How Maturity Killed My Winter Fantasies

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Winter: a time of joyful celebration and festivities — or so they say. Winter, must you conjure your cold, chapping winds at the most inopportune moments? I’d just gotten myself presentable for the world and here you come bringing me watery eyes and a runny nose the moment I step outside. Regardless of how infinite my scarf is or how tightly I bundle myself inside my ankle-length trench coat, every year you give me crap.

Winter, why do you hate me? Why can’t we just be friends? No? Well you know what, the feeling is mutual — you white-washed piece of crap.

I used to look forward to the winter season, though it wasn’t really my favorite. I never liked playing in the snow or being cold for that matter. But, I was convinced that winter was a season for lovers: a season to stay indoors, cuddle and truly take advantage of the phrase “Netflix and Chill.” I used to be a firm believer in the magic of winter.

As an incoming freshmen, I had this grand fantasy that during the winter season, I would be in the most fantastic relationship where we’d walk hand-in-hand through the pretty white snow. The flakes would trickle down and shimmer in my brunette hair. I imagined we’d go back to my apartment, undress and cuddle together to warm our freezing bodies. I hoped that winter and I could finally get along.

But here I am, a senior, and never have I played in the snow while holding hands with my significant other. Never have I built a snowman or had a snowball fight. Four years of enduring winter’s chilly disposition without reward. Four years of frozen toes and purple finger tips without another body to help warm them. Four years of reflective disappointment.

But, maybe it’s my fault. Maybe if I made myself anyone other than the “mature one,” my winter fantasies would have been fulfilled.

Every freshman should know that their first year is what defines them. It’s a time to recreate your old high school self or create your new college self. You can literally be anything. You can become the partier, the social justice activist, the advice giver, the entrepreneur or–in my case–the “mature one.” By the time my first college winter came around, I’d created a self that was too mature to play in the snow, to have snowball fights and do (what I thought were) immature things.

“We should build a snowman,” a group of friends said to me. I didn’t answer. They couldn’t possibly be talking to me. I didn’t play in snow. I didn’t build snowmen. So when they all jumped from the porch and into the lawn of sticky white snow I stayed put, looking at them with feigned disinterest under half-lilied eyes.

“No thanks,” I said. Then I went back in to do more mature, boring things. I went to my room, laid on my bed and read a damn book while everyone else lived part of my winter fantasy. I could’ve been anything else, and I chose to be the mature one. With the winter days becoming shorter, so had my window of opportunity. Instead of a grandiose winter wonderland of sexual and youthful exploration, it became enervating and gradually dissatisfied me.

I put the book away. Why deprive myself of joy? I resolved myself to go out and play. I got up, put my coat back on and opened the door. “Chris, close the door if you’re coming out,” I heard someone say. “Don’t just stand there.” They were doing cartwheels and hurling snowballs at each other. There was a half-finished snowman without a head standing erect on the very edge of the yard. Others were laying prostrate, sinking into the eight inches of snow piled on the lawn while someone else piled snow on top of them.

I thought I had resolved myself and shed my faulty skin. I should’ve known better. I was mature enough to know better, after all: Resolute or not, college is a caste system–your position within the community cannot be changed so easily.

“You’re too loud, I’m trying to read,” I said instead. I turned back into the house to do more mature, boring things. I went to my room, laid on my bed and opened that damn book again while everyone else lived out part of my winter fantasy. I could’ve been anything else, and I chose to be the mature one.

Senior at the University of Michigan studying English and psychology, and minoring in gender studies and entrepreneurship. Love expressing my sexuality and fashion, and hope to one day be the Editor-in-Chief of my own fashion magazine.

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