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Staying Warm in Chiberia

It is common knowledge that Chicago winters are brutal. We are not nicknamed “The Windy City” for nothing. While winter is characteristically thought of as only a three month long season, in Chicago, we enter almost six months of blustery, frigid weather. I have been told by many people that I should not complain about the weather because by going to DePaul, I somehow consented to the horrible weather we get every year. Sure, in some sense that may be true, but there is a very drastic difference between talking about -30ºF wind chills and experiencing -30ºF wind chills. Experiencing the weather is 10x worse, but as Chicagoans and DePaulians, we have to know how to handle it. Below are my tips for staying warm.

•    Invest in a great coat. When I came to DePaul as a freshman, I brought a normal winter coat. It was a little puffy and had a hood. After only experiencing Chiberia for a week, my kind mother sent me a new coat that went almost down to my knees. It helped, but still, the winds were too strong. This year for Christmas I got a huge, puffy coat that goes down to my ankles. It makes me look like an eskimo, but it is glorious and warm. 

•    Seriously, bundle up. This goes beyond having a great coat. A hat, scarf, and thick gloves are necessary. Brave one day without them and I promise, you will agree with me. Sure, you may look a bit silly, but that silliness is worth not having to be painful and numb for half of your class. Also, a good pair of snow boots are useful. DePaul does a great job of shoveling the sidewalks, but not a lot of other places do. I always shake my head at the poor soul who is wearing Toms when there is 10 inches of snow on the ground.

•    Drink warm beverages. Always have a mug of your beverage of choice at your disposal. I am not a coffee fan, but tea and hot chocolate never fail to warm my insides. It gets so cold out that you can actually feel the drink traversing your esophagus and warming up everything it touches. It is a wonderful thing. My go-to places to get that feeling are: Starbucks (there are three within two blocks of campus), the Bourgeois Pig (a cute, book-themed café), and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (a bit far from DePaul, but just look at that menu).

Obviously, even with these tips, you may still be freezing. Spring and summer in Chicago are worth the agony we experience every winter, I promise. Do not let these winters deter you from Chicago! You will become a true fighter and Chicagoan.