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The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Winter At UMass

Ah, the season most of us have been dreading. No, not the Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and hot chocolate season, but the cold, windy, and dark season. Specifically, here in Massachusetts, winter can feel like a drag where there is no light at the end of the tunnel looking toward warmer days. Though it can be tough, I am here to help you attempt to have the most enjoyable winter possible, while going to school.

The first absolute necessity that must be present as you approach the winter season is a strong and durable winter jacket. Though expensive, one of my go-to recommendations is any of the North Face Puffer Jackets. The longer ones are the most effective, as they provide the most protection against the cold. I currently have a black North Face jacket, and it is one of the best investments I have ever made.

Next on the list is a key player in keeping warm: layers. I cannot emphasize the importance of layers enough, as just one extra shirt can lead to the difference between being cold or comfortable! My personal favorite layers are long-sleeved thermal shirts. They fit tight to your skin and can be paired with any type of sweater or sweatshirt. Not only do they keep you warm because of the thermal quality, but wearing one is also an easy way to make winter a little more bearable.

I also love to enjoy many different hot drinks in the winter. A nice cup of tea, a vanilla latte, or hot chocolate will help keep me warm as I walk to and from classes or if I am in my dorm needing something cozy. I will typically transition from my usual iced coffee to a nice hot latte as winter approaches. I much prefer carrying something warm in my hand to class than something super cold, and I find it can also act as an efficient hand warmer!

More specific to your dorm or home, I think having a variety of blankets can certainly help you warm up in your home. My personal favorite blanket is from Barefoot Dreams. It feels like a cloud and is amazing during a movie night or while working on an essay. My dorm gets incredibly cold, and I always am wearing a blanket during the day in winter.

Lastly, my newest obsession has been the resurgence of UGG boots and slippers. They are one of the only things that can keep my feet warm, and though the price is high, I think they are well worth it. From the Tasman slippers to the mini-UGG boots, UGG provides a variety of warm shoes that are perfect for keeping warm in the winter. It also has been a huge trend on campus here at UMass; I’m noticing more and more people sporting any sort of UGG shoe. Personally, I own the mini-UGG boots and am absolutely obsessed with them. I feel like I’m going to class with slippers on, which is an absolute win when it’s hard to leave my cozy dorm while it is freezing outside.

So, there you have it! Those are some of my suggestions for surviving winter here at UMass. Though there are many more tips, these are some of the key ones that have helped me so far in enduring the cold and extremely windy weather. So, zip up your jackets, grab your mittens, and go enjoy winter!

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Sara Keegan

U Mass Amherst

Hey! I am a freshman at UMass Amherst, and am a Political Science Major.