Don’t be afraid of the cold, embrace it!

Iman, a third-year Science, Technology and Society major in the Faculty of Arts, wants you to know that winter can bring some warmth despite the cold weather.



YouAlberta is written by students for students.

Lele is a fourth-year student completing her Bilingual Bachelor of Science in Nursing. As an immigrant from China who grew up in Edmonton, she grew up learning French and English in school while speaking Mandarin Chinese at home. She values the power that language can have on connectivity.

Though winter might be a season that is favoured by many, it is also one that is largely disliked for all of the inconveniences it causes. And all seasons come with their ups and downs. The way summer may come with an overwhelming feeling to always be productive, have fun, and live up to an idea of a perfect summer full of memories, winter seems to be the brunt of seasonal depression. This season can often bring feelings of isolation and loneliness and just an overall sense of laziness caused by the cold. This can feel hopeless like there is absolutely nothing to do but wait out the dreadful weather and hope for happier, warmer days. But I am here to let all of you know that this is absolutely not true. And though winter is slowly coming to an end, there are a lot of activities you can still take part in and enjoy that won’t be the same in the summer – and there’s something that will appeal to everyone!

First off (and this may not appeal to everyone), but one of the best parts about winter is being able to bundle up and wear warm, layered outfits. This includes a bunch of fun, warm, winter outerwear accessories like beanies, mittens, and scarves. You even get to walk around in fluffy cabin socks, and everything is just so cozy! Now if you’re someone who’d rather stay in on a cold day, that’s perfectly okay, but imagine getting all comfy to stay in and read a book or watch your favourite show with a nice warm cup of hot cocoa or tea. The winter brings in a whole new round of beverages that you wouldn’t normally drink in the summer, like eggnog and apple cider. Throw those iced coffees out the window, it’s hot chocolates all season long! Everything is peppermint flavoured and you can enjoy candy canes to your heart's content. When else do you see that much peppermint in one place? You also get to enjoy warm foods that you probably wouldn’t feel too keen on eating in the summer; hot meals like soup just taste better in the winter!  

Contrary to popular belief, the winter is actually an excellent time to get active and enjoy sports that can be classified as “winter only.” You can go skating, and even though there are ways for this to be enjoyed in the summer, it isn’t quite the same experience as when you do it in the frigid cold rather than an indoor ice rink– though both are acceptable! You also get to try out sports like skiing and snowboarding, which can easily be a one time thing for some people and an annual thing for others. Personally, I went snowboarding once when I was about 11 and decided it wasn’t for me. But there are other options for people like me, such as sledding! Sledding, crazy carpeting, or tobogganing– all versions of the same idea, is something I can always get behind. And this is definitely not equivalent to rolling down a hill in the summer. If sports just aren’t your thing, there is still more you can do. Embrace your inner child and build a snowman or a snow fort! Most of us probably don’t remember the last time we played in the snow, but I can promise you it is still just as enjoyable as it was when you were a kid. Don’t be afraid of the cold, embrace it!

For those of us that prefer going out and enjoying festivities and events, Edmonton offers a bunch of things to do that pop up around the wintertime, and there's something new to check out every year. Whyte Ave is decorated, adorned with lights on every tree, providing the light we lose so quickly from the short days. From pretty winter events hosted at the U of A Botanic Gardens with lights that illuminate the dark outside; to Candy Cane Lane where households extravagantly decorate their lawns and houses for the coming holidays, shining brighter and more colourful than you could ever imagine; to an ice palace built entirely of snow; all the way to a Christmas market to satisfy all of your holiday shopping needs. 

You get the chance to unwind and embrace time spent with loved ones and just the comfort of home and the celebrations. There are other pleasantries too, like the feeling of coming inside to a warm home or cafe after walking around freezing in the cold, and the feeling of drinking something warm in cold weather. 

There are a lot of things to enjoy in the winter, so embrace it before the snow starts melting away because as much as you crave the summer now, you’ll miss these cold, snowy days when they’re gone!