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The Norseman

The cold never bothered me anyway

Texas single season sizzles, no chance for snow

I am not a typical Texan. While most people I talk to – adults and kids – would pick the heat over the cold any day, I am quite the opposite. The cold is superior to the heat in almost every way, and I would much prefer the climate of a place with a September with temperatures like a Texas December to the never-ending summer we have here. I take that back – we do have seasons: summer and super-summer. Do you see my point? The heat is miserable, and the cold is wonderful.

I hate sweat. It is sticky, disgusting, and utterly miserable. I have lived in Texas all my life, and at the least – at the smallest – at the slightest – hint of outdoor exertion in the summer, sweat immediately begins to bead up all over my face, neck, and back. I hate it. It is terrible.

On the other hand, the cold does not have this effect. People never feel like they’re going to melt into a puddle when they step outside in the cold. Sure, they may shiver a bit, but that can be easily overcome by layering and almost never leaves lasting damage like sunburns and heat exhaustion when they have only gone outside for a few minutes.

However, Texas heat makes it feel like everyone is going to liquify from just standing outside. It can be dangerous to be in the heat because, if it’s hot enough, there is no way to make yourself cooler unless you have something cold. In the cold, your body temperature is much warmer than your environment, meaning that if you can keep that heat to yourself, you can stay warm.

I am a Girl Scout, and for many years, I’ve enjoyed attending Camp Howdy—a week-long summer day camp in Bryan. It’s all outside in the summer for about seven hours a day. Several years ago, I reached the age where I could be an Aide, which is essentially a camp counselor. Every single one of us is thoroughly trained on what to do when girls get heat exhaustion and how to prevent it. Notice I said “when,” not “if.”

Around 20-30% of girls get heat exhaustion at some point during the week. It is accepted and drilled into all aides that we need to keep the campers drinking as much water as possible throughout the day because if they don’t, or even sometimes if they do, they will likely suffer from the heat.

Why does this have to be such an essential part of Day Camp? If only it were a little colder, we could all have a much better experience. While girls would still tire, they would not begin the day excited and energetic and end the day with red faces and looking as if they are about to fall over or pass out from heat exhaustion.

One of my favorite qualities of a cold place is the possibility of snow. I love and adore snow. Though it does have some slightly more practical uses, it is so much fun just to play with! You can make snowmen (there has been only one time in my life that this has ever really been possible in Bryan), make snowballs (this has occasionally happened here, though often the snow was too insubstantial and warm to make anything), build forts and igloos (this is unheard of in Texas), or do anything else with it you can imagine! It is one of the only, if not the only, weather events that gifts you with such long-lasting enjoyment.

Another wonderful thing that cold enough temperatures allow is ice skating in the wild. I have been casually taking figure skating lessons for around 10 years now, but around here, every single person who wants to ice skate has to go to Spirit Ice Arena. I do love our ice rink, but there is still no way to just go skating at the neighborhood pond.

In the cold, there are many ways to stay warm since layering and huddling together help keep people’s internal body temperatures to themselves, not even counting things like fires. On the other hand, in the heat, you have to remove as many layers as possible, often fan yourself in some way, and stay away from other people (who don’t want to be near you anyway because sweaty people smell bad).

Additionally, various studies have shown that the cold actually has concrete health benefits, such as improved brain function, strengthened heart, and better sleep, so why would people prefer to be hot?

After talking to many people from the North about my love of snow, I am aware that many dread and despise the menial task of shoveling snow. Snow does not stay beautiful for very long—after a few days, it turns into more of a brown slush. However, consider the reverse.

In the summer, heat waves are often visible. Swimming, which is supposed to be a great way to escape the heat, sometimes feels relaxing, but other times, it feels like a human stew. You can barely spend a minute outside before the sweat starts flowing.

The cold can bring people together (or against each other, in the case of a snowball fight). It is clean and beautiful. On the other hand, heat causes people to pant, collapse, sweat, and sunburn as we all wallow together in a collective stew.

It comes down to this: Would you rather enjoy the pleasures of the cold, the snow, and the unity and joy it can give people, or would you rather melt into a puddle every time you step outside? The choice is yours. (Though clearly, there is only one correct answer.)

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