The seven wonders of winter

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

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While school has just started back up again, we are already well into the middle of winter. The magic of Christmas is over, but here are some great, never-before-seen reasons to appreciate winter at Pitt.

1. You no longer have any desire to go outside. One of the worst things in life is looking outside and seeing a beautiful day, while you are forced to attend class in a windowless basement of the Cathedral. With the magical combination of rain and snow that is Pittsburgh’s winter weather, the urge to venture outside will no longer be a problem.

2. You will appreciate Pitt’s dedication to academics. There is nothing better than knowing that your university is truly dedicated to your education. One of the ways Pitt demonstrates this, besides continually increasing tuition, is steadfastly refusing to cancel classes even in the midst of extreme weather conditions like last year’s polar vortex. For example, Jan. 7, 2013, saw a record low for that day at -9 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to closures of schools and government offices across Western Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, Pitt steadfastly carried on. In fact, the University did not close at all last winter, and, according to its extreme weather policy, it never has to. Other Universities might cancel classes because of the cold or snow, but Pitt has your education at heart.

3. You will get more out of your tuition dollars — and those extra fees. With Pittsburgh’s average January temperature hovering around 26 degrees, walking around Oakland will get a lot more torturous. This means that your free Port Authority bus pass will become more useful, and, thus, you will be receiving more value for tuition. Winter makes it socially acceptable to ride a bus for three blocks, and, with each bus ride, you get more out of your tuition.  

4. You see snow. What is more amazing than frozen water falling out of the sky? For one, free ice cream, but as long as there is snow in Pittsburgh, you can still deny global warming is happening. This prevents oil companies from going bankrupt, driving the economy. Snow might be uncomfortable when it falls on you, and it can make driving a challenge, but you have to remember that as long as you see snow, Democrats can’t ruin the economy with carbon caps and environmental regulations.

5. You have a great conversational topic to bond over. There aren’t many topics that you can bring up with strangers besides the weather. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work out too well when the weather is perfectly pleasant, and you descend into awkward silence once you banter about the sunny skies. During the winter, however, you can complain for hours about the abundance of snow, sleet and mud that accumulates on Pittsburgh’s streets. Nothing is better for bonding than complaining about things like how your heater barely works, the traffic caused by a snowstorm or how the Cathedral is ridiculously hot.

6. You can ice skate. Perhaps the only outdoor activity available in a city in the winter is ice skating, and what sounds more fun than potentially falling on your face multiple times? Balancing metal blades on frozen water might seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but I hear that people insist it’s enjoyable. Winter is the only time when you can experience this thrill outside and, as an added bonus, also check a dating cliché off your list.

7. You can enjoy reading lists struggling to defend winter. Inevitably, one of your friends will post an article, probably from BuzzFeed, explaining why winter isn’t all bad. This will provide you with a small amount of entertainment as you huddle beneath a blanket for warmth. Only in winter do you get to read a piece trying to put a positive spin on a season with a defining characteristic of misery while outside.

Eli Talbert writes a biweekly satirical column for The Pitt News. 

Write to Eli at


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