Commuter Corner: Commuting in the Cold

 Winter at UConn is cold - especially for a commuter. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

Winter at UConn is cold - especially for a commuter. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

Okay, so by now this cold thing isn’t new. We’re well into one of the many winters of our lives, but I feel like college students (myself included) are not always the brightest when it comes to the common sense aspect of life.

As I’m walking through Tornado Alley, aka Fairfield Way, I felt like my ears were going to freeze off. My hair was whipping around in the gale force winds, letting every bit of heat that had been trapped in the nest atop my head be free to roam campus.

It was not a pretty sight, nor was it a pretty feeling. I smartened up the next time I dared move to another building, making sure I put on a hat and gloves before heading out, but it was still freezing. Thus, this article was born. My goal is to remind everyone, with a special emphasis on commuters, what to have packed at all times.

You aren’t entirely hopeless if you managed to get accepted here, so I’m assuming you know the most basic of all survival techniques: a coat. If you don’t have one, please buy or borrow one. Just wearing a sweatshirt only works for hockey players. If they’re too expensive, try to catch a ride to a Salvation Army or Goodwill. You may not want whatever they have there, but it’s cheap, and you don’t want to freeze.

In addition to having a super warm coat, make sure you always carry gloves and a hat. It can be a stunningly cute hat, or it can be one you’ve had since elementary school that is pink and zebra print. I prefer to go with the latter, but I don’t live here and thus don’t have to deal with any consequences for that fashion choice. If you’re on a budget, hats and gloves can be found at Dollar Tree. They also have scarves, if you feel like your coat is letting a little too much wind in up top.

Snow boots are another good suggestion, but they aren’t necessary. Why, you ask? Well, if you have a good sneaker, the water won’t even go in it. I’m not even kidding. Mine were $10 at Walmart, and I was shocked to find that my foot wasn’t freezing.

Here’s where the article is going to get a little more commuter-y. There are certain things that you just need to make sure are in your car. It might sound unnecessary, but snowy roads cause problems. The four-wheel-drive people just scoffed at me, but as soon as I bring up ice they’ll take it back. Accidents happen, so you need to be prepared. Always have some filled water bottles in your car, and make sure you have enough snacks so that if you’re stranded somewhere, you can still eat. Keep a blanket in your car, because even if the heat still works, you don’t have an unlimited amount of gas to keep you warm.

Even more important is having one of those ice scrapers in your car at all times. You may head into UConn thinking you won’t need it, just to have a few inches come down while you’re in class. Or you may assume that the first few floors of the parking garage will have at least one open spot, and then you get stuck on the roof without any protection from the elements (this literally just happened to me).

Don’t let your laziness stop you from staying safe. Maybe none of you are like me and you get the whole common sense when it’s cold thing, or maybe you aren’t too lazy to get yourself a quality scraper. In case you are, this article’s for you. Stay safe.


Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hannah.desrosiers@uconn.edu.