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On a Friday evening, my friends and I are sprawled on the floor of the living room. In a corner, two of them are mixing blues and yellows, attempting to find the perfect green under the supervision of our artist friend. While one person works on a paint-by-numbers, a friend steadily knits on the ottoman. Between the lulls of silence, a laugh occasionally bubbles up and it feels so warm and lively that I’ve almost forgotten that it’s winter. The only reminder is the occasional wind that blows through the door left ajar. Besides me, a friend who is leafing through a book leans forward, peering at my blank screen.

“You should write about how to get over the winter blues,” he says.

And even though we met in the winter on a cold, snowy day, writing the article with him and friends feels like spring–light, spontaneous, new. So here’s a list of all the ways we combat the winter blues together.

1. Playing volleyball with friends

My friend who is knitting temporarily halts, needle raised as he ponders his favorite winter memory at UVA. He sounds wistful, recounting a snowy trek from 1815 to Memb gym, a testimony to his love and dedication to friends and volleyball. At the time, the walk felt brutally cold and biting, but now, as he recalls it, I think he’s glowing.

“Was it worth it, walking all that way?”

“Yeah!” he chirps without hesitation. “Afterwards, my friend invited me over to eat his homemade chicken pot pie. That was yummy.”

I think I’ll have that same glow when I tell my kids that the first time I shoveled snow was on the way back home from a cocktail night, fingers red and numb but our laughter echoing down the empty roads.

2. Making Desserts

My friend sits with a starry-nightesque paint-by-numbers laid at her feet.

“My new hobby is supposed to be baking,” she muses. We discuss our individual experiences attempting Tasty’s macarons recipe, deciding that it was a bit too salty but an overall dependable resource for making the elusive shells finally achievable. The room smells slightly buttery as we munch on the Pillsbury cookies piled on a platter. It’s become our little tradition now to measure time with each passing holiday cookie. I’m looking forward to the next reunion where we’ll all be gathered around a plate of airy white cookie dough with a green clover at the center.

3. Arts and Crafts

My art friend has a box of canvases: some completely new, others layered with different compositions stacked upon each other. Some of my projects with her have quite literally gone up in flames where my attempt to light a lantern ended up recreating the Hindenburg disaster *cue my friend having to stomp on my haywire blimp.* But they have never been short of memorable. I’m eagerly awaiting her next strike of inspiration–preferably with less fire and more paint.

Hi, y'all! I'm Julia and am from Texas! I'm a third year studying biology and East Asian studies for pre-dental. If I'm not on YouTube, you can find me active on Yelp or Netflix. Aside from writing and reading, I enjoy taking photos. Thank you for reading my pieces!
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