The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Snow for Show

Shoveling+snow+is+a+struggle+many+who+live+in+the+mountains+have+to+face
Neetra Chakraborty
Shoveling snow is a struggle many who live in the mountains have to face

A log cabin sits amidst the forests of the Colorado Rockies. Inside, velvet chairs stand around the crackling fireplace as embers spit up the chimney. A dim lamp casts ambient light upon stacks of blankets. Through the windows, piles of pure white snow cushion the surrounding forest; branches are close to breaking under the thick layer of frosty powder. It’s the perfect winter wonderland. Or is it?

Although snowball fights, ice skating and building snowmen sound dreamy, we often take the privilege of living in a sunny area for granted. As Bay Area kids, most of our time spent in the snow has been on vacation, where we are oblivious tourists. While we are busy with leisure winter activities, locals are tasked with shoveling snow, salting the ground and ensuring that rooftop conditions are safe. Furthermore, a life with constant road closures and 15 mph speed limits with snow chains is unimaginably inconvenient. Picture having to go to the ER, just to find out that the highway has been seized by a four-foot layer of snow. This tourist mindset blinds us from such challenges. 

On top of all this, how many of you are prepared to stay inside for four months straight? While winter sports are entertaining, there’s almost nothing else to do when you can’t even walk outside for more than 100 feet. Those who love running and biking will find themselves having to navigate icy roads. Going outside would require three or more layers and snow boots, making slipping and sustaining an injury a real possibility. Sitting by the fireplace all day and reading books seems appealing on paper, but if you aren’t a complete bookworm, that becomes monotonous quickly. 

While winter sports are entertaining, there’s almost nothing else to do when you can’t even walk outside for more than 100 feet.

Also, the snow is much colder than most people think. Here in the bay, we’ll occasionally get sub-50 degrees Fahrenheit weather during the winter, but most of the time it does nothing other than make us type slowly during English class. While I was still on the Northstar Ski Team, temperatures were regularly below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and coupled with strong winds, it felt almost impossible to walk outside without hand warmers and mittens. This type of cold is incomprehensible to most, especially considering that the Bay Area’s coldest months are around the high 40s.

On a final note, snowy conditions don’t only affect us physically, but also psychologically. According to the National Library of Medicine, a lack of sunshine has been proven to have negative effects on mood, appetite, and mental health. Coupled with the fact that you’ll be trapped inside for months on end, it can become extremely lonesome and sad. Sunlight is a vital part of our lives, and especially growing up in suburban California, it’s a luxury that is often overlooked until it’s no longer there.

Snowy conditions don’t only affect us physically, but also psychologically.

I’m not saying that living in the mountains doesn’t sound great, because it does. But before jumping to the conclusion that those who do live in snowy areas have it better, take a second and look at their situation objectively. We all want the benefits of the snow — the fun times and good memories — but in reality, there are many hidden shortcomings. It’s not until one has gone through the constant stress of having to battle the elements can they determine it worth the reward. Meanwhile, we should be content with our near-perfect Northern California weather. We’ll never have to worry about avalanches and having our homes snowed in. We have sunny summers and perfect beach weather, and we can still wear t-shirts during the fall. And sure, it’s not perfect. We’ll always have the gloomy overcasted winters and occasional rainy day, but if we really think, it’s not so bad at all. 

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About the Contributors
Benjamin Wang, Staff Writer
Benjamin joined the Tribune because his sister took the class and he thought it seemed like a very interesting class with a close group of people. He took J1 last year and does creative writing outside of school. This year, Benjamin is looking forward to learning more about journalism and reading his published articles in the newspaper. He likes to play golf and is on track to play collegiately. If he could be anyone on the Tribune, he'd choose to be David Zhang because he will probably end up becoming a billionaire.
Neetra Chakraborty, Art & Graphics Editor
Neetra has done journalism since her freshmen year and the Tribune feels like a home to her after two years. This year, she wants to write more and expand her reach, including trying multimedia and other genres of journalism she hasn't tried before. An interesting fact about her is that she has lived in the U.S., India, and Japan. If she could be anyone in the Tribune, she would be Shreya A. because she's such a girlboss and Neetra admires her a lot.

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