Newhouse Insider: How to Handle Winter Like an Upstate New Yorker

Dominick Pfisterer

I would like to reach out to my Orange peers who may not be from upstate New York. Especially the Florida natives or anyone else getting their first experience with snow. It was cute in October getting flurries, right? Like nothing you have ever seen before? A winter wonderland? The fall semester ended in late November, but what you saw before then was merely dust compared to what is coming and what has already fallen – as you may know being two weeks back on campus.

Being born and raised in this tropical climate of the 315, I am no stranger to the cold. “I was born in it…molded by it,” as Bane said in The Dark Knight Rises. That being said, the white powdery stuff that has been falling from the sky brings a different set of rules. In case no one else has prepared you for what is coming, I am here to help prepare you for an upstate New York winter.

Jack Frost is not going anywhere.

My first piece of advice would be to buckle up, because the cold is not going anywhere for a long time. Those gray skies seen over campus are going to be here to stay until April. Just mentally prepare that even though Christmas is over, and the holiday spirit has faded, the cold is going to remain in full force. The sooner you get used to Jack Frost nipping at your nose like he has been for the past three months, the easier it will be to get through this. It’s not so bad wearing that mask when you’re outside now, right? Also, as the winter progresses, that beautiful white snow that is Instagram-worthy is going to turn into wet, gray, disgusting slush that makes the roads and sidewalks slippery. Be careful walking and especially driving around.

Bundle Up

Investing in some solid winter gear will pay dividends. I personally like my Timberland boots because they are waterproof and prevent my socks from getting wet as I trudge through the snow around campus. There is nothing worse in this world than wet socks in the winter. Maybe research papers, but at least my socks are dry when I’m writing. I would suggest investing in a nice winter coat as well. I do not recommend breaking the bank for a Canada Goose jacket because there are plenty of stores in Syracuse that sell high quality coats. Even Walmart has a great selection of winter gear.

Your Snow Mobile

If you have a car, you are going to want to protect it. Having an ice scraper is really nice in the mornings when your car’s windshield is completely covered with ice and the windshield wipers just won’t do the trick. You may even want to give yourself 5-10 minutes in the morning to start your car and let the heat run. This will help melt the ice on your car while also making the drive much more pleasant. Driving in the snow is a different animal. Please drive slowly, because there is nothing worse than losing control of the car. Even being down in Washington, D.C., it is amazing to see how people struggle with driving in a fraction of the snow that I have seen Syracuse get.

The winter can be a lot of fun. I personally never liked the cold once the holidays were over, partly because the second half of winter is the worst stretch. I hope these tips were helpful if you are new to a Syracuse winter. Enjoy the rest of the winter my friends.