by Sarah Bennett
I was worried when I had the idea for this blog because it was still unseasonably warm but luckily the cold is here just in time for Finals Week! A quick note for those who don’t know me, I’m from Florida so coming up here was a huge change. My first year here, my friends always said they were excited to see how I would handle winter since I’ve never experienced things like below zero temperatures and ice…everywhere. Some days it was definitely a struggle, like the first day my nose hairs froze (who knew that could even happen). However, I survived and here we are now. As I enter my fourth “real” winter I have some tips for you, whether this be your first winter or you’ve been doing this all your life.
One of my best skills is knowing which buildings to cut through on campus. From my apartment in Freddy to the lab I work in in Sukup, I can go through 8 buildings. You may say this is ridiculous but when it’s cold enough you’ll do anything for a few fleeting moments of warmth. You can cut through most buildings on campus but my top 3 routes are:
- HDFS Building through MacKay all the way to LeBaron Hall
- Physics through Office and Lab to Gilman
- SWEENEY HALL
Now even the most seasoned winter veteran can experience icy mishaps on campus. You may think you’re ready but the ice on campus can get pretty bad. I recommend ALWAYS taking your time because even if you think you’re safe, you will fall (though of course I’m not talking from experience). The map below has areas in red and I highly recommend AVOIDING THESE! I have watched countless people fall in these areas. Once you walk across Central Campus once heading an 8 A.M. in January, you’ll never do it again.
This next part may seem pretty obvious to some but for those (like me) who aren’t familiar with winter, keep reading. Always dress in layers. Some buildings on campus crank the heat up and others don’t seem to know that heat exists. Combine this with being in and out of the cold all day and you’ll appreciate being able to lose a jacket or sweatshirt. Scarfs can become your best friend, try to wear one. Always carry a hat, even if you don’t think you’ll need one. The wind can go from nonexistent to “hiking across Antarctica” in a matter of minutes and your ears will thank you. Hydration is key during winter. Make sure to carry lotion and chapstick; it still surprises me how dry the air is in winter and I always regret days when I forget them.
Now for the fun parts of winter in Ames:
- Building snowmen on Central Campus (and everywhere else)
- Sledding on the hill outside the President’s house
- Game nights with friends
- Waking up every morning knowing someone else will shovel the snow (something I’ve still never done but I hear isn’t fun)
- Lots of dining hall hot chocolate
- Movie nights in Jischke
- Snow tubing at the hill in Boone
- Snow ball fights
Even though I’m still getting the hang of this winter thing, I love it. I know I’m the weird one here but I love the cold and the snow so I try to enjoy it as much as I can. It’s still exciting and different and walking around campus after it snows is one of my favorite pastimes. Good luck getting through winter everyone!