At the beginning of last week, Hardin-Simmons University students checked the weather with quivering fingertips. The forecast called for freezing temperatures, ice and three to five inches of snow. Now, when we were all kids, this would be a call for excitement. I remember cheering when my mom would tell me the great news that elementary school was canceled and that we could spend all day playing in the snow and drinking hot chocolate. But after the events of last February, snow days may cause more concern than excitement.
Around this time last year, we were all filled with the same childhood excitement when the forecast called for snow. Little did we know what horrors lay before us.
We lost water on campus, and some students who lived off-campus lost electricity too. Abilene was also under a boil notice, and the roads were a death sentence waiting to happen. Cars were snowed in, the sidewalks were slush and everyone was cold and stinky. Personally, I had to go multiple days without knowing if I would have a working toilet or when my next shower would be, but others had it worse. They did not know where their next meal or safe sip of water would come from. Thankfully, we made it out of that horrible week mostly unscathed.
That all being said, it makes sense that when HSU students saw snow and ice in the forecast last week they were scared. My roommates and I stocked up on clean water and all took showers before the snow was predicted to hit. The stores were almost empty and everyone prepped their homes for the freeze. You could feel the sigh of relief across campus when we woke up on Thursday morning and the snow was light and fluffy without the ominous dangers of last year.
Luckily, this time it was like our childhood snow days. The water stayed on, the heat remained blowing through our air vents and we could play in the snow without a care in the world. Our days off were filled with movie marathons, snowball fights and loads of hot chocolate. The snow is a beautiful thing when it is not threatening the lives of students and faculty, and I saw so many smiling faces playing in the snow last week.
The horrors of last year may have scared us all, but they also taught us how to be prepared. Now before a storm hits, we know to stock up and get our houses ready. I hope we never have to experience a Snowmageddon again, but if we do, we will be ready.