Dec 10, 2018

Colder Climates

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“Ask The Experts” is written and provided by Scholarship Media. It does not reflect the views of The Collegian or its advertisers.

I’m graduating this year and have a job lined up. I’m excited to move and get to work, but I’m a little apprehensive about where I’m moving: New Jersey.

I have nothing against New Jersey at all (hey, I’m moving there, right?), but I’m a lifelong California kid and I am not at all sure that I’m ready for the climate. I know it gets pretty cold in New Jersey sometimes, and when I went to look at apartments recently things were already feeling pretty chilly in some of them. What sort of tips would you give a warm-blooded kid moving to a cold, cold place?

New Jersey can indeed get a little chilly! Winter temperatures can frequently drop below freezing, and Northern New Jersey can get 40 to 50 inches of snow every year. But, of course, New Jersey’s residents are used to these sorts of things, and they’re prepared!

It may take a bit for you to get used to things. But hey, at least cold weather can make you thinner! Studies show that we burn more calories in the cold than we do in the heat.

Of course, cold outside doesn’t have to mean cold inside. The apartments that you describe sound as if they may not be properly heated and insulated. It can be tough to tell on a short visit to an uninhabited apartment, but ask your realtor if you can turn on the heat and see how well it works. Look for drafts, too: experts say that replacement windows and doors often result in energy savings by eliminating poorly sealed and insulated areas that may be letting that New Jersey cold in.

You should also rethink your wardrobe, of course. Make sure that you have a decent winter coat. A heavy wool coat will work for most occasions. But don’t stop there: get a range of garments, and look for ones that can be mixed, matched, and layered with each other. Experts recommend layering up for everything from hiking to a trip to around the block, because layering allows you to adjust your temperature to stay warm without getting so hot that you sweat (sweating in the cold is a bad idea, because you’ll end up colder in the long run). While we’re on the subject of comfort, look at your bedding, too. A nice down comforter traps heat in a way that sheets can’t, experts say, as does a heavy duvet. An extra blanket or two for the bed (and perhaps for the couch and any other places intended for comfort and relaxation) can’t hurt, either.

It will take a bit of planning, some new clothes, and a bit of time to get used to your new climate, but don’t worry! New Jersey is hardly the arctic, and it offers toasty 80-degree days in the summertime. Winters may get rough, but you’ll be on the famous New Jersey Shore before you know it.

“Nothing burns like the cold.” — George R.R. Martin

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