University students deserve snow days too

Image by: Curtis Heinzl

When most of us think back on our fondest memories from elementary, junior high, and secondary school, the absolute first thing to come to mind are snow days.

They’re hard not to miss at university. There hasn’t been a snow day at Queen’s in recent memory, despite many days where weather made the trek to campus treacherous. This is Canada after all, and there have been plenty of snowy-enough days yet we’re still deprived of even one.

Here in Kingston, the snow clearing isn’t exactly the best. Nothing ruins a good day like waking up to what can only be described as an impending battle against the elements.

Wet socks are not a threat but a guarantee. Not having a car makes travel dreadful, and getting to the bus is not much easier than walking. Often, even awkwardly shuffling along the frozen sidewalks isn’t enough to protect yourself from a fall.

Inclement weather can create dangerous barriers to accessibility that snow days could provide a solution for, if only the University would sacrifice a school day for our safety.

Snow days also provide much-needed mental health breaks. They’re a chance to catch up on a favourite TV series or read that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Let’s also not forget the value of a good night’s sleep: getting enough sleep can reduce stress, improve mood, increase productivity, and promote good immune health.

At least 60 per cent of university students are not getting enough sleep, so the occasional snow day would be a welcome opportunity to recuperate. Going out in the snow to make snow angels or have a good old-fashioned snowball fight is also an amazing way to get endorphins flowing, and sucking up vitamin D from the sun is a splendid way to get the skin glowing.

Snow days aren’t just about getting out of school. Although the breaks are welcome and appreciated, snow days are an important Canadian tradition we should work to uphold at all levels of school and even in the workplace.

Think back to playing snow day roulette with your friends, or staying up to see the first few flakes start to fall. Fun superstitions like wearing pajamas inside out or flushing an ice cube down the toilet while sending prayers to Jack Frost to summon the flurries can provide some much-needed excitement during our long, dark Canadian winters.

Snow days provide opportunities to create traditions unique to Queen’s, foster a sense of community, and allow students, staff, and faculty alike to recharge. 

Alexis is a third-year life sciences student and a member of The Journal’s BIPOC Advisory Board.


childhood, Mental health, nostalgia, snow day, Student life, winter

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