lone pine
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A picture of the snow from outside my window.

It's been about two weeks since moving out to the Upper Valley to start winter term, and—just like the name of the term suggests—it's been extremely cold, especially for a Floridian like me. While the winter offers the opportunity for so many fun outdoor activities, think ice skating, sledding, skiing, and snowboarding, being unprepared for the cold is definitely an unpleasant occurrence. In order to enjoy the snow and the beautiful outdoors around the Hanover-area, here are some of the tips I've learned from friends, upperclassmen, and my own experiences to prevent freezing while at Dartmouth.

While obviously cold weather means wearing a coat, I never really thought that people actually wore caps during the winter, but—as it turns out—these are absolutely imperative. Not only do they help by protecting your ears from the cold, but they also protect your hair from snow; trust me, avoid wet hair as much as possible during the winter. The first time I shoveled snow while here, a pile of snow from one of the trees fell right on my head when I wasn't wearing a hat, and I promise I've never been colder in my entire life.

Beyond hats, shoes with traction are definitely a top priority. I wasn't expecting to slip all the time, but ice is everywhere during the winter, especially the morning after a warmer day. I would recommend bringing either boots or some form of ice grips to make sure you're not wiping out while walking to class.

A really overlooked winter necessity is lip balm and body moisturizer. This totally shocked me since I never really use lip balm back home in Florida, but here I'm constantly putting it on. Also, body moisturizer is a must have for winter weather; the combination of cold and dry air definitely takes a toll on your skin and I find myself needing to reapply every day or else my hands and legs get so dry.

Winter is definitely one of the most beautiful times to be in the Upper Valley. I'm so beyond excited to be able to take advantage of the outdoor activities. From running—which is super fun during the wintertime—to skiing, Dartmouth provides an outstanding sense of place that's perfect for every season, despite the temperature. So, while winter can obviously be cold and a little unpleasant, investing in a couple of things could make adjusting to the winter significantly easier.

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