Now that I’m back at Lafayette, one of the things that I am enjoying more than ever is its natural beauty. While living in Pennsylvania comes with the experience of all four seasons and all four are wonderful at Lafayette, whether they bring fiery foliage or summer cloud-watching on the quad, one of my absolute favorite parts of being a student here is the snow.
Complain if you wish and dismiss me as a student that doesn’t have to shovel their own snow (I’m responsible for clearing two houses at home!), but snow here is something truly beautiful. I’m not referring to a light dusting on the trees. I’m talking about 6 inches or more of fresh powder turning the quad into a glistening tundra. I’m talking about the trees brought out in stark contrast and reshaped by the snowy mass in their branches. I’m talking about snow forts and snow balls. One of the highlights of my freshman year? An organized snowball fight between Conway House and what is now Delta Upsilon. I’ve determined that making students happy might require extreme weather- winter snow storms and summer sun. Anything in between is disappointing.
Still, anyone can talk about snow in their neighborhood or walking through a silent white forest. Both of these things are wonderful but what can compare to the college sledding experience? From plastic toboggans to the classic trash bag, college sledding is its own unique sport. In no other athletic display can you find people riding each other down slopes. Indeed, after dismissing sledding due to being “too busy” in high school, I rediscovered it at Lafayette. The hill behind Pardee may be a mole hill compared to my favorite spot at home, but with such record levels of camaraderie and improvisation it is just the right size. People in all sorts of outfits from party formal and high heels to pajama pants to wilderness survival gear either run to the area behind Pardee, trash bag in hand, or notice the spectacle on their way home and immediately join in. Sleds are shared, hugs are given, and cheer abounds.
Snow is beautiful here.