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As a non-Midwestern first-year student, I feel inclined to talk about the weather in Kalamazoo. Although many locals can provide a much more in-depth review of Kalamazoo weather pros and cons, I can certainly give a sufficient overview of fall and winter weather for those who have weather under their list of worries for coming to this college. Fall was surprisingly mild to me. In fact, I spent the majority of the term being thankful that I was in Kalamazoo instead of at home in Oregon where it seemed to be raining almost every time I experienced a sunny day at school. Perhaps I am just too used to the rain by living in the Northwest, but I scoff at the statement that it rains a lot in the fall here. Of course, “a lot” is relative, but when you can count on sun for the majority of the term, that definitely is nothing to complain about in my opinion. Let’s take a moment to follow my flash back to a particular aspect of the fall that I enjoyed….

The leaves started to build up, and I began wondering what the campus gardening staff was going to do with all of them! Before long, to my great joy, I saw that the gardeners were forming a huge pile in the quad! This only meant one thing.

When the time came with a couple friends, we spotted it from a distance and, losing all self-control, ran into that pile at almost full speed! We probably spent an hour there: jumping, digging, flipping, rolling, and laughing. After quite the calorie-burner, we all lay in the pile, relaxing, soaking in the greatness of the moment. The moment, however, did not last long, as we heard cries of glee from off in the distance, getting closer and closer. All of a sudden a group of people (who had been running down the hill towards us) crashed into the pile. One of my friends screamed, revealing our presence to the now very shocked group of people. After the shock and confusion died down, the scene burst into a whole new frenzy of laughing and leaf throwing.

Now, in seventh week of winter term, I admit that I wouldnʼt mind a couple more sunny days, but I know this will just make the prospect of spring all the better. On the bright side, though, there always seems to be a ton going on on-campus to make up for any dullness anyone might be feeling. I know there have been trips led by the Kalamazoo Outing Club to go snowshoeing, skiing, and ice skating. Snowshoe rental is free and trips to the ice skating rink and ski resorts are incredibly cheap. There are, of course, some really wonderful things you can do in the snow on your own. Snowmen are quite popular. Also, many students grab a sled and turn the hill into a fully functional sledding hill – entertainment for both the participant and the passer-by. My personal choice was the snow angel.


The thing about Kalamazoo is that there is a lot more variation in the weather than I am used to. First of all, as most people probably know, the seasons are very pronounced. Winter weather as a whole would never get confused with fall weather, as it might be in Oregon (rain versus rain). Each season can vary a lot too, however. For example, there can easily be a 20 degree day followed by a 50 or 60 degree. Some people might find that annoying, but I think it makes life more interesting. The most important thing to remember is that there’s always something to look forward to – whether it be leaf piles, snow angels, or sun bathing.

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About Alexandra Smith ʼ16

Alexandra is a Junior from Corvallis, Oregon who is currently studying abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She is a double major in French and International Studies with a minor in Economics. Sophomore year, Alexandra led a program for the Center for Civic Engagement at K and was a Co-President of the club Zookeepers. She loves dancing, painting, writing, eating, and travelling.