Despite Notre Dame calling the second semester of the academic calendar the “Spring Semester”, there’s really only four or five weeks of Spring during that timespan. As a prospective student, I’m sure that the thought of the weather has popped into your mind at some point during the discernment process. Unless an earth-shattering heat wave comes through before you arrive on campus, there’s no getting around the fact that you’ll have to deal with the cold. At least for a little while.
To be completely honest, in my three winters at Notre Dame, there have been some really cold days, but those days are few and far between. Just as the fall semester has three weeks that are unbelievably hot, the spring semester likewise has two to three weeks that are really cold. After those first few weeks, there will be a few stretches of cold days, but nothing that isn’t manageable. With that being said, only having a few cold weeks isn’t a sufficient enough reason to be negligent when preparing to come to Notre Dame in the winter.
Here are a few of my tips to get through the snowy season here on campus:
Having a Positive Attitude
In all transparency, this is the most crucial aspect to taking on the winter. Contrary to popular belief, negative thoughts don’t make you any warmer, and they sure don’t make your time here more enjoyable. I think that having a positive attitude is fundamental for human flourishing in general, but it particularly applies to the cold. Seeking enjoyment in the beauty of the winter will make the season fly by, so make sure not to wish that precious time away.
Finding Fun Indoor Activities
During some of the coldest days of the school year, you probably won’t find anyone throwing a frisbee or playing spikeball on the quads, but you’ll find the basketball courts filled to capacity and the section lounges full of life. There’s never a shortage of activities and events going on around campus, so if you find yourself stuck in your room and bored, you need to start looking for things to do. I’d recommend reading the weekly newsletters that will be sent to your emails to find out what’s going on throughout the week.
Growing up in an even colder place than South Bend, I can’t say I had actually ever heard this term before coming here. Because of that, I’m not going to say much on the topic other than the fact that you should wear plenty of warm clothes when walking around. Also, wear gloves. I don’t understand why so many people don’t wear gloves.
Going to Free Sporting Events
Even though football isn’t in season, there’s plenty of other events going on in Irish Athletics during the winter months. Hockey, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball games are all free for students, and they’re a great way to spend a few hours on open weeknights and weekends.
In my opinion, despite the cold weeks, the spring semester is the better semester. Campus is just as beautiful with a fresh layer of snow as it is at the peak of fall or during the greenest part of the summer. On top of that, the Notre Dame community doesn’t go into hibernation when the weather gets cold - it only gets stronger. Even if you’ve never been around the cold much in your life, I can guarantee you that the spring semester will offer you something with more warmth than you could’ve expected.