Welcome to Canada, where having a jacket is a birth right. Going to school in more than 5 cm of snow (or most likely more) is nothing new for students attending Canadian schools. As for snow days, if you can manage to somehow drag yourself to school, then that, unfortunately, means someone else can drag themselves too, meaning: No snow day.
So, how do you know what to expect? First, check the weather. Start with the temperature, which can be colder depending on the wind chill. Then there’s the wind blowing at a freezing km/h from what seems like every direction.
Second: Bundle up. Some tips:
- Layers are your best friend. Opt for multiple thin layers versus heavy layers. If you’re going to put on that big wool sweater or that long sleeved shirt and sweater, leave it at that. Heavy layers may seem like a good idea, but they’ll leave you sweating in just a few minutes.
- Winter accessories. Don’t forget the fashion. Colourful scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, even socks (they’re important too). They can be small, knee high, thigh high, polka dots, sparkle, stripped, or even plaid.
- Stay active. Cold weather can lead to sitting by the fireplace, binge-watching your favourite TV shows, YouTube videos, or Netflixing. But but don’t forget to take the time to go outside and get some fresh air and be active. If you’re into the active lifestyle, wait for the temperature to decrease slightly and the sidewalks to be cleared for a nice run or jog.
- Keep yourself warm. Don’t spend too much time making sure your entire room or house is heated. Make sure you’re heated.
- Prepare for storms and power outages. There’s always a chance of losing power, so be weary when using the battery on your laptop or watching TV. The heat can shut off, so keep layers or warm sweaters handy.
- Find time to do something you enjoy. In times of bone chilling weather, it’s good to take time and do something with friends. Have a day to go watch movies, read a book, or start writing the next great Canadian novel. And yes, for those of you that are wondering, sleep does count.
- Relax. Don’t be afraid to take some time off and do nothing (or something you love). Just make sure it doesn’t involve working too hard.
Now, there are a few pros about going outside in the winter weather. You can see your friends, your professors, there’s coffee at UTM and other assorted winter drinks, classrooms are heated, discussions in class aren’t that bad, and there’s usually a lot happening on campus. Get involved in an activity; sign up for an upcoming event.
Another way to beat the winter blues is ice cream, which there is never a wrong time for – and don’t forget chocolate. You could also liven up your room by listening to some music, and brightening it up with some colour, art work, colourful folders, and notebooks.
One final thing to keep in mind: Embrace the season. Winter sports, the winter clothes, the return of new episodes from your favourite shows. Think about what this season has to offer and don’t limit the possibilities.