Phil the groundhog once again saw his shadow, which forecasts that we'll have another six weeks of winter. This causes many people to groan, while others are excited by the news of snow.
Lately I've heard a lot of talk about the winter weather, and I've decided to add my opinion. Here are a few pros and cons of winter snow in Utah.
* Pro No. 1: I've heard it said that the four seasons of Utah are almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction. My favorite part about the winter weather is the lull in road construction. Seeing fewer orange cones and neon vests makes travelling anywhere a lot more enjoyable.
* Con No. 1: As we all know, Utah drivers have a reputation for being very aggressive. The snow definitely doesn't help. So many drivers act carelessly or impulsively and cause numerous accidents every time it snows. Although the roads have less construction cones, they are still splattered with accidents.
* Pro No. 1: We need the precipitation. Utah is a desert and no one wants to experience a major drought. The snow ensures that during the summer we can all have green lawns and locally grown produce. Even though the snow may not be everyone's favorite, it sure helps the summer become more enjoyable.
* Con No. 2: Just because the sun is shining doesn't mean it won't snow the same day. The weather in Utah is constantly changing. This is a pro and a con because whether or not you like the weather, it can change easily and quickly. If you don't like it or if you do, it probably won't last.
* Pro No. 3: According to our license plates, Utah has the greatest snow on earth. Many people enjoy skiing trips, and Park City is the place to be in the winter. Professionals even come to Utah to train. We have one of the best outdoor recreational opportunities right in our backyard. We are a lucky state!
* Con No. 3: Because the weather is constantly changing, often almost all the snow ends up melted, except splatters of dirty snow covering curbs, parking lots and lawns. Although Utah is a beautiful place, hunks of disgusting snow surrounded by dead grass aren't picturesque enough to put in a Utah calendar.
* Pro No. 4: Even if Utah lacks a little natural beauty in dry winter months, we sure make up for it with all of our holiday lights. Temple Square, Willard Bay and Layton Park, along with many home displays, always keep winter bright and cheerful ... until January, that is.
* Con No. 4: Scraping ice and snow off a windshield is the most unpleasant part of Utah's winter mornings. It takes so much time, keeps you out in the freezing air and delays your start to the day. When covered in snow, it usually feels like a snowball fight with your car; the more you push onto your hood, the more falls on your shoe. Ice is even worse though; scraping as hard and as fast as possible can be tiring enough to be considered a workout.
* Pro No. 5: Winter clothing is the best. Cuddling up in a thick sweater is one of the simple pleasures of winter. Thick socks, boots and hoodies are comfortable and wearing them during winter is considered stylish, which is a great situation. The trend of ugly sweaters in the last year has added to the fun. It seems like with all of his crazy sweaters, Bill Cosby knew how to rock winter clothes.
* Con No. 5: If your mom is anything like mine, you should know the struggle of trying to leave the house without a coat. Although I think it is completely unnecessary to wear a coat if I'm only walking out to my car and then into another building, my mother adamantly disagrees. If it were up to her, I would be dressed warm enough to brave Antarctica.
* Pro No. 6: Hot chocolate, soup and all kinds of cookies are the most delicious ways to warm up on a frigid afternoon. No one wants to be cold and hungry, so to counteract the weather, make some homemade joy in the kitchen. It will make any day better and it makes winter as a whole more enjoyable.
* Con No. 6: Stuffy noses, coughs and flu shots. I absolutely hate the sound of someone blowing their nose. Snot should stay inside of your body in public places, always. Coughing is less grotesque but still an unwelcome noise for many. And although colds are a minor illness, influenza is not. When my parents drag me to get a flu shot I am not mature about it. I don't appreciate getting a shot, but my parents argue that preventing the flu is worth it.
There are many more reasons to love or hate the winter weather. Overall it comes down to personal preference. I love the promise of snowcapped mountains, snowy days and even the cold weather, but if it isn't your preference, then, as the joke goes, just wait 15 minutes and the weather will change.
Sara Hawker is a senior at Syracuse High School. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.