Home    Authors   

Surviving the Never-ending Winter

 Written by    March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013 – Today I woke up, showered, got dressed, and stepped outside, taking in a deep breath of fresh spring air. And by “spring”, of course, I mean mid-30’s temperature and a solid layer of snow over everything. Yes, it is spring time in Ohio but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Having lived in central Ohio for all 19 years of my life, I’ve gotten used to the frequent mood swings that Ohio’s weather experiences. Snowstorms in spring are just as likely as temperatures in the mid-80’s (which, at this time last year, was the reason I was complaining about it being too hot… oh Younger Self, you were so naive).

So if you’re not used to living in a place that is pretty much a human-guinea-pig experiment of a human’s ability to adapt to weather, you may be caught off guard by the extreme weather swings we experience here at Ohio State. But don’t let that discourage you from attending the best university in the world. Below are a few tips that I’ve learned in my first year here on how to survive a grueling winter that is now entering its fifth month.

1. Shoes – The single most annoying aspect of this winter so far has been the amount of grime that my shoes collect on each walk to class. If you’re one of those people that, like me, likes to keep their shoes looking like they were just removed from their box, then you will learn to hate the days when a fresh snow falls.

If you walk outside in one of your flashy pairs of Jordans, prepare to have your pretty-boy-swagger ruined by the horrible little devil known as street salt. I would highly suggest bringing an older pair of shoes that you are not embarrassed to wear that you can wear to class on days when they salt the sidewalks. Or else prepare to battle constant salt stains all winter. (P.S. leather shoes are a lot easier to clean the salt from than suede or other materials).

2. Warm clothes – I’m going to continue to assume that you all are just like me and repeat the same lecture that all of your parents will give you before winter hits, the same one I got around mid-November this year: BUNDLE UP. This isn’t high school, where you drive to school and only encounter the elements during the brief walk from your parking spot to the front doors of the school. This is Ohio State, which has an area almost double the size of the state of Texas. You will be walking and without the proper gear you will be cold.

I would suggest bringing as much cold-weather gear as you have, that way you can better adapt to the range of winter temperatures you may face. There’s “chilly”, which is when I strut around campus in a hoodie or sweatshirt. Other times the temperature will drop to “cold”, which usually requires a heavier winter coat of sorts (and if you don’t have one, definitely buy one). Often temperatures can dip as low as “bite-your-face-and-make-you-cry”, which usually prompts me to don a hoodie AND a coat.

God forbid the temperature actually ever drops to “deathly” cold, but it may happen. On those kinds of days I could be seen stepping out of the front door of Bradley Hall, stopping for a second, before turning back around and going back to bed. I can’t risk my personal health, somebody’s gotta keep blogging for all of you.

3. Attitude – This is the most important aspect of the long winter. Don’t let the cold and the gray get to you. Winter can be a depressing time, and you can go weeks without seeing sunshine. But there’s hope. Someday, Lord knows when, Ohio will decide that its time to prepare for summer. Leaves will grow, flowers will bloom, and all will be right in the world.

ALSO: avoid ice patches. If you slip and fall, there’s no guarantees that I won’t laugh.

Advice, Campus Life, Personal, Weather

4 Responses

  1. Alica Scherr says:

    I could relate entirely to what you were saying. You must of been reading my mind

  2. Jack says:

    Jackie – yeah I would say that Ohio is not exactly “tropical”. You get used to it after a while though fortunately.

    Debbie – I learned about those Chinooks in my geography class last semester, they seem like a real hassle. Makes Ohio’s weather seem reliable. Cheers back from the United States.

  3. Debbie Ward says:

    Hi Jack! I’m from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, migraine capital of Canada due to extreme shifts in weather that we get due to our Chinooks (warm weather can blow in or blow out resulting in extreme drops or increases in weather) very quickly. We could have a warm chinook on a winter day (5 degrees celsius), that goes away an 2 hours later it can be -20 degrees celcius!! That would be a drop from 41 to -1 farenheit. Apparently we have a higher incidence of colds and flus too because of extreme temperature shifts. Fortunately for me, I tend to remain healthy (I rarely get sick….knock on wood), and can drive from my home garage to my work garage and avoid the worst of extremes.

    Anyway, cheers from Canada.
    Debbie Ward
    The Canadian Legal Resource Centre Inc.

  4. Jackie Or says:

    I don’t think I could ever get used to the cold weather in Ohio! Since I grew up in tropical climates, I at one point did something really dumb. I drank cold water!!! Needless to say, I have not made that mistake ever since.

    Jackie Or
    Current California resident, and owner of:
    Hats and Shirts USA

Comments are closed.

Jack's recent posts