Last month we had a little bit of a cold snap here in Evanston a tad earlier than expected. I’m from New Orleans, a city that shuts down when the temperature falls below 65 degrees. Luckily, Evanston and Northwestern are perfectly equipped to handle all types of weather and the shared experience definitely provides us ‘Cats with an instant way to bond. Below is a step by step guide to surviving (and maybe even thriving in) these outbursts.
Step One: Remember, Winter is fun! Regardless of where you come from in the world and the weather you’re used to, there are many others at Northwestern who have conquered cold seasons before you. Winter was a new season to me when I arrived on campus, and I got to build my first snowman, have a snowball fight, and always had something to talk about with students when I first arrived on campus. Campus is dressed up during this season – there are lights strung up on all of the trees, snow covers Deering Meadow outside of the library, and holiday decorations pop up at the student center and free holiday crafts are available to students. Chicago also gets dressed up; freshman year, I took the Intercampus shuttle down to our Chicago campus and stumbled upon Christkindlmarket where I bought pastries and presents for my parents.
Step Two: Layers. Think Ralph’s little brother from the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. His bundling strategy may have been a bit extreme, but the one way to provide warmth and comfort while you go see a student theater production on campus or a concert downtown is layering thin warm clothes on top of each other. Tights or leggings underneath jeans is a great practice, and don’t underestimate a good winter hat.
Step Three: Get to know the resources available to you. Northwestern provides free shuttles, a free taxi-like service (Safe Ride), and mobile apps that let you track each of these services. The Happiness Club is famous for their free hot chocolate and hugs, and there is our very own ice skating rink and inexpensive rental skates available at the student center. There are TWO places to buy parkas, scarves, and other winter essentials right in downtown Evanston as well as a Starbucks on campus to grab your favorite wintery blend. Also, when you decide to head into the city, all of the ‘El’ (Chicago’s public transportation) stops have heat lamps to keep you warm while waiting for the train to arrive.
Northwestern has great perks and activities for each season, Winter included. This time of year brings about a plethora of new events to attend and adventures for you and your friends.