It's February in Amherst, Massachusetts. While that may mean the turning of the holiday season in hopes of warmer days, New England has something else in mind. That is snow and lots of it. Thursday, February 9 marked University of Massachusetts, Amherst first snow day of the year. Students and faculty reacted to their day off, and what they did instead of making their rounds from class to class.
While most students spent the day hanging inside their dorms, other students went on adventures.
“I had two essays due on Thursday so that would give me an extra day not to do them. And true to my word, I did not do my essays,” said freshman political science major Megan Fox. “Instead, I went to the laundromat.”
The snow day came to the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus after winter snowstorm Niko hit Amherst and surrounding towns with more than twelve inches of snow.
What was your reaction to the first snow day of the year? What did you do that day?
Olivia Banks is a freshman english and Portuguese double major.
"They [University of Massachusetts] texted us the day before so I was prepared and excited. That night my floor mates and I just hung out and I really didn't have to worry about waking up the next morning. It reminded me of the good old days when I was just a kid in high school. I woke up really late, hung out with some weirdos, ate a whole box of cereal, played my ukulele, then went to bed. I also went outside and went on an adventure. I have this weird friend who gave chocolate to people who were shoveling, and then we all went to Hamp[shire Dining Commons] and met a cool dude. We all talked and then went home. I took a nice shower and went to bed again."
Olivia Banks and Isabela Schultz pose for a picture in front of the snow.
Isabela Schultz is a freshman BDIC major with a concentration in environmental studies.
"I haven't had a snow day in a really long time because I went to boarding school in Vermont. We were forced to go out no matter what, even if there was a blizzard. It was the first time I had in a while to just play in the snow, and that was very fun. We went on a very brief adventure, got very numb and painful in the process, but it was worth it."
Megan Fox is a freshman political science major.
" I was incredibly relieved. I had two essays due on Thursday so that would give me an extra day not to do them. And true to my word, I did not do my essays. Instead, I went to the laundromat. This is gonna sound weird, but I used to go all the time back home. I was friends with the owner of the laundromat. She had provided a place for my family and I to stay when we first arrived. Since me and my brother were too young to be left on our own, we went with my mom to the the laundromat quite often. It was nice there: quiet, warm and had the smell of dryer sheets. Interesting people, too. Occasionally, they'd give me quarters so I could get sticky hands out of the vending machine next to the door. I missed that. It was much simpler. Now in Amherst, I didn't have an excuse to go to the laundromat anymore. I could just get that done in the dorm. But, it was a snow day and there is always something surreal about snow days. So, I went to the laundromat. It was very quiet. There was not a lot of people. It wasn't surprising, the weather was ugly as fuck. The owner looked vaguely suspicious of a college kid sitting in a laundromat with no laundry. But, there was no apparent drug exchanges or shootouts so he left me alone. I didn't like how quiet it was. There weren't any sticky hands either or vending machines. So, I sat there for a few hours waiting for something that I didn't realize until later. I was waiting for my brother to come back through the door like it had happened before, like when my brother and my mom can through the door together. I remember there was snow outside then too. My mom was smiling. I remember very distinctly the snow in her hair as she said she gotten a job. She was going to be a substitute teacher at an elementary school nearby. Two months later my brother and I were enrolled as well. Three weeks after that we got our own apartment. My brother and I shared a room which didn't go well for either of us. We still spent most of our time at the laundromat. It took us a while to realize we didn't have to go there anymore. I miss the laundromat. This one wasn't the same either. But if I paid close attention, I could still smell dryer sheets. So, I think I'll keep going back. "
Parawat Chang is a freshman BDIC major with a concentration in english.
"I did absolutely nothing and that felt pretty good. I'm looking forward to more snow days in the future though."
Niamh Quinn-Tierney is a freshman psychology major.
"I was relieved honestly when it was called that we were having the snow day because I didn't want to walk to class in the snow. I kind of just slept the whole time. I trudged to Worcester, which was crazy because it was so snowy. I almost fell, but I didn't fall. That's it."
Students carefully walk on the icy cement on the February 9 snow day.
Shannon Usher is a senior english major.
"Well at first I said 'about damn time,' because we already had so much snow. Then I realized it was cold. I don't like cold, which is unfortunate. I slept a lot. I did a lot of sleeping, and I pampered myself. I did a nice facial mask, painted my nails and did my hair. Then, I did nothing else- nothing else."
Jacob Phillips is a senior english major.
" I was happy because we have not had a snow day for two years. I sat on my ass. I played the new Kingdom Hearts game that came out, did a little reading, made myself mint hot chocolate and watched five episodes of The Magicians with Shannon. Five episodes is four hours and twenty minutes."
Meghan Dunn is a junior finance and economics major.
"I guess you could say I was happy because when I found out there was a snow day I was in Isenburg working on a group project until one in the morning. We would've stayed until about four, but only stayed to one because the snow day was announced. When I woke up, I continued to work on the group project because we had to submit it online. I live with four other people so we had a nice family lunch, and we were all able to hang out which was really nice because we don't often get to see each other with all of our busy schedules. I also went for a walk just as it was starting to get dark, and honestly the sidewalks weren't plowed making it feel like Mt. Everest since all the snow was slushy and all over the place. The twenty minute walk felt like an hour mile hike. Once I defrosted, I just did homework for the rest of the night because I had so much to catch up on."
