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Surviving The State College Tundra: An Out-Of-Stater’s Guide To Winter

I am a born-and-raised Southern Californian who thought winter temperatures began at 60. Somehow, I ended up in Central Pennsylvania where winter is much more serious than a cool breeze off the bay.

Last year, I survived my first real winter, but it was definitely a shock. So for all of my fellow out-of-state students that are dreading impending snowstorms, here is your winter survival and snow fashion guide.

Get A Heavy-Duty Jacket

I thought I would cope with the typical down jacket that goes to your waist. Boy, was I wrong! That type of jacket will only last you the change from fall to winter. Once it is winter, the only mode of survival is a jacket that goes to your knees.

Pick up a heavy Carhartt or Canada Goose coat for when the icy winds really hit. You’ll thank me on that first December walk to Forum.

Hats Are Important

I was not used to including a hat in my outfit, but I quickly learned that if I didn’t want my ears to burn from those top-of-the-hill winds, I would need to wear a hat.

Make it stylish, too. Maybe you’re a fan of the classic beanie, the fur-lined, ear-covering plaid, or a Stetson/fedora for all you adventurous cowboys and girls out there.

Your Shoes Need Tread

I was so excited to get a pair of Timberland and Sorel, boots because I thought that they were cute, not because I thought I would depend on them every time I went outside.

I would not have survived without those boots, to be honest. With the help of thick socks they kept my feet dry and warm and, as someone who didn’t know how to look out for an ice patch, helped me avoid falling on my butt multiple times.

Play In The Snow

Winter is a magical thing for someone not from the North. For many, it’s the first time that they are fully living in the snow. Have the snowball fight that you have always dreamt about, make the snow angel you could never make in your front yard, and enjoy the overall beauty of State College in the snow.

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About the Author

Riley Davies

Riley is a sophomore studying Public Relations from Orange County, CA. You understandably may be questioning why she is at Penn State and to be quite frank, so is she. She loves dogs, Creamery lemonade, and going to Trader Joe's. You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rileyydavies for retweets of dogs.


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