“Wow...you’re going to school in Upstate NY? Yikes.” “Better bundle up!” “Doesn’t it snow up there...like...all the time?” I remember being absolutely BOMBARDED with these questions when I announced to the world where I was spending my next four years. I would always respond with, “Oh, it’s fine! I’ll be able to handle it!”, with a quivering smile plastered on my face. But in the back of my mind squirmed the doubtful thought,
Would I really be able to handle it?
Now, I can say after surviving an entire semester in lovely Ithaca, NY, I was able to handle it.
Here are 10 things to expect when deciding to attend a school where the winters are brutal.
Dry SKIN. Dry EYES. An all-around absolute lack of moisture. My advice: stock up on lotion and invest in a humidifier. And, of course, hydrate.
Leaving your room to go to class or eat will be a task within itself. When it is an absolute blizzard, the temptation to remain curled underneath layers of blankets in your tiny, toasty dorm is EXTREMELY HIGH. To fight this urge is a tough battle indeed, but education is oh-so-important. And so is being nourished. You got it.
Looking somewhat presentable has left the chat. With sub-freezing temperatures, struggling to put on a pair of frigid jeans is unappetizing. The daily outfits soon morph into a multitude of hoodie-legging sweatshirt-sweatpants combos. And you can forget about sneakers. Exposed ankles and icy winds are NOT it.
You will learn to be comfortable with falling and not being embarrassed. Black ice is indeed a thing. I cannot tell you the number of times I have fell on my ass or had to catch my balance from slipping on slush or ice. I have become so accustomed to it I can literally slip and almost land on my face, and then walk it off completely.
Seasonal mood disorder is a thing. The cold temperatures, the lack of sun can seriously impact one’s mood. There are days where I seriously feel like doing NOTHING. I truly do believe the lack of sun dreary weather plays a role in having a sour mood, and I am sure my fellow college students can agree.
Going out becomes more and more unappealing. At the beginning of the semester with the warm weather and longer days, I remember being so excited to adorn a little crop top and go out with my friends. Now, the thought of putting on the typical party attire already sends shivers down my spine. Walking to the bus, to the uber, the wind ripping your flesh off. Not cute. Not fun.
The campus becomes a cesspool. Runny noses, itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing. Once winter hits, it seems as if everyone’s immune system decides to take a vacation and stop doing its job. Be sure to take extra good care of yourself because college is already a breeding ground for illness as is. Adding some crappy weather to the mix just increases your chance of falling ill.
Sweating in your classes but be freezing outside. THIS honestly is the MOST annoying thing. When attending a school up north, they know that the winters are frigid. Therefore, this leads to the heat to be BLASTED in all the buildings. It is so hot. Too hot. I sweat. It sucks. Then, you go outside, it’s an icebox.
There is not much to do. Okay, boredom can be a year-round thing. In my opinion, however, winter boredom hits differently. Going out to do stuff is so unattractive but staying inside is not that appealing either. It is also so fun to just sit and talk and hangout outside. IN THE SUN. But during winter, going outside is the last thing you want to do.
To end on a somewhat positive note, the last thing you should expect when attending a school up north is SNOW DAYS! As well as canceled classes. Some professors live too far to drive up in the terrible weather, so your class or the entire school day gets canceled. So now you get to be extra bored. Hooray.