Living on the complete opposite side of the world to where I will be attending university come August 21, also means that the seasons at home are completely opposite to those in the USA. While I’m experiencing a chilly winter right now, when I step off the plane at Newark airport next week, I’ll be stepping into the lovely sunny weather of summer. However based on what I’ve read I know that soon enough that lovely summer weather will quickly dissolve into a chilly Northeast Winter. By the time the snow melts and the sun comes out next Spring, the year will be almost over, and I’ll be flying back home to Australia, where the grey winter will have just begun. In other words; Winter is coming. Eight of them. In a row.
To be totally honest, I’m not a huge fan of the cold, and I’m not really used to it either. It's deemed a cold day in Australia if you have to change from shorts into pants, and temperatures so cold that it snows are simply unimaginable. Despite this, I am actually super excited to see snow. I’ve seen it exactly once in my life; when I was visiting campuses around New York in January and got caught in Winter Storm Jonas. It was the most exciting thing ever, and I spent the entire day racing around building snowmen and taking a million and one photos. I suppose the excitement of snow wears off once you see it all the time, or it causes delays to transport or whatever, but for now, the prospect of living somewhere where it ACTUALLY SNOWS has me like a kid on Christmas morning.
Sadly (or maybe its a good thing) I know it won’t snow all the time, sometimes it’ll just get cold and windy and rainy, but none of that magical white snow will fall from the sky’s. This is the weather I’m most trepidatious about; when its so grey and cold you can’t feel your nose, and theres no snow to make up for it. I hadn’t initially wanted to study somewhere, where it regularly dropped below ten degrees celsius, and had been looking at universities around California and Florida. However when it came down to it, the programs and places that were right for me were all in the north - I guess thats just the way the cookie crumbles.
The prospect of eight winters straight, with no summer reprieves is a little bit horrifying, but I think its all about keeping the right attitude. Sure, I might be in constantly chilly environments for the next four years, but at least those harsh Northeast winters will put the mild Australian winter in perspective for me. And when I really think about it, my lack of warm clothing means I have an excuse to go out and buy that adorable beanie I saw last week!