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Survival Kit: 5 Strategies For Staying Cozy On Campus

Let’s face it: winter in Seattle is not something most UW’ers look forward to. To many of us, winter is synonymous with packing our bags at the beginning of the day full of junk in preparation of anything that comes our way. If you’re like me, coziness is a high priority. Here’s how to stay comfortable and practical during the rest of the long winter days on campus.

1. Keep your shoes in mind – Ladies, this should be a given. The UW campus is huge. It’s also slippery. I know first hand from falling on my behind in Red Square more than a couple of times that sacrificing comfort for fashion is NOT GOOD IN PNW WINTER MONTHS. You’ll rip your tights, break your bones, bruise the banana in your bag for lunch, or worse (but what could be?). Stay away from outrageous heels and try to wear flats and tennis shoes with traction. It’s just silly not to.

2. Invest in a box of tea or instant coffee – If you are a serial hot beverage drinker, this is the more portable way to do it, and it will save you a ridiculous amount of money by the end of the week. Good coffee may be a decent walk away, but hot water (ALL you need) is pretty ubiquitous on campus—and it’s about 25 cents at most coffee stands. There is also no feeling like a hot cup of water in your hands when you forget your gloves. Sigh.

3. Don’t listen people from Seattle, just buy an umbrella – I spent my high school years in Seattle, and I guess I thought I was too tough to carry an umbrella. I didn’t mind the rain, snow, hail, or whatever else I had to put up with. I had hoods, textbooks, and other forms of shelter! Of course, most evenings I would come home looking like a wet dog. I’m sure most UWers who have spent a decent amount of time (or their whole lives) in Seattle will tell you that “no one in Seattle carries an umbrella because it never really rains”. To tell you the truth, they probably said that because they had forgotten their umbrella on a bus one too many times (I’m serious), like I have. The truth of the matter is, an umbrella is SO worth it, especially if you spend anything more than ten minutes getting ready in the morning. Just think of it as a little portable tent for your hair! And if you don’t feel like spending $15 on one, they have a fantastic umbrella selection at the Goodwill a few blocks away from campus.

4. Layer, layer, layer! – This is advice from nearly every woman, everywhere. But layering is especially important on big-days-out in Seattle. As all of you should know, the weather here is constantly fluctuating and unpredictable. I’ve definitely doubled-up on nylons, worn two pairs of gloves, a sweater over a sweatshirt- you name it. The beauty of layering is that you may sweat a little, but you will probably not get cold. Think of it this way- would you rather be stuck in Antarctica with a tube dress, or in the desert with ski gear? Just remember to bring a big bag for all the items you peel off!

5. Raid the drugstore and create an emergency kit – Just like the earthquake kits in elementary school! How many times in the middle of a school day do you find yourself in desperate need of a band aid? Some lotion? Asprin for a killer headache? Lady products? The next chance you get, walk down to Bartell’s and browse the travel-size aisle. Think about the last few times you would’ve KILLED to have a bottle of _________. The small sizes will take up less room in your bag, and are cheaper and handier. Think of the embarrassing situations you may avoid!

Avalon is in her second year at the University of Washington, and currently pursuing a BA in Global Studies. When she's not in class, Avalon works at UWB's Learning Technologies center as a student assistant. She enjoys making lists, eating delicious food, watching movies, and crafting. Avalon's favorite town is probably Cabo San Lucas.
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