By Khadijah Khogeer
When it snowed before Halloween last week, I didn’t think Boston’s weather could get any weirder than snow in October.
Until this unusually summer-like November weekend.
Temperatures reached higher than 70 degrees Thursday and managed to stay that way the entire weekend. I, like other Bostonians, spent my days out enjoying the sunny weather, whether by studying in the park, walking down Newbury Street or dining outdoors — socially distanced — with friends.
This weather was exactly what everyone needed to relax from the stress of the 2020 presidential election.
But in Boston, good weather is often too good to be true. Even though it’s not always cold and gloomy in the city, it feels like Mother Nature is pulling a prank on us whenever it’s warm because as soon as we know it, snow falls and temperatures go below freezing.
Although Monday’s forecast stayed in the warmer range, I can’t help but feel sadness watching the numbers decline in the forthcoming weeks. As an international student who has never experienced a real winter before college, I’ve formed a sort of love-hate relationship with the winters of the Northeast.
As a freshman, I was excited to experience real snow, because the coldest weather I get in my home country, Egypt, only averages a low of 50 degrees. While at first I was amazed by how pretty the pure-white snow looks from a distance, I soon realized winter can turn quite ugly if you’re not prepared.
Walking through a snowstorm often feels like walking through cement. Not only do winter coats add 10 pounds to your back, but they still don’t prevent those pesky little icicles from hitting your face.
There’s also the constant fear of slipping on ice, so you just waddle like a penguin on the way to class. The bulky coats make you look like a penguin, too.
Then, there’s the constant questioning of whether my nose is runny because of the dry air or flu season. Ah yes, flu season. Although influenza exists everywhere, never had I worried about it as much as I do when living in the United States.
Get your flu shots, everyone. Especially with COVID-19 going on this year, winter is becoming more stressful.
Little things I usually don’t think about are now bothering me much more as winter drags on.
First, I have to think extensively about what to wear before going outside. If I forget my gloves or scarf, even for just one day, my hands turn blue-ish and sometimes lose feeling after a while of walking outside.
Second, the sun sets earlier, and even throughout the day, it’s always hidden behind gray clouds. Prepare for your Vitamin D levels to deplete in winter.
Less sun exposure in the winter also contributes to worsened moods. Especially as a student, it’s easy to feel down and lazy during this time. I usually end up gaining a few pounds without even noticing because I’m hidden under the 10 layers of clothing.
Now that I’ve thought about it, I have mostly a hate relationship with winter. And it’s likely the only thing I won’t miss about Boston when I graduate this Spring. But hey, at least it made me appreciate warm weather more.