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The bright side of winter quarter

(FEBE MARTINEZ/The Stanford Daily)

Ten weeks is a long time to resent something. And it’s an especially long time to resent something all-encompassing and ubiquitous like, say, the weather. Here are five reasons why winter quarter is not that bad:

1. You can take more units!

This is not satirical. More units might be hard, but you need them to graduate, right? Might as well take ‘em when the library is hot and nature is not. Also, there’s a thrill in bragging about or bemoaning your 22 units. You become a sympathetic victim because no one can decide if they envy you or fear you. It adds mystery and allure.

2. Winter clothes are fun.

As someone who grew up on a tropical island, buying my first pair of Uggs was a rite of passage that was at once deeply basic and deeply different. Beanies, mittens, long socks and rain boots, winter quarter calls upon a great diversity of clothing, the wearing of which can really be an otherworldly or at least mildly fun endeavor. You can call upon all sorts of creativity and justify the purchase of just one more Patagonia fleece.

To put it in mathematical terms I barely understand, the permutations and combinations of clothing possible this quarter far surpass those of others (ahem, spring quarter). Even if you choose to fall back on your Birkenstocks this quarter, at least the context will render them edgy and not basic, right?

3. Biking through the rain is a solid aesthetic.

With raindrops running down the lenses of my glasses, veiling my vision as I (unskillfully) maneuver my bike around campus, I considered myself the last person to salvage something positive from the rain. But from an artistic viewpoint, it has a lot to offer, what with its connotations of of rebirth, release and catharsis.

A friend of mine describes feeling like the star of a 2000s music video as she makes her way through the rain. So the next time the clouds have you feeling gloomy and doomy, try to channel your favorite old-school icon, and feel your presence come to dominate all forces of nature. Maybe you can even pop in a headphone (not both! Obey the law!) and live out a big mood on your way to lecture.

4. You can exercise your gratitude.

Over the weekend, the temperature was idyllic. Someone even screenshotted my Snapchat story (not to brag) of the quad against a deep blue sky on a sunny day. You might be thinking, “That was also a winter quarter anomaly!”  While that’s all well and true, the point is that absence does make the heart grow fonder. Turn those winter quarter roasts into spring quarter boasts — having something to look forward to does wonders for well-being. It also makes you appreciate the sunshine (the one who makes you happy when skies are grey) a bit more. Nature appreciation, in turn, makes you woke and hip.

5. Warm beverages save the day.

Winter quarter is when you can catch a break from rip-off iced coffees that are 75 percent ice cubes, five percent coffee and 10 percent fluff. Treat yourself to a warm, wholesome cappuccino as you grind (working) the night away.

 

Contact Megha Parwani at mparwani ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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