Merciad how-to: Winter survival


Cheyanne Crum

The infamous Erie winter has once again brought pain and misery, with some beauty, to Mercyhurst students.

Cheyanne Crum, Staff Writer

The Erie weather we know and loathe has finally struck Mercyhurst. The campus looks like a snow globe. It’s beautiful. However, the person that owns our little snow globe really needs to stop shaking it.

As the weather continues to grow colder, and the snow piles up, we say goodbye to the sun until the spring thaw. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with the winter cold, most of them include bundling up and staying inside after dark.

Surviving Erie winters is a never ending battle, but we do it every year. There are many tips and tricks to surviving the cold on a college campus. One trick that I have learned is that there is no such thing as too many layers. I am not a person that stays warm once the heat is turned off or the blankets are gone while I struggle to get to that 8 a.m. class.

A t-shirt, hoodie, winter coat, hats, gloves and scarves are always great options. This works well when it’s below zero outside and 100 degrees in the classroom–layers can always be taken off.

To melt off the chill of the day, everyone usually takes showers with hotter water in the winter, which can cause skin to get severely dry. Dry skin in the winter is prone to cracking, peeling and possible bleeding. Lotion is the key. Make sure that your hands and face and any skin visible in the cold is hydrated to avoid the painful cuts and itching.

Lately, my hatred of the cold has gone to the next level where I have been trying to find ways to stay inside the whole way to class. Too bad Mercyhurst does not have any good secret societies, as they would have had all the cool underground tunnels like you see in the movies. I’ve even begun vividly daydreaming about digging the tunnels myself to avoid going outside when it looks like a frozen tundra.

The freezing cold would not be so bad if I had a decent pair of boots. I have spent many years trying to find that one pair that does everything. I have found boots that keep my feet warm but not dry, dry but not warm. How hard is it to find a pair of boots that do both? It is a struggle to find clothes that keep out Lake Erie wind, but it should not take years. Since this perfect pair of boots with this amazing combination still does not exist for me, it is always best to carry an extra pair of socks in your bag, just in case your feet get uncomfortably wet.

If you happen to be one of the unlucky ones with the 8 a.m. class, be sure to wake up early enough to grab that first cup of coffee at Egan or the bookstore. That burst of caffeine is great but having something to warm you up is even better while you are trying to focus in class.

A necessary, ancient trick to surviving the cold is of course, “always wash your hands” to prevent getting sick. In the winter, this is even more important, with all the colds, flus, and other diseases going around the student body. If you are as unfortunate as I am to get sick in the winter, try to plan ahead by buying cold medicine, cough drops, tissues and whatever else makes you comfortable when you are sick. The last thing that I want to do when I am holed up in bed with a cold is walk to CVS for medicine.

The last piece of advice I can offer is try to have fun! Winter sucks everywhere, and in Erie so much more, but grab a few friends and start a snowball fight, build a snowman, or buy some cheap sleds and sled ride down one of the many hills we have on campus.

We need sunlight; it makes everyone just a little bit happier. The months of winter can drag down everyone’s spirits, adding in all the classes and homework, we can end up with some harsh months. Do not let winter get you down.