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Nov 08 2016
by Stephanie Treanor

7 Ways to Survive the Winter as an Out of State Student

By Stephanie Treanor - Nov 08 2016
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If you are from Arizona, Texas, California or any other hot, dry and humid state you know the dreaded "cold weather" days are coming and preparations must begin. You've probably never experienced full-on snow or downpour, you don't really understand weather under 60 degrees and your form of a jacket is a cute sweater or zip-up from the mall. However, as the weather starts to cool down, the trees begin to lose their leaves and people bring out literal snow boots and jackets, you will realize you are dutifully unprepared for this thing called winter. There are several things you can do to prepare for this drastic weather change, but with your slight lack of experience it is going to take some getting used to.

1. Buy the right outerwear.

The first step to surviving the cold weather is to get prepared. If you already have a legitimate, nice winter coat and some good boots, you are set. However, if you are like most college students who said they would buy it when they needed it, now is the time. Amazon, any sporting good store or even nicer shops like Burlington or Nordstrom would be good place to begin the search. If you are on the East Coast, it is a good idea to look for something insulated. If you are in the Midwest, a wind resistant insulated coat is probably the best option. Lastly, if you are in the Pacific Northwest, it is a good plan to look for some water resistant coats. 

2. Set some alarms.

The next step is to set several alarms in the mornings. This may not seem like a big deal, but when your class begins and it is still completely dark out in the morning, it will be harder to get up. Our body will still respond to the dark as night time or bed time and you will realize you need to sprint across campus because you woke up late. Be prepared to walk to class in the early morning in the dark and in the cold. Do whatever you can to help yourself wake up.

3. Avoid sickness.

Stay warm, stay covered and stay healthy. With cold weather comes the plague of sickness on college campuses. If you stay warm and relatively dry it'll help keep you stay slightly away from the sickness. Make sure you are taking your proper allergy and cold preemptive medications, drinking lots of water and eating a good diet. Getting sick in college is inevitable, so if it happens, make sure you keep your germs to yourself, stay warm and dry and take care of yourself. 

4. Drink lots of warm drinks. 

Hot chocolate, coffee or tea — pick your poison. This is the season to stock up on your favorites and extra little marshmallows. When it's cold in your dorm and your teeth are actually chattering, warm up some water or milk and make yourself a warm drink. Most campuses have coffee carts and stations all over the place, so take advantage and get some warmth between classes. 

5. Break out the blankets.

If you or your mom packed for college, there are some extra blankets in your room hiding somewhere waiting to be used. This is the time. Bring out your favorite fluffy blankets and layer them on your bed for the best warmth at night. If you don't have one, there is likely some kind of store near by that carries blankets, especially during this time of the year. Find yourself a warm one and add it on. 

6. Wear the right shoes. 

If it's snowing or raining or just slightly wet don't wear sneakers or converse. These shoes will not keep your feet warm enough and they will also likely be slippery when wet. Be careful. If possible, get some good warm boots or rain boots. As it gets colder and we all get lazier when getting dressed for class, make sure you stay on top or your footwear. If your feet get cold, there is good likelihood they will stay cold. 

7. Count down the days until warmish weather. 

Don't forget that you will be going home soon — you just have to make it through this cold a little while before getting off a plane somewhere warmer than where you are. A light sweater and converse are perfectly acceptable at home and the coldest weather you are going to find is probably around 40-50 degrees, depending on where you are from. 

To everyone from a warm state — remember you get to leave for about a month of this weather to go home and be relatively warm. So if you can make it through these few weeks with good coverage and health, you should be fine. And if not, don't forget that hot chocolate, tea and fuzzy socks exist. Good Luck. 

Lead Image Credit: Daniel Bowman via Unsplash

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Stephanie Treanor - University of Portland

Im Stephanie Treanor! Im going to be a freshman at the University of Portland double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a Criminology track! Go Pilots!

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