It’s November, and suddenly the temperature’s dropped, hats and gloves have been dragged out of storage, and inches upon inches of snow have materialized on the ground. For those of us who optimistically still have flip flops sitting by the door, there might be some adjustment necessary to handle the season change. The Argus offers some suggestions for how to deal with the cold weather now that winter is apparently here.
The number one tip for surviving in frigid conditions with a companion is to cuddle up and let body heat do the work. Once the winter chill sets in, the impulse to curl up with someone is clearly the most practical move. If you and your cuddle partner both choose to heat things up by partaking in other activities, you can earn some extra points for ingenuity. Cuddle partners need not be romantic or sexual partners though; feel free to take advantage of the weather to get (perhaps a little too) cozy with your roommates, friends, or near-strangers—hey, it’s a cold world out there. Make it a goal this winter to determine your friends’ positions in the big vs. little spoon debate, and then put that knowledge to practical use. In any case, taking advantage of human insulation can be much more enjoyable than just wearing layers of clothing—and of course, when it comes to sharing the warmth, the more the merrier!
When a nor’easter hits, it’s time to abandon your pride and bust out your Snuggie. With your face sticking out of a giant blanket with sleeves, you may not exude your usual extreme level of coolness (arguable), but desperate times call for desperate measures. Snuggies also need not be limited to the dorm room. For those looking to break public social norms (“Are you Wesleyan?”), bring your blanket-wear outdoors and stay cozy in class, dining halls, and libraries. After all, at Wesleyan we know that the clothing-blanket binary is merely a social construct.
If you’ve ever looked at a woefully small dorm closet and wondered why you decided to buy so many oversized sweaters from Goodwill or sweatshirts with “Wesleyan University” emblazoned on the front, it’s redemption time! Big sweaters and excessive amounts of Wesleyan gear may be mere space hogs during the other three seasons, but now that winter is here, your otherwise-bulky wardrobe will be the envy of the campus. When it comes to sweaters, bigger may, in fact, be better. The larger the sweater, the less skin you leave exposed to the elements (or the less of your leggings- or tight jeans-clad legs you’ll see peeking out from under the sweater). And remember the golden rule of sweaters: in the words of Spongebob Squarepants, “the best time to wear a striped sweater is all the time.” So pile on the cozy clothes, appreciate the warmth, and resist the urge to hibernate all winter.
Once the temperature drops below 32 degrees, it’s every person for hirself. You have to stay warm somehow as you trek from class to class, and sometimes the exertion of flinging snow is the perfect solution. Also, while you’re concentrating on crafting your perfectly packed snowball and finding the ideal recipient of your icy blows, you won’t be focusing on the chilly air around you. If you find yourself the target of an attack, you may also be more likely to hustle toward indoor protection, minimizing your time in the cold.
If you’re feeling a persistent chill that you can’t shake, try to drown it in infinite amounts of hot chocolate, tea, and soup. When layers of blankets or clothing just aren’t enough, it’s time to resort to a near-constant intake of hot liquids to warm up. It’s an easy way to keep your body temperature up. Have teatime with friends, drink hot cocoa to keep yourself up for night-before-the-test cramming, and challenge yourself to try all the soups at Red and Black. The only downside is that, after consuming all those delicious liquids, you might have to explain why you’re running to pee every 20 minutes.
If you’re optimistic, you might see the winter as an opportunity. Sure, the idea of standing in the street on Fountain at 2 a.m. on a Saturday getting yelled at by PSafe in 30-degree weather might be significantly less fun than standing in the streets on Fountain at 2 a.m. on a Saturday getting yelled at by PSafe in 60-degree weather, but maybe the change will open up avenues (no pun intended) for new weekend activities. This may fall on deaf, party-loving freshman ears, but consider staying in and bonding with your hallmates or housemates. Make a blanket fort in the lounge. Watch reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” (or, since you probably already do, watch more!). Listen to Christmas music—no, it’s not too early. Sit in piles of your laundry that just came out of the dryer. (That’s a thing, right? Don’t other people do that?) You can wake up on Sunday morning warm and refreshed. Or warm and hungover. Your call. Either way, you’re warm.
Use it early, and use it often.
Important Fire Safety Things
Never, under absolutely any circumstances, no matter how cold it gets outside, use candles, heat-producing cooking appliances, electric space heaters, coffee-makers without automatic shutoff, or a bonfire constructed from all of your old textbooks, hand outs, and unfairly-graded essays to stay warm. That would just be massively unsafe.
The shock of the first big winter storm can be rough. We’re all used to the light briskness of fall air, but now there’s bitingly cold wind whipping snow into our faces. Remember though: it is New England. It’s only November. We have disrupted our planet’s weather patterns through environmental negligence, perhaps irreparably. It’s going to get so much worse than this! As you watch the thermometer dip below freezing and start to sob quietly, just think—by February, we’ll probably be begging for thirty-degree weather. These temperatures are only the beginning, so we should appreciate them while they’re here, right? Right?