The first time I visited Drake University, there was a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground. As I watched the students bustle by in their winter gear, I thought just how idyllic the campus looked on a brisk winter’s day. There was only one problem: it was spring break. Where I come from in St. Louis, springtime means warm weather. But as I quickly discovered, all of my meteorological preconceptions went out the window in Iowa. So, in the spirit of this jolly season, I present the unique challenges and advantages of winter in Des Moines.
Con- Baby, It’s Cold Outside
If anyone tells you it’s not cold here, they are either lying or from Minnesota. Sometimes it’s so cold that my walk to class feels like a Dickensian orphan’s journey to find bread. And while my personal struggles may not exactly be as bad as Pip’s or Oliver’s, it’s so much winder in Iowa than it is in London. So, call us even in the difficulty department?
Pro- The Most Wonderful Time of The Year
Yet, all the cold does bring some beautiful snow and no shortage of winter activities. From all the festivals around town to jolly winter events on campus, winter in Des Moines can be an absolute blast. We even went sledding at a local gold course to celebrate the winter weather.
Con- Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
So maybe more like a 30th Street Freeze Out. But the point is that winter in Iowa may or may not ever end. Last year it snowed in May. May. Just one of many things we have in common with Game of Thrones is that at Drake University you also always have to be on the lookout for winter. Even if you think it’s over, the lesson is do not put your boots away till the very end.
Pro-Let It Snow
With the Iowa winter raging outdoors, there’s always an excuse to spend time inside drinking hot chocolate and watching a movie. I mean, not that I need an excuse. That’s just the crazy way I live my life.
Everyone has their own tally system for the pros and cons of Des Moines winter, but for me, the pros weigh out. I didn’t fully know what I was getting myself into when I came to Drake, but every year, I embrace the joys of winter a little more. By the time I graduate, I bet I’ll even be used to it. I’ll also have quite the collection of winter scarves. So there’s that.