Weathering the Storm

Today was the second time classes have been cancelled due to weather since I came to Boston.  The first time was during Hurricane Sandy.  This time, it was because of Winter Storm Nemo.  It may not have the fiercest name for a storm, but rest assured that this blizzard has been a big one.  It’s brought with it some of the strongest winds and the most snow I’ve seen since moving up North.  Thankfully I, like many Bostonians, stocked up and prepared myself for a situation like this.

Being practically snowed in, now is a good time to write about my experience with storms in the Northeast and how they’ve played into my law school schedule.  Most of them come and go, leaving a nice blanket of snow to trudge through on your way to the law tower.  Though, those of a magnitude like Sandy and Nemo can cause the law school to shut down for the day.  Sure, it gives you some more free time to relax indoors or catch up on some work, but it also means you’ll probably have to make up the class that was cancelled at some time in the near future.

For me, the key to making it through each storm that has passed through New England has been preparation.  No matter what, you’ve got to make sure you have the proper gear.  That means layers upon layers.  The goal is to cover your entire body and to keep it warm.  With the right kind of clothing, the weather here really isn’t that bad.

Coming from Florida, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.  However, I quickly learned what I needed and what I was missing.  Beanies, neck warmers, snow boots, and insulated jackets were all things I had never worn down South.  Yet, my first northern winter has shown me that all of these things are necessities.

The major storms require even more planning ahead.  You’re never sure what will happen, so you’ve got to purchase supplies beforehand. Things like batteries and non-perishable food are essential in case the power goes out during a big storm.  Most people rush the stores early to pick up these items.  As I went out today to buy some last-minute groceries, the T was as empty as I had ever seen it.

I’ve been happy to see how on top of it all the city has been as well.  Plows and snow blowers are almost always out in force, clearing the way for cars and pedestrians alike to be able to get wherever they need to go.  Mayor Tom Menino is great about giving out warnings and using social media, including Twitter, to send out constant updates.  Governor Deval Patrick is also great about keeping people aware of what’s happening and what to do in case of an emergency.

In the end, the storms aren’t that bad if you’re ready for them.  The same goes for unexpected events that happen during law school.  You may experience a delay while traveling, forget to make a notice of an appointment, become sick, or otherwise have your schedule disrupted in some way.  These sort of setbacks are part of life.  What is most important is how you respond to them.

We can only see so far ahead.  Even weather forecasts that warn of impending storms are somewhat unpredictable.  The trick is to set yourself up so that you’re ready for whatever comes your way.  In law school this may mean leaving early to take delays into account, making appointments in a way that you can’t forget, or having someone to reach out to whenever you miss class to be able to catch up.

So, don’t just plan ahead when the meteorologist on television tells you a storm is approaching.  By then it may already be too late.  Try to make it so that you are in a constant state of readiness.  As long as both your body and mind are bundled up, no storm can ever hold you back.

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