Why is it snowing? It was September 8th just yesterday so there shouldn’t be snow on the ground for another few months right? But then why does the giant calendar above my desk say December? I expected the term to go quickly but it flew by so fast I hardly had time to settle in before an overwhelming amount of work fell from the sky in drifts, due dates turned my blank calendar rainbow with inkblots and I buckled down to clear a path to the end of term. Maybe it’s because of the Christmas lights in my dorm room and festive music playing everywhere but my mind is filled with thoughts of Christmas holidays, skating and sledding; but come think about it, I’ve been shoveling through a “Canadian Winter” all term eh?
Anyone who has grown up shoveling a large driveway without the help of Joseph-Armand Bombardier, John Deere and their back saving snowblowers knows the feeling of satisfaction that comes when the drifts are cleared away and the car is finally accessible. Ahhh… the driveway is clear, now I can go inside and sit by the fireplace with a mug of tea, that new novel I’ve been wanting to read and my dog curled up at my feet. So nice to look out the window from inside and see that…IT’S SNOWING AGAIN?!?!? Ugh…I literally just finished…Now comes the terrible dilemma of “should I go out there now before there is even more to clean up or should I wait until it stops?” I guess I should procrastinate by checking the radar map to see what the forecast looks like eh? Hmmm…snow. Lots of snow. It’s not showing signs of stopping anytime soon so the boots go back on and out I go into the storm in hopes of clearing the sidewalk again before the storm becomes a blizzard.
As a first year student, I have discovered that university is not so different from this scene that I have experienced numerous times before. My grade eleven chemistry teacher always used the phrase “when it rains, it pours”. It held true enough throughout high school but upon completion of my first term of university, I think shoveling in a snowstorm is a better descriptor. Just as soon as soon as I think I’ve got everything under control, another cloud passes over and snow is falling thicker than ever and I have approximately seventeen essays to write, give or take a few. There is no point in waiting for the storm to stop or even slow because doing that would only leave me buried so deep that even all of Churchill’s polar bears could not find me. Regardless of how fast the snow is falling, it isn’t going to stop until the night before that final exam standing between me and two weeks of rest and relaxation in front of the fire. If this thought of exams causes stress, sorry eh.
So while it can get frustrating that the driveway needs constant shoveling as the drifts pile up day and night, remember how fun it is to grab the blue flying saucer from the garage and sled down the snow mountain in the backyard. Remember how nice it is to curl up in front of the fireplace with a book, a cup of tea and the dog. Remember how nice it is to be able to drive to the rink without getting stuck in a snow drift (once you’ve swept off the car of course. Do not get me started on that!), lace up the old skates and go flying around the great Canadian oval in pursuit of a tiny black disk, a blue rubber ring, a personal best time or a world class score as an escape from the blizzard outside. Personally, I’m not fantastic on skates, so if I bump into you and spill your Timmie’s, sorry!
Even with the immense workload, university is full of fun and fulfilling opportunities. Yes, there are mountains of essays, assignments and tests. Yes, sometimes it feels like there is absolutely no end in sight. Yes, it is accompanied by a nearly constant wish to build an igloo and hibernate for the rest of the term, but that does not mean it isn’t worth it. So pull on those mukluks, flip down the earflaps on your favourite toque, grab that heavy duty shovel from Canadian Tire and embrace the chaos and anarchy of the blizzard of university. Just think about how nice the driveway will look when the term is over and how amazing it will be once spring arrives and the snow melts. Enough stereotypical Canadian chatter from me now. I’m off for some poutine with maple syrup.