A Love Letter to Princeton in the Snow

February 19, 2024
Odette Perrusquia

One of the things I was most looking forward to when I committed to Princeton was experiencing the four seasons. Although it doesn’t snow too frequently during the school year, the few days that it does each winter are always some of my favorites.

My first time seeing snow was the spring of my freshman year when my roommate and I stayed up later than we meant to. We lost track of time working on our assignments, which meant that by the time the big snow storm of the season rolled in at two in the morning, we were awake to greet it. I remember opening the window of our small dorm room and feeling the cold air and snowflakes hit my outstretched hand. It wasn’t long before my roommate and I were rushing out the door bundled up in our coats and scarves. We walked around leaving some of the first footprints in the snow until the intensity of the snowfall got to be too much.

In the past week, I’ve gotten to experience a snow-covered campus once again. Ready to walk back to my dorm after an evening of catching up with my close friends, I stepped out to a peaceful snowscape. Because we were leaving at the same time, my friend Tara and I stood there in silence together for a few moments, taking it all in.

Snowy landscape

 

We turned to each other with big smiles on our faces—want to go for a walk?

It was three or four hours past my usual bedtime, but I couldn’t pass the opportunity up as I looked back at how special it had felt to leave behind my footprints on untouched snow two years prior. So, we split ways to layer up more and eventually met up near Whitman College. Residential colleges at Princeton often let students borrow sleds on snowy days, so when we saw a few of them laying around in the snow at the bottom of the “hill” near Whitman, we quickly grabbed them and rushed to the top. Of course, I’d never gone sledding before, but after a quick “How to Go Sledding” Google search (not our brightest moment), we were off.

A great item to add to any Princeton bucket list, by the way, even if I did fall out of my sled twice.

Two students smiling and sitting on two sleds

One short, two-person snowball fight later, we finally went on the walk we initially intended on taking. At Nassau Hall, we made a small snowman next to the iconic tigers, even though our hands were going numb and my hair was getting absolutely soaked. We waved goodbye to our snowman, whom we affectionately named Jerry, and made our way back to our dorms, chatting about everything and nothing all at once.

There’s something eerily beautiful about how silent campus is when it’s snowing in the middle of the night. With how chaotic this semester has been, this nighttime snow was the relief that we needed, and the sort of night I’ll be thinking about fondly long after I’ve left Princeton.