As I wrote this article, it was a pleasant fifty degrees Fahrenheit outside (in February!) and I had abandoned my vital extra layer of tights that are usually under my pants.
However, before I ever described fifty degrees as ‘pleasant’, the transition period to a colder climate was rougher than expected. I came to Swarthmore with nothing more and nothing less than a full wardrobe of delightfully thin, non-winter proof jeans, shirts, and some sneakers. Here are three essentials for surviving your first winter, from yours truly:
1.) Scarves are the best winter accessory, no question
I arrived with no scarves, and I now have six. A good plaid scarf will be the best thing you’ll ever own, and protect your face against to wind! On the walk to the Ville, a scarf will protect your face from the sharp winds.
2.) A Mug!
This may seem self-explanatory, but I arrived to Swarthmore without a heat-proof mug. I have had my fair share of ‘tea parties’ in the lounge when someone hauls out their tea kettle, their tea bags, and we bask in the tea-goodness. Other time the options may include hot chocolate, microwave mac and cheese, or ramen in a cup. The possibilities are endless.
3.) Waterproof Everything
Make sure your big coat, gloves, and boots are waterproof, as soon as you go inside a warm building, your snow-soaked winter outerwear will be damp with melted snow. Also, snowball fights are so much better with waterproof gloves (and you can make snow-angels, if that’s your thing).
I’m not a cold weather veteran by any means, but I’ve slowly acclimated and found it quite beautiful when I wake up to see snow blanketing all of the trees. The uphill walk from Willets to class in the morning is definitely magical with the snow, and something I’m not going to take for granted for a very long time.