A Winter Wonderland

Winter Term may be the shortest term of the year, but it certainly feels like the longest. It is easy to become a recluse, order take-out every night, hibernate and just drag your feet through these three painfully long months. In the winter, everyone seems unmotivated and ill-tempered and those bright smiles you used to see on the path seem to be replaced by grim bundles of down and wool. However, this doesn’t have to be the case! Here are a few tips to get through this Winter Term with that same bright smile you had from spring to fall. For the thrill-seekers among us, the most effective way to get through the winter slump is to sled your way through. While some may have their own sleds, most do not have space to bring along a sled or snow tube in addition to suitcases that are already bursting at the seams. For the latter group, there is no choice but to be resourceful. A “common” solution is to use trays from the new Uncommons as a sled to fly down that hill. Just watch out for rocks, branches and trees, and make sure to return the trays after you’re done or else Uncommons will be forced to create another property-returning contest and you’ll spend a majority of winter chatting up nurses in Isham. For the times it’s too cold to even go outside, a great way to spend time is shooting hoops, playing squash or working out in the gym with friends. The gym is almost always open and the fitness center is open on weekday afternoons and on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Another option is bundling up in blankets and watching a movie with friends. During a time when even getting out of the dorm in the mornings is a struggle, why not pop across the hall and spend some quality time with the people you live with? For day students, the winter is a great time to spend the night in someone’s dorm when driving conditions are not good—or just when you feel like hanging out with friends. Playing sports like football and Frisbee in the snow when it’s not too cold is also fun—hitting the ground and taking dives doesn’t hurt as much when there is a pile of snow to cushion the fall, as long as you watch out for ice. The snow sprinkling our campus this term is perfect for making snow angels, building snowmen (or any other snow figure) and having snowball fights! Snowball fights can provide hours of fun and also serve as a great way to break the ice and meet new people, because snowball fights that start with a group of friends tend to grow exponentially as more and more people join in. Hot chocolate is a must-have for the winter; there is no better feeling after playing outside in the cold and going back inside to put on dry clothes and sip hot chocolate. Day students have the luxury of leaving campus, unlike their boarding counterparts. While we sip hot chocolate and watch season two of “The O.C.,” it occurs to us that we are in grave danger of falling into a rut. This can be cured by a large dose of preventive medicine, i.e. day student friends. Winter Term is the perfect time to appreciate an underappreciated minority and get off campus. Day student drivers or their parents can provide impromptu Loop trips, shopping excursions in Boston and New Hampshire, or even just a home-cooked meal. The Winter Term, despite its lack of beautiful weather, is packed with fun and exciting campus-wide events such as the WQS Fashion Show, Casino Night, Blue & Silver and laser tag. These events provide a good excuse to get together with a large group of people and forget about the ice and work for a while. The worst move to make this Winter Term is to fall into a routine. The weekends must be taken advantage of, or the months will inevitably be spent in tedious drudgery. Students can spend weekends watching movies in Methuen or Lawrence (with the aid of a taxi or those incredibly helpful day student friends) watching action films, romantic comedies, horror musicals in the vein of Sweeney Todd—anything to escape the tiresome workload. The Rockingham Mall, the Burlington Mall and the occasional train into Boston are always available options for those with car permissions and Charlie cards. When not in the mood to break out the wallet, Andover students can ride with their friends to their houses just for a change of scenery.