I grew up in sunny, southern California. After my family moved to Minnesota when I was in middle school, I finally experienced a winter I had only seen in movies: a winter with snow. Since then, winter has easily become my second-favorite season, and I absolutely love walking outside and seeing the campus covered with a blanket of fresh, white snow.
Winter, however beautiful it is, can be challenging for students trying to survive and brave the cold; let’s be honest, Iowa winds + snow does not always equal a pleasant mix. Here are a few tips for navigating your way around campus and enjoy the wintery weather as much as possible:
Cut through buildings. As an art major, I make the trek from one side of campus to the opposite frequently. I’ve perfected my route over the years to include a quick warm-up in the theatre building. When I lived in the dorms and it was particularly cold out, I’d reroute to cut through the chapel and Learning Commons to avoid the wind. It may seem silly to make walking routes, but they pay off in the end!
Stock up on hot drinks. Before I saw the light and became a coffee enthusiast, I always made sure to have a healthy supply of hot cocoa and cider on hand. Not only are they are great way to warm up after a chilly walk from class, but they are the perfect opportunity for roomie and wing mate chats! Whether you make your own drinks in the dorm or take a trip to Town Square Coffeehouse + Kitchen, hot drinks make for a cozy scene when you’re bundled up in comfy clothes and blankets as the snow is falling outside.
Take walks. As cold as it can get, snow is still a magical part of the season. I love taking walks downtown, hot drink in hand. My favorite time is later at night when the streets are fairly empty and there’s a gentle snowfall. It is so quiet and peaceful, and it is a gentle reminder of how magnificent our Creator is, how He made every single snowflake unique. It’s hard to appreciate the snow when you’re rushing to class, so make sure you take time to slow down and enjoy the flurries of snowflakes.
Plan your day around the weather. Super cold out? Snow falling steadily? I remember taking separate trips to get mail, go to the caf, and get to classes. I quickly realized this wasn’t going to cut it. When you’re out and about for the day for classes, think about how you can fit the rest of your outings into the time you’re away from the dorm. The less time out in the cold, the more time you have to cozy up with a hot drink and admire the snow outside the window. Sadly speaking from a lot of experience, this decrease in outside walking time also lowers the chances of slipping on the ice.
Winter can be a little brutal sometimes, but I’ve come to fully appreciate the snow on my walks to class and I hope these little tips help you as well! Snow adds a magical touch to campus, and I hope you get to one day experience it too!