Opinion — If you dislike winter, why go to Northern?

VERY, VERY COLD — A sheet of ice enveloping the land. The Upper Peninsula gets quite cold during the winter, and not enough people understand that.
VERY, VERY COLD — A sheet of ice enveloping the land. The Upper Peninsula gets quite cold during the winter, and not enough people understand that.
Rachel Pott

With the first snow of the year behind us, many people have already stated their love or hate for the snow.

I often hear a lot of complaints about the snow and cold. Many people often go into hibernation during the winter to avoid the outdoors as much as possible — the snow skeptics, as I like to call them. 

I, however, fall into the category of winter enthusiasts. Aside from driving in the snow – I will admit, I definitely do not enjoy that at times – I love all things winter. I have been eagerly waiting for snow to return since its departure last spring. 

For me and many other winter enthusiasts, winter activities are endless, from skiing (both downhill and cross country), snowboarding, ice skating, fat tire biking and snowshoeing to snowmobiling and ice fishing. These activities are some of the many reasons why I love the snow and winter months.

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With the wide array of winter activities available to us, it always has me questioning why students come to Northern when they do not enjoy the cold and snow. 

One of the main reasons I choose Northern was because of the location and a long winter season. Growing up in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, long winters and lots of snow is not a new concept to me. However, since coming to Northern, my love of winter has increased, and my snow-related activities have expanded. 

However, I have never really understood why students willingly come to Northern with a hate of the winter. I understand the winter is certainly not for everyone, but I personally would be looking at other colleges with less annual snowfall than Marquette if I disliked the winter months. 

Listening to other students complain about the snow and cold often elicits many eye rolls and a lot of annoyance from me, because like I have mentioned, we all chose to come to Northern. I would hope that, before we made our college selection, we were all aware of the harsh winters and substantial amount of snowfall much of the Upper Peninsula is known for. 

 While I may never understand this concept, I do hope to encourage students who fall into this category to take some time to enjoy Marquette during the winter months.

Many of the area’s trails offer new unique experiences for cross country skiing and fat tire biking when blanketed in snow. Marquette Mountain often becomes a fun hangout spot for many students. Black Rocks and Presque Isle become covered in ice from the powerful gales of Lake Superior. Waterfalls also don a new look when surrounded by icicles. 

Northern’s Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) also provides many resources to make getting outside in the winter easier and accessible for students. For example, they offer snowshoes, cat cleats, fat tire bikes and cross-country skis for free to Northern students. 

To me, the winter months offer a chance for new activities and adventures to take place. I hope all students, snow skeptics included, can take advantage of the short time that winter is here to try a new outdoor activity while going to Northern.

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