On Thursday morning, UNC students woke up to a rare sight: snow.
Chapel Hill forecasts predicted that Wednesday night’s rain would turn to snow around 1 a.m., covering rooftops and trees with a light dusting.
In anticipation, sophomore Grace Deuser said she and her housemate planned to stay up late to see the snow fall despite having early classes the next day.
“Most of the excitement around my house happened at probably 3 a.m. on Thursday,” Deuser said. “One of my housemates and I decided that we were just going to stay up and not sleep until it snowed.”
Deuser and her housemate passed the time by driving around and finishing homework, she said. When the snow began to fall, they rushed out into the empty streets to see it.
“We went outside, like kids, and ran around the street, ate snow, made snowballs,” Deuser said. “Something about seeing the big snowflakes just coming from the sky is really exciting and just never fails to make me feel like a kid again.”
For Deuser and her housemate, the late night was worth it. By the time most students woke up the next morning, much of the snow was melting.
As junior Erica Spruill woke up for class on Thursday morning, she saw the leftover snow and convinced her roommates to join her outside.
“I forced them all to go outside and we had a snowball fight,” Spruill said. “There wasn’t that much snow, but it still was just a happy little thing that made me smile, especially given the current situation.”
Like many students, both Deuser and Spruill felt the snow day helped to take their minds off the COVID-19 pandemic and its anxieties.
“It was kind of like a win, I guess, because you can’t see the people you normally see, you can’t do the things you normally do,” Spruill said. “Normal just looks very different right now, but going outside and having a snowball fight seems like good old childhood times that COVID-19 couldn’t ruin.”
Deuser reminisced on the heavier snowfall last winter, when she was living in Ehringhaus Residence Hall. She and her suitemates, along with many other students, went down to Karen Shelton Stadium to see the snow.
“Everybody was hanging out and throwing snowballs at people they didn’t know," Deuser said. "But then this time around, it was just me and one of my housemates, running around empty streets. In a sense, it was really cool to be alone with the snow, but at the same time, there’s something also fun about being around groups of people and enjoying it as a collective.”
Junior Zak Crites Videman said he took the opportunity to go for a run Thursday morning with some friends.
“I couldn’t miss an opportunity to see the campus all blanketed in snow,” Videman said. “It was really pretty.”
After their morning run, Videman and his friends had a snowball fight and built a snowman in the Old Well. Like Spruill and Deuser, Videman said the snow reminded him of old times.
“Personally for me, it’s a little nostalgic, because it doesn’t snow here often, so you’re getting a little taste of winter,” Videman said.
Though the snowfall was fleeting and the COVID-19 pandemic put some restrictions on how students could enjoy it, they still managed to safely enjoy the snow in their own ways.
“I’ll probably be 40 years old and still running around in the snow, even if there’s like a singular flake,” Deuser said. “It just makes me really excited and happy and restores the joy of childhood back into my college years.”
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