicles that I would pull down from low hanging parts of our roof. My favorite after-school activity was racing off to the mini hill created in my neighbors driveway by the snow plow and sledding down a million times. I loved peeling off my wet layers and leaving my boots and mittens by the heater as I waited for hot chocolate. And while I am sure I would still enjoy these winter activities, I have absolutely no time for them. The snow that I was enamoured with as it fell, each one unique, has become a burden in the darkened mornings as it piles high on my car. I am certain anyone unfortunate enough to witness my attempts to leave the driveway in the morning will laugh at the bundled figure stomping and wielding a snow brush, cursing when I sweep snow onto myself instead of the ground. While my younger self used to wish and hope for snow days, that innocence has dwindled as I know how unlikely they are. Plus, snow days mean extra work as teachers desperately try to keep up the carefully planned curriculum.
But while it may seem that I have some serious winter FOMO hatred, there are winter experiences that getting older has given me in addition to the experiences that were taken away. Winter running is one of the most enjoyable experiences, though my teammates will testify that I complain unendingly about how cold it is. However, once we actually start running, the frigid air feels much cleaner and sharper in my lungs than the warm summer smog. Winter is when we often sing christmas carols while running, throw the occasional snowball, and giggle at the snowflakes sticking in our hair and eyelashes. But still my favorite part of winter is the hockey games. I have so much fun dressing in the theme colors, shouting cheers during rivalry games, and falling off the benches in the student section amid laughter from my friends. So, while the elementary kid in me mourns that winter life, I have greatly enjoyed the other winter activities that high school has brought.