As the new semester begins, the students of Mercyhurst University find themselves once again dealing with typical Erie weather.
Some days, it will be 50 degrees with absolutely no precipitation whatsoever.
Most days are not like that, unfortunately.
Snow never sets in around here until after the holidays, so students have harsh, cold weather as another obstacle to overcome during the second half of the school year.
Having lived in this town all 22 years of my life, I have come to expect unforgiving conditions such as these.
I see the snow as a worse alternative to the days of cold rain, as the water stays on your coat much longer than when it’s frozen into snowflakes.
I make sure to not only wear a sweater, but also a winter coat.
Gloves and a hat are also necessary, as a coat doesn’t keep your ears and hands from getting cold.
Believe it or not, your hands, along with your nose, are more susceptible to decreasing temperatures that any other part of your body.
These aren’t the only articles of clothing that I use.
If the snow has built up, then I will wear longer socks along with boots, making sure that no snow reaches my feet, making just walking around an annoying chore.
But while the cold outdoors is one problem, indoors present an entirely different dilemma.
During the winter, there is much less moisture in the air, so everything is drier.
No one likes dealing with dry skin.
Thankfully, there are solutions to this problem.
This leads to not only my lips becoming chapped, but also my hands, which have even bled time to time.
To remedy this condition, I apply lip balm to my lips each and every night before going to bed.
For my hands, I use skin lotion, which never fails to heal any of the dry cuts on my hand the following morning.
I also recommend buying a humidifier if you don’t already own one. It helps to have moisture in the air in your room.
Make sure to turn it off whenever you’re about to leave your room, it makes refilling it a less common chore.
You don’t want to spend excess money on it.
For exercising, there are two methods I use during this long season.
Whenever it’s too cold to run outside, I go to the gym and run on a treadmill or use an elliptical machine for 30 minutes.
If the temperature is around 40 degrees and it is not snowing or raining outdoors, then I go for a run.
When I go for a run, I always make sure to put on my running pants and sweatshirt.
When I go to class, I try to stay indoors as much as I can.
Whenever I have a class either at the library or CAE, I enter Old Main first.
I walk all the way down the hallway until I reach the passageway connecting Old Main and the library.
Using this route, I can attend my classes without having to deal with terrible weather.
Sadly, if you have classes in Zurn or Hirt, then this route will not help, and you will just have to brace the weather.
And no, using the doors in the Old Main chapel is not a realistic option.
Part of the Mercyhurst experience is learning to overcome any obstacle in your path.
We deal with heavy workloads, speeding cart drivers, crowded sidewalks, huge amounts of student loan debt and so much more.
The obstacle in this case just happens to be dealing with the yearly terrible Erie winter weather, which I know you are capable of.
So I wish you all the best of luck.
I know that together, we can get through this.