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Seven Simple Pleasures of Winter Quarter at UW

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

There’s really no debate amongst the 45 thousand University of Washington students that out of the three quarters of the regular academic year, winter quarter is the one deserving of the most negatively connotated adjectives—depressing, gloomy, frustrating, unbearable, and every other word that’s surrounded by a mental gray cloud. Weirdly, though, as my moments of three fall quarters on campus are now just memories, and I now look forward to my last winter quarter at the school I can call a second home, and, although a few hundred (or thousand) students may disagree with me, there are a few simple pleasures of January through March in Seattle that deserve a little bit more positive recognition. Here are seven things I love about winter quarter at UW, and, just maybe, you can learn to love them too. 

1. excitedly Walking into Kane Hall on the first day of classes. 

It’s been a much-needed two-and-a-half weeks of recharging with family at home, but admittedly, the boredom was starting to set in a little too fast, and you’re grateful to be back at school, learning, growing again. You’ll likely take a 250 plus person class throughout your time at UW, probably being confined to the walls of Kane for it, and the energy walking into lecture again in the new year, everybody bustling with conversation and a willingness to be there with you, is unmatched. I encourage you to make a new friend in this moment—sit down next to someone, say hi, tell them your name, and get to talking—in a bleak quarter like winter, there’s never been a more opportune time to find a new light of the day than right now. 

2. Enjoying a lavender honey latte at Parnassus Café.

I’m debating revealing my best-kept secret at UW, but here goes—as a glimpse to what life could’ve been like as an art student, I like to settle down for an afternoon in the hidden gem Parnassus Café in the Art Building off the north end of the quad, surrounded by a peaceful calm of just a few other students lost in their own world. And of course, I can’t leave for the day, satisfied with my time spent in my own head there, without checking out the never-ending bulletin board of art exhibits and opportunity posters on the wall outside, to see what the creative minds of UW are up to. 

3. Connecting with your roommates through those late-night talks in your dorm room.

Although this isn’t a joy that I’ve been able to experience since moving off campus last year, since nobody really wants to be outside longer than they have to January through March, that leaves you a lot of time to kill the night hours in your dorm room with your roommates. Take this spare time to get to know them on deeper level than fall quarter may have allowed—sometimes your best friend has been (sleeping) right next to you all along. 

4. Studying on the 4th floor of Allen with tremendous views of campus. 

No shade to the reading room of Suzzallo, of course (it’s a forever classic), but next time you’re looking for an exceptionally quintessential studying spot with the calmest vibe created in Seattle, head to the fourth floor of Allen Library, either north or south. Depending on where you’re at, you’ll be accompanied with stellar views of the luscious green trees outside the HUB, looking down on Mary Gates, or perhaps you’ll sneak a peak of Rainier Vista, and from so far up, you feel like a towering giant over the world below you. 

5. Going on serene walks through the Quad in the evening with your favorite music. 

Although yes, you will need to bring a jacket, there’s something comforting about walking through the Quad at sunset or just after dark with relatively no people around, looking at the ornate buildings in a golden light, taking in the luxury of being a student at one of, in my opinion, the most beautiful college campuses in the country. Take it a step further by putting on your favorite album for the jaunt—I’ll personally vote for SOS by SZA right now.

6. Observing the killer fashion statements of our fellow students on campus.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’ve always held the belief that winter fashion always dominates over summer fashion. Although this might be a niche observation, I’ve substantially enjoyed walking around campus during my past two in-person winter quarters and seeing everyone confidentially strut the best pieces of their wardrobe—corduroy skirts, leather jackets, black tights, Dr. Martens, you name it, someone’s got it figured out. Although I’ll realistically rarely stop showing up to my lectures in my mom jeans and hoodies this time of year, I’ll always enjoy seeing other people’s fashion takes this time of year. 

7. Showing your purple and gold spirit at our winter sporting events. 

With the incredible season Husky football season just ending with a victory in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, it’s time to shift our focuses to the many talented athletes that represent our great school in their winter sports. While we can all love the thrill and excitement of both basketball teams, let’s all make it a goal to cheer on our athletes giving their utmost dedication for competing in gymnastics, track and field, tennis, and golf as well. We could all stand to support each other this quarter.  

Hailey Hummel

Washington '23

Hailey is a current senior at the University of Washington, majoring in Public Health—Global Health (with departmental honors), and minoring in Law, Societies, and Justice. She loves hiking, traveling around the state of Washington and the world, making art, playing piano, taking pictures, and spending time with her friends.