Preparing For Your First College Winter

Brace yourselves, winter is coming.

Ned Stark of Games of Thrones was not wrong to approach this hazardous season with caution. Winter is dangerous, and it should always be prepared for. This is especially true once you are in college and away from the nagging, yet valid, comments of your mother to please put on a sweater before you are out the door. Now that you are in charge of your own wardrobe and life, taking care of yourself should be priority number one. With winter rapidly approaching, take heed of these tips on how to best survive the harshest part of the year during your freshman year.

Whenever possible, take the bus.

While it is great and all to get your exercise, walking is just not worth it. As the winter months approach, the temperature will fall at a scary fast rate, and this can take a toll on students who expose themselves to the elements every time they head off to class. Buses can get crowded, so you may want to board an earlier one just to make it to your class on time. Although it may not seem like much, the extra few minutes of warmth you get from the bus will do your body good. Plus, the brisk, winter wind is not the best wake-up call.

Invest in some hand warmers.

These little wonders will save your hands on the coldest of days. Even if you wear gloves, the cold eventually eats through it like acid. Then, not only do you have cold hands, but freezing gloves as well. They are inexpensive compared to how they save you from the cold. Stores like Walgreens also sell them in bulk, so you will be set for a couple weeks with each purchase.

Do not underestimate the weather: layer up.

Just because your iPhone’s weather app tells you it will be fifty does not mean that it will be. After all, if you have a morning class, it is going to take a while for the temperature to rise throughout the day. In the mean time, you will shivering moving from class to class because you thought it was cardigan weather. Instead, make sure to have a heavier coat, followed by a smaller jacket if needed. A scarf here and there does not hurt either. If it gets too warm, you can always shove the extra clothes in your backpack. Better safe than sorry, and believe me, your mom was right about the sweater.

Protect your face and ears.

These are two of your most vulnerable area when you are trudging around campus on a cold, winter day. They can also suffer the most harm if left unprotected. To remedy this problem, make sure you stock up on scarves, earmuffs and especially hats with ear flaps. You will stay warmer by protecting these areas because it will be less likely for the heat to escape. Also, it never hurts to be fashionable, and the variety of winter accessories knows no bounds. And like the layers, you can take these articles of clothing off whenever you want.

Be aware of your surroundings.

Depending on where you go to school, the winter weather can get deadly. For instance, I go to school in the Midwest, so our winters can get pretty bad. Ice can often be hidden, and many people have fallen and hurt themselves. Cars also have less control on snow riddled roads, so there is always a possibility of a driver losing control of their vehicle. Snow banks are a common hazard as you can fall into them, or they can collapse on you as you walk by. Basically, my point of scaring you with this is to always keep tabs on your surroundings. You never know when nature will turn on you. For this reason, remember to keep your cellphone on you at all times should you ever find yourself injured and unable to move in dangerous weather.

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Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre. On campus, Tori can often be found working on various projects for Her Campus Illinois, acting in a production or reading. While at home, she enjoys working at her family’s restaurant or exploring with her friends.