For the second time this year, it is Accepted Students’ Weekend. And for the second time this year, it is snowing on Accepted Students’ Weekend. And not just flurrying--it’s legitimately snowing. Did I mention it’s April?
Last weekend, when talking to prospective students,I found myself begging them to believe that the weather in Northfield isn’t usually like this in April. I begged my tour group. I begged our prospective soccer players. I even begged the random girl in my biochem class to believe me. And every time I said it, I was met with the same response: a polite smile and some variation of the phrase “yeah, everyone’s been saying that.”
First of all--I guess I should probably admit that I’ve lived in Minnesota for a grand total of three years, so when I say “it usually isn’t like this!” what I’m actually saying is “it hasn’t been like this in the past two spring terms I’ve been here, and the spring when I prospied!” But I digress. My main point is a simple one: that Carleton students--the vast majority of us, anyway--love our school, and the reason that we’re so frantically defending the ridiculous Minnesota weather is because we want you to love it too. We want you to come here and understand how wonderful Carleton is, rather than being distracted by the minor April blizzard Spring term is usually the most fun term because everyone is so relieved to be outside, and that relief translates into a significantly more cheerful attitude than that which looms over campus on, say, seventh or eighth week of Winter Term. Instead, though, everyone’s stuck pretending their best to be unaffected by the weather, even though all we want is the spring.
Most students looking at Carleton (who aren’t from the Upper Midwest, anyway) are afraid of the winter, and visiting during the gorgeous spring helps to reassure them. This year’s batch of prospective students won’t have that experience, and we’re all worried that they’ll walk away from Carleton with the impression that it’s nothing but a cold, frozen tundra, rather than the cozy, accepting, and fun place that it truly is. Prospective students, when your host begs you to believe that this weather isn’t normal, understand that what he or she is trying to tell you might actually be something along the lines of “Carleton is great and I hope you can see that through the weather to recognize that.” So believe me when I say it: the weather isn’t always like this. I swear.
(Seriously, though, Minnesota, pull yourself together and give us some sun already.)