Surviving the snow day

Imagine you’re a typical UBC undergraduate. You love nothing more than to sit in a classroom and soak up the wisdom of the esteemed scholars who came before you. You want to engage with your peers, to bond over your shared optimism and joy toward post-secondary education. You live to take tests, write essays and shout “yippee!”, just like any other student.

But one morning, you wake up and find the ground covered in white flakes that just keep coming — not a hint of green in sight. You check your email and feel dread in your veins. Your worst nightmare has come true: It’s a snow day, and classes are canceled.

On January 17 and 18, 2024, this was my horrifying reality. I still have nightmares over not being able to attend in-person classes, and I likely always will. Suddenly, there was no need to wake up at 6:00 in the morning. No need to run 15 minutes in the cold to get to the next class on time. All the learning could be accomplished from my room, with an aesthetic candle and fuzzy blanket. (I couldn’t even write that last sentence without getting nauseous.)


The worst part is that I live on campus, so the buildings I longed for were within my grasp, taunting me with their locked doors. Instead of completing assignments, everyone was building snowmen and having snowball fights to cope with the devastating reality of canceled classes. The air was full of winter wonderment, but, more importantly, disappointment and shame. People were smiling and having fun, but I could tell how empty they felt inside. I could hear it in their endless laughter. 

Days like this show why global warming is a good thing. 

To make things worse, the bus strike in the following week meant that a lot of classes went online again. At least this time it was for the sake of justice rather than nature's whims. Still, it was a challenge — online classes are way too easy and efficient. I actually had enough energy to complete all my work. It was over so fast I couldn’t even enjoy it!

I had to do frivolous things to fill up all my spare time, like play ping pong left-handed with my friends, catch up on TV shows and sleeping for eight consecutive hours. It was like a weekend, but even worse. I envy Sauder students, who still had to attend in-person classes even when getting to campus was not a reasonable option for commuters. This kind of rigorous, relentless, distinctly unfair attitude from UBC is exactly what we as students need to stay sane.

It’s had been weeks since it snowed and nobody went outside unless it was necessary — just how it should be. But now, it's snowing again, and I fear tomorrow I'll be forced to spend the day in the warm comfort of my home.