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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Hardships Of Winter In The South

Because southerners were not built for the snow.

In most northern states, the threat of a few inches of snow is a casual occurrence that is not even deemed worthy of a second look, let alone hours of news coverage. In the south, however, the very same forecast can cause widespread panic and crippling chaos. If you reside in the south and have ever experienced a winter weather advisory, then you are all too familiar with the mayhem that unfolds when Jack Frost pays the south a visit.

1. The initial panic when snowy weather creeps into the forecast

Even if it is only a 30% chance of a light snow a week away, southerners gear up for their impending doom. Chatter erupts throughout schools as students and teacher alike wonder if classes will be cancelled. The roads get prematurely salted, in case of catastrophe.

2. The growing uneasiness as the chance of snow steadily increases day by day

What was once a 30% chance has now grown to a 90% chance, which quite literally means that hell has frozen over.

3. The supermarket dash

The day before predicted wintery weather is perhaps the busiest day in southern grocery store history. This is the fateful time where the frightened southerners dash to the supermarket and stock up on last minute groceries, specifically, milk and bread. If you run to the grocery store a little too late, chances are, they will be entirely out of milk and bread and you will just have to hold off on eating your milk sandwiches another few days. Too bad.

4. The premature school cancellation

Now that the chance of snow has lasted in the forecast for a few days, the apocalypse is near and the schools must all be cancelled immediately. No, the snow has not actually fallen yet. No, we can't be certain it even will. No, we don't know how much there will be. Shhhhh, it's just better this way.

5. Fast and Furious 2.0

Before the snow has started accumulating, or even falling, southern drivers suddenly forget all rules of the road and recklessly tear down streets and weave in and out of traffic, all while praying to get to their destination before the evil frozen precipitation starts shooting down from the heavens.

6. The first fallen flakes

Suddenly, a hush falls over the city as the dreaded snow begins to fall. Kids cheer at the notion of more cancelled classes while parents groan and wonder if their cars will start the next day.

7. The many, many car wrecks.

Although most southerners prefer to stay off roads while there is any form of frozen precipitation, there are still plenty of drivers that take to the road regardless, which unfortunately results in many dangerous wrecks. Stay safe, friends.

8. The rigorous process of bundling up

Southerners aren't as used to the cold as their northern counterparts, so bundling up to go walk in the snow tends to take longer than the actual walk itself.

9. The mad dash to play in the newly-fallen snow

Nothing beats waking up to a pristine blanket of white on a much anticipated snow day. That means time for sledding, snowball fights, snow angels, and snowmen!

10. Retiring to the couch with cocoa after a long and cold snow day

Extra points to the southerners that are so cold they feel the need to bundle up even while inside the house. Sweatshirts, sweatpants, and fuzzy socks, oh my!

11. The much anticipated phone call

And just like that, school is cancelled all week! Even when all that remains of the snow are large puddles and muddy grass.

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Saying 'Thank U, Next' To Winter

Seriously, warm weather can't get here soon enough.


With spring break coming up in the next few days, all of us Midwesterners are surely dreaming of sunnier days. When the sun comes out, smiles come out with it! Here are 10 reasons I'm ready to say "Bye, Felicia" to the dreary winter months and "Hey Sisterrrr!!!" to spring and summer.

1. Layers on layers on layers

I am so tired of having to put on 15 billion layers just to go to class! I definitely took the days of walking to class in gym shorts and a t-shirt for granted.

2. Dry skin (Yuck!)

I feel like no matter how much I hydrate and moisturize, the second I step out into the cold, my skin cracks! I know sweating isn't much better, but at least I'm not itching dry patches all day long.

3. Hat hair for days

Do I disappoint my mom by not covering my ears when I go to class, or do I disappoint my hundreds of fans on the quad by wearing a hat over my wonderful hair? Just kidding! Disappointing my mom is not on the agenda, so hat hair it is!

4. Walking to class in the arctic tundra

High schoolers: trust me when I say, the walk from the parking lot to the building is nothing. Leaving my dorm to walk across the quad always makes me wonder: is the degree even worth it, dawg?

5. Pedicures are pointless

As much as I love buying myself new boots for the season, I firmly believe that life is better when I'm wearing flip flops. I mean, what's the point of paying money for pedicures if I'm just gonna hide them behind some boots?

6. Iced coffee, sans judgement

Do I still get iced coffee during the winter? You bet your mittens I do! But when warmer weather rolls around, I can get it without being looked at like a crazy person on the quad, and that makes it a whole lot better!

7. Frozen cars and angry drivers

First, having to defrost my car makes me angry. Then, having my car not start makes me angry. Then, slow drivers and icy roads make me angry! All in all, winter drivers are the worst. In summer, rollin' with the windows down, music blasting: that's bliss

8. Snow isn't magical anymore, it's just slush

In November, whenever it started to snow, we all got excited and ran to take pictures. Now, it's all slushy and dirty, and when there's snow in the forecast, this GIF is how I feel.

9. The whole campus, like, always has the flu??!?!

Especially living in the dorms, the tidal wave of sickness is inevitable. And as soon as one person gets over it, another one catches it! Wash yo hands, people!

10. The billions of bruises from the icy sidewalks

Yeah, we've all seen someone do this exact dance on the way to class, haven't we?

Winter, it's been fun, but I think it's time for you to go.

The beginning of winter taught me love, with the pretty snow and holiday cheer.

The middle of winter taught me patience, with the slushy streets and jam-packed traffic.

The end of winter taught me pain, with the agony of waiting for spring to arrive.

And now, if only spring could come, I could say, "I'm so amazing!"

Stay warm and stay healthy, Midwesterners. Warm weather approacheth, I can feel it!

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