If there’s anything we all learned from Snowmageddon, it’s that weather can really throw a wrench into things when we least expect it. Like me, you may enjoy an occasional winter wonderland, but we can probably all agree that shoveling and avoiding ice patches are flat-out annoying. If the recent storm has made you feel like you’ve had a rough start to the semester, read on for some tips on how to make the best of the remainder of the season.
- Explore the great indoors. As many of us discovered during the campus-wide power outage, there are endless ways to stay entertained inside that are 100 percent electricity-free. As a yoldie, or young old person, I am partial to knitting and doing puzzles. You may prefer making those melted crayon paintings or playing the Game of Life. Regardless, this is the perfect time of year to find things you enjoy to pass the time, whether by yourself or with friends.
- Crack open a book. Snowstorms are an ideal time to delve into the world of literature. Even if you’re one of those people who “doesn’t like reading,” you have nothing to lose by looking for something eye-catching on the bestseller list and scanning the first chapter. If you’re looking for something gripping and out of the ordinary, I highly recommend Room by Emma Donoghue. It will make you think differently about being “trapped inside” this winter. Plus, there’s a movie adaption currently out in theaters.
- Utilize (but don’t abuse) the internet. There are some awesome modes of entertainment available to us on our various technological devices. They range from cerebral and thought-provoking to utterly mindless. Far too often, I find myself scrolling through dozens of Buzzfeed Food videos when I’d really rather be watching a great show on Netflix or discovering my new favorite artist on Spotify. There’s nothing wrong with aimlessly browsing the web once in a while, but if you find yourself doing it for extensive stretches of time, think about switching to something you know you genuinely enjoy.
- Adopt better sleeping habits. Winter weather can turn the best of us into very cranky creatures. No one wants to get out of bed when it’s below freezing outside and the ground is covered in gray slush. However, I can promise you it’s much easier when you’ve had a full, restful night’s sleep. Try to set a regular time to go to bed, and put your phone somewhere you won’t be tempted to reach for it. Also, give yourself plenty of time to get ready for the next day when setting your morning alarm.
- Stock up on healthy snacks. Yes, you want to be prepared for the next time you’re snowed in and starving… but what about the times when you just don’t feel like braving the cold? (We all have those days.) Instead of ordering pizza whenever you feel the pangs of hunger coming on, be ultra-prepared and stock up on your favorite nutritious goodies. Lately, I’ve been enjoying simple air-popped popcorn. A quarter cup of dry kernels, a paper lunch bag, a microwave… and voila, you’ve got a yummy, healthy, filling snack.
- Assemble a snow survival kit. You don’t have to go out and buy three shovels, but if you have a car on campus, you should consider coordinating with your friends to share ones you already have. You should also invest in a good pair of gloves, an ice scraper and some boots. All of these are common sense, but like I said, I’m a yoldie…which means I’m also a bit of a mom.
- Preemptively combat illness. There are some nasty germs out there, so defend yourself with hand sanitizer. Also, stock up on tissues, cough drops, NyQuil, and tea. The odds are pretty strong you’re going to catch something eventually, so you’ll thank yourself if you keep your arsenal well-supplied.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the snow, you may find yourself dragging your feet this semester. If that’s the case, be proactive and try to keep yourself occupied and on track. Spring will be here before you know it. You can do it!