Let’s face it: Minnesota winters are long and cold. It can be hard to know what to do with yourself once you’ve completed all of your readings and club activities, slept eight hours of sleep and eaten three square meals. A common predicament for the Carleton student: having too much time. That’s why I — a Californian freshman whose only experience with snow is from blue-raspberry Icees — am bringing you the top ten things to do at Carleton College during Winter Term.
- Have a peach pear apricot smoothie from Sayles. While hot chocolate is a delicious, spirit-warming drink, it is not the drink of choice this winter. You must try a peach pear apricot smoothie. The frozen sweetness lingers on your lips, delightfully complimenting the muddy slush that crunches beneath your feet. Bonus points if your smoothie freezes over and becomes a popsicle!
- Step on the metal part of the wooden bridge between Goodhue and Evans. One of my New Years’ resolutions is to learn how to do a singular push-up, which means I must trek to the Rec Center every morning before the snow plows are out. (Side bar: Does anybody know how to get over a fear of large seasonal machinery? I can’t keep running away from my fears; it hasn’t worked for my fear of treadmills, and running from a plow on an unplowed sidewalk has had similarly unsuccessful results …) Anyways, the absolute best part of my commute is when I venture out onto the wooden bridge, eager to begin my fitness journey, only to fall down about halfway between accomplishing my goals and the safety of my bed. How fitting to work on pushing myself out of the slush on my journey to complete a push-up. Shoutout to Mother Nature, and may she be as thoughtful of your goals as she is of mine.
- Lick a metal pole. One of the most totally metal experiences you can have this winter is to lick a metal pole. If you cannot find a metal pole (and I cannot tell you where one is; I haven’t left the warmth of my bed in days, see above for why), your friend’s metal glasses will do. Be sure to ask consent before removing their glasses with your tongue like a tree frog. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Who cares? All I know is that there is a …[unintelligible sounds coming from my mouth as my glasses hang from my tongue].
- Take a shower before going outside. Haven’t you heard? Ice is the new hair gel. Forget heat damage: your beautiful locks will thank you for how you’ve encased them in a clear sheath that will protect them from everything (except breakage). The rigid, uncompromising hairstyle that you now wear is akin to the mentality of the teenage boy who refuses to wear pants even when it’s literally below freezing outside. Wash your hair — and put on some pants, you obstinate child.
- Have a picnic on the Bald Spot. Don’t get me wrong, ice skating is a fun way to bruise your tailbone and get a concussion, but it’s so much more fun to eat food on a blanket on the Bald Spot. Bring those stale tortilla chips that you left in your dorm over winter break, take that fuzzy blanket that you spent too much money on at Target and go have a good time out there. I promise that the insects won’t bother you at all since they’ll be just as frozen as you!
- Go sunbathing. A study conducted by Bologna Sandwich at the University of Fake Statistics found that 99.9% of Carleton students have a vitamin D deficiency. Let’s improve that percentage by getting at least six minutes of sun exposure every day. You’ll have a tan before everybody else in your hometown … even if your hometown is 30 minutes away from the equator. If you eat an orange at LDC everyday, you may even stave off scurvy! You may not be able to fill the empty hole that is your heart or remove the garlic from your soul, Mr. Grinch, but you’ll be one step closer to your summer beach body.
- Leave your dorm windows open all night. Your dorm room will be musty very soon — if it isn’t already. Take preventative measures by leaving your windows open, snow or shine. The circulation of frigid air may land you in the hospital with pneumonia, and you may never be able to sing in Exit 69 again for lack of lung capacity, but at least your room won’t smell like recirculated air and moldy hot chocolate (I’m sorry, roommate; I hope you’ll forgive me for my mug-related transgressions).
- Go stargazing in the Druids Circle. The way that the trees just beyond the outer edge of the Druids Circle frame the night sky is a breathtaking sight. If you lie back and look up, you can enjoy a beautiful view on a bed of snow. The table of stones will also be a great marker when the Arb Crew finds your thawing body come spring. Everybody talks about how time moves more slowly during Winter Term. I’d even go as far as to say it’s like being frozen in time!
- Test out your awesome platform Doc Martens (or Crocs) in the snow. Snow boots? What are thooooose? Fashion does not stop, even when the roads were impassable due to a snowstorm that prevented some students from getting to campus before classes started. It is imperative that you dress to impress. I’ve been told that the best accessory is a smile, and the worst one is anything that keeps you warm. Say it with me: I will not let my excruciatingly-ugly-yet-splendidly-toasty snow boots ruin my outfit.
- Stop and smell the roses. Winter Term is a busy time of year, so it is important to practice self care. Allow yourself the time to enjoy nature. Take a moment to note the distinct lack of any colors except white, brown and occasionally yellow. Don’t eat — or even touch — the yellow snow. Spend time thinking about how there used to be grass on the ground and how only a few months ago you could feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on your skin. Sit in the corner and think about what you did to end up at such a wonderful college in a wonderful state with wonderful weather.
There you have it, folks, the top ten things to do in the dead of winter at Carleton College. Now, if you need me, I’ll be in my bed until spring.