Rain Rain Go Away, But What To Do While You Stay

I love and care about the environment, and I know that California has been in a pretty severe drought the past few years; all the rain we've been getting these last couple of weeks is good for us. However, I am born and raised in Los Angeles and I must admit that when it does rain, it is wildly inconvenient. Instead of ignoring its presence by clothing yourself in outfits better suited for sunny days, like most UCLA students do, you might as well acknowledge it and find some ways to deal with the rain this winter season. 

Let’s Get Shopping: Lots Of Dough

If you do not have to worry about money, the first thing to invest in is a good pair of rain boots. I’ve heard that in rain-heavy places like the East Coast or England, the concept of the “rain boot” is a capitalist concept meant to suck money from silly L.A. people. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I do admit having a solid pair of rain boots to shield my feet from rain is super convenient, especially since I live more than a 15-minute walk from campus. Basically, if you’re walking to and from campus, get some rain boots. 

Some people get really fancy with Hunter Boots or other brands, but I’ve seen some good mid-range priced ones on Amazon and at Target. My roommate, Amanda, the sale queen also got her Hunter boots on Ebay, which is often a little-explored option. Rain boots aren’t the most comfortable footwear though, so wear some thick long socks. 

Next up: a waterproof rain jacket. There is a distinct difference between water resistant (water repellent in a light mist) and waterproof, so when you’re shopping for one make sure you know which one you’re putting your money towards. North Face and Patagonia are great brands invest in, though they do take quite a number on your wallet. If technical wear isn’t your thing, a good trench coat (thank you Londoners) or raincoat will come in handy as well, just to keep you warm. 

If You’re On A Budget...

Not everyone has money coming out of their ears, so sometimes you need more accessible ways to repel water. I highly suggest a good ‘ol umbrella honestly. I know this may be redundant, but if I had $1 for the number of times I’ve seen UCLA students walking around in the rain without an umbrella — let’s just say I’d have money for a North Face jacket now. A lot of L.A. people think that it doesn’t rain often enough here to make the cost of an umbrella worth it. Trust me though, when it rains, I do not mean the silly little mists we get, it can feel like the sky is taking vengeance on us. Mine was a gift from a friend (he broke my previous one) from Amazon, and it’s been a pretty solid friend on rainy days. 

Another handy thing: a backpack rain shield. Whether you’re carrying your precious laptop, notebooks or books, if your umbrella’s diameter isn’t that big water will soak through your backpack and get your stuff wet. A rain shield just wraps around your backpack to repel water, while leaving a hole for your straps so that you can still wear it on your back. A quick search on Amazon showed them for around $10, which is pretty good to keep your stuff dry. 

A beanie is also pretty helpful to keep your head warm while the sky is crying. If you’re afraid of looking stupid, just think about those sad times the wind ripped through the air and got some water in your hair or in your face. Yeah, a beanie sounds like a good idea now doesn’t it? I’ve seen some pretty solid beanies for $13, so definitely consider grabbing one of these. 

Super Budget Peeps ~

If all of these sound too expensive or too much work to get ahold of, there are even more options for you. I honestly love these two syllables: pon-cho. What a fun word; I know they’re super lame and look stupid, but my roommate has a gigantic one that fits over her entire body and her backpack and she says it works like a charm. She got one from Target for $8, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find at your local grocery store. 

If you’re super brave, wear flip flops or shower shoes. No, please do not wear your Rainbow sandals, they are not waterproof and the water will ruin the leather. However, some good rubber or foam ones will work just fine. Shower shoes are also an option, but they don’t have the best traction. Just be careful where you step either way. 

If you don’t like any of these ideas, just bring an extra pair (pairs) of socks. Don’t be that sad kid squishing around the halls when you finally come in from the downpour. 

Welcome Aboard The BruinBus 

Walking in the rain sucks, and for some the idea of it deters them from attending class. A bunch of people take Uber and Lyft to class, which I really discourage for your wallet and for the environment. Because I know you secretly do care about your education, I recommend checking to see if you live near a BruinBus bus stop. It’s a free bus for anyone going to various locations around campus, and runs on compressed natural gas, which emits significantly less carbon emissions. The extraction of natural gas definitely has its own drawbacks, but since the bus service is already running you might as well use it while you can. 

There are several lines, and I take U1, running from Weyburn University Apartments to the UCLA Law School, Murphy Hall, Parking Lot 2 and other accessible places This is definitely the most used line for getting to school, and a bunch of people take it just to get from one end of campus to the other. There are several others, including U2 for those living south of Wilshire. I live a hop, skip and a jump from the Los Angeles National Cemetery, so the day my friend told me about this bus I felt like the clouds had parted.