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The Shackles of Winter

Waking up in the morning is becoming more daunting. Today, while my coffee was brewing and my bagel toasting, I stared through the patio door only to see a sky still dark and a breezy snowfall roaring through the streetlights. The crack of dawn was only an hour away; however, the promise of actual sunlight looked grim. The sound of the gusting wind was like a whip snapping through the air. The icy snowflakes pattered across the window and crystallized on the screen door. I don't want to leave, I thought to myself.

Nature is preparing to challenge us in the upcoming semester. We will be forced to adapt to a shifting climate that will offer no mercy. What we've seen between the end of November and now is only a taste of what is to come. Stepping outside to breathe the cold air that freezes our lungs while being exposed to skin-cracking temperatures will be obstacles in our daily lives living in this Northern Atlantic region. We will dig through mountains of snow, hoping to catch the bus, tunnel paths to our vehicles buried in the aftermath of a blizzard or follow the footsteps of others on the snow-piled sidewalks. But maybe we'll get lucky and a snow squall will be so severe the school will close for the day (which is why it is important to bookmark MUN's cancellations page to your browsers). Students of Memorial, retrieve your seasonal wardrobe from the burrows of your closet and prepare to face nature's beast: winter.

After our relaxing holiday by a fire, and filling up on holiday meals and drinks with friends and family, we will face the winter semester of 2013. We will find ourselves weighed down by shorter days, freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls. All of which might discourage us from attending class. But overcoming these obstacles will be fulfilling. With fewer activities to take part in outdoors, we may find ourselves more focused on our studies and dedicate more time in our good old Queen Elizabeth II library. There is always light at the end of a dark winter. And winter always tells a story that foreshadows the coming of spring.

The smell of fresh spring air will breathe new life after a cold, wet and dreary winter. Many of us will take a four month break from school to work, vacation or just relax. Nevertheless, we will conquer winter by breaking from the shackles of the ruthless weather, and in return she will reward us with what we desire – warmer days. I wish you all Happy Holidays and the best of luck in the New Year!

Joshua Duff is a third-year student majoring in political science and English language and literature at Memorial University. He can be reached at