I understand that the title may have betrayed a few aspects of my identity— yes, I’m from Florida; yes, I was born in California; yes, I’m obnoxious. But I resent that Providence’s temperature has been turned into a disgusting display of identity politics. I’m tired of my Northern brethren sneering at my plight— only after I tell them from where I hail. Northern or southern, rural Montana mountaineer or Bay area bro— are we not all human? Do we not all bleed red when cut? Do we not all have functioning nervous systems capable of recognizing how cruel the Providence wind can be?
Look, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not one of those southerners, I did my research. I didn’t show up to Brown with a single pair of sandals in hand and a few pastel colored shorts, naively expecting the Northeast to cater to me. No, I perused Winter Coat Weekly for months before deciding on my perfect synthetic feather-filled friend. I weathered the jeers of my friends as I asked them innocent questions like “Why can’t I just wear my jean jacket?” I did my due diligence, all in the efforts to keep myself toasty in the icy winter months.
But you know what I couldn’t prepare for? Do you know what no amount of reading, studying, or dedication could have adequately prepared me for? The fact that sometimes, it’s sunny, and it’s also FUCKING FREEZING. Freshman year I wondered if this was all part of some cosmic joke I simply didn’t understand. But here I stand, two years later and with far more confidence, still utterly shocked at the lack of coverage this issue is getting. I don’t know if you native Northeasterners are so used to this phenomenon that it’s become a non-issue to you, but I’m here to remind you and the general populace that this is absolutely unacceptable. When I look outside and see a glorious, unabashed sunshine, I want to step outside and feel the warmth of mother nature’s love — not the beginnings of an icicle forming on my nose.
There have been days that I’ve been genuinely excited to go to my classes just for the joy of basking in the beautiful sun, only to feel like a naked mole rat in the middle of a snow cone by the time the sun sets. The insidiousness of a sunny day turned cold comes from its complete imperviousness to pre-planning; after all, what use is a $1000 Canada Goose jacket (haha just kidding) if I don’t even put it on before I leave my dorm? Sometimes, I reminisce about my Floridian life. It was a much simpler time, one where I could just glance outside and know what awaited me. If it was sunny, it would be hot and humid. If it was cloudy, it would be hot and humid. If it was snowing, it would be hot and humid. You get the idea. In Providence, every morning I am forced to make a calculated decision — and every morning I am reminded that I am incredibly bad at math.
Look, I’m aware that some Brunonians may advise me to check the weather app— but as someone who wakes up five minutes before class, that is a luxury I simply cannot afford. After all, I’m not so sure why all the changing has fallen on my shoulders. Maybe the Providence weather should think about accommodating me for a change. And while we’re on the topic, stop raining so much.