Do you remember your first snow day, when the call came that school was canceled and you could stay home midweek to play outside, have a snowball fight, and drink hot chocolate to your heart’s content?
Mirissa Price does. It was Thursday.
As the first significant snowstorm of winter came whipping through New England, colleges and universities — and some companies — declared it an official snow day, calling off classes and work, and giving people a day to hunker down.
For many like Price, a Harvard graduate student who grew up in Arizona (we’re told it doesn’t snow much there), the announcement was a milestone.
It marked the only time in Price’s life — although she had seen snow in Colorado during college — that she missed school because of wintry weather.
“It’s been very exciting. I was surprised . . . by how many people were in the same boat,” said Price, 24, who attends the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. “You finally get to feel like a child again. You would always see on TV that there are snow days, and wonder what that’s like.”
Because last winter was relatively mild, Harvard never canceled classes because of snow, she said. And this season, to Price, it looked as though history was going to repeat itself.
“I was just saying it’s been amazingly dry and warm in Boston, and I was surprised there wasn’t a lot of snow,” she said.
When she peeked out her window early Thursday and noticed there was nothing coating the ground, it was hard to imagine that classes wouldn’t meet. Hours later, however, she could barely see outside.
So, like any first-timer with a day off, Price pulled on snow gear, headed outside, and built a “snow tooth” with other graduate students.
“I’m taking full advantage of it,” she said, adding that she made s’mores in her dorm. “Fingers crossed it keeps happening, because it’s really beautiful.”
Others who have never experienced a blizzard marked by school cancellations took to Twitter Thursday to express their childlike wonder about it all.
“My first-ever snow day,” one person wrote. “I [love] New England!”
Another said: “I have my first snow day ever as a college student and I couldn’t be more excited.”
Vanessa Ruiz-Wiarco, a freshman at Boston College, wrote with excitement, “GUYS IM EXPERIENCING MY FIRST SNOW DAY TOMORROW, NO SCHOOL.”
In a telephone interview following a snowball fight, Ruiz-Wiarco brushed off comments made by classmates who predicted that, at some point during her four years attending a New England college, she would bemoan winter’s frigid touch.
But Ruiz-Wiarco, who grew up in Chino, Calif., begged to differ.
“I love it so much,” she said. “Everyone has been telling me, ‘You’re going to hate it.’ But I love the snow so much.”
Ruiz-Wiarco said she found out Wednesday night that classes were canceled. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
“It felt invigorating, exhilarating,” she said. “I feel like I appreciate it more than everyone else that has already experienced it before.”
Boston University student Lauren Blackburn, 19, was also reveling in her first-of-its-kind day off. Because she doesn’t have classes Fridays or Mondays, Thursday’s cancellation put her on a path to a five-day weekend.