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How to Survive Kent Winters

If you're from northeast Ohio, you are already familiar with how bipolar the weather can be, especially the winters. This is for those students who travel from out of state and come from areas that experience four different seasons in one year, not one day. Here is some advice on how to survive the winters at Kent State University.

First, pack and prepare accordingly. When packing your clothes for fall semester, make sure to include a couple of sweaters and at least one pair of gloves, a hat and a scarf. These will come in handy when winter starts creeping in at the end of October and we start to experience those random cold days before the season even starts. Also, don't pack away all of your shorts for second semester. Warm days will sprout here and there in the midst of winter, and you don't want to be stuck wearing heavy sweaters in 60 degree weather.

Invest in a quality pair of snow boots. Kent doesn't do to well when it comes to plowing and shoveling the sidewalks. Walking to class could mean trudging through a few inches of snow. You want a pair of boots that will keep your feet warm when you're buried in the snow and that will prevent you from slipping on the ice. A pair of rain boots will also come in handy throught the season.

Protect your immune system. With cold weather comes illness and there is no place more convenient for easy travel of germs than a college campus. Stock up on medication, familiarize yourself with the campu's health center and always wash your hands. Your health takes priority, so if you need to skip class to stay in bed and better yourself, then do so, 

Layer up. While wearing just a coat and pair of gloves may seem fine, don't forget that you will be outside majority of the day walking to and from classes, meetings, activities and social gatherings. And, while it may seem mild in the afternoon, the temperature drastically drops with the sun at night. Check the weather app on your cell phone for the high and low temperatures of the day and dress accordingly. Keep in mind that Kent's campus was built as a wind tunnel, which doesn't help things. 

Go sledding! While a lot of surviving Kent's winter has to do with taking care of yourself and staying focused, you also need a little bit of stress relief. Kent State's campus has some of the best sledding hills around, especially the large hill outside of the May 4th Memorial. Don't have any sleds? Borrow some trays from the campus markets or slip inside of a trash bag. Problem solved.

Last, but not least, go to class. When you wake up to everything covered in snow but no emails canceling class, you're not going to feel like getting out of bed. If you haven't learned already, you cannot afford to miss a lot of classes. Dress warm and down a cup of coffee. It may not seem worth it, but you'll be gratefull at the end of the semester when you get straight As. 

Kent's winters can be harsh, but thousands have survived, and by taking the right steps, you will too. 

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