I’ve experienced the shift from winter to spring for 18 years, but it has never been so dramatic, or so welcome, until my first year of college. I’ve been on campus since August, and by now I feel as though I have a pretty good account of my bearings. I know where all of my classes are, I’ve ventured to almost every restaurant on Main Street, and I can manage to get from my dorm room to the bathroom at 7am when I’m still half asleep. Campus, my building, and my friends, are physically the same as they have been for the past nine months. Somehow, though, the shift to warmer weather has the power to magically change everything, making my experience during the spring semester much different from fall.
I remember the first day this year that I opened The Weather Channel app on my phone to find that the temperature was going to hit 70 degrees. Tired of staying inside during the seemingly endless Delaware winter, my friends and I almost immediately planned to eat lunch outside on the turf that day. The day before that, I had trudged to class in my winter coat and boots, nearly giving myself frostbite trying to carry an iced coffee while the wind whipped against me. But that first day of spring weather was completely different. Not only could I walk comfortably to class in a t-shirt and Birkenstocks, but somehow everyone seemed happier. The sky was bluer, my exams were easier, lunch from Russell was a little more bearable, and the turf in my shoes didn’t bother me as much.
Since that day, we’ve been lucky to have a few more days like it at UD, and I’ve had very similar experiences. I noticed very quickly that it’s as if warm weather completely transforms the campus and everyone on it into the best version of themselves. On the most recent spring day, I had a conversation with a friend who said “it’s like when it’s warm out, everyone looks very different.” As weird as that sounds, I completely agreed with her. Part of this change in appearance is easy to pinpoint, as everyone sheds their coats and boots in exchange for shorts and open-toed shoes. Another part, though, is a little less tangible, but my friend and I decided to define it as a pre-summer glow. It seems to emerge naturally as the snow starts to melt and the cherry blossom trees start to bloom.
Fortunately, I’ll have some more time to research this phenomenon, because as I type this the forecast for the week ahead is calling for sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. That warm weather means that my first year of college is coming to an end, and although that makes me a little sad, I’m confident that the summer-like atmosphere will lift my spirits. And, if somehow that alone isn’t enough, there’s almost nothing that sitting on The Green in the sunshine or an impromptu walk to UDairy can’t fix.