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My Winter Blues

I don’t know about cities other than Pittsburgh and my home city of Philadelphia, but I know I speak for many Pitt students when I say, where’s the sun?!


The last time I saw the sun was early September, and that was only because summer was trying to get some last minute heat waves out of the way. The last five months have been nothing but gray, rainy, snowy, and now icy. Never in my life have I ever had to invest in a pair of rain boots. And I use the word “invest” because the weather is so terrible here, the bottoms of my jeans would be ripped to shreds otherwise and a shopping trip is not plausible on my college student budget.
I would walk to my 8 AM last semester in the pouring rain, and later that evening, I would walk back from the library or my club meetings in the rain. While I was walking down the street a car sped through a puddle and completely soaked me. I dripped all the way home then dried myself off only to get more drenched when I walked to class later that day. Some days, it seems like it will never stop raining. I mean, come on’ Mother Nature, even Olympic medalists take breaks so they don’t keel over from exhaustion, why can’t the rain give it a rest before we all catch pneumonia?

I think it is the worst when the weather makes you think its going to be nice then BAM, it rains/snows/sleets/hails/ices, ect. You would think I would be used to the Pittsburgh weather going into my third year of college this fall, but it only seems to get worse. One morning, I left my apartment to venture out in what seemed like a comfortable dry climate. I guess I should have known that Pittsburgh weather was a tease because when I left class only an hour later it was POURING. I had no jacket, no rain boots, no umbrella, and no hoodie. It was me versus Mother Nature once again and Mother Nature won. I contracted bronchitis days later and was even hospitalized.
During my sickness, the temperature dropped drastically barely giving my body time to adjust. I had a cough that sounded like a chainsaw for two weeks.
When it finally became winter time that’s when everything hit the fan. It snowed, or flurried I should say, everyday for about a month. When it snows here at Pitt, it rarely accumulates. It always teases you with flurries that still mess up your hair with a temperature cold enough you still have to bundle up like your paying a visit to the North Pole.
Despite the inclement weather, Pitt girls still don’t see the need to wear a jacket, or pants for that matter. When the snow actually accumulates once in a blue moon, girls can be seen walking down Forbes Avenue with stilettos and dresses that look more like a dishtowel than substantial clothing. A part of me doesn’t blame these girls for fighting back with nature. The long winter months here are nothing but dark and damp that pretending its 80 degrees outside and that heels can substitute for boots seems like a reasonable thing to do.
Even worse than snow is ice. I didn’t even know that ice storms were real, but of course in Pittsburgh, they are. One icy morning, a woman at my internship was an hour late. She said that ice was so bad in her neighborhood cars were sliding into each other and off the road. I have heard of people hoarding food and raging at the supermarket before a large snowstorm, but before an ice storm? The weather called for a terrible ice storm this week and people were swarming their closest Giant Eagles to stock up, like they would never be able to thaw themselves out to go shopping again.

I think Pitt students have accepted that sunshine is a rare occurrence. I guess it makes us more appreciate when the sun does happen to peak out of the gray clouds that loom overtop of the city on a daily basis. Yesterday, a tiny ray of sunshine emerged from the gloom. One of my facebook friend’s statuses read: “What is this glowing, yellow orb hanging in the sky showering the earth with light and heat!?! could it possibly be.... THE SUN?!?!!? :O” Yes, Monica, it was the sun.

 It wasn’t much, but that little bit of sunshine might have given Pitt students hope that spring will be here soon enough.

Mandy is an English and Communication dual major at the University of Pittsburgh. She plans on graduating this April, but decided that she'd finish her last three classes online and move to the big apple for an editorial internship at Ladies' Home Journal. She is a proud Her Campus Pitt member from afar and the previous Editor-in-Chief. When she isn't exploring the city, she enjoys absorbing every TLC show, following news leads on Twitter, or blogging for her Small Girl in NYC Wordpress. She's orginally from Philadelphia and will always have a cheesesteak over a salad. Her previous internships include Entertainment intern for VERVE Management Social Magazine and the editorial/fashion intern for WHIRL Magazine. Magazines are her obsession, but writing is her passion. Follow her on twitter @mandy_velez or send love to her at mandyvelez16 [at] gmail [dot] com. 
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