Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 3: Adjusting to Evanston’s big freeze

Mika Ellison, Assistant Audio Editor

In this episode of Digital Diaries, we discuss surviving your first Northwestern winter, including how your skincare routine should change
and how other students deal with seasonal depression.



MIKA ELLISON: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Mika Ellison and this is season 2, episode 3 of Digital Diaries, a weekly podcast following the college experience and asking students a question about life at Northwestern.

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MIKA ELLISON: This week’s question is: How did you survive the frigid Evanston winters when you started college?

EMMIE SLACHOWITZ: Funny enough, I could tell why they call it the Windy City-

MIKA ELLISON: Weinberg sophomore Emmie Slachowitz is used to the cold winters in Arkansas, but said her first winter on campus was worse.

EMMIE SLACHOWITZ: The worst part, it was not like the snow or how cold it was. It was literally just the wind on your face, like all the time.

MIKA ELLISON: But who hasn’t made the grave mistake of going out without layers, walking by the Lakefill and then feeling like your face is going to freeze off? Besides adapting to layering her clothes before walking around outside, Slachowitz said even her indoor routines had to change once she got used to the weather.

EMMIE SLACHOWITZ: For me, like my face got super, super dry. And so I just had to make sure my face was really moisturized. I just had to learn how to do different stuff to make sure it wasn’t so harsh on my face.

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MIKA ELLISON: Bienen and Weinberg second year Eloise Brotzman is from San Francisco, where the weather is a lot warmer than Evanston. She was initially excited to see snow for longer than just a vacation.

ELOISE BROTZMAN: There’s a part of it that was kind of exciting, because I’d never really gotten to experience real seasons before because we don’t get those in the Bay Area.

MIKA ELLISON: But Evanston’s low temperatures did surprise Brotzman at first.

ELOISE BROTZMAN: My birthday is in January and it was like a high of 12 degrees, which is by far the coldest birthday that I’ve ever experienced.

MIKA ELLISON: The near-constant winter gloom that rotates between, rain, snow, and a fun mixture of both, also known as sleet, can make going outside pretty miserable for someone who’s not used to it.

ELOISE BROTZMAN: It’s hard sometimes to motivate ourselves to go outside. And also my mood is sensitive to like seasonal changes. So that was also kind of tough. Like I felt like last year was the first time that I’ve really dealt with that.

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MIKA ELLISON: We then asked them if they had any advice for incoming students who aren’t sure how to navigate their first Northwestern winter.

MIKA ELLISON: Both Slachowitz and Brotzman emphasized a need for quality winter gear.

EMMIE SLACHOWITZ: Buy a nice hat, buy a nice jacket.

ELOISE BROTZMAN: First off, get a nice jacket, they’ll make a huge difference. Get like a big one. They don’t have to be necessarily super expensive like you don’t need a Canada Goose. What’s most important is just that it’s really protective. Like you can go out in freezing weather and feel just fine.

MIKA ELLISON: Brotzman also offered advice for students that might feel like winter is not only physically, but emotionally draining.

ELOISE BROTZMAN: Find things that are like fun about the winter. Have specific winter rituals, like drink a lot of tea, for example, or hot chocolate if you like that sort of thing. You can go for walks in the snow if you don’t mind being outside too much. I’d say just like also convince yourself that it’s exciting to get to experience something new.


MIKA ELLISON: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Mika Ellison. Thanks for listening to another episode of Digital Diaries. This episode was reported and produced by me. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is Erica Schmitt, the digital managing editors are Joanne Haner and Olatunji Osho-Williams, and the editor-in-chief is Alex Perry. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear more episodes like this.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @MikaEllison23

Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 2: If I Could Turn Back Time…
Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 1: To change or not to change…majors?
Digital Diaries Episode 8: Grappling with Imposter Syndrome at Northwestern