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Winter Term Anticipation

Zoë highlights the activities she is most looking forward to in anticipation of Winter Term.

Zoë highlights the activities she is most looking forward to in anticipation of Winter Term.

With the autumnal weather gracing campus, the cooler temperatures setting in, and the sun setting before 5:00 p.m., I am reminded of the fact that in less than two months, Carleton will begin its Winter Term. Class registration was a week ago, and my excitement for another winter in Northfield is growing!

Last year, I was studying abroad during the winter, so it has been two years since I’ve been on campus with snow and winter recreation. In this blog post, I’ll highlight a few of the activities that I’m most looking forward to in the coming months.

Ice Skating (for a P.E. class!)

When browsing through the course catalog to find a Physical Education class that looked fun to join, Ice Skating jumped out at me. In the winter, Carleton takes advantage of the sub-freezing temperatures and floods the Bald Spot (our main campus quad), installing two ice rinks. For this P.E. class, students of all levels can learn figure skating techniques. I love ice skating, and cannot wait to learn some techniques and methods to improve my form and pick up new skills. My goal is to learn how to gracefully skate backwards, an aspiration that will require a lot of instruction. 

ice skating
As a freshman, I went ice skating with friends multiple times for fun.

Nordic Skiing

Having only been downhill skiing before, I’ve always wanted to try Nordic. Nordic skiing at Carleton is a huge winter sport, especially because our Arboretum provides the perfect terrain for gorgeous skiing trails. If I can fit it into my schedule, I plan on joining the Club Nordic Skiing team. 

nordic skiing
The snowy terrain in the winter. Photo by Ben Chamberlain Zivsak ’24.


Playing broomball has been on my bucket list for a while now, and I’m committed to playing at least a few games before I graduate. Broomball at Carleton can get pretty competitive in the intramural sphere. Thus, I intend on utilizing the Bald Spot ice rinks not just for skating, but also for some spirited games of broomball.

Students and staff pose on the ice in broomball attire.
Staff and students form teams and will engage in some intense competition.


The three academic classes I registered for next term are Anthropological Thought & Theory, Introduction to Statistics, and Social Construction. Offered by the Sociology-Anthropology, Statistics, and Philosophy departments respectively, the courses will provide a good balance of reading, writing, and problem sets. Besides ice skating and Nordic skiing, I also registered again for the Carleton Orchestra.

Midwinter Ball

I have discussed my love for this school-wide event on multiple occasions, but for good reason! Occurring midway through Winter Term, the Student Activities Office puts on Midwinter Ball, a big semi-formal dance that almost everyone on campus attends. Hosted in Sayles (our student center) with different dance rooms, DJs, and free food, it is a festive, communal winter activity that brings friends and acquaintances together for a fun night of dancing.

midwinter ball
My friends and me dressed up for Midwinter Ball in February of 2020.

Book Across the Bay

This is such a unique outdoor experience! The Carleton Association of Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts (CANOE club) busses students to Wisconsin for a huge winter event called “Book Across the Bay.” Participants walk or ski across six miles of frozen Lake Superior at night, the icy path illuminated by small lanterns and the bright stars in the sky. Throughout the trek, there are tent stations to grab hot drinks and snacks. There are also gorgeous ice sculptures to admire, and large, flaming bonfires near the trail. I went on this trip my freshman year and I fully intend to participate again next term.

book across the bay
Sophia and me on the frozen surface of Lake Superior before the race began.

Thinking about all of these recreational, social, and academic activities that I’ll take part in next term is thrilling! While it does get cold and snowy here in Northfield, Minnesota, there are tons of ways to enjoy the season and the many social events that take place on campus.

Zoë is a junior Sociology-Anthropology major who loves traveling and studying abroad, taking photos, and luxuriating in long walks in the glorious Arb. At Carleton, some of Zoë’s favorite pastimes include frequenting the various coffee shops in downtown Northfield, playing cello in the orchestra, participating in club soccer, and spending time with friends. Meet the other bloggers!