It sort of makes an appearance a week or so after syllabus week, but disappears for a few days at a time, bringing sunshine and happy moods. But then. It peeks out three weeks later just as you start to think coat check at Feve could potentially be avoided. Oh how wrong you are…
But it kicks into full force just before spring break. It hits you when you’re staring at your accounting textbook sitting on the windowsill, with any hope of sun shining on the pages disappearing behind the Michiana permacloud. It attacks when the temperature outside is at a number younger than your age and you have bruises all over your shins from slipping on unexpected sheets of black ice.
That’s when you know it’s here…The Lull Period.
The thrill of being back in The Bend after a long Christmas break has subsided, the fancy excitement of a fun and fantastic formal is over, and the thrill of everything that is second semester has turned into 10-page essays and incredibly dense midterms. Seniors realize that after Spring Break…well, it’s pretty much a wrap, Juniors are freaking out about securing summer internships and facing the fact that all their senior friends are leaving, Sophomores are sick and tired of people coming back from and going abroad and just want everyone together, and Freshmen are only excited to get next year started.
But for the first couple of weeks, life here rains happiness, thus pouring happiness, and then…silence. The rain turns into little speckles of ice that used to be quite pretty when you’d try to catch them on your tongue… but you’re 21 now and suddenly making snowmen on your way to your 8 a.m. just doesn’t sound all that exciting. (Especially when it’s still dark out…)
It’s a time when South Bend gets cold. And in more ways than one. Everyone starts to freak out. People stop socializing and hide away. Past 9 p.m., not a single soul spends more than five minutes out in the bitter cold that is campus. Even a walk from the library en route to The Grotto is extremely eerie and something you’d rather just avoid.
You wonder where everyone is…in their dorm room studying maybe? Perhaps people think Club Hes isn’t all that enticing? Maybe girls are looking for a piece of home by cuddling up with a cup of coffee and watching Gilmore Girls? Maybe guys are taking advantage of uninterrupted bro time and cramming around a TV in silence watching Game Of Thrones? Are you the only crazy psycho student who dares to venture out into the tundra in hopes of being productive?
Going out at midnight from Tuesday to Saturday in desperation to socialize gets old real quick, runners stop training outside for the Holy Half, the gym gets overly crowded, the Flu becomes rampant, and having a class in full attendance becomes something quite rare.
Nonetheless, you love this place. You know that anyone here could be cruising through life on 12 credits at a state school down South with frozen fruity drinks and sunglasses in March. Instead, we choose to pull all-nighters in Club Hes with ABP Mac n’ Cheese by our side and SMCurity on speed dial.
We pull our North Face hoods around our red cheeks and face the Lake Effect wind, lace up our bean boots, and chatter our teeth as we trudge through the snow, lugging around overpriced textbooks that we have only bothered to open once so far this semester. You walk into Holy Spirit Chapel in LeMans and you know…everything is okay. We brave it all because each and every time we look up at our snow-speckled castle that seems to resemble something out of a fairytale, or see that Golden Dome shining bright against that notorious gray sky, we remember that this is a special place.
We just gotta make it through The Lull Period, because DARTY season is just around the corner!
Photos provided by Hannah Drinkall and Gina Serra