This article was originally published in the January issue of The Underground
Even though winter will mercifully be over in a few weeks, right now the weather isn’t showing any signs of letting up. Make no mistake, we’re firmly in winter’s grasp, far removed from that first snowfall that tried to fool us into thinking that snow is “cute” and that winter ain’t so bad. That’s nonsense. Winter is always bad. No time of the year when small creatures die and it literally hurts just to breathe should be celebrated. And to those of you who actually enjoy winter…what in the world is wrong with you?! I’m asking out of concern. Winter sucks and I’m willing to fight and end friendships over it.
“But Marcus, my birthday is in winter.”
I don’t care. That’s selfish as hell. So, you mean to tell me that everyone deserves to suffer the pains of winter–shovelling, salt-stained shoes, frostbite, black ice, fogged glasses, soggy socks–and be expected to like it simply because you decided to pop out of the va-jay-jay during the wrong time of the year?! And somehow that one day is going to make the three months of winter worth it?! I don’t think so.
“But Marcus, Christmas is in winter.”
First of all, not everybody celebrates Christmas, chill. Secondly, if you knew that the origins of Christmas traditions were adapted from the pagan festival Saturnalia, you would know that the date December 25th was chosen arbitrarily. Neither the date nor the season of Jesus’ birth was stated in the Bible and based on the details of the Nativity, Jesus was probably born in the Spring. Besides, Christmas is a poor justification for the harshness of winter, you can get together with your loved ones to exchange gifts, eat food and be merry at any time of the year. Some people act like Christmas isn’t Christmas without snow, which is absurd. While it is true that it feels less “Christmas-y” without a layer of snow covering everything in sight on December 24th and 25th, would it not be sufficient to have a non-bone-chilling substitute?
But Marcus, there are so many fun winter activities to do.”
If you have money that is. Hockey, Canada’s most beloved sport, costs $$1,666 a year on average to play while softball costs about $300 a year. A trip to Blue Mountain would cost you $70—plus whatever you have to spend to get there—a ferry to the Toronto Islands is $7.50. Besides, how many times do you
But who’s really trying to do anything in the winter? Do you know what dies in the winter aside from plants: your motivation. Think about it, how many times you’ve not bothered to go to class or some social event because it was nasty outside? Thanks to evolution, winter triggers your body to go into hibernation mode, meaning all your body wants to do is stay warm, store as much food/energy as possible and sleep. The cold weather makes people feel lazy and want to stay in bed, sabotaging the good habits and summer bods they’ve developed. Winter also robs people of their tans–which have been scientifically proven to make you more attractive–as your melanocytes produce less melanin due to a lack of UV light. For some people, not wanting to leave the house during winter is a matter of sacrificing looking cute and having fun for warmth. For others, not wanting to leave the house is a symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that affects people at the same times every year and is related to the changing of seasons. Similarly to regular depression, symptoms of SAD include: trouble sleeping, loss of interest in activities, difficulty focusing, feeling sluggish or agitated, change in weight or appetite, low energy and feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness. Sound familiar? That’s what students go through around exam time. April’s exam period is slightly better because of the weather and because it marks the beginning of a four-month summer for most students.
“But Marcus, the heat is unbearable. It’s easier to heat up than cool yourself down.”
I hear where you’re coming from. You’re sweaty, you’re sticky, it’s exhausting just to be outside.
But you’re missing the bigger picture; IT’S SUMMER! You can do anything; the possibilities are endless. If you’re too hot, jump in a pool, find an ice cream truck, have a bloody water balloon fight for chrissake. If you need a vacation from the heat you probably can take a trip somewhere cool in the summer for less than what you’d pay to go somewhere warm in the winter. Even buying winter clothes is more expensive than buying summer attire. And realistically, these days of “unbearable heat” account for about two weeks of the year. Whereas the brutal temperatures of winter can last a whole month, for example, Toronto in February 2015. The Los Angeles Times reported that between 1985 and 2012 there were 74 million deaths that occurred in 13 countries, researchers examined the data and calculated that cold weather accounted for 7.3% of those deaths while 0.4% were attributed to hot weather.
But if you don’t believe me or science, take it from your fellow UTSC students. Recent HBSc graduate Brandon Bharat says: “Being the holidays there’s going to be more outings, more dinners, more driving, more everything. So you’re poor at this point. Maybe it’s just me but you can’t be saying “yes” to many things if you want to save for the select few things.” Fifth-year student Rebecca Ramotar has her own winter-related-car problems. “The walk from class to your car is the coldest I’ve ever been. It’s like walking in a wind tunnel, the wind is so cold you think you’ll get frostbite by the time you reach your car. Literally can’t feel your face for a good ten minutes after that. It’s life at UTSC in the winter,” she explained.
Excuse me while I sip my tea.