Despite rain and bad weather, Kent shines

Douglas Hite

Don’t let the sunshine fool you. Snow will last much longer than it ever should. You will wade in it past your knees to arrive at a class you don’t even particularly like. Temperatures will reach far below what you knew a thermometer could register. You will learn that hurricane-force winds can exist without a hurricane. You will realize that baseball-sized hail is a real phenomenon – and it hurts.

Welcome to Kent.

In all likeliness, your initial memories of this campus were of a warm, sunny day when bikini-clad coeds browned their leathery skin in the sun while their male counterparts tossed a football on Manchester Field. Smiling students of all ages, ethnicities and walks of life strolled happily to their classes.

I don’t know how to break this to you, but that was a fluke.

Those bright, warm days you associate with Kent State are few and far between, so you might as well tell your mom to send a back-up umbrella and invest in wool socks.

It’s gonna rain.

As difficult as it may be to believe, I actually chose Kent State as my home for four (or more) years because it’s beautiful. The rain, the snow, the sleet, the hail and all the other weather that usually only the U.S. Postal Service braves is, in fact, beautiful.

In contrast with most of the incoming freshman class, I was fortunate in that the first time I stepped foot on Kent’s campus, the weather was miserable – common for the area. In mid-August, Portage county was some sort of atmospheric black hole.

In all surrounding areas, the sun was shining and birds were singing. Kent, however, resembled the darkened depths of Mordor. I quickly realized that if I was looking for fun in the sun, I was in the wrong place.

I had to be realistic and I couldn’t invest all my hopes and dreams in nice weather. These instances are completely out of our hands, and it will do no good to whine about them (as I have been doing for the past six paragraphs).

So when you are in weather so cold you feel as if you might have frozen parts of your body you didn’t even know existed, take a look at your surroundings. Take notice of how brilliantly white the new snow is and how sublimely it contrasts with the man-made grandeur of the structures around you.

When rain is pouring and the wind almost knocks you down, realize that it will not last forever. The same scenery of summer that brought you to Kent State will be all the more astounding after the bitter conditions you’ve endured.

Find a place. Make it your own. Walk by the Cuyahoga. Take your friends to Towner’s Woods. Go to one of the many parks Kent offers. Enjoy your surroundings and forget about the weather.

Most of all, don’t let the elements keep you down. Don’t go complaining on your Xanga because you got wet on your way to anthropology. Don’t give up on a great college and a greater future because you have to walk in hellacious weather all the time. Lastly, don’t forget to take in how beautiful Kent is and enjoy every moment here.

Douglas Hite is a junior English major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].