Everybody knows that only freshmen and athletes use dining hall trays. There’s no easier way to pick out a HoCo newb than to see who is toting an enormous black tray loaded with pizza, fries, and frozen yogurt. But when the weather forecast predicts snow, tray usage significantly spikes. Maybe it’s because we feel the need to put on some winter weight for a short hibernation, or maybe the snow has made us too lethargic to make more than two trips to the sushi bar. At the end of the meal, we hobble, straight and rigid out of the dining hall, a tray tucked neatly into the back of our jeans and the plastic cool on our backs beneath winter coats.
Nemo’s visit to campus left us with 22 inches of snow and a lot of free time. Trapped in dorms and apartments during the blizzard on Friday, there wasn’t too much to do aside from homework (and impromptu movie marathons). By Saturday, cabin fever had set in, and UNH hit the slope at Library Hill for some great sledding and some not too bad skiing and snowboarding. As a sledding enthusiast, I keep my own sleds in my room, so I was lucky enough to slide in style. It’s funny how a little snowstorm and a couple of sleds (and lunch trays) can bring a group together. Students from across campus perched atop the hill, laughing and swapping blizzard stories, while waiting their turn to sled to the bottom. I couldn’t help but smile.
When mittens are soaked and snow has crept onto the back of bare necks, we head in the direction of HoCo. Hands wrap around mugs of hot chocolate and conversation radiates around the table. On our way out, we quietly and stealthily return trays to their rightful place into dining hall circulation. Nodding politely to the staff at the front door, she wishes us a good evening with a knowing smile. We are all still kids at heart even if we are in college, and I think we can all agree: there’s nothing like a snow day!
Written by Denise Barstow, UNH Class of 2015