How to Survive Winter in West Michigan

By Sarah Hiemstra on February 23, 2018

Winter is an exciting time of the year. It brings the holiday season, snow and dropping temperatures, especially in Michigan. Whether you love winter or loathe it, there are simple tips that can help you survive a West Michigan winter. In fact, you might just be able to thrive in it.

1. Bundle up.

Being prepared for frigid temperatures is a necessity during winter in West Michigan. Inevitably, you'll have to go outside. And when that time comes, the fact that you have the right attire will make all the difference.

For example, your investment in a pair of warm boots is essential. On walks to class, you'll want boots that will keep your feet toasty and dry. Going along with that, owning a hat and a good pair of gloves can make all the difference. Companies like Love Your Melon provide winter apparel and donate 50% of their profits to children fighting cancer.

2. Invest in an ice scraper and snow brush.

Nothing is quite as disheartening as walking out of your dorm to a snow-covered vehicle with nothing but your hands to use as a tool. For the record, your student ID does double as an ice scraper. However, a tool that is meant for the job is both preferable and affordable.

Most ice scrapers and snow brushes range from $5 to $15. The most common models can even be found online. If you would like to be a bit more high-tech, there's a nifty new invention called "Ice Off" that deices your windshield for you. Whatever method you choose, you won't regret your decision to supply yourself with winter tools.

3. Take it slow on the roads.

Driving in the winter is undeniably beautiful. The snow on the trees and the glistening icicles on buildings provide a picturesque scene that is deceivingly peaceful.

Michigan winter roads can be treacherous. Knowing how to navigate them will make all the difference in your winter routine. Here are some winter driving hacks to keep in mind:

  • Leave early.
  • Take it slow.
  • Be patient.
  • Stay away from rumble strips.
  • Keep blankets in your vehicle, just in case.
  • Most importantly, don't panic and enjoy the scenery.

4. Build up your immune system.

In Michigan, winter is synonymous with cold and flu seasons. Stuffy noses and sore throats are a common occurrence. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to help ward off any unwanted illnesses.

If you're comfortable with vaccines, get your flu shot. It is the best prevention against influenza which tends to be rampant in the winter.

Another way to boost your chances of staying healthy is by taking Vitamin C gummies. Not only are they delicious, but they are also affordable and often go on sale.

And finally, one of the most simple ways to stay healthy is by washing your hands. It protects you and others in your surroundings by preventing the spread of germs.

5. Embrace it.

The West Michigan weather certainly presents challenges, but there are also aspects of winter that make it incredibly fun. Because West Michigan is an area that receives lake effect snow, we tend to have more snow than other areas in the state. It presents wonderful opportunities for snowboarding, snowshoeing, skiing building snowmen, igloos and the occasional old-fashioned snowball fights.

Additionally, the cold weather allows outdoor rinks to freeze, creating the perfect setting for ice skating. Rosa Parks Circle is a bustling location for an affordable, fun evening.

The Takeaway

Whatever your opinion on cold weather and snow, the chance to sip hot cocoa while admiring the winter from your window creates the perfect study environment. For a college student, that is priceless.

Categories: Dorm Life, First-Year Checklists, Student Perspectives