During winter break, I’m consistently bombarded with the same question – “How on earth did you survive? How many coats do you wear – 3? 4? 50?” While I understand the ridiculousness of such questions, I still ask myself the same questions the moment I step off the plane. You see, I’m from Los Angles, the city where temperatures below 50 degrees are simply unheard of, even in the winter.
After I was accepted to Yale in the spring of 2010, I was always concerned about New England weather. The summer before heading east, I ransacked every store in southern California searching for a sturdy jacket. Much to my dismay, the one jacket I had purchased (the one I esteemed thick enough to sport in Antarctica), turned out not to be waterproof. I was hopelessly bad at picking out winter clothes.
And so, I ended up coming to Yale armed with only one, not waterproof, jacket. Worse yet, I had completely overlooked the value of winter boots – I was confident in the ability of my California sandals to survive winter. At that point in time, my winters were essentially East Coast summers.
My residential college dean took notice when I stumbled into the dining hall donning sandals in November. He graciously offered to help me find winter clothes (including that elusive waterproof jacket) and pick out proper footwear. This was unexpected – while I knew that Yale provided fantastic academic support to all undergraduates, I didn’t think that they would willingly help me conquer winter. Once I purchased proper outwear (a down coat) and sturdy boots (fit for both rain and snow), I felt much better and actually enjoyed my first (real) winter in New Haven.
I advise all fellow southern Californians out there to not be deterred by the weather. With all of the support systems at Yale, you can conquer the rain, sleet, and snow.