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.

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