Surviving Syracuse's Polar Vortex

Surviving Syracuse's Polar Vortex

Since Kent absolutely refuses to cancel class in -30 degree winds.


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.

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Top 10 Winter Candles From Bath And Body Works

It's holiday candle season!

I'm not quite sure where my obsession with the seasonal Bath and Body Works candles comes from, but it's alive and strong. My parents don't let me light candles in my room (mom and dad, if you're reading this... I'm begging) and the sorority I currently live in doesn't allow it either.

Despite this, every time winter comes around one of the first places I always go is BBW to check out their new line of winter candles. And I've done so for years. Because of my love for this product, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert. Here, in my opinion, are the top 10 Bath and Body Works winter candles ranked.

10. Cinnamon & Clove Bud

The two scents combined is unique and fresh, but personally, I think cinnamon is overpowering. It also doesn't really give me that winter-esque feeling that I always look for in these candles.

Buy it on Amazon.

9. Fresh Balsam

There's no denying that pine is symbolic of winter. The scent isn't bad. It's just not the best.

Buy it on Amazon.

8. Twisted Peppermint

A lot of people love the smell of mint. I'm not one of them. However, this candle has hints of vanilla and musk, which makes up for the main scent.

Buy it on Amazon.

7. Winter

Just like its name, there's nothing unique about this candle. The scent of pine needles is nice and homey, but I wouldn't spend $25 on it.

Buy it on Amazon.

6. 'Tis the Season

This candle offers a really lovable blend of apple and sugar. However, if you don't like sweet smells, it isn't for you.

Buy it on Amazon.

5. Vanilla Bean Noel

A classic among classics. I can't resist a good vanilla scent, and I always look forward to the release of this one.

Buy it on Amazon.

4. Flannel

I'm a fan of the more musky scents, which Flannel definitely encapsulates. It's extremely cozy and always makes me want to disappear under a bunch of blankets and read a good book.

Buy it on Amazon.

3. Hot Cocoa & Cream

Sweet scents are also a favorite of mine, but I know that doesn't go for everyone. If you're one of those people, know that Hot Cocoa & Cream isn't overwhelming and its chocolate goodness is irresistible. I always want a brownie after smelling this one.

Buy it on Amazon.

2. Marshmallow Fireside

Nothing gets me into the Christmas spirit like Marshmallow Fireside. It's warm, slightly musky and sweet, and if I were allowed to light candles it would definitely be one I'd have burning all winter.

Buy it on Amazon.

1. Mahogany Teakwood

This is a seasonal candle, but truthfully I think it can be used year-round. It's reminiscent of the iconic Abercrombie and Fitch scent we all loved in middle school, but better (maybe a little classier?). I'm obsessed.

Buy it on Amazon.

Feel free to test my judgment and try all of these out for yourself. If you get one you end up not liking, you can always give it to someone else as a present and claim you were being thoughtful. Stay cozy, and happy holidays!

Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Alisa Anton on Unsplash

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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!

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