Written by Billie Clark
If the last few weeks has been any indication, winter in Ontario is in full “what is the weather doing?” swing, while the struggle to stay temperate on campus is afflicting almost everyone. You will have, no doubt, noticed people in your classes pulling on their winter coats in the middle of a lecture, or complaining that the room is too hot or too cold, or that it is only cold in the one place. Every classroom has a different temperature and navigating the comfort-level inside while countering the winter weather outside is a challenge faced by everyone.
The place to start is with footwear. The students who commute and have their own cars have some
luck—they can keep a pair of running shoes or small boots in their car to switch into once they reach the mostly-snow-free parking lot. The students who commute on public transit, or walk, have to plan their footwear on an almost day-to-day basis in the winter.
“Which shoes should I wear today? Will all the sidewalks be clear? How much slush will be on the bus? Will my toes be warm enough?”
These thoughts and many more cross my mind most mornings, to the point that I end up wearing my short winter boots to class on a regular basis. (The fact that I come from the north everyday also plays a role in that too.) I highly recommend getting a pair of light but warm and waterproof winter boots if you don’t already have some. They might be a bit expensive, but mine have lasted several years and you can also get some very cute ones!
Having warm and dry feet will help keep you comfortable all day, but it won’t stop you from finding some rooms cold, or overheating in warm rooms. To combat the multitude of temperatures within the building, I suggest layers. Winter is great because you can wear sweaters without overheating, and if you layer, then you have clothing you can add or remove at will throughout a day, or even just a class. I personally like warm knit sweaters over long-sleeved button-ups, or comfy hoodies over graphic tees when it comes to layering, but whatever you wear: aim to have at least two layers that you don’t mind people seeing. A common mistake is to pull on a hoodie over a tee-shirt you don’t actually want to be seen in, then getting too warm but having no way out. I also like to have long sleeves that I can pull or roll up, so that I can vary my temperature in miniscule amounts.
Warm feet and layers are two ways that I use to battle the winter chill, but it is also important to remember winter accessories. Hats, scarfs, and gloves are all important pieces to have on you during winter. You should keep a set in your car, just in case, or, if you don’t drive, in your backpack or purse. Waiting for the bus on a blustery morning is generally less awful when your nose and ears are warm and your fingers aren’t purple. If you have a touchscreen and don’t wear gloves because of it, I’d recommend semi-fingerless gloves or the touchscreen compatible gloves. A touque should cover your ears entirely, and there are so many different styles that you should have no problem finding one somewhere—I myself have an entire collection of winter hats. Scarves can seem tedious, but they keep your neck and face covered and out of the wind and snow—and have become a year-round, unisex fashion item. Or, you could take the opposite route and look for a fandom or nerd scarf: Hogwarts houses are not the only cool scarves out there!
Who knows how much longer this winter will last? But until it’s over, stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy the snow!