Syracuse was considerably colder since I came back from winter break. The -30-degree winds felt like whips on my ankles and gave my friends a tingle in their legs. There is a long-running joke about students wearing the same dark parkas with fur hoods. Proper jackets are only one way to make it through the brutal winters, but to truly avoid frostbite, take a few extra precautions.
1. Footwear is everything
My Sorell boots are getting me through the unpaved pathways at 9:00 in the morning and the forever-slippery majority of the promenade. Traction is so important to avoid slipping, so maybe your AirForce One's aren't the best choice. If your shoes get wet, the rest of your body will feel cold too.
2. Bundle up!
Jackets and parkas are great, but won't completely protect your legs or face from the cold. Wear a scarf to protect your face and wear tights or thin leggings under your jeans. Don't forget thick socks to keep your feet warm.
3. Keep the iced coffees indoors
I completely agree iced coffee tastes better than traditional hot coffee and everyone needs to get their energy from somewhere, but I will never understand how people drink their iced beverages while a snowstorm is going on outside and then complain how cold they are later. Just take the time to enjoy your iced caffeine fix indoors.
4. Weather-proof everything
This is especially important when it comes to your backpack. Most college students carry some kind of technology on them and it would be terrible if snow or water got into your bag and damaged their phone or laptop. The best backpacks for this weather are usually under "hiking" bags, so brands like NorthFace, Patagonia, and Fjallraven won't fail you.
5. If the roads aren't shoveled and salted, don't drive
I was told that Syracuse keeps the roads pretty clear, but I really don't believe it. I can barely walk around campus sometimes and I've seen cars slip and slide. For anyone living off-campus and needs a car or bus to get to class. Safety is everything and if the transportation given by the school isn't able to bring you to class, then it is not worth it.
Most importantly, be safe and protect yourself from the cold. I learned that physical health is so important in college and being sick or hurt takes out a lot of time from anything you're involved with on campus whether it's classes or other organizations.