Jackie Lee is a senior marketing major.
"Honestly, all I really did was do my taxes and play board games. I'm so boring."
Allison Yelgin is a junior english major.
"I found out the night before because I was at Late Night. I was happy and very excited. I didn't really do anything- just kind of kept eating. Then the next day, during the snow day, I just hung out and got caught up on a lot of work. I relaxed."
Lauren Briggs is a junior BDIC major with a concentration in english.
"I was super excited. I slept in until somewhat later in the afternoon. Then I got caught up on homework, watched some Netflix and that's basically everything."
The view of the snow outside on the Feb.9 snow day from Oak Hall lobby.
Kayla Oster is a freshman BDIC major with a concentration is psychology.
" I was happy about the snow day and I did homework. That is that. I'm trying to think of something more interesting. It was exciting to catch up on sleep and shit. Every day I say I'm gonna catch up on sleep, I feel like I wasted my day and then feel like a piece of shit. "
Akira Rose is a freshman psychology major.
"My reaction to the snow day was 'fuck yes!' I'm kidding, can't write that, can you? No, yeah, I was really excited. I hung out with people on my floor for the first time and just relaxed.
Kayla Oster and Akira Rose walk to Hampshire Dining Hall during the snow day.
Ashley Olafsen is a sophomore BDIC major with concentration in political science.
"I was able to spend the time in my apartment with my roommates watching movies. We baked some stuff too. It was a really nice day, but then I had to work at night for the following day of classes."
Cade Devlin is a freshman hospitality management major.
"My reaction to my first snow day of the year was that I thought it made sense. The snow was coming down pretty hard. Nothing was really cleared out for it. I spent the time working on homework, got some rest and hung out with all the people I mostly hang out with."
Winnifer Montaro is a sophomore nursing major.
“I was surprised because the day before it was really sunny and beautiful outside. I was surprised, but I was excited about it. I slept in which was nice because I usually wake up at eight on Thursdays, so I slept in and basically just chilled, caught up on shows and spent time with my roomies. It was a pretty good day. I don’t even think I left my dorm."
Selina Tsang is a freshman biochemistry and molecular biology double major
" I didn't really feel much when the snow day was announced. It took me about approximately two weeks into the semester to become numb to everything around me again. I decided that I would be productive, as I have told myself the other last thousand times that I would be productive. This time, to my surprise, I actually succeeded. As it turns out, I apparently have a complete inability to do anything halfway. I wrote three essay in the span of five and a half hours."
Gabrielle Farulla-Bastian is a freshman biochemistry major.
"I was really excited about the snow day, but when it came down to it I didn't really do anything too exciting. I sat around, slept in and hung out in the dorms. I did walk for a bit to go to the dining halls, and that was kind of scary."
William Walker is a sophomore communications major.
" I wanted to play ball on the snow day, but the rec center was closed. Ball is life. How do you think my day was then? The rec center was closed, bro."
My Pham is a freshman nutrition major.
" I mean I was pleased, obviously, but at a bit of a loss. I ended up staying in the dorm with my roommate because she wasn't feeling too well. I was kind of worried. All I really did was get food and bring it back to the room, because I didn't want her to have to leave."
The snow visibly falls outside during the Feb.9 snow day.
Nicholas Warner is a freshman sustainable food and farming major.
"Man you chose the wrong person to ask for this. You are probably not going to believe me when I say this, but I spent the day reorganizing my highlighters. Well, to be fair, it wasn't just my highlighters. I've reorganized all my desk supplies. Books on the top shelf- tallest to shortest, obviously. Rubber bands are the worst to try to organize correctly. I know a lot of people who just like to roll them into a ball, but that just makes me twitch. It's just ridiculously uneven. What I ended up doing was just hanging them along a couple of thumbtacks. Pencils are easier though. Those are really easy to organize because I save the packages that they come in, and just refill the containers. Thinking back on it, it's kind of scary how long it took me to reorganize less than a fraction of my room. But, it helped me sleep a little easier at night so I'll keep doing it."
Samantha Gerdes is a junior sustainable food and farming and women, gender and sexuality studies double major.
" It was so nice to hear I could sleep in. Most of the day I slept, but I also had time to reorganize my closet. I'm trying to get rid of all the stuff that I don't wear anymore, or doesn't feel like it describes who I am when wearing it. Does that make sense? Besides that, I spent the day with my house mates drinking wine and relaxing. It was really nice."
Snow stops falling the evening of Feb.9
Nency Sangani is a sophomore kinesiology major.
" I tried to sleep in but couldn't really. My roommates and I went to the dining hall to eat, and then worked all day. Besides that, I was able to relax for a bit."
Sam O'Donnell is a freshman theatre and psychology double major.
"I was relieved because I was exhausted. On the snow day I slept in and did work. I also ordered myself some wings and watched some Netflix. It was pretty great. I want more of them. I'm pretty much drowning."
Santoshi Nadimpalli is a senior environmental science major.
"I was excited to be able to hang out and get caught up. I spent some time Thursday working on my OWL homework. Work was canceled too which was nice, since I work on campus. It was like a day to feel refreshed and revamped before another day of classes."