Are snow days the next gateway drug?


My roommate caught me making hot chocolate, and she forced me to pour it down the toilet while I listed off productive activities that I could have done instead of literally watching water boil.

Andrew Walsh | Cavalier Daily

On March 21, the University of Virginia cancelled classes for a snow day. This was the first time in the past two school years that students here have had a day off because of inclement weather. First-years and second-years were notably “shook” and “scared.” 

“I didn’t know what to do with all that time on my hands,” one first-year told me. “I mean, I made a snowman, but it took so long to just wrap my head around it. It was riveting.”

I caught a fourth-year outside of Clem to ask what it was like to relive his first-year. 

“It was like getting my youth back again,” he said. He shut his eyes, and it took him a full minute to come back to me. “Sorry, what was the question? Did you ask about my thesis?”

All of this is old news, of course. The snow day was almost three weeks ago. Why is it, then, that its effects are still being seen on Grounds? That’s the question on my lips, and over this past week, I was determined to find the answer.

It started with the iPhone Weather app. Before Apple intel informed us that we were getting snow, everyone I knew was so excited for the warmth of spring. We had a couple of sunny days that had us all thinking that the end was near.

But Vitamin D is no match against the drug of the snow day. The disappointment of another week of winter was quickly overtaken by the little snowflake icon. Any complaints I had about the cold could no longer be used in an argument.

“But we’re getting SNOW this weekend,” a friend said to me in one such argument.

I tried explaining to my friend, who was initially waitlisted here, that any snow we got on the weekend would surely melt by the beginning of the week and that we would still have to go to our classes. This argument was no longer persuasive once I checked my weather app again and the snowflake icon appeared not once, but twice. Monday had now joined Saturday in snowflake solidarity.

This was a turning-point for how I viewed the snow day. Before, I had been irritated with a wishy-washy student body that couldn’t decide whether they wanted more winter or spring.

Upon seeing that Monday snowflake, I joined them. Is it because I had work due that would certainly get pushed back to another day if sweet Mother Nature were to embrace us in her winter bosom? Mayhaps. But correlation does not equal causation, and I have evidence to support that it goes deeper than a simple desire to see my procrastination tendencies validated.

I want to blame Apple for turning me into one of them, but Tim Cook is a gay icon and I can’t do him dirty like that. No, it goes deeper than a simple weather prediction. I can’t blame my sweaty nights and uncontrollable shaking on an app. Apple can’t make me look at pictures of snow or open my window in 30-degree weather.

Googling my symptoms only makes me more sure of what’s happening to me. WebMD has never steered me wrong — I have an addiction to snow days.

My roommate agreed to help me defeat this addiction by locking me in my room over the weekend. No matter what, I’m not to go outside and join other addicts attempt to summon a snow storm, even though I did join an online witch community that has great tips for weather enchantment. Friday, for the most part, goes fine. Occasionally, she hears me mumble mispronounced Latin while staring out my window, and she comes in to smack me with a heating pad.

Saturday is when things get worse. She catches me making hot chocolate, and she forces me to pour it down the toilet while I list off productive activities that I could have done instead of literally watching water boil. I cut out paper snowflakes and tape them haphazardly around my

room, but my roommate is six inches taller than me and she is able to take them down much

faster than I could hope to replace them.

Thanks to her, by Saturday night, I no longer felt the effects of a possible snow day. But let my

story serve as a warning to all — the snow day should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you love has a similar story, please, don’t be afraid to get help.

**Real drug addictions are not to be taken lightly. If you think that you or someone you know may be going through substance abuse, please call CAPS or a drug addiction hotline**

Sydney Branham is a Humor columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

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