After six weeks of a Minnesota winter, I think I am finally qualified to talk a little bit about my experience of this. I was hesitant to blog about the winter earlier on, because I truly hadn't experienced it for long enough. Long story short though, I really don't mind the cold here too much! Following Northfield's temperatures before I actually got to Carleton, had me a little worried. I had never experienced temperatures below zero. However after six weeks in Minnesota, I definitely have! To start out with, the very first day I got back for winter term was probably the coldest day we have had so far (around -25 degrees, -50 degrees with the windchill). This worked out extremely well though because I faced the most extreme temperatures first, and gradually was able to warm up from there. I've found that even on the coldest days, as long as I dress warmly I am perfectly fine. Lately I have noticed that I have stopped really checking the temperature at Carleton, I generally just wear a winter coat and a hat, and depending on the temperature I am either fine or slightly cold. I’ve also noticed that when it warms up(like yesterday) what used to seem relatively cold(25 degrees) now seems positively lovely and warm!
Given this cold winter at Carleton, I have been able to participate in several winter activities. Cross country skiing is very easy to do in Carleton's arboretum. I had never cross country skied before Carleton, but now I can safely say that I am at least semi-competent in this activity. The Carleton recreation center allows you to check out skis, boots and poles for free, whenever you want. In addition Carleton has a cross country ski team that skis nearly every afternoon. This is definitely an example of something that I had never done before Carleton. The fact that this activity is so easily accessible makes it almost a necessity to at least try in your time here.
Another activity in the winter, is playing the game of broomball(similar to hockey but without ice skates) Although I heard about this sport before Carleton I had previously never participated. Carleton has two ice skating rinks on the bald spot in the winter (which is where broomball is played)! I have already played broomball several times. I have really enjoyed it. It is really laid back and just a great way to have fun with friends. Sadly our floor never formed a team, but I have been able to play on some of my friends’ teams.
I definitely think winter term seems to have a different atmosphere than fall term. Everyone seems to spend a lot of time in their dorms doing homework and hanging out with friends. I have found that although I have met new people this term, I think even more so I have grown closer with the friends I made fall term. Everyone, including me, seems to be sort of settling in this term. Winter has allowed for a lot of really special moments with close friends. Again, I really wish I took a picture while I was playing broomball or a picture of the arboretum while I was cross country skiing, but alas I did not. Next time I ski or play broomball I will make sure to take pictures, and upload them-even if it isn’t in the same post!