Winter as a Student in Columbus, OH

At Ohio State, students choose our programs from all over the United States and many parts of the globe. With this diversity, many people have never experienced an Ohio winter before. I am on my fifth winter living in Ohio after completing my undergraduate degree an hour outside of Columbus. Before this, I lived in South Carolina, where “cold” days carried temperatures in the 30’s and warmer days reached the 60’s in the winter months. As someone who went through this process five years ago, I understand some prospective students may wonder if this climate will fit their preferences. Here are a few things I have learned:

The seasonal changes carry restorative benefits. Personally, I love to spend time outdoors. I played collegiate golf during undergrad, spending hours each day outside at practice and competitions. Regardless of sports, many of my peers spent an abundance of time outdoors too. Anything from leisurely walks for fresh air to extracurricular hobbies occupied their time and, although very enjoyable, it added more to balance for time management. The winter seasons provide a natural reprieve from this on-the-go lifestyle with colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours. I consistently finish the fall term strong and start the spring with a similar gritty attitude toward coursework. Being on top of my studies makes me feel confident about participating in these extracurriculars when the warm weather returns.

This year at Ohio State, I have felt the same cycle occur. Despite retirement from collegiate athletics, I still found more time for bike rides and outdoor social activities in these warmer months. With ongoing job search efforts and classes, I felt ready for life to slow down a bit in the winter to focus on rest and my schoolwork.

The cold Ohio winters also allow you to explore new interests and benefits of Columbus living. When the season makes it tougher to do certain usual hobbies, I found myself trying new things. The Blue Jackets or Buckeyes hockey teams provide a fun winter activity to enjoy indoors, as well as Ohio State’s basketball team. Additionally, finding cozy coffee shops can offer a nice spot to warm up and meet with friends or leave the house and study in a different spot.

Finally, this time of year provides an opportunity to approach hobbies from a different angle. As someone that likes to stay active, I trade in the time on my bike and find myself getting into a rhythm with indoor lifting. For friends that enjoy cooking, I hear them exclaim over the opportunity to try new warm, seasonal recipes like soup and chili. While a new climate threatens to disrupt the normal activities that you appreciate as a stress release, I believe that many people thrive on the change as an opportunity for recovery and growth. Then when warm weather returns, they approach their activities with refreshed enthusiasm and appreciation.

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