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15 Ways to Survive the Cold, from a Midwesterner

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Hi, my name’s Jenny. I grew up in Wisconsin, which might as well be Canada, which might as well be the North Pole. When I’m not enjoying the 5 days of warm weather or tending to my cows (jk), there’s a good chance you can find me talking about my love of cold weather. For those that didn’t grow up with polar vortexes being an actual concern, I’ve put together a list of tips to get you through this never-ending winter.

Do not panic. It’s just the absence of heat. Chill. (aha)

People have a tendency to freak out when the temperatures drop. Sure, it’s uncomfortable, and kind of annoying, but the weather is no reason to have a mental breakdown. If you don’t think about the cold, it won’t bother you as much! Think warm thoughts.

You can never have too many layers.

Look. You and I both know that you have an entire backpack that you carry around everywhere, yet it is mostly empty. That’s perfect. Throw layers in there while you’re in class, and put them back on before you haul your butt back to your dorm. It’s a win-win. Pants, tops, gloves, socks, you name it, you should be wearing multiple.

Get off your iced coffee high horse.

I know that iced coffee is having a ~moment~, and I know that there are plenty of people that love to talk about drinking iced coffee in the winter. Stop it. You’re going to freeze. Doesn’t a nice, warm latte on a freezing day sound so much better than a watery, cold one? We were all thinking it; I just said it.

Your phone is a metal brick.

If you clutch your phone in your pocket, there’s a good chance it’ll get cold and die and freeze your hands. Nobody wants that. Put it in your bra.


Most drugstores (i.e. CVS, Walgreens) sell cheap gloves that my family buys like it’s the apocalypse (see #1). They rock.

Stock up on these babies. They’re touch screen compatible, good if you don’t want something bulky, and easy to throw in your pocket. Also, they’re great if you need an underlayer for serious mittens!

Puddles are no longer puddles. They’re death traps. Don’t mess with them.

This should go without saying, but avoid frozen puddles at all costs. Nobody wants to be the person that slips in the middle of a busy street. Unless you’re wearing ice skates, then that’s super fun and you’re super cool. Stay safe out there, ladies.

Leggings are no longer leggings. Sorry.

Got a cute pair of leggings? Good. They’re called long johns/long underwear now. Put them under any pair of pants you have. It’s surprisingly comfortable and keeps the cold air off of your skin.

Soup, soup, soup.

Have you heard of soup? Great! It’s your time to shine. Reward yourself from months of souplessness and become a regular at your local Panera. I don’t think I need to spell this out for you, soup rocks.

No more messing around with cute fuzzy socks.

They’re nice, but air flies right on through them. Woman up and get yourself a pair of real ski socks. Throw those puppies under any pair of shoes you have, your frozen toes will thank you. Itchy? Yes. Warm? Yes.

Get a coat that you actually love.

Your coat is now your uniform, and anything you wear underneath it is irrelevant. It’s a bummer, so make sure you love your heaviest coat, because chances are that’s all anyone will be seeing for the next couple of months. Embrace it, you can wear your PJ’s to class now and nobody will know.

Embrace Hygge.

So, there’s this Danish thing called Hygge (hoo-ga). It pretty much just means being very cozy at all times, and prioritizing comfort when the world outside is anything but comfortable. Candles, blankets, rosy cheeks, the whole thing. Embrace it, love it, and maybe get this book all about it.

For the love of the flyover states, go outside.

Winter is not a five-month excuse to stay inside and pout about the weather. Go get some sun on yo face. It’s good for combating seasonal depression (aka SAD), for your sleep cycle, mood, and even your skin. It’s not as bad outside as you think, I promise! Also, snow is incredibly fun! Get friends together and have a good old fashioned snowball fight.

That being said, sometimes it’s WAY too cold to go outside.

In this case, it seriously might be dangerous to go outdoors. So like, don’t. Here’s a fun story: I got windburn on my ankles while pumping gas. I was outside for ~5 minutes, and now I have scars on my ankles! I’ll say it again–stay safe out there, ladies.

Exposed skin is free real estate.

It really is. When the temperature drops to dangerous levels, make sure your whole body is covered! Frostbite is very real, so keep yourself protected. One more time: stay safe out there, ladies.

The yellow snow is fine.

There’s an old wives tale about not eating the yellow snow. It’s a myth. The yellow snow is totally fine to eat and actually quite tasty. Bon Appétit!

I hope these Midwestern cold tips get you through the winter! Stay warm. 

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Freshman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin studying Journalism. Passionate about animal rights, food, current events, comedy, and (of course) writing!
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.