Oberlin Blogs

Winter in Oberlin

December 15, 2008

Joe Dawson ’12

Gingerly decanting some wolfsbane in a dim, smoky alchemy lab last week, I heard a lament from a girl nearby: "Jeeeesus, it's been sooooooo cold lately! I don't even know WHY I came here." She then expelled a sigh, heavily saturated with woe. I continued my lab assignment, which had to do with producing quicksilver using only moonlight and socks. That was a tough one.

Come on. She knows why she came here. Oberlin's super selective and cool and liberal and independent and tasty (ran out of adjectives). She came here from California or Saudi Arabia or whatever warm clime she was born in for a unique opportunity to learn about herself and the wider world. It wasn't even that cold the day she said that. It's stupid what people will say in a musty lab filled with preserved organs and creatures when they have nothing to talk about.

That said, it's cold as crap here right now. Weather.com, that loyal bastion of hope, says it is 25 degrees in Oberlin right now, and it feels like 10. Yikes. I just ran for about 50 minutes in that cold, moving like Randy from A Christmas Story for all the layers I had on.

My face burns while it thaws, and the pain lets me know I'm alive.

Yes, it's cold in Ohio. Yes, the wind stings. Stings like the pain of unrequited love. I'll admit, I didn't know 'wind burn' and 'snow blindness' were conditions you have to worry about if you don't live in Alaska (did you know 'frostnip' is the way cute name for a mild case of frostbite? How quaint). Sure, it's cold here, but it would be way worse if you were in Russia, where my roommate is going for winter break. Everyone here endures the cold together, and you come out stronger and closer than you were before you went in. The track team gets closer and closer (literally) with every run, as we huddle together, a phalanx of 130 pound men, against the wind.

So, if you are considering coming to Oberlin, please don't let the weather deter you. Even today there was a beautiful sunset at 4:30, and the snow covering everything is really pretty, even after you've seen it day after day for a month. Come to Oberlin, it's well worth the cold.

P.S. A plus: if you're out of shape, you can wear layers to hide it!

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