For those of you who don’t know, Rochester weather is notoriously random. One day it can be blazing hot and the next bitterly chilly. However, one thing we can usually count on is that there will be snow eventually, and lot’s of it. Last year’s winter, in my opinion, was pretty mild; only a couple of blizzards touched down, and all in all the temperature was fairly manageable. But for anyone reading who has not experienced the kind of snow and cold Rochester is known for first hand, it can be pretty unimaginable. And, because of how used-to snow we are around these parts, unless conditions are found to be very unsafe, classes are usually in session (I.e. We don’t get many snow days around here). As such, below you’ll find some helpful hints on things to buy and other ways to prepare for the winter that is undeniably on its way.
I am not kidding here. Though the University’s maintenance and snow removal crew is good about hitting the big areas of campus, roads and parking lots, the process of removing snow is not easy! It does take some time, and more often than not the snow keeps on coming, so a path which could have been done an hour ago could be piled high again. Buying a shovel is a great idea if you have a car and need to dig yourself out, for making a path to walk on (especially for those who need to walk across the foot bridge), or even for a way to help you build that snowman!
2. Winter Coat (in advance)
I’ve known people who came to the campus never having experienced snow, and who didn’t really think about buying a coat right away. This can be a big mistake. The snow can come out of nowhere with very little warning, and if you are planning on ordering one online, that’s at least 2 days you’re going without the much needed warmth and protection!
3. Waterproof Boots
Cotton boots are not your allies in the Rochester snow. They will get soaked, which means WET SOCKS. Since wet socks are the worst, avoid them by getting some water proof boots ASAP. I would also suggest getting ones which are tight around you calf or ankle, cause getting snow inside the top of your boot doesn’t feel great either… coming from experience!
4. Face Cream
I think this item is particularly important for the bitter days when the wind is harsh. Simply put, it hurts to go outside sometimes, and your skin will be taking a beating. Not only that, but the cold in general dries out your skin. Having face cream handy is the best way to be prepared for those gross nose dry-skin flakes which frankly just happen (a fun image I’m painting huh?)
5. Sun Exposure
So, the days are going to be getting a lot shorter in the coming months, which means a lot less time in the sun. Not only do I recommend sun bathing as much as you can out on the quad right now, I also want to mention a really great thing available at UHS (University Health Services). For anyone getting hit hard by the lack of sunlight, there is a sun lamp! If you think you need it, use it.
6. Windshield De-Icer
For those of you who have cars, I highly recommend purchasing some of this amazing yellow liquid (at least the one I buy is yellow). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten the pile of snow off of my car only to find some thick ice left on the windows. This liquid helps break the ice down a little faster, and makes it easier to scrape off. A very handy thing to keep in the car.
If you don’t already have it, I recommend downloading the app that let’s you pre-order food or drinks from your phone. Trust me, the colder it gets the longer the line at Starbucks. This app is great so you can order your Pumpkin Spice Latte ( or insert your Starbucks order here) before dredging out into the snow.
8. Learn the tunnels, I repeat, LEARN THE TUNNELS
The tunnel system here at U of R was an ingenious idea someone had in order to save us and our shoes from the snow and the cold. The tunnels are a system which connect a lot of the buildings on campus together so that once you find yourself in a connecting building, you don’t need to step a foot outside. The tunnels connect the library to Wilco to the academic buildings (Including Meliora Hall). Though the tunnels are not directly connected to the Warner School if, for example, you have parked your car and made it to the library, you can take those tunnels all the way to the first floor of Lattimore, the building right behind LeChase (Warner)!!! In the same way, you can take the tunnels from Lattimore up to Starbucks, or down to the Pit for some lunch.
I know for some I’ve painted a scary picture about the snow here, but it is a lot of fun! Though people have used anything from trays to bin(or tote) lids from move in day, it’s always fun to get a real sled to go use on the many hills here at U of R! The hill behind Sue B. is a particularly fun spot to ride on down.
All in all, Rochester is amazing and the winters here are beautiful, but they can also be a challenge if you’re not ready for them. Hopefully I’ve given you all some good tips for how to stay safe and warm once winter is here.
That’s all for now folks