3 Harsh Truths A Southerner Learns In Their First Ohio Winter

3 Harsh Truths A Southerner Learns In Their First Ohio Winter

Here are 3 major truths of a true winter that I felt were essential to describe to my friends and family back home in Georgia when I decided to move to Columbus, OH for college.


Never did I imagine my favorite season of the year would be newly characterized by Ohio's winter. The wind. The ice. The endless amount of snow, but no snow days. The list could go on. But, no one warned me. If they did, I didn't believe them. So, to keep things real for my fellow southerners here's the truth about an Ohioan winter.

1. Wind, Chill.

The Ohio State campus offers beautiful views as you walk across campus to go to your classes. When the oval is coated with fresh snow and Mirror Lake is dazzling with lights, it almost feels like you're right in the middle of a movie scene. Almost. I wish I could have more time to revel in the beauty of campus, but due to the insane amount of wind blowing you in the wrong direction and temperatures falling below freezing on a daily basis, there is no time to look up from the ground. The fur-lined hood on my winter parka is possibly one of the greatest features of the greatest investment I have made all year. Because without a hood, the wind has enough power to numb my entire head and make my eyes sweat in an instant. The wind is an incredible feature of an Ohioan winter, so do not underestimate it.

2. Ice... Mist... Rain?

The second phenomena that was not disclosed to me is the indescribable pain of the combination of ice, rain, and mist that happens to fall from the sky in Columbus more frequently than not. In Georgia, we often have a lot of precipitation so I thought I would be prepared to encounter what Ohio had to offer, however, I was gravely mistaken once again. In other words, the ice, rain, mist combo becomes a gargantuan obstacle when you live in an Alaskan territory that is Morrill Tower. It physically hurts to walk to class. The ice pierces your cheeks, the mist humidifies the cold air somehow making you colder, and the rain makes you even colder as it permeates your clothes and participates in freezing your body at faster speeds. It all happens so fast.

3. Snow... but No Snow Days?

Being a Georgian for the entirety of my life meant that with any prediction of ice or snow, we would be guaranteed a snow day. It was one of the many perks of winter in a southern state. Albeit, the amount of snow that covers the Ohio grounds do not equate to such luxuries. Instead, the roads and paths are salted to great lengths, the snow plows clear the ways, and classes continue to trudge on as scheduled even as the snow reaches my ankle to mid-calf. I have never felt such sadness with the wondrous amount of snow I have witnessed just this year. As my former high-school friends enjoyed random snow days in 45-degree weather, I was left to adapt to the disappointing reality of snow days in Ohio. Do not disregard the realities of a real winter to all those who are foreign to the extremities of the north.

But in all honesty, the winters become bearable and the extreme weather experiences shared with the people around me have constituted much more warmth to fight the bitter cold.

Popular Right Now

18 Reasons Why I Hate Winter (As Told By A Winter Hater)

Winter, why must you exist?

I have never been a winter person. I don't like snow, sweaters, or being cold. There are literally only a couple of things I like about the winter time (like Christmas) but I could be anywhere in the world and celebrate Christmas... why do I have to celebrate it while being cold???

Since winter is coming, here are just some of the "few" reasons why a winter hater (aka me) HATES winter:

1. You have to be extra careful driving

I already hate driving when it's warm, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky... but add slush, snow, and gloomy skies to the mix and I don't ever want to get in my car... ever.

2. You lose all of your gloves, scarves, and head warmers

What happened to my glove? Let me just retrace all of my steps today to go back and try to find the little straggler that fell out of my pocket probably 5 hours ago.

3. Your nose is always running

Say goodbye to looking cute for your crush across the classroom... all he'll be listening to is your sniffles and seeing drips of mucus coming out of your nostrils

4. You lose all feeling of your nose and ears because of how cold it is

I wish I remembered what it was like to have a nose or ears during the winter, but they're too busy being numb from the below freezing temperatures outside.

5. Your gas/electric bill is way more expensive

I'm in college. I'm poor. Why winter... why????

6. Let's take a stroll in the park....

Lol jk can't even leave the house or you'll turn into an icicle

7. You burn up in all of the buildings from the 15 layers you have on, then when you go outside you are even more cold because you were sweating from burning inside the building

It's a vicious cycle

8. You are always wet..

From snow, from sweat, from rain, from sleet, from your tears....

9. Your skin is always dry

Excuse me while I shed like a freaking snake and itch until I bleed for the next 4 months.

10. Where's the sun?

Miss you baby... come back to me soon.

11. You have so much more laundry


12. You have to put on so many layers just to take out the garbage

I just want to get rid of my trash in my shorts and flip flops... but nooo, winter just doesn't allow it

13. You can't just get in your car and leave... you have to defrost and scrape and shovel

Which means getting up 15 minutes earlier. Ugh.

14. Getting out of the shower is almost worse than getting out of bed in the morning

It's just so warm and steamy, then your naked body turns in to a snowman as soon as you step out of the shower

15. The damn static in your hair and on your clothes... there aren't enough dryer sheets in the world to solve that problem

Thanks Downy for trying so hard

16. It's falling season...

Walking is more difficult than ever because of the icy ground.. this is not good for us clumsy people

17. You can't run outside without coming back with frost bite

Do I really have to spend the next 4 months on the treadmill?

18. Everyone is always sick

And for us hypochondriac's that is not something you want to mess with.

I've tried to like you winter, but we just don't get along. Maybe one day I'll understand the loveliness of your snow and your nasty bitterness, but for now I'm just going to sit and mope until the end of March.

Cover Image Credit: Slow Robot

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Ways To Spend Your College Snow Day

Let's be real, everyone could use a catch up day of 5.


Most days it seems like there is not enough hours in the day to get everything done. "Back in the day" aka in high school, snow days were under appreciated and not properly taken advantage of. Every once in a blue moon winter graces us with weather so bad the college gives a whole day off, here's 10 great ways to spend yours!


Thats Me Hitting The Snooze Button Shut Up GIF by FirstAndMonday - Find & Share on GIPHY

Unarguably, the best way to start your day is to not start it in the morning!

2. Catching up on homework and studying!

Lets be real, everyone could use a catch up day or 5.

3. Cleaning your room!

We all know this one isn't going to happen, but its a good thought!

4. Catching up on laundry!

There is never enough time to do this in a normal day, but MAYBE if classes are cancelled...

5. Grocery Shopping!

Impulse buys. That is all I am gonna say about that.

6. Taking a nap!

Sleep in AND take a nap? Best day ever!

7. Calling your parents/grandparents/friends!

Let someone know that you're thinking about them!

8. Sledding or ice skating!

Make the most out of the cold weather!

9. Picking up a shift at work!

I've never heard anyone complain about extra money/hours on pay day!

10. Laying in bed and watching Netflix all day long ( a series or 2)!

Netflix (or Hulu) and snacks? Can't top that!

Related Content

Facebook Comments