Many of us would probably agree that while we considered attending Ursinus for an important checklist of academic, athletic, and social reasons, what ultimately sealed the deal was the feeling we got when we walked onto the campus: that elusive magical feeling akin to meeting “the one.”
This intangible level of comfort set a foundation that would allow our relationship with Ursinus to flourish over the next four years. Ursinus continued to court us with the seasonal delights the campus offered, such as the picturesque autumn leaves falling on the main walkway or the daffodils popping up in April outside of Pfahler like a William Wordsworth poem. There was nothing that made us fall deeper in love with Ursinus, though, than when the campus was graced with a pristine blanket of diamond-white snow.
Ursinus was already the significant other that convinced us the best things in life are free: as a small campus surrounded by a small town (pre-Wegmans days), we were forced (fortunate) to create our own fun. But when it snowed, and even a trip to the old Wawa on Main Street was “too far,” we took time to pause, take in the beauty of Bomberger’s bell tower, heroically trek to class if our professor unbelievably did not cancel, and simply enjoy the company of our fellow Bears.
My first snow day at Ursinus is why my random freshman year roommate is still my best friend. We were both shy during that first semester and mostly hung out with different groups, but when it snowed one day in January we both decided to stay in our tiny BPS dorm room, watch Aladdin, and make hot chocolate with her electric tea kettle. Shortly after that day, we decided to room together again sophomore year and would continue to do so every subsequent year.
In February of 2010, I was lucky enough to be a senior at Ursinus during one of the worst (best) blizzards the Philadelphia region has ever had. They were calling it “Snowmageddon.” Though Ursinus is admirably never technically closed, most classes were cancelled. Our amazing dining staff slept over to keep us fed in Wismer. And Ursinus, our love, made us feel like we were kids again.
Our day began with brunch at Wismer, and as we left one of my friends decided to throw a snowball. This quickly evolved into a lighthearted but epic snowball fight that should have been filmed for a Gap commercial. When we got back to our senior year residence, the beloved Carriage House apartment behind 732, we began to build a fort in the living room and then play an aggressive game of Disney Scene It. I am told Wismer does not employ the use of trays anymore, but this was back in the time when they did. Somehow, a few trays ended up coming back to our room, and we used them to go sledding at midnight down by the baseball fields.
I sometimes feel bad for my friends who had relationships with other colleges. In their relationships, they felt pressured to get a fake ID, go out with overly made-up friends and see what else was out there at off-campus bars. Ursinus offered the kind of love everyone is looking for: low-maintenance, no pretense, and a deep lasting connection. And, especially in the snow, no one ever looked better.
- Cara Saraco