Weather in New England is infamous for changing at the drop of a hat. Nate gives advice on how Springfield College students can be prepared for the four seasons on campus. Whether you're a newcomer to the area or a veteran New Englander, here is what you'll need to know.
Cover photo: Emma Fan
Coming to Springfield from Pennsylvania, I didn’t overthink the infamous “New England weather,” assuming it wouldn’t be much different from the weather in PA. Boy, was I wrong! I learned very quickly just how unpredictable New England weather can be when we received over 2 feet of snow in my first winter up here. As I have now learned, the weather here changes rapidly and frequently. It can go from 60 degrees with clear skies at 10 a.m., to 40 degrees and raining by mid-afternoon. You can have a sunny, warm Monday and by Tuesday it’s freezing cold with a chance of snow.
So if you are new to New England like I was, or just bad at winter in general, here are some tips to help you survive whatever the unpredictable Springfield College campus weather may throw at you:
1. Invest in a (good) winter coat, warm gloves, and boots.
Don't put it off— these items will be essential as soon as the first days of winter roll around (which may happen at a moment's notice). When shopping for coats, find one that is well insulated, has a hood and is waterproof. Once you have your winter coat, keep a pair of gloves and chapstick in the pocket (winter hack).
2. Learn how to layer your clothes.
Are you getting cold walking to class? Dress in layers! Try adding an extra sweatshirt (perhaps one from the Springfield College bookstore?) for that long walk. Sure, you might need to take off those extra layers once you get to class, but at least you won't be cursing the season on your way there. If you are spending a long time outside hanging out by the lake or watching one of our sports teams, long underwear and an extra pair of socks may be in order as well.
3. Find your favorite warm drink.
Keep coffee or tea on hand for those times when you can’t get warm or you just need a little pick-me-up because the weather has got you down. Of course, with Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts on campus, there's no shortage of supplies. Although some "true New Englanders" will swear that the only way to go is iced coffee all year long (brrr!).
4. Stock up on food.
There is nothing worse than being snowed in and having nothing to eat, or having to trudge out in the middle of a snowstorm just to get some food. Keep your food supply stocked up so you can spend those winter days inside, eating well, and enjoying your Netflix. However, if you don’t have food in your dorm, Cheney Dining Hall is often open regardless of the weather so you can swing by for a warm meal (check online for updates).
5. Keep an eye on PrideNET and Springfield College social media.
Will classes be canceled? Can you go back to bed? When will Cheney open? Keep an eye on PrideNET and Springfield College social media for the answers. The College uses these channels to provide you with the most up to date communications regarding weather alerts.
6. Have a raincoat or umbrella on hand.
In addition to the snow, always be prepared for unexpected rain by keeping a raincoat or umbrella handy. Even though the weather channel says it is going to be 65 degrees and sunny, it could start raining at any time. In addition to the New England weather, Springfield’s campus in right on the lake, which looks nice, but also makes it more likely that you will run into some rainy and windy conditions on your way to class. With your raincoat or umbrella nearby, you will be prepared.
7. Get yourself a good fan for your room.
As cold as the winters are, there is a good chance that it will be pretty warm for the first and last few weeks of the school year. It only has to warm up a little bit outside and your dorm room can start getting hot, especially if you are in a residence hall, such as Massasoit or Lakeside, that doesn’t have air conditioning. For these times you will probably want your window open with your fan on to keep the air circulating.
Now that you know how to combat the rough New England climate, try to remain optimistic and make the most out of every situation. If it’s snowing, build a fort outside your friend’s dorm so you can bombard them with snowballs when they leave. If it’s raining, put on your boots and jacket and go jump in some puddles, or find a good movie to watch inside. Lastly, understand that all of those rainy and snowy days make the nice, sunny days even more enjoyable. So get outside!