Surviving the GVSU winter

Bradley Schnitzer

Well, Halloween is over and it is officially November. You know what that means? No, it does not mean that it’s Christmas already. At least hold off on the Christmas stuff until we stuff our faces with turkey. What November means is that winter is coming.

Depending on where you come from, winter can range anywhere from mild breezes to absolutely brutal gusts of wind and snow. At GVSU, in the middle of the good old tundra that is West Michigan, the winter season tends to be the latter. In order to survive and thrive in multiple feet of snow and bone-chilling negative temperatures, there are a few things you can do to push through the hellish next few months.

Your mother always told you to have a coat, and she’s right. To survive a winter in Allendale, you need to have a winter coat. Obvious, I know, but you won’t believe what people choose to wear. Don’t be the guy in a sweatshirt, shorts and flip-flops in the winter. That may work for him, but it probably won’t work for the everyday sane student. A good quality winter coat will keep your body warm and your spirit up. Oh, and invest in a good pair of boots as well. You don’t want to be caught on the Cope Slope without boots on.

That leads me into my next point.

Avoid the Cope Slope at all costs. I haven’t ever slipped and fallen on it, but everyone that I know has taken a not-so-glorious fall on this infamous hill at least once in their college career. Just don’t do it.

If classes are canceled due to inclement weather, whether it be university-wide or your professor just doesn’t feel like coming to class that day, utilize your time wisely. Sure, you can curl up with some hot chocolate and watch Netflix all day, but you can also get some work done. Don’t have any homework to finish? Why not read ahead? You’ll thank yourself later down the road.

For when GVSU doesn’t cancel classes even though there’s a blizzard, utilize your resources. By resources, I mean the buses and buildings. The buses are warm and will help you get to your destination faster than walking.

If you’re stuck walking, plan out your route. For example, if you live in the northernmost dorms and you have class in Padnos, you can cut through Kleiner, Mackinac, Manitou and then quickly cross the bridge by Fresh. If you cut through buildings on your way to class, you might save some time and you’re only outside for a minimal amount of time.

Now, if you need to get from Hoobler to Lake Michigan Hall, good luck with that one. You might just have to tough it out with that winter coat I mentioned earlier.

Finally, if you drive your own car, don’t be a hero. Drive slowly, no matter how skilled of a drifter you think you are. You’re not. Be safe and be careful, especially on campus.

Winters in the Valley can be brutal, but with a little bit of planning, it is possible to survive and still do well in classes. It may be warm as a midsummer’s day outside as I write this piece, but we live in Michigan. It could be a blizzard tomorrow for all I know.