Penn State alumni never knew what a snow day was, considering they had to go to class no matter what the weather conditions were. It was almost unheard of to give students a day off for snow, since it’s expected that we all own a pair of boots and a parka to keep us warm and able to trek through the snow. Two years ago, when Penn State gave students the day off for snow, it had been the first time in years, making it seem nearly impossible to believe.
This semester alone, there have been five snow days in the last five weeks, making it a record for Penn State in a long time. The line from the THON 2019 line dance, “Snow days, back to back” really is the best way to describe this spring semester thus far.
As February comes to an end, winter is in full swing. In the past two months, temperatures have fluctuated between below freezing and just above, with the addition of some snow, rain, and even freezing rain. Once temperatures drop overnight, sidewalks and streets freeze over, making it nearly impossible to get anywhere safely or efficiently. Because of this, it’s only necessary to give students the day off to avoid both complaints and injuries. But, the amount of snow days that have been given this semester alone has probably been more than the amount given in the past few years. Is it the fact that there has been more snow and freezing temperatures in 2019 compared to other years, or the fact that Penn State would rather students be safe and not go out in such terrible weather conditions?
What does this mean for the remainder of the semester? Just a couple weeks ago, temperatures had risen slightly about what is considered “cold,” as students thought it was warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirts without any sort of jacket. Overnight, the weather can change so quickly, resulting in temperature drops and more wintry mixes. So, at Penn State, we’re no strangers to warm weather one day, and freezing temperatures the next.
Snow days have definitely been beneficial this semester. Yes, they’ve prevented students from getting hurt while walking or driving to class, but they’ve also been used as days to get extra work done during some of the busiest weeks of the spring. Will the semester bring more snowstorms and iced over sidewalks and streets, or will temperatures finally be normal for the winter before the spring?