Top Ten Things That Are Socially Acceptable to Do Now That Punxsutawney Phil Didn’t See His Shadow

1. Complain about the cold:
Now that January is behind us and spring has an official start date, it’s okay to complain about how cold it is. Hailing from New York, I expected Charlottesville winters to begin in December and end by the time we got back after winter break. This obviously isn’t a thing, evidenced by my 30-minute stops in Newcomb on my way back from the Corner when I’m too cold to make it to my dorm in one straight shot. Now that the end is near, however, let the grumbling begin, because I still can’t feel my hands.

2. Wear shorts every time it breaks 50 degrees:
The tail end of winter means a little too much excitement every time global warming decides to show its face. It’s not snowing? Break out your tee with the frocket! Sun’s out? Show off those legs. Spring is coming early, so why not tan in preparation? Still, don’t go too crazy. Even Phil doesn’t want to see your bikini body quite yet.

3. Drink cold drinks:
Out with the holiday drinks, in with the iced ones. Though I am a little out of practice, I used to be able to chug my entire Starbucks drink — venti size — in a minute flat. A questionable talent, maybe, but find me someone who isn’t sick of waiting 10 minutes just to burn their tongue on their coffee. And heaven forbid you wait another minute and half for it to cool down to an acceptable temperature, by then the coffee is cold and your taste buds have been burned for days, all because of that one ambitious sip.

4. Start planning for Foxfield:
Foxfield is, hands down, the biggest and baddest event at the University. There are coolers to be made, meals to be cooked, dresses to be bought and designated drivers to be bribed. If this isn’t a good reason to reignite your love for online shopping, then I don’t know what is. With Boys Bid Night over, this is officially the next big holiday to look forward to, because, clearly, it’s not Valentine’s Day.

5. Layer and un-layer repeatedly:
We’ve all been faced with the crippling dilemma of what to wear when it’s cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. Your first class is at 10 a.m., but your last class is at 4 p.m. Then, add in the predicted 20-degree temperature change throughout the day. Do you commit to the supposed heat and wear shorts first thing in the morning? Or do you sacrifice sweating it out later to be warm in your first class? Let layers become your best friend, because as you tote your parka around all afternoon, you may just lose it.

6. Day parties:
It’s a known fact that at U.Va., any event is a reason to celebrate. Hurricane Sandy? Girls Bid Day? Boys Bid Day? First final? Last final? Made it to class on time? How better to commemorate these life-changing events than by breaking out the Franzia. A great part about spring, and an early spring at that, is the potential for day parties. Gone are football tailgates, in are “darties” where you can bask in the nice weather and hide any shame behind those cute sunglasses.

7. Snag your spot on the Corner:
The best place to people watch — after second floor Clemons — is undoubtedly on the Corner. Coveted outside spots at Trinity, Boylan and beyond are undoubtedly hard to come by with the return of warm weather. Get a head start by grabbing a table now, even if your hands end up so cold you can’t pick up your burger. Because really, what’s better than a meal with a side order of judgment from the people passing by?

8. Smile:
Say goodbye to those winter blues. Spring is a thing now, so there’s no reason for that constant grimace. Honestly, you look like the cold just slapped you in the face. There’s a 75 percent chance that girl is in your pledge class: smile at her! There’s a 50 percent chance you met that kid at Boys Bid Night — well, maybe skip the smile on that one. Being friendly is never a bad thing, and the sun only puts people in a good mood. Spread the love and gratitude now that Grounds are thawing from their tundra-like state.

9. Longer days = longer naps:
The more daylight hours there are, the more hours you have to nap. That’s how it works, right? Night hours need to be utilized for important things, such as Mellow pint night and 2 a.m. shame-filled trips to the Castle, and it’s important to have sleep for things like that. It’s a scientific fact that college students shouldn’t be getting any sleep at night, so take advantage of more daytime and get your snooze on.

10. Play Groundhog Day: The Movie drinking game
It’s only fair to commemorate the triumphs of Punxsutawney Phil by watching a movie named after him. Idea for those of you 21 and up: Each time Bill Murray says the word groundhog, take a drink. After each mention of groundhogs, try to spell the word Punxsutawney. For each time you get it wrong, take a sip of your drink. When you get it right, chug the whole drink because that is impressive. Also take a drink for every time you’ve ever thought that a groundhog is just a fat squirrel, or questioned whether or not seeing a shadow was remotely weather-related. Happy spring, y’all.

related stories