How To Survive A New England Fall

Look outside your window. Breathe in the fresh air. Fall has arrived in New Haven. The leaves have officially changed colors, and the squirrels have even started stashing away their nuts for winter. You may be thinking, “It’s only October!” but in New England, it is never too early to prepare for the colder months ahead. I mean, it even snowed briefly today! (If you don’t believe me, just check the Yale Campus Story.) So, as temperatures continue to drop and students begin to shiver, here are a few handy tips to get you through a wonderful New England fall.

1. Layer

As any New Englander will tell you, layering is key when it comes to keeping warm throughout the autumn months. Walking around campus, you will start to see students bundled up sweaters and scarves, jackets and coats, hats and gloves. The question is, however, how much should you layer? My advice, check the weather as you’re getting dressed in the morning. As the day progresses, it tends to get warmer outside, so try to gauge that temperature change. Also, take into account how much time you’ll be spending outside, whether that means you’ll be walking to a lot of classes or mostly studying in the library. (And Bass can be very cold, so think about being comfortable in there as well!)

2. Wear Appropriate Shoes

One of the worst feelings in the world is stepping outside and realizing that you have worn the wrong type of footwear. The subsequent debate, whether or not to climb back up four flights of stairs to change, is always an excruciating one. In order to avoid such instances, I suggest looking out your window as you’re about to leave. Ask yourself, “Is it raining?” or “Is there ice on the ground?” and “How about the trees? Is there much wind?” When it comes to fall shoes, there are really only two options: flats or boots. Yet, in the boot category, there are many variations: rain boots, snow boots, and booties, to name a few. My advice, when it’s raining outside, try to opt for rain boots; you don’t want to ruin a nice pair of shoes while trudging through puddles on Science Hill. If it’s very windy outside, and the trees in front of Vandy look as if they’re about to knock their way through your window, wear tall boots; you don’t want to have your ankles exposed and then feel forever chilly thanks to that one bare spot.

3. Always Carry Hand Lotion and Lip Balm

A little known fact about living in New England during the fall: your hands and lips get very dry, and very fast. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Walking around outside all the time, ungloved hands dangling by your side, the brisk air whipping against your face, your skin gets more sensitive. So, as to avoid the pain of chapped lips and cracked palms, always have lotion and chapstick nearby. Your skin will thank you later for it!