12 Things I’ve Learned From The Polar Vortex

I’ve lived in Rochester, NY all my life, but until you’re a college student forced to walk across what feels like Asia to get from class to class, you don’t really understand winter. Here are some things I’ve learned during the last four months in Rochester’s bi-polar (vortex) winter. 

1. It’s full of disappointment. Just when you think it’s getting better, it’s not. Don’t put your parka away so quickly; you’ll need it next week (or tomorrow). 

2. If it looks clear, it’s probably not. Just because it looks like the plows have been out and there is a flat area for you to drive on, doesn’t mean it’s safe. That’s just a lot of packed snow with a layer of ice underneath. 

3. While we’re on the topic of plows – if you think the plows will be there soon, don’t hold your breath — because you’ll be dead before they get there. 

4. “People in Rochester should know how to drive in the snow.” No. Rochester is filled with just as many stupid people as the rest of the world – so don’t have too high of expectations from your fellow roadies.

5. Just when you think you can toss those extra travel tissues – I’d suggest keeping a few tucked in your glove compartment to avoid that whole liquid nose drip thing as you walk through the parking lot (because it will freeze to your face).

6. Nothing is worse than sideways sleet. I repeat, nothing.

7. If it looks like a parking spot, it’s probably not. But you can make it one just like the idiot next to you did.

8. Have a pair of backup favorite boots — salt doesn’t like leather.

9. No flats. Really, no flats.

10. Those people in shorts – they’re not brave or trying to make a statement. They’re actually really cold. And probably need to do laundry. 

11. Just because the calendar says “First Day of Spring” doesn’t mean winter is over. Mother Nature doesn’t like the calendar — look over there, it’s snowing.

12. Just keep the snowbrush in your car all year round. You never know when Vulcan will strike. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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