California Dreaming

Bad weather is exactly what Harvard needs

It may never rain in California, but it sure does in Boston. Throughout the winter, it was easy to complain about the biting winds and frigid temperatures. “Those Stanford students are so lucky,” we muse as we trudge through the slush to class.

But what would happen if the average day in Cambridge was 75 degrees and mostly sunny? Disaster, that’s what. The temptation to walk along the river or play tennis for a couple hours might win out over spending the day studying in Lamont uninterrupted. As opposed to the inches of slush that usually accompany days at Harvard and keep us inside where we can focus on work, the sun might trick us into taking a break. A trip to Berryline to break up work on a paper would completely derail your train of thought. Aside from the fifteen minutes you would waste walking to and from the store, it would take you at least five minutes to get back into work mode, and you’d even have to root through your bag to find your ID to swipe back into Lamont. Such massive amounts of disruption are hardly worth the fro-yo.

And just think about the effort we would have to put into our clothing choices if we had to plan for sun year-round. When it will not break 20 degrees, it’s easy to pile on layers of sweatshirts and jackets before you head out the door. Yet when the forecast is more optimistic, girls take the time to match their summer dresses with appropriate spring jackets. Boys are forced to pick out new shorts and change their shirts, as there are no puffy coats to cover the stains or smell on the t-shirt they have been wearing for the past two days. All of this is an enormously frivolous waste of time.

Imagine if we had to put this extra effort into our appearances every day of the week. We would lose valuable hours that could otherwise be spent volunteering, writing papers, or curing cancer. In reality, we are the lucky ones. Sunshine and balmy temperatures are more detrimental to Harvard students than alcohol and dating could ever be. Living in New England thankfully doesn’t give us the option of trading excellence for a good tan.

Picture a rainy Saturday night with temperatures just above freezing. You were planning on going out, but by the time you walked across campus you would not only be soaked but shivering as well. To avoid this potentially traumatic experience, you decide to stay in and work on that problem set you had been putting off all week. End result: one completed problem set and one less awkward drunken hookup.


So we pale and dry-skinned Harvard students may not be able to boast a vacation-like climate, but we can rejoice in knowing that because of the bad weather in Cambridge we ultimately grow closer to the superhuman individuals we expect ourselves to become. Each dismal day takes us farther down the path of success, eliminating distractions and thankfully giving us no option but to concentrate on our studies. The occasional cheery days that Cambridge does enjoy are not enough to distract us from our main purpose at Harvard—to become wealthy future world leaders and save people from poverty and other injustices across the globe.

Although each nice day sporadically spaced amidst rain and cool weather might make us wonder what we’re missing, the weather at Harvard is really the best thing for us. October through April showers bring perfect overachievers—along with May flowers.

Lea J. Hachigian ’12, a Crimson editorial writer, is a neurobiology concentrator in Leverett House.