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First-year Park Scholars share their experiences with the transition to collegiate life at IC
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
By Taylor Graham '16
The first, white snowflakes that drift out of the sky in my small mountain town, usually sometime in late October and most likely in the middle of a soccer game, signify the start of my favorite season of the year. They signify the coming of blissful powder days spent with friends, ducking out of bounds at our local ski area, days spent scouring weather reports in search of the next big cold front, and nighttime storms that bring alive every streetlight in town with driving snow. It has just recently dawned on me that, for the first time in my life, I won’t be in Durango for that eagerly anticipated first snowfall.
I can’t remember exactly when my love of everything snow began, but I know it’s been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember. Snow makes me smile even when it comes in May, as it tends to do in Colorado, long after the lifts have stopped turning, when it postpones camping trips, cancels sporting events, and forces even the most hardened winter enthusiasts to dream of far-off, tropical beaches.
I’m sure I inherited part of this somewhat-obsessive love for snow from my parents, who have always allotted my brother and me two “sick days” each school year to enjoy a powder day with them. Those days, spent “under the weather” (get it?), were some of the most magical I can remember as a child – waking early to help my dad shovel the driveway, shrouded in pre-dawn stillness, the thrill of driving past my elementary school as friends shuffled in through the flakes knowing I would not be joining them, and, of course, the pure joy of skiing with my parents through the storm.
Now, separated by 1,992 miles of interstate from my local ski area, I can’t help but feel a pang of longing as the Facebook walls of my friends back home begin filling up with images of snowcapped peaks and links to whimsical winter weather reports.
So where does that leave me? In Ithaca, and I’d rather be nowhere else, not even back home pacing around my room, waiting for that first snowflake to fall. I mean, shoot, it’s already midterms, and time’s whizzing by so fast, it’s all I can do to hang on and enjoy every moment of the college roller coaster. Then, before I know it, I’ll be standing at the base of my mountains, skis on shoulder as the snow falls.
And I have a strange feeling when that time comes I won’t be able to wait to come back here.
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