Winter quarter usually comes with some stigmas attached to it. Cold. Grumpy. Cloudy. But this quarter has been surprisingly nice as far as the weather goes. However, that is in contrast to last winter quarter when we had Snowpocalypse and a crazy ice storm! So, there is really no predicting a Michigan winter; that being said, this one has been incredibly mild.
Even though the weather has been nice, there is still some sort of drag that winter quarter places on everyone. It might be because fall quarter is so exciting: the start of a new year, seeing friends again, meeting new people, etc. and spring quarter is so awesome: Day of Gracious Living, the annual Frelon show, beautiful spring weather, etc. Winter quarter is just that awkward middle child that doesn’t get any attention and stays huddled in his room all day.
The drag permeates every crevice of the quad and seeps into the dorms without mercy. People tend to stay inside and things can get testy if your neighbors are being loud or not respecting quiet hours. Can you blame them? Cooped up in a dorm for 11 weeks is not fun. But there have been some creative ways of beating the winter blues this quarter that I have experienced personally as an RA in Trowbridge.
The communities that have been built over the past half year are kindling evermore as people find themselves bumping bubbles and getting more active within the dorm. People have been making “warm-fuzzies” to put on their friends’ doors (post-it notes with friendly sayings on them). Lots of hot chocolate and tea have been shared next to the fire in the main lounge as people read various pieces of prose. There are always groups studying together or gathered around a computer screen to watch a funny video. The residents are cooking more in the dorm and share it with friends and passers-by.
We recently put on a hall-wide Water Pong tournament to advocate for safe drinking practices and to eliminate some mid-quarter slumps. Residents from all floors could come and watch or participate in games. There were people who have never played the game before beating those who have been practicing for a while! We wanted to do this program to help the residents understand the dangers of drinking, but remind them that alcohol consumption does happen and when it does, that they can make smart decisions about taking care of themselves and their friends.
All in all, this quarter has flown by so quickly and has been exceptionally great, all things considered.