How to Survive Boston’s Weird Weather

“How’s the weather today?”

This question has been on my lips every morning for the last three months. Growing up in Rhode Island, I have learned from a young age not to question 60 degree days in December, snow in April and everything in between. But what about Emersonians from warm places like LA, Miami and New Orleans who have never known this kind of debauchery? How are the people from even harsher places handling this–the ones who have always relied on cold staying cold? How are the international students who are just now experiencing life in this hemisphere? My advice to everyone baffled by these strange occurrences: look no further and have no fear. There is a way to cope with Boston’s madness and I suggest you take notes.

Check the Weather Reports

If you have a smartphone, you can access weather data instantaneously with the touch of a finger. Don’t make the mistake of relying on friends’ opinions of what it’s like outside. Each person’s experience of temperature is subjective and unique to their own perspective on the meaning of “cold.” I have one friend who wears nothing but converse and a blazer in a foot of snow. Do the smart thing and check the temperature on your phone–it even gives you an unbiased estimation of what it “feels like” based on wind chill. Just be aware that forecasts going later into the week are subject to error.

Listen to Your Mother

Even in the event of an unseasonably warm winter like this one, a cold snap is always lurking around the corner. Don’t get faked out by a week of t-shirt weather; the next day it can drop to below freezing. Try to dress accordingly to the weather app’s predictions, but also pay attention to how long you will be out. If you leave your dorm or apartment in the morning and come back at night, things will be quite different. This is why I say to listen to your mother and dress in layers. When I was just a tiny tot, my mom used to put me in the puffiest coat she could find. To further the marshmallow effect she added mittens, a hat much too large for my head and huge snow boots. Now that we’re all adults here, you can make these choices for yourself. That means that you can exclude certain dorky factors if you wish, but you still might want to wear a third item on top of your shirt and beneath your coat. Think of it like this: if it ends up being colder than you thought it would be, an extra layer will be appreciated. If it gets up to 50 or so, you’ll be glad to have some middle ground between your ski jacket and t-shirt that you can peel down to. Another tip from all the moms out there: bring a hat and gloves!

Plan Around the Temperature

If you’re like me, you had some cool stuff planned during the last snow day that unfortunately did not happen. If I had been smart like you are and read a blog post like this one, I would have known to look ahead and plan that stuff for a day when the wind wasn’t trying to rip my face off.

I personally am still getting used to the concept of not being able to hop in the car and drive somewhere. The T is arguably a problematic fave, to be favored only above walking. In nor’easter conditions and light flurries alike, you never know when some tracks will get shut down. Keep in mind that rush hour times will be particularly bad when the train you need is only running half as often as usual. Plan ahead and don’t get caught in the middle of a blizzard with no milk for your cereal!

Learn to Love It

When you’re feeling particularly resentful towards the weather, remember that not everyone gets to witness all four seasons in a year. Boston may be annoying from November to March, but hey, at least there’s never a dull moment. When it rains, put on your moody poet face and sit in a coffee shop–you can even glare at people broodingly as they walk by the window. When it snows, go outside and try to catch snowflakes on your tongue. And when it’s a bitter cold, take a walk down memory lane and remember all the good times you had when it was sunny!

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