Winter is the Best Season in Hamilton

The academic quad is littered with students who have already been burnt to a crisp. Vibrant yellow flowers have magically sprung up across campus. Birds can be heard chirping in the still-barren trees. A fleet of bright red umbrellas has returned to the Chobani terrace. Heavy winter coats and sweatpants have been traded in for tank tops and shorts. Friends pile into cars and head over to enjoy a warm afternoon at Lake Moraine. Sunlight and laughter stream through the open windows of breezy classrooms. Spring has officially arrived in Hamilton. 

Am I the only one mourning the loss of winter? Call me crazy, but winter just might be my favorite season in Hamilton.

I know what you’re probably thinking right now. “This is sheer lunacy. How could anyone enjoy trudging through a foot of snow, slipping down a flight of icy stairs, or wearing four-plus layers of clothing? Walking into town is like embarking on an Arctic expedition. The sun hasn’t peaked through the thick gray clouds in two weeks; the seasonal depression is really starting to set in. How many more weeks are left until Spring Break?” 

That’s it. Get it all out. Now that you’ve had some time to vent, let me tell you why I believe that winter in Hamilton is truly the most wonderful time of the year. 

Let’s begin with the visual appeal of a Northeastern winter. There is something undeniably magical about the first snow of the season. When you wake to the sight of powder-dusted fir trees glistening in the pale sunlight, it feels as though you have been transported into a life-sized snow globe. The dreary raindrops that have been pelting campus for weeks on end have finally transformed into snowflakes that settle gently onto your nose and eyelashes. When you walk through the fresh powder, each footfall makes a satisfying “crunch.” All you want to do is cozy up with a mug of hot cocoa and watch, memorized, as each individual snowflake makes its final descent. There is a quiet beauty in the simplicity of a Hamilton winter. 

In a more practical sense, winter means that you never have to worry about getting too hot. The sticky humidity of the spring and summer months becomes a distant memory as you stroll to class bundled up in several layers of warm attire that can always be taken on or off to suit your current temperature. Sweating, one of the less desirable functions of the human body, must only be tolerated in the winter months during particularly difficult gym sessions, or not at all. The spring heat that melts the snow come March or April makes the entire campus smell like a farm, and not in a good way. But in the winter, the campus just smells fresh. The cold, scentless air that whips up the Persson Hall steps can actually be quite invigorating. Ok, that last bit might be the product of wishful thinking, but you can’t deny that the cold puts a little pep in your step.   

So winter in Hamilton means pretty snow and less sweat. Now you may be wondering, “Is that all she’s got?” Not quite. It’s time for a quick story. If you’re still unconvinced of winter’s superiority by the end of this article, then we will just have to agree to disagree.

Let me set the scene: it was the Friday before Winter Break and I’d just finished my last exam of the semester. The moment that I stepped out of Persson Hall and into the winter wonderland that is Hamilton in December, all thoughts of supply-demand curves and gross domestic profit vanished into thin air. So long, ECON 121. All I could think about was the pure freedom that stretched out in front of me like a warm blanket on a cold winter night. Walking back to the dorm, my friend and I noticed two plastic saucers peeking out of the fresh snow. Faster than a New York minute, we were holding on for dear life as we flew down the Field of Dreams. Standing up on wobbly legs at the bottom of the hill, we could not stop laughing. By our fourth or fifth run, we had sledding down to a science. Tucking in our knees to optimize the aerodynamics, we definitely broke the sound barrier on our final run.

There you have it, one of my favorite Colgate memories to date. The joy of sledding down a hill at top speed with your best friends mere hours after struggling through an economics exam is, in my opinion, unparalleled. Winters in Hamilton offer countless opportunities to indulge in unexpected moments of joy. And that is why winter is the best season in Hamilton.