Outside Looking In: An ode to seasons

Sofia Rada, Columnist

It’s almost magical how we can use the weather and the environment around us to help us keep track of time. It doesn’t really feel like it has been that long ago since I left home. When I think about it, though, I notice how everything around me has morphed and realize that I’m wrong.

In the days before coming here, I would lay on top of my sheets with the air conditioning on full blast, taking shelter from the insufferable Shanghai summer heat. Now, I sit in the comfort of indoor heating wearing a sweater and boots, taking shelter from the equally insufferable Evanston fall (winter?) cold. If my internal clock can’t quite figure out that it has been almost two months since school started, the world around me sure makes a clear statement.

Now, it may just be that I’m currently drunk off a cocktail of antibiotics, nasal spray and congestion meds, but I’ve come to appreciate the climate around here. Actually, I began appreciating it when hearing the phrases “today the pollution was only at 60!” or “the sky was blue again today!” from my friends and family back home stated to make me laugh since such comments are now otherwise obsolete in my life. However, I can’t say I didn’t have trouble adjusting to the temperature changes. Today, though, I am reminded of the appeal of the Midwestern environment.

Despite having to endure the trembling and the runny nose (and having to be sick for an entire month before health services deemed it appropriate to prescribe antibiotics), I have fallen in love with the changing seasons. To put it simply, they’re beautiful. They’re also extremely photogenic. Everyone, especially international students, has taken endless photos of #nufallcolors and now #firstsnowoftheyear. It may be painful to walk to class when it’s below zero degrees (that’s low 30s for Celsius illiterates), but the surroundings almost make it worthwhile.

It’s reassuring to see how well we’ve adjusted once we realize so much time has gone by. The benchmarks that once seemed so far away (like taking our first midterms, seeing the leaves change color, turning in our first papers and seeing the snow fall) have now all come and gone. So whether it is because pollution is no longer a daily concern or because we simply love the pretty snowflakes, we should all look at what’s around us and smile, knowing we’ve made it this far and we’re lucky to be here.

Then again, you should probably come talk to me in a month (or even in a few hours when the meds have worn off) and ask me if I’m still so jubilant. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Until then, happy St. Martin’s Day everyone!

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