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When I told people from back home that I was moving to Michigan for college, almost everyone replied, “You know it’s cold there, right?”

Yes.

But for Californians, the idea of non-perfect weather can seem daunting. Terrifying, even. The good news is that it is possible, and not even that difficult, to survive Michigan winter.

If you don’t know how to winter, here are some tips from this California girl’s experience:

Clothing

You’re going to need to buy some sweaters. Before I came to Hillsdale, I owned about five sweaters, and four of them had short-sleeves. One was a crop top. It was a problem. I got some good deals in the clearance sections of various stores, and now I’m all set. Layering is super important, and a sweater is a key part of the ensemble.

Acquire a sweet beanie. You already know you’ll need a warm coat, good boots, gloves, and scarves. But the thing that makes a sweet beanie great is that you can keep your head warm and your hair dry while still maintaining those SoCal surfer vibes.

Wear leggings or tights or something under your pants. Fleece-lined leggings or tights are especially cozy. Get some good socks, too, and wear multiple pairs at once if you have to.

Campus

Take advantage of the coffee, tea, and hot chocolate that can be found in the dining hall. A warm drink will keep your hands and insides nice and warm while you walk to class. After class, take your homework over to the Student Union, curl up by the fireplace, and try not to doze off. Or do, it’s fine.

The dorms tend to be pretty warm in the winter, but just in case you’re still cold, cozy pajamas, slippers, and a big blanket will be helpful.

Don’t worry, the cold isn’t as bad as everyone from back home will tell you. Especially this winter. It’s surprisingly warm, actually. And don’t let the people are used to winter tell you that snow isn’t magical. You’ll love it. At least, for the first month.