A Californian’s Survival Guide to Pre-Winter

As a Southern Californian, I have one very important thing to say: it is TOO COLD RIGHT NOW. How is it not even winter yet? Luckily for you, this is my third year dealing with the inevitable shock of the terrible chill that accompanies the encroaching festivities of Harvard-Yale, Thanksgiving Break, Reading Period, and finally Winter Break. These are a few tried and true tips and tricks for surviving November at Yale— because if I can do it, you can too. 

1. Cover your ankles. 

Cropped pants: we know them, we love them, we try to wear them year round. Unfortunately, the #croppedpantlife is not a trend which one can feasibly and comfortably drag past mid-October. Show your chilly ankles some love and invest in some long pants and/or taller socks. (And yet— I say this as I return from a 29 degree walk back from Durfee’s in three quarter length leggings. I am, admittedly, a hypocrite.) Your January self will appreciate the investment when the temperature drops even further! 

2. Give up iced coffee. For now. 

If you really love something, you need to let it go. Tragically, this is the case when it comes to iced coffee in the cold months. As it is still only Pre-Winter, it’s best to break the habit now before the real ice and snow hits. But get this: hot coffee can be good too. Especially when it’s peppermint, pumpkin, chocolate, or caramel flavored (or perhaps peppermint, pumpkin, chocolate, and caramel flavored). Hot coffee also serves as a nice hand warmer. 

3. Unfollow your California friends on Instagram.

Just kidding, you don’t actually have to do this. However, it is completely fair to acknowledge the immense pain that you derive from seeing photos of your West Coast (and Floridian?) friends at the beach under sunny skies as you stare out your foggy window at the frigid, dead trees as your radiator makes a horrific screeching noise in the background. 

4. Listen to some angsty music and walk around campus like the star of a sad indie music video or the heroine in a romantic drama.

All the world’s a stage, and the cold weather helps set the scene. I, personally, 100% recommend taking a stroll through the cold, brittle, falling leaves while unashamedly listening to the Twilight soundtrack from 2008 (which is objectively a masterpiece, ask anybody). While it’s still warm enough to take walks around Yale for fun, do it! 

5. Remember— you’re living your childhood fantasies!

Curling up by the fireplace with an intellectually engaging novel? Snow flurries outside your window? Wearing knit scarves? Drinking hot cocoa with friends? You are living a Harry Potter and/or Barbie holiday movie dream. It’s not all bad! 

6. Book your ticket home for Winter Break 

Thanksgiving Break is in five days, but Winter Break (thankfully) is only about four weeks away! If you haven’t booked your ride home yet, get going, my friends! Ticket prices for planes and trains alike will only rise from here on out. Even if you don’t live somewhere sunny, there’s something heartwarming about setting in stone your long-awaited return to the place you call home. 

Pre-Winter is definitely confusing and slightly sad, but remember: good times with friends and family are ahead! Keep your head up and your cozy blankets on.