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Driving in My First Snow Storm

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Driving in My First Snow Storm

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Beverly Chigarira, Guest Writer

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I am an international student from Africa, so I only started experiencing snow in the U.S., which was a great cold experience. Driving in the snow is still an extreme sport for me which I don’t like, and being a commuter has made driving in it inevitable.

On Thursday November 15, a storm hit Connecticut. The University of New Haven canceled classes that would go beyond 3 p.m.

However, I have laboratory classes every Thursday from 1:40 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This was confusing because, despite my labs ending late, it also started earlier than 3. I emailed my professor about the status of having a lab class that day.

Well, we had one.

After a series of mild protests from some students, mostly commuter students who had to travel at least 30 minutes, we continued with the lab. I could not opt out because I would be the only one who needed to make up the lab, and it would be inconvenient for my professor to attend a four hour lab for one student. After the lab, I left the campus at 4:45pm.

I use Route 34 to commute home and while driving, I witnessed three accidents. The first one was a Nissan sedan in front of me. The driver lost control and his car started gliding back toward my car, so I had to move to the oncoming lane. I was okay, but the Nissan hit the car behind me. We stayed there for about 30 minutes and no cars were moving.

Shortly after that in  Seymour the roads weren’t clear, so the driver coming opposite me almost hit my vehicle because he lost control, and  ran into the barrier rails. That accident missed me by a small margin.

This time, we waited about two hours before cars started moving.

My last encounter was in Monroe. There, I experienced by far the worst road conditions all day. Again, the roads weren’t cleared, and my car got stuck along with others. My car had sunk in the thick layers of snow. I had to get out, and all I had was a notebook to dig through the snow. Everyone else parked their cars to wait for the snow plows, but I was outdone –tired, cold, hungry and annoyed. I managed to get out and got home at almost 9 p.m. I couldn’t get in my driveway because of the snow, so I went in by foot, cleared my driveway which I finished at midnight. This was really annoying because I also had an exam to prepare for the next morning.

If I had left school in time, when everyone else was dismissed, I would have missed all those traffic delays, got home in time, safe and dry. If classes are canceled at a certain time, any classes going beyond that  dismissal time should also be canceled. I hope in the future, this policy is revisited and clarified because it is not worth it to be in that danger simply because a class went long.

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Driving in My First Snow Storm