If you’re from Kansas you’re used to 32-degree mornings and then 75-degree afternoons. You’re used to wearing your puffy coat to class then lugging it all three blocks home because now the sun is shining and you’re pretty sure you know what a marshmallow feels like in the microwave with it on. You’re used to scraping ice off of your window the same day you have a picnic planned and your car AC/Heat switch doesn’t get much rest.
This year the famous Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, and, as Kansans who have seen all kinds of weather at every time of year, we’re really not phased. We are, however, sitting on our porches in shorts and t-shirts and expecting snow by next week. So we’re going to have to be prepared. You’re going to have to have those boots ready right next to the Birks you were wearing today during the 65-degree paradise that was Manhattan, Kansas.
Here are five tips for surviving the ever-changing Kansas weather from a born and raised Kansan:
1. That Jacket. Yes, it’s necessary. But yes, it also needs to be luggable. And yes, it’s also got to fit somewhere in that lecture hall row. But don’t let yourself suffer. (So many guidelines!) Short and sweet: make sure you’re warm enough to get to class. Make sure you won’t hate yourself carrying it back in the afternoon if you have to. And lastly, if it’s cold enough for a puffy coat, it’s cold enough to need gloves and a hat. Be safe. They can always be stuck in your back pack if/when it becomes a summer day.
2. Oh the raaaain! It’ll getcha, and you won’t even expect it. It’ll be sunny and warm or chilly and windy, but somehow the rain will still come. You know that thing they say in The Fault in Our Stars? “The rain comes slowly, then all at once?” That’s Kansas. To. A. T. But let’s be real, you can’t bring an umbrella with you to campus everyday unless it’s one of the tiny ones that will fit nicely in a backpack pocket. If that’s not an option, the most important thing is your backpack. You will dry. Your laptop, textbook and homework that took six hours will not recover as well. Just stick a trashbag or grocery sack in there to whip out when the downpour comes. After that, if rain is in the forecast, any article of clothing that is water repellent is preferable…
3. Hot, like a fiya. The easiest (shorts and a t-shirt), but toughest day to dress for. Because no matter what, when you get to that last layer of clothing there is nothing else you can do. I’d say, light colors -> no sweat stains, deodorant in the backpack -> no B.O. (close quarters in lecture halls…your neighbors will thank me), and water -> because it is possible to be “workout sweaty and tired” from one walk between classes.
4. The Different Climate Zone Classroom. This one is unique because it’s not an actual weather situation, but if you’ve ever walked into the cloud that is an AC-less lecture hall you know it’s real and it’s unbearable. If this is a constant setting for you the best solution is going to be layering. Cold day in December but Amazon-like classroom? Put that big coat, over that sweatshirt that’s covering your summer-ready [K-State] t-shirt. Same goes for a cold classroom; layer. Wear that tank top on your trek and have a sweatshirt ready to keep you snug and focused.
5. Shoes. Oh my gosh, shoes. Ok. In full disclosure I rarely wear shoes when it’s not necessary so I’m the girl you see in sandals when there’s snow on the ground. But for the general public, it always does to be well prepared. Boots in the snow or rain (no one likes wet socks inside of tennis shoes, no one), tennis shoes if you’re going to be hustling all over campus, cute but comfy shoes if you have to give a presentation but have a full day of classes after and casual shoes for everyday wear. Also, don’t try to ride your bike in those biz-casual heels, stick them in your backpack and wear the flats. Trust me…
Hey! You are now prepared for the rain, snow, sunshine, windy, hot, cold and everywhere in between day of classes! So basically one day here in Kansas. Holla!