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The blankets of snow covering Manchester’s campus have garnered strong opinions from students.
Photo provided by MU

Students Share Mixed Reactions to Snowy Winter Storm

Claire Butler

Snow piled up on the Manchester campus just as students were returning from winter break, coating the campus in a blanket of white. The frosty conditions made for a difficult, blizzard-y move in. “It was coming down so fast everything was just coated in a layer of snow by the time I reached the doors,” said Michael Schreffler. "It’s my least favorite season for sure.”

He is not alone in his dislike of the snow. “It was so icy on the roads for some parts of the drive I was going ten miles an hour top to stop from sliding or crashing,” said Brandi Smith.

“I have an older car too," Smith continued, “so every week I have to go and start my car, clean off all the snow and make sure it gets warm for a little bit. It’s just inconvenient.”

Driving in the snowy conditions not only forces students to brush off their cars before setting out but forces them to drive carefully and be aware of the snowy weather, which can create a whiteout when it comes down fast. “It’s hard to see where the road ends and the fields begin, so you have to be extra aware of other cars, and avoid sliding out of control,” said Audrey Diaz.

Adelle Stanko isn’t too bothered by the snow. “The biggest challenges with snow are cleaning off the cars and driving in it, but on such a small campus like Manchester, it doesn’t pose much of a functional problem,” she said.

Other students would disagree. “Even on the short walks to class the crisp air feels piercing, it’s so cold,” said Brooke Bouwens.

Zack Freel said: “The snow was pretty for a day, but I’m ready for it to be warm now. A full week of snow is too much.”

While students who grew up in the Midwest may not enjoy the biting cold of winter, they are accustomed to it. Skyler Gomez, who lived in San Diego before moving to Indiana, is not. “For the first few moments it's beautiful; but overall, it’s just inconvenient,” Gomez said. “It makes you not want to leave your room because the second you’re outside the air hits you and your fingers go numb.”

In addition, sports practices have had to cope with the harsh winter conditions. Due to the NCAA guidelines, there are a lot of last-minute changes to practices and athletes must be prepared to practice outdoors. “Practicing soccer in the snow I feel like my muscles are not made to practice in cold weather,” Bouwens said. “It is hard to keep your muscles warmed up during practice.”

Josue Castro agrees. “It’s difficult to stay warm and actually have an effective practice,” he said. “When the athletes are all cold and numb, it is hard to be fully focused on the game.”

The biggest challenge is staying warm and avoid injuries from stiff muscles, but athletes will do what they need to in order to practice the sports they love.

Despite the harsh cold and inconvenience, students have found ways to make the most of the snowy weather. “The night it first snowed; I went to get my suitemate at 1 a.m. so we could go outside when everything was freshly coated in snow and make snow angels,” said Kendal Garringer. “It was so beautiful. That’s the best part about snow: the beauty it creates.”

Many students have admired the snow from inside, but some have participated in winter activities like building snowmen. “I went sledding with a couple friends on the hill and ended up having a snowball fight on the mall,” Diaz said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Stanko said: “I love the snow; I don’t mind the cold and the snow makes a bare landscape look so pretty in the winter.”

Garringer added: “There is no reason for it to be cold, unless it is snowing, it’s the best part of winter.”

The bitter winds and piles of snow have created a winter wonderland filled with beauty and games for some students, while others opt out of any snow activity and would rather stay inside with a cup of hot cocoa.