New England. Home of the most diverse and completely twisted weather patterns which I, and many others, have experienced. While I can see the beauty in the fall foliage, and I love the return of the sun for longer than just a few hours per day, it’s in between the two that I have a problem with. Yes, we all get excited about the first snow, for the prospect of a school cancellation is once again upon us. I get it. And while nothing beats the feeling of that notification that you don’t have to get out of your PJs, and you can ignore your bed’s usual unspoken rendition of,“ But Baby it’s Cold Outside” when you really can’t stay, enough is enough.
I really shouldn’t blame the snow. I’ve lived in New England for my entire 18 years, which is long enough to know that there’s going to be cold weather, so you just have to bundle up and deal with it. However, what I can never prepare myself for, and what I believe is completely fair game to rant about, is that freaking wind chill. I mean, come on. It’s almost not fair; you wake up in the morning, check the weather and it tells you that it’s going to be 25-30 degrees outside without taking the wind into account. After your prepare yourself and your wardrobe around this 25-30 degree weather, and think you can handle the day, you walk outside and are smacked in the face with the stinging betrayal committed by the weatherman, and of course, the stinging breeze. No one tells you what it feels like when there’s wind. With the illusion of a reasonably cold winter day in mind, getting hit with a force at least 15 degrees colder is just not cool, weather guy. If you’ve been wronged by your weatherman and continue to struggle with trust, here are some ways to prepare yourself. Hope for the best, but expect the worse.
1) Wear more layers. Although you may begin to sweat underneath all those clothes, you can always take off a jacket or two, but you can’t always run back to your room and get more. Take the risk to reap the reward.
2) Hats and gloves are a must. No matter how dorky you think you’ll look with them on, get over it. Everyone’s wearing them. If they aren’t, they’re jealous of the people who are.
3) Save your spring and summer clothes for the appropriate seasons. If you’re complaining about being cold and you’re wearing a mini skirt without leggings underneath, that’s completely on you. Go put some pants on because even I can’t blame winter for that one.
Just remember kids, hypothermia isn’t cool. Even if you don’t think the weather is going to be too bad, expect the worst. Take that wind chill into account and have your future self thank your present self for making what could be your best decision of the day.
Ali Strand can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.