This is a special blog post. What follows is meant for those of you who will be coming from sunny places and know little to nothing of winter in Ohio.
Snow has finally reached Columbus, much to the joy or dismay of the students, faculty and staff. The relative beauty of such an occurrence seems to be directly correlated to a few factors. The love one has of snow can, most often, be extrapolated based on the amount of time one spends scraping ice off of their windshield. Another factor to consider in our little study is the number of winters such a student has spent in similar conditions. Experience can limit error and reduce stress but so can a few helpful hints from a seasoned veteran of the frozen onslaught of the fluffy white stuff.
From someone who grew up in Ohio and who has spent the past 4 years living in the snowiest county in Ohio (which is NOT near Columbus so don’t worry too much) here are a few tips to conquer winter in Ohio.
1) Own an ice scraper and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR.
I would actually recommend that you have 2 scrapers. This way if you are not alone you can make your travel companion help you. Additional helpful gadgets are the keychain ice scraper and the extendable ice scraper (A must have for the SUV, Truck or Van driver). The only time you should use a credit card or drivers license to clean a window is under extreme duress.
2) De-Icer Liquid and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR
There is a spray you can buy which helps to de-ice your windshield and it is an AMAZING emergency tool. You can also purchase windshield wiper fluid which contains de-icer. Both are cheap and can become EXTREMELY helpful.
3) Start your car early AND TURN ON THE HEAT
Start your car before you need to leave and allow yourself some extra time to clean your car so you are not late for class. If you’re going to scrape off your car, start the engine, turn the defroster (the setting that looks like bacon in a little square) on full blast all the way to the warmest setting. This will help to a) warm up your car so when you get in it isn’t freezing and b) loosen the ice on your windshield.
1) Boots and Socks – Invest in some rubber or winter boots and nice thick socks. Alpaca and wool are good options and there are many places which produce these locally!
2) Coat and Hoodie – For the coat I would suggest wool or something that makes you look like the Michelin Man. Whatever you choose make sure that the wind can’t get through. For the hoodie, go for an OSU hoodie, the OSU Bookstore has some GREAT cold weather selections.
3) Gloves, Scarf and the Fluffiest Hat You Can Find – I’d stick to Scarlet or Grey! You’re going to want them when you sit through the OSU-Michigan game!
1) Shovel – get a snow shovel, this may also be used to dig out your car or in a particularly frustrating moment, remove snow from your car.
2)Melting Salt – If you have a sidewalk, driveway or porch this is helpful and can get some of the ice off of your walkway.
The most important thing about this preparation is that each of these items or actions allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of winter in Ohio. The snow is beautiful, making a snowman in the oval is tons of fun and if you’re daring enough to jump into mirror lake before the OSU/Michigan game, you’re going to want a nice warm coat to put on once you’re done. Those who have never spent a winter in snowy weather say it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen. Seeing winter through they eyes of my classmates from warmer climates is like seeing snow for the first time all over again. Winter is not impossible, it’s not even all that hard. Winter in Ohio just take a bit of forethought to make it successful. Snow can be beautiful and seeing it upon waking up can become a joy rather than a burden, as long as you let it!