So you’re from a place of perpetual sunshine, and you’ve decided to make South Bend your home for the better part of four years.

Welcome to the fold, my friend. Here are some things you should know.

First, there are benefits to this decision that you’ve made. For instance, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this incredible natural phenomenon called “seasons,” but if that’s a foreign concept to you, don’t worry. You’re about to experience the full force of them. And from beautiful fall days to the first snow to the resurrection of the God Quad tulips, they will be a sight to behold.

And for a time, it’s going to be amazing. The air is going to become crisp and refreshing, the leaves are going to turn crimson and gold and every other color on that autumnal spectrum, your carefully curated sweater collection is going to be put to excellent use, and a full array of pumpkin-flavored goodies will be at your disposal.

But then the temperature drops below forty. And then below twenty. And then into the dreaded negatives. And that’s when you begin to earn your South Bend stripes.

Are you now feeling uncertain about the cold, permacloud-ridden days ahead? (assuming even global warming can’t drive away dreary Indiana winters) Here are some five tips to getting through the seasonal horror movie that is South Bend weather:

  1. Get a good coat. Anyone who says you can get by without a coat is a fraud. They’re lying. They’re trying to make you think they are somehow better because they grew up in Minnesota and think anything above negative ten degrees is balmy. Don’t trust Minnesotans. Get a coat.
  2. Prioritize warm-cuts over short-cuts. Sure, it’s shorter to walk from SDH to the library via the great outdoors. But also, you can leave five minutes earlier to cut through LaFun and grab a coffee from the Huddle, thereby giving your fingers time to regain blood flow. Time is money, but so are all the meds you’ll need to take after contracting pneumonia.
  3. Invest in socks. They’re the key to everything. If your feet are cold, it’s game over. You will never be properly warm again.
  4. Be invested in a book series, or a TV show, or a sports team, or something. Because chances are, you will be spending time indoors. So much time. And as wonderful as our dorm life is here at ND, cinderblock walls are still cinderblock walls. If you don’t have an outlet, you’ll be climbing said cinderblock walls in no time.
  5. If it’s fall and you enjoy pumpkin spice, eat/drink pumpkin spice. If it’s winter and you enjoy peppermint, eat/drink peppermint. Don’t overthink it.

For the moment, there’s no need to panic. Until the Bend freezes over, soak in all these October moments—the leaves, the breeze, and the destruction of USC. Soak it all in, and know that now, you’re prepared for what’s to come.

Lacey Silvestri is a senior English and history major who actually loves snowy winters but still uses her home state of Florida as an excuse to complain about the weather. Call her out at