From Football Season to Parka Season

Lots of things are happening on campus right now; our team is still undefeated, basketball and hockey season are starting up, another round of midterms is beginning, and Thanksgiving is approaching quickly.  However, another change that is surely felt by all is the drop in temperatures—winter is coming!

Last week was peak autumn, and it was gorgeous.  Because I live in Los Angeles (where seasons don’t exist) and we kind of skipped fall in South Bend last year, this year was the first time I had REALLY seen what fall is supposed to look like.  It was worth the wait—the colors of the trees and the leaves falling around me last week was one of the prettiest sights I’ve ever seen.  However, in the back of my mind was my other understanding of fall.  As pretty as it is, it serves as a warning that winter is near.  Sure enough, a week later the leaves are almost gone and we’ve descended into almost freezing temperatures.  Additionally, those (not) amazing winds from the lake have reached a point of violence.  There’s no going back now!

In the face of the beginning of winter, you may have a few questions.  I know I did last year!  When is it acceptable to start wearing a parka?  When should I wear boots?  What is even the point of wearing a hat and scarf?  And how in the world will I survive this weekend’s football game?

In terms of a parka, the rule of thumb is that it’s acceptable to start wearing your biggest coat when the weather is consistently in the thirties.  I’m in my medium-warmth coat right now, but as someone who’s always cold, I wouldn’t judge anyone for wearing their parka now.  Even if the weather is in the high forties, the wind here can make it feel much more brutal.

I’m someone who believes that boots are only necessary when it’s raining or actively snowing.  This got me in trouble last year when it was dry, but icy, one morning; I slipped on the pavement and absolutely ate it on my way to class (with everyone around me watching!).  I also learned the hard way that everyone is right when they say you need to wear a hat, or at the very least a hood.  One day last year, I went outside too quickly after showering and my hair literally FROZE SOLID.  I was lucky in that I quickly and gently put it inside my coat to thaw and hurried to my destination, but I’ve been told that your hair can very easily and fully snap off once it freezes.

A scarf and mittens are also lifesavers.  Other aspects that people don’t mention as much include taking preemptive measures to take care of yourself internally.  When we don’t see the sun very often and don’t always have access to the freshest food, it is possible that we will lack certain important vitamins.  Additionally, the cold weather and wind will easily dry your face to the point where it is constantly peeling, or make your lips chapped to the point of pain.  For these issues, I swear by Acure and Standard Process products.

If you see me at the football game this weekend, I’m sure to be engulfed in many jackets and my full parka, with hand and feet warmers on me at all times.  The snow and below freezing temperatures will be brutal, but it’s worth it to cheer on our team for the last home game!  Go Irish, beat winter AND Florida State!

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