Surviving the Winter at Northwestern Univeristy

January 29, 2015

With Blizzard Juno behind us now, some of us in the Northeast are breathing a sigh of relief. However, for those in the Midwest, freezing temperatures and several inches of snow is just an average weekend! So alexatNU shares with us how she deals with the cold during the winters in Chicago—the Windy City!

As a student from California, I am often asked, “Why would you leave the Sunshine State to come to Chicago?” And I must admit, I sometimes ask myself the same question when I open my weather app and see that it’s in the negatives. However, after three years at Northwestern, I’ve not only survived the winter but have actually come to enjoy the cold. With a few veteran tricks for staying warm, any student can live through the weather!

Advice 1: Correct apparel makes all the difference

In order to brave the cold, you need the correct equipment. And no, I do not mean snowshoes and an ice pick but simply a long winter coat and thermal socks. During winter quarter, every student dons an insulated, knee-length winter jacket. This is a staple at any cold school and although it might not be fashion-forward, it sure is worth it. When shopping for a winter jacket my freshman year, I had no clue what type I was looking for. I asked friends from cold weather states for advice on the best brands and best prices. In particular, I found out that wind-resistant jackets were ideal since Chicago is (correctly) nicknamed the Windy City. 

In addition to a winter jacket, accessories such as hats, gloves and scarves play a key role in keeping warm. In particular, I would suggest investing in gloves with “technology tips” that allow you to use your smartphone because nothing is worse than having to take your gloves off outdoors. Finally, snow boots and thermal socks are essential. Snow boots with traction on the soles will prevent you from slipping on ice and thermal socks will keep your feet nice and toasty. With this winter-ready apparel, there is no doubt you will survive the cold.   

Read on for more advice!

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Yale ‘20


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