Cornell Lab of Ornithology, photo by Yi Wen

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, photo by Yi Wen

February 13, 2016

PUTTING IT INTO FOCUS | Let’s Do Ithaca Winter Right

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With four straight days of snow and temperatures dropping to the 20s, Ithaca is finally in the midst of its wintery rage. While freshmen tried to prove to their relatives back home and upperclassmen that they were wrong about Ithaca’s extremely cold winters, Mother Nature made sure to not disappoint. In the past week alone, people who had wished they wanted snow this winter were told to be careful what they wished for as thousands of bundled students struggled to make their 9 AMs. Nevertheless, winter is undeniably upon us — so how are you planning to survive?

As a New Yorker, I am acquainted with snowy and blistery cold days. However, no matter what climate anyone is acquainted with, no one can prepare for the cold treks around campus with wind hitting your face as you overcome the torture that is Libe Slope. Not to mention students who are less acclimated to the cold to begin with (California, I’m looking at you) are going to experience an even tougher time getting used to cold, not to mention traveling in it.

To make sure you’re warm, I recommend wearing many, many layers. Despite the top notch coat you may have gotten from Macy’s, I assure you that it will not be enough. You read it right, wearing a short sleeve t-shirt under your warm coat is not going to help. Make sure you buy warm under layers, which you can find at almost any department store, and wear plenty of shirts and sweaters on top of it. One tip is to make sure you can take these layers off if needed — the last thing you would want is to be sweating in the middle of class.

Now that you are warm, make sure that you are ready to bear the outdoors. To ensure that you won’t be cold walking to and from class, buy a coat that reaches down to your boots, or longer. In that way, you can make sure that the wind will have some barrier to face before it tries to take your warmth. Additionally, there are many coats in the market that have cuffs on their sleeves. The cuffs prevent any wind coming through the sleeves of your coat and makes you much warmer than wearing a coat without cuffs. Even more protection from the wind are coats that zip all the way up past your neck — they will provide you warmth when you are walking in the wind and can’t feel your lips. If you can’t find a coat that zips up this way, make sure to always wear a scarf to cover your face. With these three design qualities to check for, you’ll be ready to bear the wind at any time of the day.

One of the biggest mistakes I see on campus is not wearing a hat, gloves or both. Hats are crucial to keeping you warm because your head can only tolerate the wind for so long. Even when it’s not snowing, make sure to wear a hat to keep your ears and forehead warm — these are the largest two interfaces on the head that can make you extremely cold, even on a warmer winter day. Gloves, needless to say, are always important — no one really wants to risk frostbite.

Last but certainly not least, make sure you get gripping, high and comfy boots. Walking is a major part of being a student at Cornell and the last thing you want is for your feet to be cold. Make sure that the lining of the boot will keep you comfortable and warm. Do not get boots that seem warm but are really tight and uncomfortable — the pain you will receive from blisters will make you wish you hadn’t sacrificed comfort for warmth. Additionally, make sure the boots you get are high enough to keep your feet and legs warm. And finally, make sure that the boot has enough traction — there have been times that I have fallen down on the ice because my boots weren’t able to keep me on the ground.

Most importantly, the best way to survive Ithaca winters is to refrain from letting the cold get in the way of what you want to do. Go out in the cold, albeit bundled up, and go to class and visit friends in other dorms. While the winter may seem intimidating, it shouldn’t force you to hide in your room. Experience Ithaca’s glorious triumph, and be well while doing it.

Ashley Radparvar is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a music enthusiast, a self-proclaimed winter weather aficionado and an SNL devotee. In her spare time, she can be found on the slope, enjoying the wonderful views Ithaca has to offer. Putting It Into Focus appears on alternate Fridays this semester. She can be reached at aar98@cornell.edu.

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