10 Cold Weather Essentials

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Hey guys, 

It's no secret that the weather has turned into a downright Mississippi blizzard these days. My night classes have been cancelled TWICE due to precipitation and below freezing temps. Now, I don't know about you, but cold weather is not something that comes naturally to me. If it's below 50 degrees or if I need more than a cardigan, I'm like a fish out of water. 

Obviously, these frigid days don't come too often in the deep South, but when they do, I figure it's best to be prepared. So I've put together a thorough list of cold weather essentials for campus living. 

1. An outer layer thicker than a flannel or cardigan. This could seem like a no-brainer, but somehow I always forget. When the weather drops below 60 with even a slight wind chill, a thin outer layer won't suffice. Try a heavy COAT, instead of a light jacket. Or just about 8 long sleeved t-shirts. 

2. All the winter accessories. Aka gloves, scarves, and hats. Basically, if it can be knitted from yarn, you need it probably. For some reason, I always tell myself I'll be fine without these items, but then I highly regret later.  Unless you enjoy the feeling of being cold all the time, winter accessories should happen. 

3. Boots. Even though they may be a pain to get on and off, boots are essential to keeping your feet warm on a wintery day. Although I wish my converses would do the job, they don't and before long I'm walking on nubs. So make an investment, do yourself a favor, and have some boots on hand for some freezing walks. 

4. Lots of socks. Speaking of boots, they really can't live up to their full potential unless you provide them with a foundation of socks. And not just any socks. Many socks. And preferably the snuggly kind. Also, socks are great to wear around the dorm to make sure your toes stay warm and you can slide across the hall at maximum speed. 

5. Rain jacket. The thing about rain jackets is that they work best when you actually have one. That's why you should always keep it in your car or your backpack if there is a chance of rain. Also, another helpful rain jacket tip: maybe get one that's a size too big so it can fit over the clothes you're wearing. I have one from Wal-Mart and it does a fine job. 

6. Coffee mug. In case you forgot your gloves, or your gloves aren't doing the trick, have a mug of piping hot coffee to warm your fingers. This is especially helpful when you have a long walk across campus and no easily accessible pockets. Either make a mug in your dorm or drop by Cups, then you can look super trendy AND keep your hands warm. 

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7. A knowledge of the nearest shortcuts.  Even though this doesn't fall under the "clothing" category, it's still essential. When I used to walk from Lat-Webb to Cups, I would cut through Nelson AND the Library to give myself a chance to thaw from the cold. If you can maneuver an indoor shortcut, then do it! 

8. Giant Blanket. This comes in handy for the times when you don't feel like putting your arms through actual sleeves. You can wrap up in a blanket whether you're chilling in your room or even when you're taking a quick walk across campus. Don't worry about what people will think, your fellow freezing pedestrians will understand. 

9. Hot Hands. I must be really concerned about keeping our hands warm. Hot Hands are for spending prolonged periods of time outside. Cold air has a way of creeping through gloves, pockets, and coffee mugs and STILL make our hands numb, so hot hands are our way of fighting back.

10. Indoor Activities: These only apply if you have access to central heating and/or a fireplace. Otherwise, you will still be cold. Indoor activities include netflix, books, poetry, go fish, etc. Basically, anything that will keep you entertained while protecting yourself from exposure. 

That's all for now, folks. Take these 10 things and use them to your benefit. Also, here's a picture of Andrew on his roof wearing the most wintry coat known to man. 

Happy Winter.

Elizabeth "Mississippi blizzard" Moore

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