I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, hearing that six to eight inches of snow was on the way was pretty much the equivalent of Christmas Eve. School was likely to be canceled the next day because there was 1) no way that little Johnny and Susie could walk to the bus stop in snow that was towering over their heads, 2) even if they could, there was a good chance that the bus would never make it to them, and 3) even if it did there was a chance that the bus would careen off of the side of the road and smash into a ditch somewhere. So, I would think that we would automatically be getting a snow day. But I’m from western Pennsylvania, which meant that these days were not given out very liberally. The supposed rule was that if the roads were clear enough for the superintendent to make it to school, then we were going, too, dangerous circumstances be damned.
Before the days of it being announced on the school website, I remember waking up even earlier than my alarm would have gone off just to plant myself in front of the television and watch as the names of the schools with cancellations or delays were listed on the bottom of the screen. My school was pretty much the only one whose name began with a Q, so it was always tricky to ensure that between the P’s and the R’s I hadn’t completely missed it. I would desperately turn from the television to the window where snow was continuing to fall. It had to be canceled, right? It just had to! My pulse would be racing, adrenaline coursing through my body as the end of the P’s approached…
Most of the time, it skipped straight to R. And my dreams were crushed. I always convinced myself that maybe I had just blinked for a second and missed it, so I waited for another round of the names to go by. When a third and fourth time had passed without any confirmation, I gave up hope and begrudgingly got ready to bundle up in eighteen layers and trudge to the bus stop.
But sometimes, if we were lucky, the weather would be on our side, and apparently the superintendent was snowed into her house because school would be canceled for the day, and in that moment life was beautiful. I didn’t care that it was six in the morning—there was no way I was going back to bed, now that the excitement of having a snow day had woken me up. This time, I piled on my eighteen layers with the utmost glee in preparation for some of the most intense snowman building and sledding that had ever been done.
Now that we’re in college snow days are even less likely, but when they happen, I am far less likely to willingly go outside into the arctic temperatures and roll around in the snow because apparently I’m just not as fun anymore. It does happen occasionally, but with nowhere near my previous eagerness. I know, my childhood self would be appalled. But, if you can be certain about one thing, it is that I am most definitely going to be Instagramming at least one picture of how gorgeous the campus looks in the snow.