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Snowy canadian road in the evening
Snowy canadian road in the evening
Emma Biffi

How I Deal with the Indiana Winter as a California Girl

I already knew that moving from sunny Southern California to Indiana would be a huge shock for me, and I wasn’t wrong. It was a totally different environment, literally and also culturally. The biggest change I had to deal with was the weather.

Indiana spring is cold for the most part, summer is hot and humid, fall is decently nice. For a few weeks. Then it gets chilly. And then there’s winter…it’s brutal. My first winter here was a doozy; it got to -17°F without the wind chill. Coming from California, I had practically no winter clothes coming to Purdue except one puffer jacket I took on my occasional family ski trips. Now, in my junior year, I’m in my third winter in Indiana and this is how I’ve learned to keep warm with what I have, and things I’ve invested in!

Wear underlayer! (or just layers)

This is probably the most obvious one, but fair warning: layering can get annoying. It’s cold outside during the winter, but a lot of the buildings on campus are extremely overheated. I used to wear 3-4 layers going to class just to take almost all my outer layers off because of how hot my lecture halls were. I really like using thermal underlayer. I have a few that I bought in a pack from Costco that have been really great at keeping heat in. Using those, I don’t have to wear as many layers to keep warm when I go out!

invest in a good coat

Although I absolutely love my skiing puffer, it wasn’t good at all for winters here. She’s cute, but she doesn’t have a hood and the pinched sleeves make it a little too hard to wear anything other than a shirt underneath. I’d highly recommend at least investing in a good coat, even if you’re not going to use it after college. My coat now costs around $100, and it definitely did hurt my wallet at first, but if I’m using it for 4 years it’s definitely worth it!

invest in a nice pair of boots

The only other thing I’ve spent money on is my boots. And they don’t have to be expensive! I got my boots from Amazon for only $20, and they’ve lasted me for the last 3 years. They’re still in pretty good shape, so I’m expecting to be able to use it for the next few years at the very least! They’re the only pair of boots that I own for winter, and it’s arguably the best winter purchase I’ve made in my college career.

fuzzy socks, beanies, and scarves

I can’t stress how much I love these! I wear fuzzy socks every time I can with my boots because I can’t stand the feeling of cold feet. I love beanies; they make my hair flat but I’d much rather deal with that than the pain of cold ears in the winter wind. Same thing with scarves. I get really bothered when my neck gets cold! Maybe I’m just weak because I’m a Californian, but these accessories in particular have gotten me through winter with a sizeable will to live. (:

I know this list isn’t perfect. I still frankly have no idea what I’m doing when snow starts falling. But with plans to move back to the West Coast, this list is going to get me through the next 4 years without spending too much money!

Hi! I'm Michelle, a junior at Purdue University studying Brain and Behavioral Sciences with a minor in Management. I'm from Orange County in sunny SoCal. Some of my hobbies include golfing, journaling, and singing!
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