Fall is well underway which means one thing: winter is coming.
If you’re considering Newhouse or already decided to move here soon, there’s one thing you must know: the weather…is not the best. If you’re like me, coming from an idyllic Caribbean paradise, the transition to a cold-weather environment might be especially hard. Everyone’s heard of the winter blues, right? They’re real, but avoidable.
You can survive if you do your research and prepare. I was born and raised in the Caribbean, where the coldest it ever got in the winter was a cool 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This will be my fourth winter in the Northeast now and I already consider myself an expert—and you can become one too!
Here’s how to survive the season—and actually enjoy the winter:
Invest in the essentials: Coats and boots. It’s tempting to go to the mall and buy the cheapest parka you can find. Don’t. If there’s anything you need to invest in, it’s a decent winter coat. It will make all the difference and can also keep you from getting sick! Ask people you know for brand recommendations or research what reliable brands are available in your price range. Remember: this coat will likely last you multiple years. Think of it as an investment. I bought a The North Face coat when I first moved to the Northeast and it’s still going strong. Uniqlo also gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Check Amazon for good deals on The North Face products. The second-most important item you want to invest in are snow boots. While there’s many fashionable boots you could purchase, a lot of these won’t be waterproof. And trust me, there’s nothing worse than wet, snowy feet. Get yourself at least one pair of waterproof boots to keep your feet dry and avoid slipping on ice, as snow boot have better grip.
Get yourself some beanies. I used to be averse to wearing any form of hat, especially a beanie. After my first winter, I decided to give them a chance. I am changed. They’re also a good excuse to show some Orange pride!
Nike Syracuse Stripe Beanie Pom Hat. Credit: Syracuse University Campus Store
Buy a snow brush and shovel for your car. You want to get these items before the winter sets in. Blizzards are mighty and can spring themselves on you. You don’t want to get caught with your car snowed in and no way to get it out. These are available at Target or Walmart. Pro tip: Buy yourself a windshield snow cover on Amazon to put over your windshield when it snows. The next day you can pull it off and you’ll have a squeaky-clean windshield. It’s a timesaver and your windshield will also be snow and streak-free, which makes all the difference when driving.
Windshield Snow and Ice Cover. Credit: Amazon
Try something new. While the winter weather might motivate you to stay inside, that’s the easiest way to succumb to the winter blues. If you come from dryer or tropical climates, try all the things you’ve never been able to do at home. My first winter in the Northeast I pulled out a boot tray I had and used it to sled down a hill. My roommates—who were all born and raised in cold climates—ended up joining me and we had a blast. It was a way to distract ourselves and a way for me to enjoy this new environment. Unless the climate crisis brings snow to the Caribbean, I’ll probably never be able to do that at home. Take advantage of unique Upstate New York attractions.
Distract yourself with home. My first winter was incredibly hard because I missed the beach. And while there are some beautiful lakes in Central New York, it’s not the same. When I was bummed out because of the cold, I started listening to music and watching content that reminded me of home. It may seem counterintuitive, but they were ways to transport myself there and forget about this new, cold environment I was in. Language was the way I chose to remind myself of home. Special thanks to Bad Bunny and Spanish Netflix TV shows for helping me make it through.
See? Not so scary, once you know how to face the cold. And just think about all the cool pictures you could take with snow-covered Newhouse in the background…