It’s no secret that Evanston winters are unpredictable and get to the best of us, often going from single digit weather to mid-40s in the time it takes you to walk from Norris to the Rock. While the constantly shifting temperature might be annoying to deal with, the true trial comes when you step outside your residential hall to be slapped in the face with a blast of wind. Sometimes it’s all you can do to avoid forming icicles on your face on the way to class.
Northwestern knows what it feels like to be tormented by winter. Students and staff members alike have to battle the blustery winds to reach their destinations, so we’ve decided that enough is enough and collaborated to come up with some ways to alleviate some of your worst winter woes..
1. Pretend you’re literally anywhere else
There’s nothing more depressing than spending the evening sequestered to your room with only a ceiling light and homework as company. Indulge in some escapism! There are plenty of student productions going on in the evenings at Northwestern, and it’s a chance to escape the bleak reality outside while having a good time with friends. Mee-Ow is coming prepared with all their best jokes in January and February. You can also check out cultural student group activities such as Celebrasia 2017: Year of the Rooster, the South Asian Student Association show Keeping Up with the Kapoors, or Black History Month events to learn more about a specific culture and about your peers’ cultural backgrounds. Plus, A&O Productions is hosting free movies at McCormick Auditorium, so make sure to check out their movie lineup
2. Embrace the cold. Go to Andy’s, or...
Now this may seem counterintuitive, but let’s be real: you crave custard no matter how cold it is outside. Why should you let a bit of snow or sleet stop you? Think about it this way: after you get frozen by the cruel weather, you willingly freeze yourself with creamy sugary goodness. You go outside and BAM! The cold isn’t so cold after all! Hey, reverse psychology is a thing. You should try it yourself and indulge your poor suffering winter quarter self. Mm… that triple chocolate concrete though. Be right back.
3. … Avoid the cold at all costs
No one likes to make the trek from south to north (or vice versa) when the weather is nice, so it makes sense that that long walk is even more insufferable in single digit weather. Luckily, University transportation is here to save the day! Download the DoubleMap app to your phone to keep an eye on where the shuttles are at every moment in the day and minimize the time you spend freezing at the bus stop. For those of us who like to stay out past 7:00 p.m. but aren’t willing to walk home alone in the dark, use Safe Ride. While ride times can be unpredictable, if you put in a request early enough and stay patient, you’ll save the few bucks you might’ve otherwise spent on an Uber.
4. Surrender to the marshmallow lifestyle
We all know that Northwestern students come from all over the world, and dressing for the frigid Evanston temps is a little bit different than throwing on a windbreaker for a California "winter.” Wear tights inside your jeans, throw on a tank top under that t-shirt, and put on a sweater over that t-shirt. But avoid cotton for your inner layers! It absorbs sweat, and you’ll end up wearing damp clothes for the rest of the day. If you can, get your hands on some thin insulating inner layers that will preserve body heat without adding too much bulk (author recommends Heattech clothing from Uniqlo). Don’t forget the accessories! A scarf, hat, and pair of warm mittens will save your extremities a lot of grief. If you like listening to music as you walk, you might also want to invest in some headphone earmuffs so you can still listen to lit music without freezing.
5. Seek refuge whenever possible
No one ever said you had to walk from class to class without pausing. If you start to feel that you really can’t stand the cold anymore, take a pit stop in the nearest building to thaw your extremities. Here’s a handy (haha- get it?) tip for those walking from one end of campus to the other: cut through Tech longways to save yourself a block on Sheridan. In fact, go through all the buildings you can (I’ve heard that there’s a bridge connecting Tech and Ford on Tech’s second floor and Ford’s third floor). For those of us who need an extra kick to get us through the day, here’s a useful list of campus coffee options you can take advantage of during those breaks.
So there you have it, SAM’s best tips for busting those winter blues! We hope you stay warm and safe this winter and have tons of fun while doing it. And hey, maybe next time we see you, you’ll be bundled up at a coffee shop while waiting for the shuttle on the way to the Mee-Ow show with a stop at Andy’s after.