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7 Things No One Tells You About Winter in Boston

I was born and raised in the beautiful land that is California’s Bay Area. The Bay Area has many wonderful things, including (but definitely not limited to): an abundance of wildlife (not just squirrels), kale available at every restaurant, and casually-dressed engineers. All of those things are great, but what the Bay Area has that I’ve discovered is unique to California is the absence of winter.

When I tell people I’m from California, the first thing people say to me (besides “then how are you so pale?”) is “Oh, I’ve always wanted to visit!” To which I promptly respond “You should! You should come in January and February; those are my favorite months. It’s beautiful that time of year.”

Well, those used to be my favorite months. But now, as I adjust to college life on the East Coast, I find myself cursing the winter months and all that comes with them. The funny thing is, when people would ask me if I was ready for the cold, I would scoff and say that it couldn’t be that bad. Well, I take it back. I was not ready. I am still not ready. I think part of the problem is that I really didn’t know what to expect. All I kept hearing was “It gets really cold.” So I was kind of prepared for that. But it being cold is only about 1/10 of the problem.

Here is a list of things about winter in Boston that no one warned me about:

  1. Snow is really bright. The first day it snowed I walked outside and immediately covered my eyes. It’s honestly painful to look at clean piles of snow.

  2. Slush. The sadder younger sibling of snow. While snow has its fun perks, I cannot seem to think of one perk of the grayish brown sludge that covers the paths.

  3. Salt residue. My shoes and floors are now completely coated in salt. While I understand salt is imperative to get snow to melt, can’t we think of something that doesn’t leave behind a gross trail? No? Okay then.

  4. Weather reports lie. If it is technically 17 degrees but it feels like negative 35, can’t we call a spade a spade and agree that is is negative thirty five degrees outside? Not like that would make it any better, but at least we could be honest with ourselves.

  5. You have to watch where you are going at all times. Everytime I am walking from point A to point B, I keep my eyes on the ground 100% of the time. I am in constant fear of slipping or stepping in gross snow. Having my head down all the time is not conducive to me being able to greet friends as I walk through the yard.

  6. That icicle could fall on your head and you could die! You can DIE from the winter!

  7. Puddles! If at any point the snow melts at all, any stretch of street that is sloped down creates huge, huge puddles. They are no fun.

Hopefully I have reached some Californian high schoolers who are planning to head East for college. Now you don’t have to be as unprepared as I was! Much love.

Callie is from Palo Alto, California. She loves to sing, bake, and talk about her cross-eyed cat, Maisie.
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