Students from warm climates meet the Northwestern tundra


Daily file photo by Gabe Bider

For some Northwestern freshmen and transfer students from warmer climates, acclimating to the Evanston winters can be difficult.

Nicole Feldman, Reporter

Weinberg freshman Lauren Guerra, a Florida native, said winters were a foreign concept to her before attending college. 

Snowstorms have made Guerra take a new approach to simple daily activities. She remembered one day this quarter when it snowed so much, it was difficult to walk.

“I didn’t realize how drastically the weather conditions would affect my life,” Guerra said. 

This winter, many Northwestern freshmen and transfer students from warm climates have encountered their first snowfall. The University has not announced any “snow days” this year or canceled classes due to the weather since winter 2019. Guerra said she was surprised classes were not canceled with the heavy snow but figured most people were probably used to it.

As a California native, Communication freshman Mary Kate Tracy had minimal experiences with snow before attending NU. She said she learns more every day about dealing with such extreme weather and is slowly becoming acclimated to Midwestern winters.

Icy sidewalks accompany the challenges of the initial snowfall. When snow melts and refreezes, patches of frozen snow on the ground make it difficult and, at times, dangerous for many students to travel from their residence halls to their classrooms. Tracy said she had to adjust to walking on ice, learning to shuffle across NU’s frozen sidewalks instead.

“Dealing with snowstorms has not been easy,” Tracy said. “When I look out the window and see all the heavy snow falling, it makes me reconsider going outside.” 

Weinberg freshman Cami Villarroel-Gomez, who is originally from Raleigh, N.C., said she did not expect the snow to have such a lasting impact on campus. She shared Tracy’s experiences learning to walk on snow and ice. 

Although snowstorms caused difficulties for some students from warmer climates, others said they did not have as much trouble adjusting to this new experience.  

Weinberg freshman Morgan Chaljub, a Texas native, said layering and wearing a good winter coat has helped her better endure the weather and the snow at NU.

“It is really exciting and pretty to see the snow everywhere on campus,” Chaljub said. “I had no idea what to expect or how to deal with cold weather and all it brings, but it hasn’t been too big of an adjustment.”

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Twitter: @nicolefeldman_

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