How a Californian Survives Fall in Boston

I’ve lived on the West Coast my whole life. I froze through our 60 degree winters, I displayed swimsuits year round in my retail job and I’ve dreamed of a time where it was socially acceptable to wear a beanie. Moving to the East Coast was a result of my need for seasons, because I finally realized how ridiculous it was to put up a Christmas tree when I was still wearing shorts outside. I was tired of fake snow and jean jackets everyday — I needed to see the leaves change color and experience being so cold that my face gets numb. Upon arriving here, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with myself. Granted, Boston winter hasn’t hit yet, but I’ve kept warm in the 30 degree fall weather and relished in the crisp air. It’s not as hard as everyone told me it was going to be, and I want to help you through it too.

When people asked me why I would leave sunny San Diego for the East Coast and questioned how I would survive, I would always argue that I just needed a good jacket. It’s true! If you dress right, you’ll be able to enjoy the reddened trees and walking through the swirl of colors that fall on the ground. I have a fleece lined jacket for those extra crisp days, and then a lighter jacket for the days where my 60 degree winters are now considered warm. Apart from that, I’ve found that a nice pair of boots work in any weather. Whether it’s raining, a little chilly or perfectly comfortable weather, I find that my boots keep me warm, dry and cozy.

Other than those two essential items, another thing I've found useful are turtlenecks. Turtlenecks are an amazing alternative to wearing a scarf, which you’re going to be tempted to do on those colder days. It’s the perfect transition item from fall to winter, and it keeps you warm while looking stylish. One piece of advice I have is that if you’re still cold and those layers just aren’t working for you, grab a scarf and some gloves. I’m not gonna lie, you probably won’t find any Bostonians whipping out their gloves just yet, but I’ve definitely given in to the cold once or twice myself.

While it might be very cold outside, usually the buildings are uncomfortably hot. I had to learn this the hard way when I walked into my 90 degree math classroom in a turtleneck and sat through half of the class before getting sick from the sudden heat. So, my friendly advice is to layer! I usually wear a tank top or a t-shirt under my sweater so I can take my top layer off in class. Also, your dorm room is going to be stuffy and hot. Crack open a window and turn on your fans because I quickly learned that the radiator comes on automatically, and there’s no stopping it. My body is still getting used to the sudden shift from the chilly autumn air to stuffy rooms, but staying hydrated and layering has definitely helped me through it.

Sometimes it’s just going to be really cold. You’re not going to want to leave your cozy dorm to walk 10 minutes to class or to the dining hall in the freezing weather. However, I’ve found that taking the time to just look around really motivates me to go outside. Seeing the red and yellow trees and capturing the perfect Insta story makes my walk to class enjoyable. I know that I have to savor fall because the trees are quickly becoming bare and I’m one step closer to going home to greenery. This is the first time I’ve experienced a real fall, and the beautiful scenery makes me feel like I can survive any weather.

I’ve lived in Boston now for a couple of months, and I absolutely love it. I love living in a city, yet being able to walk anywhere I need to in a matter of minutes. I love the diversity that the city has to offer through the people and the food. I love experiencing weather, even bad weather, because it’s new and exciting and it teaches me to appreciate the California weather I grew up in. I love the colors of fall and the feeling of crisp air on a sunny day. Boston is well worth the weather. It has so much more to offer, and I think over the next four years, I’ll get an experience that I would have never gotten in California.