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How to Deal With Winter Weather at UMass

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Winter at UMass Amherst

We're moving into that time of year now when snow becomes fairly common. When I first came to UMass, I didn’t realize how unprepared I was to face the snowstorms that we can experience here in Amherst. Even though I am from the area, my winter gear was still back home. Having experienced the best and worst firsthand, I'm here to offer some helpful tips to make it through those UMass snow days.


Your Outfit

Without question, you need to be sure you have the right attire for the cold and wet weather. The trick here is finding a balance between clothing that you're comfortable wearing from class to class, but also something that will keep you warm and dry. I recommend getting a jacket that is warm but isn’t too much of an annoyance because you will have it with you during classes. A waterproof, down jacket over layers can definitely help. In addition, having waterproof and comfortable boots, a hat, and gloves is extremely essential. For those with sensitive eyes, carrying around a pair of sunglasses is a very good idea because of the glaring effect the snow has on a bright sunny day.


Hand and Foot Warmers

During my freshman year at UMass, there was a massive snowstorm that left almost a foot and a half of snow. The front door of my residence couldn’t even be opened at first because of how heavy the snow was. When things settled and cleared, the weather was still pretty rough. The gusting winds on top of the freezing environment made walking for more than five minutes a living nightmare. However, I had to go eat. Luckily, I had hand and foot warmers. These little pouches of warmth are lifesavers and make the journey to the dining hall or to class a bit less painful.


A Thermos

Nothing is better than warming yourself up with a hot coffee or chocolate beverage when your entire body is a frozen chamber. Having a thermos on tap in your backpack is the best thing when the temperature outside is well below freezing. Whether coffee, hot chocolate, or tea is your preference, the dining halls usually have a wide selection to choose from for students to stay nice and warm.



The weather doesn’t even have to be that chilly for you to get a runny nose. I cannot tell you the number of times I had a runny nose because of the cold atmosphere on my way to class. Having one and being that person sniffing all throughout the lecture is not fun. Carrying around a small package of tissues is really useful in general, not just for when you are suffering from the inevitable runny nose during the winter.


New England weathers can be annoying and sufferable but if you take the precautions and are well prepared for what is to come, you will see just how beautiful and fun all the snow can be!


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