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How an Ambivert Survives a Winter at UMass

Everyone reacts differently to winter, but the person who will revel in every aspect of winter the most is the ambivert. For those of you who don’t know, an ambivert is someone who falls in the middle of the scale when she or he takes a introvert/extrovert test. For them, that means that they posses qualities of both introverted and extroverted people and experience the best of both worlds. Here’s how they might make it through this spring semester:

The end of break:

It’s been over a month since you’ve been at UMass. The holidays are long gone. You’ve had your fill of your mom’s homemade meals, gingerbread cookies, and champagne. Your parents have witnessed your transformation into a literal couch potato of boredom over the past few weeks. Your siblings have annoyed you to the point where you want to throw them off a cliff. You’ve seen all of your high school friends, who can all agree with you: It’s time to get back to school.

The start of the semester:

The car is packed, your road-trip snacks are ready, and the landscape around you eventually changes into the familiar view of campus. You can see the Southwest Towers and library in the distance… but something’s different. Mounds and mounds of this white fluffy stuff have completely enveloped everything in sight. There’s a strong, unfamiliar chill in the air, and as you get out of your car it slaps you across the face. Welcome to your worst nightmare – New England in winter.

The adjustment is harder than you thought: it takes an extra five minutes to bundle up before you head outside to your classes, which you now have to find in blistering wind and negative temperatures. You kiss your warm room goodbye, head out, and if your professor wasn’t counting attendance as part of your grade, you would have ran back inside for dear life.

The snow day:

Besides Blarney, this is the pinnacle of your spring semester. You stay up until at least 4 AM the night before just so you can check your email and know for sure that you’ll be off tomorrow (even though the weather is a sure sign in itself). And then you see it on the screen: “UMass Amherst will be closed for the day”. You immediately go to bed and wake up a few hours later to witness the beauty of the falling snowflakes, the silence and the stillness of a cold winter’s day. You try to go outside to enjoy the snow. You call your friends, and you may even build a snowman or visit Central, which on snow days turns into a sledder’s paradise of cardboard boxes and garbage bags. Then, you realize that no amount of layering can prevent you from the numbness you feel in your toes, so you head back inside and pray that Wings or Southwest Express is delivering your favorite pizza, wings, or onion rings.


The winter blues are really starting to hit, and you’re really feeling the effects of the New England weather. You’ve become savvy with Grab n’ Go at the dining halls and stock up your fridge to limit your time outside. You’ve almost been knocked down by the wind near the library. You can’t go outside without feeling your eyes tear up… not just because you’re sad about the weather, but because your eyes physically cannot take the cold any longer. You’ve slipped countless times on all the slush and ice around campus that never seems to go away. You mentally prepare yourself to fall down at any moment. You’re used to your face becoming numb any time you step outside. You fantasize about heated blankets, hot chocolate and marshmallows, and your one true love: Netflix.

 You question why you hadn’t chosen to go to college in Florida instead.

After Spring Break:

You definitely needed a break from college life, whether it is through a trip home, a trip to somewhere warm, or a trip anywhere, really. You come back to school to endure what you hope is the last of the wintry weather, and what you find is something in between the weather you want and the weather you need. Yes, it has gotten slightly warmer, and you are thankful for that, but it’s still not sweatshirt weather just yet. And that’s when you wonder if the weather will ever change and if it will be ever warm again like it was in the fall. You yearn for those days on campus when you couldn’t stop sweating and when the sun never stopped shining. You question your sanity and whether you’ll make it to spring with all your fingers and toes intact…

… only to find that the days you find it acceptable to go outside only fall within the last two weeks of the semester. But that’s okay, because it means that you’re closer to warm summer days and another fall semester at UMass! All I can say for now is…


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