During my freshman year of college I lived in a part of campus called "Old Campus". Old Campus is - shocker - the oldest part of campus and sits right at its center.
It occupies an entire block of New Haven and houses 80 percent of all freshman students.
Every inch of the place was crawling with eighteen year old upstarts, all of us jostling for spots in seminars, singing groups, and theater troupes.
I wasn't quite in shape for this caliber of competition and found myself to be, quite suddenly, a completely average student.
Completely average was a brand new experience for me (in school, at least), and I wasn't adjusting well.
My formerly-above-average self was floundering, searching for a new identity.
That new identity found me one evening, as snow began to fall on campus.
During that first real snow fall, a huge snow ball fight broke out on Old Campus.
About a thousand students lived on Old Campus and it felt like every single one of us were outside running around.
Our freshman class was full of a lot of California kids and for many of them, this was their first snow ball fight.
They crouched behind benches, forming perfect little round snow balls in their hands. They tossed them at their friends in long arcs, from 20 ft away, mimicking Charlie Brown and every other cartoon hero they'd ever seen in a Christmas special.
The more seasoned among us knew, of course: that's not how you throw a snow ball.
Grabbing sloppy fist fulls of snow, we careened into the ranks of our enemies, splashing snow straight into their faces as we ran by.
Us winter-kids ran around our little corner of Old Campus, terrorizing our friends until they emphatically announced, wiping snow from their glasses, that it was NOT FUNNY ANYMORE.
The fight broke up after an hour ago and we all returned the warfare we'd actually been selected for.
We returned to our books, to our singing groups, to our theater groups and debate clubs.
I still wasn't any good at that fight, and I didn't get any better.
Through my entire time at school, I remained a solidly average student.
We never had another epic snow ball fight, but we relived that original one at little bit every year.
Every year, when we stepped out of our dorms to find freshly fallen snow under our feet, my friends would turn and look at me:
"Don't even think about it."