Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Alaskan Shares Advice for Surviving Next "Arctic Blast"

By Hope Steffensen, EPPS Blogger

Winter is very common where I am from. In Alaska, winter is actually an annual occurrence! However, my understanding as the new kid on the block here at UT Dallas is that winter in north Texas is not quite so common. I guess that explains all the doomsday headlines on the news when the ice storm broke out last month.

Words like “Icepocalypse” and “Frigid Arctic Blast Hits North Texas” were scrawled across the screen. It made me wonder, “If this is an ‘Arctic Blast,’ what does that make winter in Alaska?”
So, in case Jack Frost rears his ugly head and ices us in again, here are some “Winter Tips” from a self-proclaimed winter expert.

Tip # 1—Winter is not the time to make a fashion statement
This one is mostly for the women out there. Ladies, resist the urge to wear those adorable felt-bottomed boots. They may look amazing, but one won’t look amazing slipping and falling because of lack of traction on one’s footwear. Stick with comfortable walking shoes to avoid those embarrassing falls.
Tip # 2—Dress warmly
Now, while this may seem obvious, there seems to always be a slew of people who want to prove how cool they are by not wearing a jacket when it’s thirty degrees outside. Indeed, doing that will make a person so cool he/she will probably catch a cold. Besides, even Alaskans wear jackets in that type of weather. Rest assured, there is no shame in wearing a jacket.
Tip # 3—Avoid couch potato syndrome
It is important to stay active, even if one can’t go outside. Walking up and down stairs in the Residence Halls, doing push-ups in one’s room, or even doing some simple stretches are ways to make sure one doesn’t go dormant like a Kodiak Brown Bear on those chilly days. It will help one not only be healthier physically, but it will refresh one mentally as well.
Tip # 4—Keep doing schoolwork
Just because classes are shut down for a few days does not mean they won’t re-open. Homework and studying will still be due when the weather warms up. Tests do not melt away with the ice. By being diligent and studious with the extra free time one has from not having classes, one will have a lot less stress when regular class schedules resume. Just like any day, studying and being prepared will help ensure success in the days ahead.

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