No matter how much we all want to deny it, winter is coming. I’ve heard early rumors saying that it’s not supposed to be as bad as last year, and later rumors that it’s supposed to be even worse. Regardless of which is the case, colder weather is definitely on the way. I’m sure most people know about winter weather here in Allendale, but for the people who don’t, let me give you a brief description.
Imagine missing the last bus to your first class and having to walk through thick snowflakes falling from a gray sky and numbingly cold air blowing straight into your face. Did you forget your hat and gloves this morning? Oops. Now your ears are quickly beginning to hurt and you are going back and forth between hiding your hands in your coat pockets and sacrificing them so your arms give you more forward momentum. I’d be a liar to say I’ve never done this before. Trust me when I say you don’t want to be halfway back to your dorm or apartment when you start to doubt that you’ll make it all the way without having to take shelter.
I’m not saying that we have constant blizzards, but being so close to Lake Michigan, the weather is definitely more intense than living more toward the center of the state.
Another important thing to be wary of is ice. Obviously, you need to be careful with ice, both in a vehicle and as a pedestrian. Even if not on a road, ice is still a hazard. I remember slipping on some on a downward cement slope when rushing to class one morning. Also, another obvious tip, bikes are not a good idea during this type of weather. All it takes is one sharp turn on ice to send you to the ground and give you some nice cuts and bruises.
What about classes? What if being safe or experiencing transportation problems causes tardiness? I’ve had a couple classes that are a bit understanding with winter weather. Your car breaks down, the buses are running late due to road conditions, or you just can’t get there as early as you normally do due to the heavy snowfall in your face. Professors will more than likely be understandable of this, but to an extent. If it’s in your power to accommodate these potential setbacks, it is expected that you do so.
I realize that we’re still not in the snowy weather yet, but it can’t hurt to start thinking about these things. In general, just be smart when you’re out walking, keep your eyes peeled for slush on the road and be very mindful of ice. After all, the world is a scary enough place as it is.