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My friend and I laying down in the snow

I was crazily unprepared when I returned to campus for my first winter term. I went from the high 70s to the low 20s in less than 24h, as I journeyed my way back to Hanover. While the drop in temperature caught me off guard, I made several smart decisions at the start of the term that truly did wonders for me, so I'm happy to announce that I never froze! The tips I'm about to share below not only helped me adapt to this unfamiliar weather but also allowed me to fully embrace it.

River near campus frozen over in February
Whenever I get some free time, I like to go on long walks near campus, even in the winter! One of my go-to spots is the Connecticut River, which is typically frozen over at this time of year.

Before Dartmouth, I had never worn a thick jacket, a woolen hat, or winter boots. I received quite a shock when I stepped off the coach and was instantly hit by a cold gust of wind. With very few warm clothes in my closet, I signed up for the Sustainability Office's Winter Clothing Drive. Rest assured, I left that drive with multiple items that served me well throughout the cold months. So..., do not fret if you think layering up could hurt your wallet, as you can get a wide selection of clothes for free!

Dartmouth's emblematic business school building, covered in snow
This shot gives you a sense of what campus looks like whenever we get a fresh blanket of snow. I personally think campus looks stunning in this kind of weather, and I can assure you that the sun does come out after a snowstorm!

Once I had secured all the appropriate gear, I could now enjoy outdoorsy winter activities like Winter Carnival and the legendary snowball fight. Winter Carnival is a three-day festival in the middle of the term that features Ice Skating exhibitions, snowshoe races, ice sculpture competitions, and so many other fun events! After a long week of studying and busy schedules, this is yet another opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the magic of winter. Although I wasn't brave enough to test my fate with winter sports, many of my friends also enrolled in skiing classes that term at Dartmouth's own Skiway, which provides a generous number of affordable lessons and equipment rentals. I was too scared to even go down a bunny slope, but for all those adventurous souls, winter is the perfect season to learn new sports, ranging from snowboarding to cross-country skiing!

Friends spending time outside in the snow during Winter Carnival
This year we were blessed with amazing sunny weather for Winter Carnival, a great time to be surrounded with friends and enjoy a full schedule of winter activities!

I honestly thought Dartmouth's winters would be a lot more brutal than they turned out to be. I'm not going to gloss over the fact that on some days temperatures dropped below freezing. However, looking back, I would argue winter was by far one of my best terms. Spending time bundled up indoors with friends allowed me to form really meaningful connections. I don't think I'd be living the quintessential Dartmouth experience if I hadn't sampled all its seasons. I can easily point out the positives of Hanover's crisp fall weather and warm spring days, but the winter is also full of great surprises, even for the worst cynics out there. Please don't be intimidated by the cold, just come (a lil) prepared!

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