Christmas Break is a wonderful time for Northwestern students to take a break from their college studies, hang out with distant relatives and see old friends. However, this winter faced intense weather, with temperature feels of less than 20 below zero and high windspeeds, many plans and traveling were delayed.
Towards the tail end of last semester, as many NW students were preparing for finals, another stressor occurred; the oncoming winter storms. Many students had to change travel plans or had to cancel trips.
On the last day of finals, Dec. 15, many students faced unsatisfying road conditions, such as road closures. Elizabeth Linscheid of Butterfield, Minnesota usually takes Minnesota’s Highway 60 to go home. However, due to several pile ups along the highway, the road closed. “I did not really know any details, I was just directed to a side road,” Linscheid said. “I was not sure where I was going at first, but I took backroads and got to Worthington. That is when I found out the highway was closed and got a hotel.”
Bailey Brown, a resident assistant in Fern Smith Hall, lives in Elk River, Minnesota. Because of her position as an RA, Brown had to stay longer than her residents. “I take the same route as Elizabeth for a while, and she kept updating me on the road conditions,” said Brown. “I kept checking Iowa’s and Minnesota’s 511 apps trying to find an alternate route to get home.”
Miriam Cary of Eddyville, Iowa had to get a hotel in Boone. “At first, the weather was not terrible, but then it started getting worse,” Cary said. “There were patches of black ice along the roads, so [my mom and I] got a hotel.”
Because of slippery roads and tough weather conditions, many students saw vehicles aligning the ditches. Cheyenne Schmidt saw three separate car accidents in the ditch during her travel home.
Jessica McCubbin had a plane to catch on that Thursday, since she lives in Colorado. “As [My friend and driver] Alissa and I slid a couple times on our way out of Orange City, which made us anxious,” McCubbin said. According to McCubbin, the road conditions got better as they drove toward Sioux City. “Luckily, my flight remained on time. The plane left right before the storm hit,” said McCubbin.
Ruth Chalstrom was able to stay on campus until Sunday, Dec. 18 for work. According to Chalstrom, “the roads were good, but the weather was iffy.” Chalstrom also had to delay family Christmas plans. “[My family] was planning to go to Minnesota to see family on Christmas Eve, but because of weather, it got delayed to New Years Day.”
Despite all the cancelations and postponements, students made the best of the extreme weather by staying inside or embracing their innerchild by playing in the snow.
Chalstrom has a wonderful term for the crazy weather that students across the country faced: “silly weather.”