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What to Look Forward to During Winter at Bates

Welcome back to Bates, bobcats! I know winter in Maine can seem like a dreary time since it gets dark so early, it’s very cold (especially if you don’t have a snuggle buddy), and a bunch of people go abroad. However, it can also be really fun if you know what to look forward to this season!

MLK Day (this year it’s Monday, January 21) is really cool at Bates; we don’t have classes. Instead, we have a full day of speakers, workshops, lectures, and performances centering on a particular theme that corresponds with Dr. King’s legacy. This year’s is “Lifting Every Voice: Intersectionality and Activism,” and it’s bound to be interesting, engaging, and thought-provoking as always. Find out more at this site.

Winter Carnival, co-hosted by the Bates Outing Club and Chase Hall Programming Board, is another series of events, although this annual tradition involves a week or so of fun outdoor activities. There’s night skiing/snowboarding/athletic snow people showing off (jk, you people are super rad), trips to local ski/snowboard/snow tube sites, shred contests, Big Prize Bingo, skating on the Puddle, the infamous Puddle Jump, and so much more. Stay tuned for updates via Bates Today.

Me, post-Puddle Jump

Remember 80’s Dance? I know that some people don’t… Never fear, for another dance will be here: it’s 90’s Dance! And this year will be the first 90’s Dance in which about a quarter of the people at the school probably weren’t born yet during that decade, so that’s freaky. I feel old now. Thanks. But existential crises aside, it’ll be fun! Denim-on-denim outfits à la JT and Britney, chokers, tube tops, scrunchies, Adidas sweats that make obnoxiously loud noises whenever you move even a centimeter, all that good stuff that’s back in style now. 90’s music is, of course, great for dancing so much you sweat off your over-lined lips, glittery pale blue eyeshadow, body glitter, and thick black eyeliner for those of you who will go for the grunge look.

I know people joke about the winter being “cuffing season,” but the cold really does seem to make Batesies crave cuddles. So whether it’s a friend, a significant other, or someone you’re kinda-dating/kinda-hooking-up-with, see if you can find someone to snuggle with to make the winter a bit warmer. It should go without saying, but always, always, always get consent before touching another person, even if it’s not in a sexual manner. If all parties involved don’t consent, then don’t do it. It’s that simple.

Personally, I think campus in the winter is gorgeous. When it’s snowing or freshly snowed, the trees on the Quad glisten and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s nothing quite like making the first footprint in a fresh coat of snow or sticking your tongue out and catching a snowflake. I love going for walks at night when it’s snowing and everything’s quiet; if I listen really closely, I can hear (or imagine I can hear) the snowflakes falling, and no matter how much stress I have or how worn out I feel, it brings me peace and a little bit of comfort.

So don’t get too down on winter at Bates. Sure, it’s cold and dark, but there’s plenty to look forward to, and if we’re lucky, our friends (plus copious amounts of hot beverages, piles of blankets, and giant scarves) keep us feeling warm inside.

Rachel Minkovitz is a senior at Bates College double majoring in Psychology and French and Francophone Studies. She spends a lot of time listening to music, hanging out with friends, reading and writing, advocating for social justice, and looking for furry animals. 
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