Campus Life extra ordinary

one day, the snow will melt

i don’t know if i want to grow up

10248 snowydays
A young susan attempting to make a snow angel.
Susan Hong–The Tech
10248 snowydays
A young susan attempting to make a snow angel.
Susan Hong–The Tech

hypothesis: i will no longer be a child when i stop praying for snow. 


when i look out the window, and the inconvenience outweighs the beauty. when i’m too busy dreading the sticky gray slush to watch the sky fill with puffy white.

on saturday night, i thought i wasn’t praying for snow. i had a costco trip to make, groceries to buy. but when i woke up sunday morning to an inch of water on the road, to a roiling charles river — the same shade as the gloomy sky, which was the same color as the concrete sidewalk — i was disappointed.

and, as my friend and i stood in line to get on the shuttle that would take us back to campus, and the winter storm forecast finally proved to be correct, i marveled at the flakes — each as big as my fingernail — that danced across my shoulders. when i got back to my dorm, i opened my curtains. the snowflakes continued to dance outside my window.

six-year-old susan would’ve screamed as she saw the white beginning to coat the ground. she would’ve searched the house for her too-big snow pants. slipped on thick gloves and struggled to zip her too-small waterproof jacket. she would’ve stayed outside until she couldn’t feel her toes, and then a little longer after that, and then a tiny bit longer after that. she would’ve built a snowman, made a fleet of snow angels, and marked off an unmarred patch of snow for tasting purposes.

fifteen-year-old susan began to think differently. snow days were rare back home — we had maybe one or two a year — so she told herself to enjoy the magic while it lasted. capturing the magic in her gloved hand — that was her duty. she had an obligation to six-year-old susan, who she figured was still hidden inside of her somehow.

but slowly, i became acutely aware of how putting on my snow gear took longer than i could spend outside. i’d forgotten where to find the magic. eventually i learned to spend snow days in my room, catching up on schoolwork — or the latest kdrama.

i probably still would’ve enjoyed going outside on a snowy afternoon, kicking up flurries of white as i went. but it was no longer nonnegotiable. it wasn’t worth the work. the elsa-inspired icy kingdom that had possessed my childhood mind probably still existed, but i no longer ruled over it.

this sounds like a tragedy. a gradual siphoning of childhood imagination. a forceful injection of the very adult idea of practicality. a story about clinging onto the remnants of whatever magic lives on in kids’ minds. the last chapter of a bildungsroman, maybe.

there’s this one clip from an anime i’ve never watched, life lessons with uramichi oniisan, that keeps showing up on my social media feeds. the teacher — uramichi, i’m assuming — asks his class to list things that kids have, but adults don’t. the responses are light-hearted until, well, they aren’t. “freedom,” a little girl with black pigtails says. 



i don’t know if any of this is true. there’s something about “becoming an adult” — even just the phrase — that seems so cold. i think we like drawing crisp, straight lines. we like to pretend sneakers turn into high heels and loafers overnight. and that once you shed funfetti cupcakes in favor of cold-brew coffee, you never go back. 

should i be scared of becoming an adult? am i already an adult?

my high school lab mentor warned me about entering my twenties.

they will be the hardest years of your life. there will be days when you don’t know where to find your next meal. the people around you will change. you will learn who you can depend on — the hard way: by leaning on everyone and remembering when you fall.

but they will be the best years of your life. the uncertainty — that’s what makes life interesting.

there’s something so pretty — so perfect — about the magic that keeps you in childhood. you own none of the real world, so you create your own worlds.

in the movie hook, a grown-up peter pan returns to neverland to save his children from captain hook. we find out that he gave up his immortality to fall in love. to become a father. in response to a remark about the ending of his childhood adventures, the now-grown peter simply says, “to live would be an awfully big adventure,” mirroring the famous line said by his younger self: “to die would be an awfully big adventure.”

as we get older, the things that make us happy change. we seek different things to feel the same emotions. is it a tragedy to lose a key if the lock has already warped beyond repair?

right now, smudging the line between childhood and adulthood, i’m happy. i’m happy sitting on the costco shuttle with my hands full of groceries. i’m happy watching snow flutter down through the window of the shuttle. i’m happy as i’m mesmerized by the infinite white flurries.

right now, i don’t want to grow up. 

but maybe, one day, i will.

one day, maybe, i will feel relief when the forecast predicting snow turns out to be wrong. maybe i’ll have a driveway that i no longer have to shovel. rambunctious kids that can still be carted off to school.

one day, maybe, i will sigh when waking up to a world of white. i will mutter to myself as i attempt to maneuver past snowdrifts and ice patches on my way to work. i will curse the weather for acting against me.

or, maybe, one day, i’ll be heading home from work, flustered and frustrated by the snow. maybe, something will make me stop in my footsteps. i’ll feel the snow, light under my feet. i’ll marvel at how the white glaze over everything makes my silly hometown look like a fairytale city. i’ll look up and remember what snowflakes look like when they dance.


hypothesis: some part of me will never stop praying for snow.