A New Englander’s Guide to Surviving Winter

Trinity Casimir, Contributing Writer

When you found out you were accepted to NYU from your 75 degree hometown, you were so excited you forgot that it snows in New York City. Truthfully, you’re not quite an NYU student until you’ve conquered this one challenge: surviving the winter, which may seem extremely daunting for those that come from sunnier places. Look no further, these native northerners have some tips that might help.

According to LS freshman Eden Min from Boston, safety must be a priority. During the winter, ice can cause accidents. While cities typically salt their streets, parks can often go neglected. Learning how to safely walk in the sleet, snow and wind is crucial.

Min recalled a time last year when she strolled through Washington Square Park after a snow storm. There was black ice (for the non-natives this is a transparent layer of ice over the walkways that may not be visible at first glance) throughout the entire park. 

“It was so icy in the park, and I was completely shocked that they didn’t salt the sidewalk, so being careful about black ice is important,” she said. “I think sometimes the weather is unexpected so they didn’t have time to prepare.”

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Min also said hydration is key for anyone constantly commuting in the cold. While hot coffee or tea sounds far more appealing than your cold Hydro Flask water, they are diuretics — which cause water loss — and should be avoided. Instead, take advantage of prime access to the best tap water in the country.

Unfortunately, some of us are just not built for the cold. Despite the potentially invigorating wind chill, finding ways to minimize your time outside is another important habit for winter.

“Stock up on food. You won’t want to go out or spend unnecessary money on GrubHub orders,” Gallatin freshman Pilar Ceron from White Plains, N.Y. said.

While staying warm is the most obvious concern during the winter, a common question that many in the city consider is: are warmth and fashion mutually exclusive? Is my appearance now worth the money I will spend later on Nyquil? According to Ceron, winter weather isn’t a hindrance, but a fashion opportunity.

“Winter is my favorite season, it’s the best time to get creative with outfits,” Ceron said. “Your coat is a part of the look, accessorize with it, it’s a piece. Hats, scarves, just roll with it.” 

However, Min stressed that more important than fashion is the ability to layer.

“Wear layers, because having one big, bulky jacket won’t serve you inside if you don’t have much else underneath,” she said.

However, Min noted that layers cannot substitute a good coat.

“An insulating winter jacket is a must if you’re stuck outside for some reason,” she said.

According to Min, deeming a coat “insulating” relies on two factors: first, the outer layer shouldn’t be permeable and should protect against wind; second, the inner layer should be thick and have fleece or down or some sort of insulating material. 

LS freshman Rishi Dhir from Boston recommended buying your coat during the summer if you can. 

“It will always be cheaper then,” he said. “Also, get a jacket — some people like hoodies.”

Dhir also said layering is important with pants.

“I like to go with khakis — they’re always really warm,” he said. “Some people like jeans, but I try to stay away from them. They tend to be cooler.”

In addition, Min recommended that your final investment should be in winter boots and cozy socks for the truly cold days.

“I wear wool crew socks that don’t slip off,” she said. “They’re more insulating and more comfortable. I also buy my winter boots a half size up so I can fit my socks.”

If all that is not sufficient to repel the cold, Min said you can tune in to your inner grandmother: dry your hair completely, don’t walk around without socks, eat real food and if all else fails, break out the Vaporub.

A version of this article appears in the Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, print edition. Email Trinity Casimir at [email protected] 

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