Goodbye, shorts and flip-flops, at least until we meet again. The cold weather has arrived and has gripped the entire country. According to the National Weather Service, the temperatures in Troy dropped to as low as 18 degrees on Wednesday morning and 22 degrees on Tuesday night. Although the forecast predicts an increase in temperature, the cold is here to stay for a bit, and students have mixed reactions about it.
“I am sorry to say this, but I kind of hate it right now,” said Mouna Keasara, a freshman computer science major from Hyderabad, India. Keasara comes from a region of India that stays relatively warm throughout the year. Keasara said that she is not used to the cold weather yet. “I even skip lunches because I don’t want to get out in the cold,” she said.
For Alabama native James O’Neal, a criminal justice major from Huntsville, the weather is neither surprising nor alarming. “It was actually kind of crazy by this time last year,” he said. “I was freezing, and it’s really not as bad as I expected it would be.”
“I hate the polarizing weather, but just from growing up around it, essentially all my life, I’m kind of used to it,” said Caleb Tarver, an exercise science graduate student from Atlanta.
“Atlanta is somewhat the same way. It’ll be warm and then it’ll be cold, and then go back one. It just fluctuates like that, and just over time you get used to it.”
Tarver advises people who are unfamiliar with the weather in the Southeast to stay prepared and to give themselves time to get used to the ever-shifting temperatures.
“Just get an app that gives you weather updates,” he said. “Just kind of check it when you go outside everyday, and they are generally accurate.”
He also recommends to international students who are unfamiliar with the Fahrenheit scale to double-check their readings in Celsius to stay on the safe side.
For international students like Keasara, being prepared for the winter itself is a struggle.
“I am trying to wear boots and trying to wear closed shoes, which I never wear,” she said. “I prefer flip-flops, and now I have to wear boots.”
Keasara said that her effort to bundle up in warm clothes may be failing, as she has caught a cold and has had a sore throat since the onset of the winter chills.
Layers and layers of clothing are key to surviving the Alabama winter, according to Kayla Snyder, a junior sport and fitness management major from Birmingham. Snyder said that carrying a jacket around is essential due to the unpredictability of the weather.
Snyder prefers it to be relatively colder in her room and stays under blankets to keep herself warm. She said she prefers the cold more to the summer warmth, as it affects her mood. “I’m personally the kind of person, when I’m hot, I get grumpy. Like grumpier than when I’m cold.”
“Just when it’s warmer, you want to go do more things, but when it’s cold, it’s like, I don’t want to be outside,” said Tarver.
Although Tarver favors the summer days to the winter ones, he mentions that the snow days from last year may have been one of the happiest days students had while in Troy. “I love to see how happy everybody else is when it snows.”
Most students, either liking it or disliking it, are adjusting to the cold, but for some, who hail from colder cities, this is barely cold.
“I don’t have any issues with it (the weather),” said Kaitlin Mereand, a freshman biomedical sciences major from Watertown, New York.
“It goes from hot to cold, to hot to cold again,” she said. “I think it’s really weird because normally (in New York) it gets cold and it stays cold for about six months, and then it gets warm again.
“My roommate is from Alabama, and she put on two pairs of pants today,” Mereand said, finding it amusing that a temperature of 40 degrees was a cause for alarm here. She said that she is not a big fan of the Alabama summer, as it gets too hot for her, but the weather right now is pretty perfect to her — other than the absence of snow.
“It’s a lot of fun. You can go out in the snow, and you can go do all the winter sports, and go snowmobiling and skiing and all that stuff,” she said.
With years of experience in living in a colder climate, Mereand suggests that people put on layers and gloves to stay warm, and also use lotion and chapstick to take care of their skin.
“There are some people who don’t have any warm clothes, and they tend to be cold, and then they wonder why they’re cold,” she said.
Love it or hate it, the weather cannot be ignored. With the Alabama weather being moody, there is a need for students to be prepared for any amount of heat, rain, wind or cold thrown their way. Brace yourself, Troy; winter is coming.