The walk from Edens 1C to Blue Zone takes approximately 8 minutes and 38 seconds. That doesn’t sound too bad, until you actually calculate the inefficiency that Duke Parking & Transportation has managed to impressively concoct. A quick look on their website reveals that we’ve been forced to move our cars six times this semester (out of just eleven weeks of classes).
Doing the math, that comes out to 103.6 minutes which I have spent, unwillingly, going back-and-forth from my dorm to the parking lot—and that’s not even including the time wasted on searching for another place to leave my car.
If I could get back these stolen minutes, I might’ve studied more and scored higher on my last Economics exam. Maybe I would’ve actually gone for a run. Or finished my column earlier. Okay, most likely, I would’ve traded them in for another episode of Peaky Blinders.
However, since I’m forced to make the trek to Blue Zone whenever I leave campus (and whenever our football team happens plays at home) I’ve been left with no choice but to try to convince myself that the walk is a pleasant one.
For the most part, I’ve managed to fool myself. In early fall, the trees alongside Wannamaker Lane start to grow into a fiery red-orange and flitter their leaves across the road. A quiet breeze scatters them around. I try to step on as many as possible. The weather is ideal enough during these weeks that I can’t be too annoyed.
Once spring rolls around, the cherry blossoms burst into light pink. My mood lifts with the flowers. With birds performing around me and the sun shining brightly, I can almost even forgive Duke Parking for cheating us.
But during the winter months in between, all I can feel is bitterness. There’s nothing redeeming about the walk between campus and parking then—it’s miserable, dark, and lifeless. The trees are stripped bare and the sun disappears in the late afternoon. As I’m driving back, the last thing I want to do is carry groceries in the freezing weather. More often than not, I contemplate whether it’s worth risking the 40-dollar ticket to park closer elsewhere.
Although I can find joy in walking during the rest of the year, the task is impossible when my feet are numb. With the wind snapping at my heels as I rush across Wannamaker Drive, there’s only one thought racing through my mind: why is it so damn cold?
With the frosty weather creeping closer to us, I’d much prefer winter to disappear altogether. So rather than spending any time longer outside than necessary, I’d suggest you do the following too:
- Tenting sounds fun. But before signing up, actually contemplate (for more than a minute) whether you really want to live in 30-degree weather for a month. Sit outside for an hour. Don’t bother bringing your laptop, since odds are that you won’t be able to get much work done anyways.
- Hot chocolate reaches its peak tastiness during winter season. In those first few sips, the cold almost seems worth it, until you realize that you still have to leave your room and find the nearest café.
- Keep count of the number of blankets in your closet. Especially in the (likely) scenario that the dorm heater stops working at some point.
- Try your best to forget that you have to leave the warmth of your bed tomorrow morning.
- Also, try to forget that just a couple months ago, the sun set after 8pm.
- Instead, think about how at least you’re in North Carolina—and didn’t decide to go to school up north. It could be worse.
Felicia Chen is a Trinity senior. Her column runs on alternate Wednesdays.
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