Thursday, December 2, 2021

MSU students experience seasons for the first time

November 8, 2021
<p>An East Lansing home covered in snow, photographed on Nov. 13, 2019. </p>

An East Lansing home covered in snow, photographed on Nov. 13, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

When supply chain management senior Alicia Saenz was deciding between her final three schools for college, she chose MSU partly because of their business program but also because of the weather.

Being a Florida native who lived in Nicaragua for much of her life, Saenz never got to experience the changing of the seasons growing up, which is partially what drew her to MSU.

“I never experienced that,” Saenz said. “It's something that I wanted to experience for the first time.”

Saenz, like many other out-of-state students, had to prepare for something she never experienced. Despite growing up with no changing seasons, Saenz still knew what to expect, thanks to her older brother who also went north for college.

Out-of-state students from warmer places who were warned about what to expect got more time to prepare, like Pear Limpanich, an international student from Thailand.

The neuroscience junior said many of her friends warned her about the cold and harsh winters in Michigan, so she felt prepared.

“It wasn't totally shocking because I knew what I was expecting, even though I never experienced seasons before,” Limpanich said.

Unfortunately, not all out-of-state students were fully prepared for the changing of the seasons, mainly winter.

Economics senior Lupe Velasquez said that even though fall is a beautiful time of year, winter has always been hard for him to adjust to.

While he likes that winter is the first snowfall, it's the cold that has made him decide that winter is his least favorite season.

“When it came to the winter, it was very difficult,” Velasquez, a Florida native, said. “It was just unbearable in that sense where I didn't know how cold it could get in Michigan.”

On the other hand, there are students like chemistry junior Marisa Washington who can find much more positives than negatives when it comes to winter.

Washington, who is from Texas, said she liked finally being able to experience the cold and seeing snow and also being able to do the traditional winter activities. 

“I like just being able to experience the cold,” Washington said. “If I wanted to build a snowman, stuff like that, (those are) the winter activities that I wouldn't be able to do.”

Saenz said she feels the same way about winter. Her favorite part of it is finally being able to experience snow, which is something that has always fascinated her.

Saenz only ever saw snow in movies, so seeing actual snowflakes in front of her was crazy, she said.

“Like snowflakes are a real thing, it's not just something you cut out of paper,” Saenz said.

While winter has differing opinions about it, they all believe that fall is a beautiful season. The changing colors of the leaves are their favorite thing about it.

For Limpanich, being able to see the colors of the leaves changing in person and not just through pictures was very beautiful. Limpanich also said that fall is the best time of the year because it has the nicest weather of all the seasons, where it's not too hot and not too cold.

Saenz said she was ecstatic to finally be able to see the fall colors in person.

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“I was so happy,” Saenz said. “Fall was something I didn't imagine like I knew leaves changed colors but I didn't know until I was here looking at it, and every day the trees look different, and I was like this is beautiful.”

Now that they have experienced all four seasons, for these out-of-state students, it was a toss-up between fall and summer for their favorite season.

Despite really liking the changing of the seasons, Velasquez said he still prefers the warm weather of Florida. On the other hand, there are students like Washington who prefer the changing seasons over the warm weather of where they’re actually from. 

“I honestly like experiencing the four seasons, it's really nice,” Washington said.

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