On the last parent Knightchat on Monday the 23rd, we got a lot of questions about the snow, the cold, and winter in general up here at St. Mike's.
I can completely sympathize with those of you intimidated by these notoriously cold Vermont winters, especially if you're coming from some notoriously warmer places. But on today's What-to-Know Wednesday, I'm here to provide you guys with an honest analysis of a real VT winter, coming from someone who's actually living through one currently! So without further ado, here is everything you need to know about a VT winter, preparing for one, and moseying around campus in one!
Here's the truth: it can get pretty cold. I won't bother to sugarcoat it, because that's just about as real as it gets. On the brighter side of things, here's another truth: since we're pretty close to Lake Champlain over here, snow isn't nearly as intense as it could be. (My family has 10 ft. snowbanks building up in their driveway right now, and they're in Massachusetts. Compared to that, we've got nothing here at St. Mike's! I would say that I'm jealous, but I'm perfectly fine over here not shoveling that mess.)
The snow aside, it can still get pretty cold and windy on campus during the winter months. However, most of the time, the temperatures aren't all that different from what they are back home in MA. (The wind from the lake is the real killer in this situation.) But if that still doesn't console you, here's a bit of good news: you'll never be walking more than five minutes from point A to point B on main campus, and when I'm bundled up properly, five minutes has never been an issue for me, even on the coldest and windiest days!
So, I cannot stress it enough- bundle up, people. And trust me, it's not difficult.
First thing's first, you're going to want to invest in a good winter jacket. I have an insulated ski jacket from Mountain Hardwear. It zips up pretty far, and it's got a nice big hood that will come up over any hat. The important thing about jackets is to bring up a couple of different ones of varying intensity, and bring them up early. You never know when those first few cold days will start kicking in, and you don't want to get stuck with an insufficient wardrobe until the next break. I have a Patagonia jacket for the more brisk fall days, and then I switch to my ski jacket when winter truly kicks in.
The next thing that you'll definitely want to invest in is a good pair of winter boots (whether you're a boy or a girl). I usually get mine from Sorel: they're warm, they come up nice and high so you can trek through just about anything, and they're pretty versatile with different outfits. Honesty time: save your cute leather boots for the fall, ladies (unless you're in any mood to ruin them). Between the snow and the salt, you're going to want something a little more substantial on those feet. Make sure you've got something that's made for all of that.
A hat is necessary for those windy days when pulling up the hood just doesn't cut it. I know this might be a particularly dorky one, but it's the warmest I've ever had, so stop laughing! ;)
In addition to your little flimsy pair of emergency gloves, you're going to want some heavy duty mittens for those times that you've just got a dusting to wipe off of your car. Don't leave anything up to chance with your flimsy emergency gloves! Go mittens or go home.
And, once again, as I mentioned earlier in the post, the most important thing out of all of this is to make sure you bring everything early. Don't wait till after Thanksgiving break, and definitely don't wait till after Christmas break (but I don't know how that would even be possible, honestly). I feel like I've made the same mistake two years in a row- hoping that it'll be summer for a few extra weeks, I don't really come too prepared at the beginning of the year in terms of jackets and warmer clothes. The moral of the story is, get ahead of the game, and always be ready for a few surprise cold days early on! You'll be glad you came prepared, and if you are prepared, there's honestly nothing to fear about these VT winters!
Until next time, folks- be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-it-Up Sunday on the 1st!