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Winter Term Routines & Recommendations

Zoë highlights some of the cozy routines she's been enjoying throughout winter term.

Zoë highlights some of the cozy routines she's been enjoying throughout winter term.

Winter term has quite the reputation at Carleton, known for its frigid temperatures and abundance of snow. Because of this, Carls tend to stay warm and cozy indoors when they aren’t enjoying outdoor recreational activities. Admittedly, this winter term I have fallen into a real routine. From my increased consumption of coffee and tea to my weekly Sunday skis, certain aspects of my weeks have been pretty unchanging since the start of the term.

As I discussed in my last blog post about maintaining a sustainable work/life balance as a Carl, I highly value making time for both work and leisure. Having experienced these wintry months over the last couple of years while classes are in session, I have found some lovely ways to embrace the cold and have free time fun. I highlight some of my favorite ones below.

Downtown Coffee Runs

As a “necessary” treat, I’ve developed the habit of making morning jaunts to downtown Northfield (conveniently, a less than 10-minute walk from my dorm). I’m not typically a morning person, but incentivizing productivity by rewarding myself with a trip to a coffee shop is an effective strategy for me. Little Joy and Goodbye Blue Monday are my two favorite coffee shops where I order my standard drink every time—an oat milk latte. Then, armed with a hot, caffeinated beverage, I am able to summon the motivation to do homework!

Passing by the townhouses on a beautiful morning walk to downtown Northfield.

Long Meals with Friends

You really can’t go wrong with luxuriating over a long meal with friends in the dining halls. Grabbing breakfast, lunch, or dinner with someone to catch up with them or just to hang out is a really common way that people bond and spend time with each other at Carleton, and I am no exception to this tradition. Especially due to the chilly weather, LDC and Burton (our 2 dining halls) are always filled with students chatting over long meal periods. It’s heartwarming to see.

Kelly and me enjoying a meal in Burton Dining Hall, winter of 2020!

The dining halls have special events throughout the winter term as well. This last month, LDC put on a chili contest and featured several dishes in celebration of Lunar New Year. Typically, a special Valentine’s Day meal also graces the menu.

Tons of Movie Viewing

Most recently, my roommate and I have been indulging in frequent viewing parties to watch the Winter Olympics, namely the skiing and figure skating events. On other occasions, we’ve shared our favorite movies and documentaries with each other.

This is the fun movie line-up that SUMO put together for winter term.

Additionally, the Student Union Movie Organization (SUMO) is a fantastic student organization that brings great features into our movie theater in the Weitz Center for Creativity. While I haven’t made it to a showing yet this term, I intend to see My Neighbor Totoro on the big screens during Week 9, as it’s a childhood favorite of mine that I hold dear to my heart.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates

What started as a birthday gift for my friend, a batch of chocolate covered peanut butter stuffed dates turned into a bi-weekly routine. I’ve made several stops at the Just Food Co-Op in downtown Northfield to stock up on dates, jars of peanut butter, and chocolate chips. It’s truly the most convenient, fool proof recipe! I simply cut open the dates, remove the pits, stuff them with peanut butter, and dip them in melted chocolate. So easy, delicious, and the perfect snack for Olympics viewing.

Preparing the dates while watching snowboarding!

An Abundance of Ice Skating and Skiing

ice rink
The ice rink during the day.

These have become my favorite winter activities, and Carleton has amazing resources to do both! Our main campus quad, the “Bald Spot,” hosts 2 large ice rinks that I frequent at least 3 times a week for my ice skating PE class. The arboretum has miles of gorgeous ski trails that I have taken advantage of several times this term. I’d never skied before college, and have benefited from the Recreation Center’s free-to-rent ski gear.

ice skating
Ice skating on a Friday night with Caroline!

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!