Ah, winter in Nova Scotia. You never know what you’re going to get. One day it’s -15C and icy, the next it’s 12C and rainy. But one thing you can still guarantee is at least one or two big dumps of snow. (One year it was every Wednesday for about 6 weeks!) And when there’s a particularly large dump of snow, there’s a chance Dal (and much of the city) will shut down. So what do you do with your snow day? Here are a few ideas.
First off, how do you know if Dal is closed?
It could be for a massive blizzard, or a hurricane, ice storm, or anything else that prevents the doors from opening. Download the DalSAFE app and you’ll get an alert as soon as the call is made to close the university. If you don’t want another app on your phone, you can subscribe to Dal Alert and get text notifications. (If you were already subscribed, you’ll have to do it again because the system changed this year.) Check for updates at dal.ca/storm or check the Dalhousie Facebook page or the Agricultural Campus Facebook page, or follow @dalhousieu or @dalagriculture on Twitter.
If the university is indeed closed, try a few or all of these ways to occupy yourself:
1. Sleep in
Why not? Turn off the alarm and get a bit more guilt-free shut-eye! Take advantage of the opportunity to catch up on your rest.
2. Work your muscles
Try those at-home yoga sessions you’ve been meaning to do. Crunch those abs and do some planks.
3. Read a book
Do it just for your own personal enjoyment and not worry about retaining the content for an exam! Open that novel you got over the holidays and dive into another world.
4. Shovel your front steps/driveway/sidewalk
Don’t wait for your landlord/parents/city staff/neighbourhood to do it for you. Get some exercise and do it yourself!
5. Shovel your neighbours’ steps/driveway/sidewalk
While you’re out there enjoying the snow and getting some exercise, grab your roommates or friends and clear the snow from your neighbours’ houses. Believe me, they’ll love you for it. And a little goodwill goes a long way.
6. Build a snow fort
When else do you get to just play like a kid anymore? Build a fort or a snowman and embrace the elements!
7. Catch up on some work
You have a whole day (or possibly two if it’s a massive storm) with no school. Take some time to do those readings you’ve been putting off, or work on your paper that’s due in a few weeks.
8. Binge-watch your new favourite shows
Netflix is a perfect accompaniment to snow days—but only after you’ve helped out your neighbours and done some active things so you’re not a complete slug all day, right?
Stock up on some ingredients if there’s a storm coming, and make a bunch of meals to put in the freezer for those days when you don’t have the time or inclination to cook. You’ll thank yourself later.
10. Hit a local hill
Grab a sled (or something you can sit on) and go to the nearest hill. Or strap on some cross-country skis or snowshoes. Again, take the time to embrace the weather and be a kid again! And if you’re not used to living in a snowy place, you’re in for a treat.