David Zheng

To those who are experiencing the northeast winter for the first time, I’d like to say: my condolences. Suffering is inevitable, but there’s still hope! I’m so far up North America’s ass, I’m basically in Canada, so perhaps my two cents will be helpful to some degree. Here are some tips and tricks  — beyond the usual “wear your hat!” — for surviving the chilly northeast from a survivor of 19 Maine winters straight.

  1. When wearing boots, don’t wear flimsy ankle socks because your heels will kill you the next day with blisters. Please wear thick socks that go to at least your shin. Bonus points if they’re wool! Would highly recommend investing in at least a dozen pairs. 
  2. It gets awfully dry when the heater is on, and for someone who is easily susceptible to nosebleeds, humidifying the air in the dorm is a must-do. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us are broke college students, and a good humidifier is not worth an almost-empty wallet. The most you can do is fill a bowl with water and leave it a) by the window or b) by the heater and let it slowly but surely evaporate into the air. Maybe it’s the placebo effect, maybe it’s not, but it’s better than nothing! 
  3. If you find yourself facing a perfectly cleared, glossy pathway devoid of snow almost begging you to walk through it, it’s definitely too good to be true: please avoid walking on black ice at all costs. But if there’s ice on the ground and you’re adamant about crossing it for some ungodly reason, the best way to get across without breaking your neck is to waddle like a penguin. Or, better yet, lower your center of gravity, which could also mean scooching your way across the ice on your ass. Looking like an absolute bozo for a few seconds is better than landing yourself in the hospital! 
  4. Sunglasses are actually really nice in the winter. The sun reflecting off the snow on a sunny day is enough to burn anyone’s cataracts in seconds, so don’t put away your sunglasses for the season just yet! 
  5. It’s better to dress in lots of layers than just one thick coat. The air between layers is a really good insulator.
  6. When it comes to dry spots on skin, Vaseline is better than lotion — in both cost and use. It will literally rejuvenate your skin overnight. Be careful to only use it on small patches of skin, though! No need to cover your entire face with vaseline. 
  7. Use your mask as a scarf — this does not have to be said, to be honest. Desperate times call for desperate measures and what better way to keep yourself warm by also abiding by COVID-19 guidelines!