Ben Buchnat

Dear reader,

I sometimes find it hard to live in the moment. It’s difficult to just appreciate what I have in front of me without looking ahead for something better. This is especially true when it comes to something as bitter as a long, cold winter.

I’m not going to lie, I think winter sucks.

After January, winter is a disgusting mess of a season. It’s still freezing cold, the snow has a lack of luster and I’ve fallen on ice more times than I can count.

In short, life in the wintertime is like hell on earth, except for the fact that in hell I wouldn’t feel the burning of icy wind on my cheeks every time I go outside. By the time February rolls around, I want to stop layering all of my clothes with the same black jacket on top. I’m tired of wearing boots to class everyday or else risking my feet getting soaked.

This winter has been especially bad, with a new snow storm passing through the Midwest seemingly every week. Snow is pretty in November and December. Once the snow gets packed down, though, the grayness of it all appears. It is no longer a scene from a Christmas classic; it is a dull reminder that taxes are due in a few months and midterms are coming up.

Last winter wasn’t much better. There was snow all the way in late April and I remember it being freezing during finals week at the beginning of May. Winter had absorbed spring and it felt like summer would never come.

But out of the pain and misery of winter, eventually there comes a light at the end of the tunnel.

This light comes when summer finally arrives. The shorts can finally be busted out, the pool is cool and welcoming and the burgers are hot on the grill. It’s a perfect summer scene. Without the harshness of winter, however, this scene can’t truly be appreciated.

Without having to endure the brutal cold, sitting by the pool in 80-degree heat just wouldn’t be the same. Having to trudge around in boots for four to five months really makes flip flops the most comfortable footwear of all-time. Those bitter cold walks are what make the nice, breezy ones just so enjoyable.

Though winter tends to receive the brunt of many people’s criticism, these same critical sentiments can be expressed about the summer. By the time mid-July is upon us, it’s just too hot to walk back to my apartment. Pools are overrated when they are filled with children or extremely drunk college kids. In the endless heat of summer, when I’m sweating too much and I feel gross, there’s nothing I want more than to see some snow on the ground.

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

It’s hard to appreciate what we have in the moment, even with something as simple and mundane as the weather. We always want to focus on how bitter the cold feels or how a heat wave ruins the time off. It feels like I’m always trying to get to the next season, never satisfied with the one I’m in.

But that’s not any way to go about life, is it?

I know this winter has stunk, but even in the harshest of winters, it’s important to try to appreciate it and live in the moment. I’m tired of the snow, but who knows if I’ll always have the privilege of living in a place that snows?

Not every place in the country gets weather like Nebraska does. It might be for the better or for the worse, but it’s what we’ve got and it’s one of the things that makes Nebraska a special place to live.

I know it’s easy to complain about what we don’t have, but even in this weather, let’s be thankful for the fact that we do get to experience all four seasons in Nebraska.


Ben Buchnat

Engagement editor