The red and yellow leaves beautifying trees around campus not long ago have started falling. Most trees now stand bare, reminding us of the Boston winter that is slowly creeping in. Boston is pretty windy, rainy, and snowy — MIT even closes down sometimes due to snowstorms. But we can’t just lock ourselves in our dorm rooms, right? We need to combat the cold and the wind and finish our p-sets and graduate. Check out the tips below and see if you have everything ready!
1. As my friend Meera R. Chander ’14 would say, “Rain boots are the best investment ever!” Yes, rain boots and snow boots come handy in winter time. The path from the Student Center towards dorm row is full of puddles when it rains. So if you don’t want your feet to get wet on your way to classes, wear rain boots. And don’t miss out on the privilege MIT has given you in the form of underground tunnels. If you aren’t familiar with them, it’s time you check out the underground tunnels map: http://web.mit.edu/facilities/maps/mit_tunnel_ map_10_2010.pdf.
2. The same goes with clothes. Waterproof jackets and winter coats are a must to survive the Boston snow. Wear several layers of warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy garments in case your classrooms are heated. It is better if the outer layer is water-repellent. To protect your ears and throat, cover them with hats and scarves. Although at first I was under the impression that coat-pockets can replace gloves, I later found out I always needed my hands out of my pockets either to carry bags or hold onto a bike handlebar. So gloves are required, too.
3. Even if you’re wearing a waterproof jacket, have an umbrella in your bag. Boston rain can be heavy, and you don’t want water to spray your face and bag. Also, the wind in Boston is so strong that sometimes walking against it becomes impossible. Try the di- and tri-fold umbrellas; they are pretty good at withstanding the Boston wind. And as a general precaution, hold your umbrellas towards the wind to keep them from turning inside-out. On a very windy day, try to avoid the “wind tunnel” (the alley through the Green Building).
4. Have warm drinks after coming back from outside. Be it warm milk, hot chocolate, tea, or coffee, it will fill you with comfort. Good places to get these drinks on campus are the Student Center, with Dunkin’ Donuts and LaVerde’s Market, Café 4 in Building 12, Bosworth’s Café in Lobby 7, and Forbes Family Café in Stata.
5. If you feel a little under the weather, don’t hesitate to see a MedLink or walk into MIT Medical in case of a serious cold. MedLinks have a collection of over-the-counter medication and can also direct you if professional healthcare is needed. MIT Medical provides student with free flu shots from time to time. Keep your eyes open for upcoming dates.
6. Be on the lookout for SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder), which is depression associated with late autumn and winter, thought to be caused in part by a lack of sunlight. Don’t brush it off as “winter blues”; seek out help from Mental Health Services or Active Minds at MIT, a mental health student group.
Also, don’t use the cold as an excuse not to go out and miss out on all the fun. There are a lot of amazing winter sports like skating and skiing. Make snowmen and have snowball fights with friends. Go swimming or for a walk; go to restaurants, and do everything you’d do on a warm day. Just keep yourselves warm with shoes, jackets, scarves, gloves, hats, and warm drinks.
With that, enjoy the coming winter to its fullest.