March Like a Penguin: Tips on dominating the unheated dorm

March_of_Penguins_600

The weather’s changing, folks. We’re transitioning from the season of waking up plastered to our sheets by sweat with five fans surrounding our beds to that awkward season where we’re still waking up plastered to our sheets, now paralyzed by frigid dorm rooms. It might seem petty to complain, especially since it’s going to get a lot worse in the coming months (brace yourselves, freshmen from California), but at least when hardcore winter hits we’ll all have reliably cozy refuges (a.k.a. heated rooms) from the cold.

If you’re like me and live in a currently unheated dorm, your room could be even colder than the great outdoors. A certain sequence of events might sound familiar to you: Your alarm goes off. You can’t get out of bed. No, you’re not tired. In fact, you’d really like to brush your teeth and eliminate your abominable morning breath, or make yourself a cup of coffee. But every time you extend a limb–nay, a finger–or lift your head out from underneath the blankets in which you’re hibernating, BOOM. Antarctica hits. Every few minutes you’ll try again, give up, withdraw back into your blankets like a crab into its shell. This could last for up to an hour before you muster the courage to face the chill.

cat in bed meme

Such a constant state of cold discomfort can make EVERYTHING more difficult, from taking a shower to studying. Especially compared to the phenomenal warmth of a comforter, the frigid walk to the bathroom can seem like an impossible task. And until Brown does turn on the heat in all buildings, here are some tips for marching like a penguin (a.k.a. continuing to perform basic daily tasks without hating life, Brown, and New England):

  1. Keep a sweater next to your bed. Now, you might not want to wear your warmest, fuzziest sweater to bed. That, added to your quilt, comforter, sheets, throw blanket, and insulating aluminum foil, might make you feel a little overheated. So, for the dreaded moment when you need to leave the bed, ALWAYS have a sweater an arm’s reach away. If that isn’t enough, you could put the next day’s change of clothes by your bed as well. That way you can change under the covers and never have to subject your poor body to the chill.
  1. Wear your best pair of socks. Always. It’s scientifically proven that keeping your feet warm helps keep the rest of your body warm as well. Alright, that may not be entirely true. But it IS true that your feet, on the periphery of your body, suffer prominently from the cold. That brings me to tip number two: always wear a nice thick pair of socks. If you only have flimsy athletic socks, wear two pairs at once. Worried about having to take them off to put on flip-flops when you have to walk to the bathroom? Don’t worry, socks and sandals are in. Or at the very least, whoever spots you between your room and the bathroom (suitemate, hallway go-er, etc.) probably won’t look anything like Ryan Gosling and, more importantly, won’t really care.
  1. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate. A hot cup of anything can be both a great motivator for braving the cold and an added protection against it. If you’re lucky enough to have a roommate, suitemate, housemate, or friend who is simply a better person than you and offers to bring you a cup of tea, definitely take advantage. With that kind of luck, you can even stay under the covers until you get your tea, then carry it around your room as your very own weapon against the cold.
  1. Changing: a systematic approach. It’s that unfortunate time of day when you have to change into your work clothes, or your gym clothes, or whatever. No, your boss said, PJ pants are not appropriate for when you’re sitting at your desk. Change your clothes systematically: leave your pants on while you change your shirt and vice versa. Keep as much of you as warm as possible for as long as possible.
  1. The hunger strategy. Ok, so you’ve been hiding under the covers, and you really need to leave them to study for the ten midterms you have this week. But studying isn’t exactly the most appealing activity. Eating, on the other hand, is a much better motivator. Think about the pizza you really want from Andrew’s, or that warm Blue Room muffin. It’s much easier to put off working than it is to put off eating. Then, when you go out to get food, bring study materials with you. Try to study in the Ratty, or head to the library after a meal. The SciLi may be drafty, but it’s definitely better than your dorm.
  1. Ripping off the Band-Aid. That whole cycle I talked about, when you venture a limb outside of the covers and immediately freak out? Try not to do it. In the mornings, leap out of your bed like you’re late for lunch with Taylor Swift. It’ll feel like jumping into a cold pool: over in a heartbeat.

Luckily, the heat is supposed to be turned on by this Friday (WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!), but for now, hopefully these tips will help you power through the next few days. Stay warm, Brunonia!

happy feet gif

Images via, via, and via.

Leave a Reply