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Student Voices: Winter Tips from Kayla

 
Kayla Sutherland, Blog Contributor, Winter Afficianodo 

Kayla is an office assistant in the Office of Global Engagement. She's currently studying to become a speech pathologist.   

Welcome to Utah, where one day it’s sunny and warm, and the next day it’s snowy and cold. Days in the sun are decreasing, but the good news is, summer bodies are not enforced for the winter. Say hello to hot chocolate and Netflix. Here are some tips to get you through hibernation:

1. Wear a coat
A big coat. The average temperature in Logan is freezing, literally. According to US Climate Data, the average temperature in Logan is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a distinct difference between a jacket and a coat. When it’s snowing outside and you’re walking through the cold, you should always be wearing a coat.

2. Carry spare socks
It’s not uncommon for socks to get a wee bit, or a lot wet, when walking outside during winter. Slip a comfortable pair of socks into your backpack in the morning before you head out. Nothing is worse than cold little toes. Having warm socks in your backpack just might save your day.

3. Wear durable shoes
When you’re tired and don’t want to get ready for the day, it’s so easy to just slip on a pair of sandals and go to class. Friends, don’t do that. Wear shoes that will protect your feet from getting wet. Closed-toe shoes with traction to help prevent slipping on ice. Some types of boots, while they are cute, they are not very water-resistant. Make sure that your shoe of choice will get you through the snow without discomfort.

4. Stay home if you’re sick
Tis the season for sickness. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, do all those annoying things your mom makes you do when you’re a kid. Frankly, your mom is right. No one wants your germs, so if you’re sick, do us all a favor and stay home.

5. Allow yourself extra travel time
Seriously though, this cannot be stressed enough. Roads and sidewalks can quickly and easily become slick in the winter. Give yourself extra time to get places. Black ice is common in Utah, and it is very dangerous. Black ice forms when there is moisture on the roads and temperatures drop below freezing. Black ice is clear and difficult to spot. When the roads and sidewalks look wet, it’s a good rule of thumb to slow down. Protect yourself and protect everyone else on the road by leaving early enough to take your time on the road.

6. Be prepared
To tag along with the previous tip, be ready in case something happens that results in you being stuck or stranded in your car. Keep at least a half tank of gas in your car at all times so that if you were to break down or get stuck, you at least have some sort of warmth. Carry a blanket in your car to keep you warm as well. Even if you don’t break down, at least you have it to kneel on if you need to change a tire. Finally, don’t forget to buckle up. It’s not hard and it saves lives.

These are a few tips that just may help you survive winter at Utah State University. Next week, as you shuffle your way into finals, remember, Jack Frost isn’t knocking on the door. He’s pounding.