All Hail: Winter’s cold shoulder

With boredom setting in at home over winter break, college students couldn’t wait to get back to Boston. Finally, we thought, we’ll be able to see our friends again, go out to parties and resume normal life. But there’s something very powerful we forgot to anticipate: the weather.

Essentially, I have no social nightlife anymore. Once I come home from my co-op job I don’t leave my apartment. It feels pointless to brave Boston’s cold any more than I must. The winter chill was delayed this year, but now that it’s here it seems I’ve gone into hibernation.

Perhaps I feel this way because I’m not from New England. Still, this is not my first winter here either. In fact, last winter was far worse, but in the interim I truly forgot how miserable the cold can be. An expatriate of the South, I remember as a child when temperatures dropped to 30 degrees and my mother forced my sister and me to wear layers of ugly Old Navy sweatshirts to bundle up. I am now writing this as reports it is literally one degree outside. That is mind-boggling to my Hot-lanta ears.

This weather makes me wish I had never left the house. It’s better in the morning when sunlight makes things as pleasant as possible, stumbling down the street with layers of pajama bottoms under jeans, sweaters, scarves and hats, with gloved hands trying to grip the travel mug of coffee or tea to heat me internally. But that same routine when it’s pitch black at only 8 p.m. is downright depressing.

Let’s face it: winter makes everyone ugly. Or uglier. Whether looking unnaturally pale or armored in clothing that makes one’s body three times its normal size, cold weather is not conducive to going out. Constant hat hair and dry, peeling skin on your face is not the way to make an appearance.

But while anyone can complain about the cold, I’ve also discovered some easy tips everyone can use to retain friendships and still enjoy a warm, reclusive lifestyle.

I live in the collegiate mecca of Mission Hill, and still have a number of good friends who live on campus. As unwilling as I am to ever leave my apartment, they are even less willing to make the trek to the hill. But there’s something no college student can turn down: delicious, home-prepared food.

Last week I hosted an impromptu dinner party. I can’t remember the last time I actually cooked anything besides pasta or eggs (months probably), but feeling inspired, I prepared a delicious dinner that everyone enjoyed to the last bite. And the best part? My friends came to me. Plus our satiated stomachs warmed us from within.

Another way to never leave the house is marathon viewing of favorite TV shows with friends. To me, it does not get any better than staying in my heated nook and watching episode after episode of “Six Feet Under.” With seasons of shows available on DVD (or BitTorrent for the more tech-savvy), you and your friends can enjoy hours of laughs and love while only wearing one to two layers! HBO programs particularly warm my heart, but other workable titles include “Daria,” “I Love New York” and of course “Friends.” And lets face it – you can make a drinking game from just about anything.

Moving north and dealing with colder weather was a conscious choice I made by coming to Northeastern as a freshman. But unless you have lived in cold temperatures before, it’s difficult to imagine how it really affects everyday life. Luckily winter is seasonal, and we at least have spring to look forward to.

– Bobby Feingold is a sophomore journalism major and a member of The News staff.

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