UT Students on How to Survive Campus Winters

The University of Texas at Austin brags about the average 300 days of sunshine the city experiences. However, first-year and transfer students are left to wonder what the remaining 65 days feels like. Upperclassmen offer their advice on how to survive winter at UT Austin.

Story by Ceinna Little

Photo by Brianna Casselman

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If you’re like Business Honors first-year Arushi Mathavan, you may have no idea how to handle winter in Austin. “I’m not prepared much,” she says. “I’m from the Valley and we don’t really experience winter, but from what I have already experienced here, I can tell that it’s going to be pretty intense in comparison to what I’m used to.”

Thankfully, upperclassmen are ready to offer advice and tips on how to handle the sudden temperature drops. Marketing second-year Isaac Mackzum and Math and Economics third-year Curt Glatz advise students to learn how to cut through buildings in order to get to where you need to be. Isaac says, “I come from north campus, so I cut through the Flawn Academic Center and McCombs Business School in order to get to south campus.” He also advised to bring tissues everywhere to soothe a runny nose, and to invest in gloves, a warm hat, blanket and an umbrella. Lastly, dress in layers. “I don’t always like wearing pants, so wearing running tights under shorts keeps me warm.”

“Warm up before running. I made a mistake and did a full sprint without warming up and got sick almost suddenly,” Curt says. He also says to invest in boots and, if you don’t have a working thermostat in your room, to go to the shower and run hot water on your legs before going to sleep.

Business Honors and Marketing fourth-year Mary Heck, on the other hand, offered up some knowledge on how to stay healthy during the cold months in Austin. “Austin doesn’t usually get to freezing temperatures, but sickness becomes an obstacle with communal spaces.” She says to carry hand sanitizer, always wash your hands with soap, and don’t touch your face. She also warns to be aware of your nutrient intake. “Drink water and eat a variety of foods that are different colors to make sure you are getting antioxidants,” she says. “Also get a healthy amount of sleep. I’m originally from New Jersey where it gets dark at 4 p.m. A lot of people struggle with seasonal depression, so make sure to schedule self-care. Get sunlight and sit near windows.”

Public Health second-year Winnona Rafanan offered advice on how to stay warm in and out of the dorm room. “Sleep with more than one blanket, drink hot drinks and wear socks to bed, even if it feels weird. It helps with internal body heat,” she says, “It was pretty hard for me to transition in Austin during the winter months. I learned that it’s better to have too much on, than not enough.” She also endorses investing in shoes with faux fur on the inside, including house slippers, and studying with a Snuggie on. “It keeps you warm while you are out of bed.”

The winter season can be hard, even more so when you are unaccustomed to the weather patterns. Whether coming from a warm, humid area or a cold and dry region, knowing how to handle winter in Austin can provide great value. Rest assured that your upperclassmen have your back.