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For the freshmen who’ve traveled from near and far to attend college in the beautiful and historic American Northeast, welcome.
You’ll be regretting it as soon as late October hits.
Hopefully you won’t be in a state of full-blown regret over your choice of higher education, but you just might regret your shopping decisions if they don’t include heavy knits, chunky accessories, and down feathers.
Let me explain.
Last winter went a little something like this:
On this day circa December 2013, a blizzard hit the University of Pennsylvania in the hometown of good ol’ Ben Franklin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m a PA girl born and raised, so a little blizzard wasn’t to shake me in Philly. Or so I thought. I, along with all of my more southernly or wordly collegiate counterparts, trudged through this storm in a cartoon-like fashion. There were tears when looking out the window, there were cheers when professors bailed on class, and there were cries of anguish as Ivy League kids unsuccessfully attempted to skate down Locust Walk in rubber wellies (not one of the more brilliant ideas).
The RA in me says that I should get a little PSA-ish and give you the scoop on how to survive winter when you go to college in Northeast USA. For all you Canadian folks…well, you’re just outta luck on this one, because I have no clue how to prep for a season with MOOSES (is that even right?).
Here’s what you should stock up on now, before shelves look like this:
1. A ski mask. They may not be the most socially acceptable accessory when chillin’ (pun intended) around a college campus, but I’m thoroughly convinced that masks are the only possible remedy to winters that are so bad they get nicknames. But, for other more politically correct face-saving options, scarves can work wonders.
2. Thick socks and legwarmers. Guys, you too on this one. I’m the first person to hate cold feet, and mine tend to get an extra shade of icy when the temperature plummets below 30. Use thick socks like they’re going out of style. Which is actually possible, because they best thick socks I’ve ever come across for wintertime outdoors are from my mom’s 80’s closet. Going along with an older trend, I just bought a few more legwarmers, too, in neutral knits – perfect for topping off boots. Stylish and functional? Can I get an a-men?
3. Fuzzy slipper socks and booties. Because your piggies need extra time to warm up, and doing it in your dorm means heating up as you chill out.
4. A ridiculously warm and chunky beanie, like this one, from Yellow Spot Designs. Because apparently some of the best things in fall are warm…and chunky. My wardrobe is chockfull of neutrals, but I love pops of color – especially when it comes to coats. Jordyn handmade my grey crocheted beanie, and I love how it looks with my coral trenchcoat for fall. My purple winter coat will approve, too, I’m sure.
5. Cleated boots. I don’t even have these, but I sure as heck wish I did. So do all of the kids who end up skating to class. Apparently strap-on cleats do exist, too, like giant rubber bands with metal spikes. Because that sounds safe.
6. Warm gloves or mittens. I don’t know about you, but when there are icicles hanging and I risk being shishkabobbed by one upon exiting my apartment, the last thing I’m concerned about is being technologically savvy. Leave the thin texting gloves for late fall and invest in a pair of good, thick gloves. You’ll be able to text better after, anyways, when you’re fingers aren’t as cold as those aforementioned icicles. And buy a spare pair. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll find mismatched gloves missing their other halves in no time.
7. Snow shoes. I don’t own a pair, and I’m convinced that that’s why there’s a 100% chance that I fall at least once every icy season. Someone make this a college trend, please.
8. Make sure your dorm is winter-friendly. An abundance of fuzzy socks, squishy blankets, and stashes of hot chocolate with rainbow marshmallows and your favorite coffees and teas to warm you up from the inside out.
And when all else fails, just wrap your blankie around your head and you’ll be fine, ok?
Even in the worst of it, though, the Northeast is beyond beautiful when the weather is rough. At least, from the comfort of your couch, looking out the window, sitting next to candles and/or a fireplace with cheery music playing in the background…you get the (snow)drift.
Jordan from Yellow Spot Designs agrees with me – the best survival gear is chunky. She wants to give one of you a jumpstart on your winter preparation, so she’s giving away a fabulous beanie from her shop! (AND that 10% discount we talked about earlier…yeah, use that! ROSES10, for the win.)
Note: Open to US residents only. All entries will be verified. Open until midnight, 10/9.
What’re your best tips for surviving winter in the Northeast as a college student? Any must-have products or tricks?
See you soon to rehash the best of the web this month. Because this month is almost over, and that’s terrifying but awesome because CHRISTMAS IS COMING. That is all.
Have a beautiful day, and remember to smile.