A storm wallops the northeast and students give deep-freeze advice (includes video story)

This past weekend, winter storms buffeted the northeast with hurricane-force winds and up to two feet of snow, while in Miami, temperatures fell into the 30s.

Eight students from Florida International University experienced weather whiplash – leaving South Florida for their first “nor’easter.”

The group adapted quickly and found techniques to help them brave the cold.

“Maybe you are used to shorts and a little crop,” said one of the students, Eugenia Scheuren. “But here, you have to layer and layer.”

Here are some of their other ideas for Miamians moving up north:

Start adapting to the cold early on

When FIU senior Daniela Jaramillo learned she would be moving to D.C, she knew she would need to prepare mentally and physically for the harsh temperatures. As a result, she started researching how to train her body to acclimate.

“Before I came here, I started taking cold showers and I stopped wearing sweaters to classes where it’s usually very cold,” said the Miami local. “I even stopped drinking coffee or hot tea because I felt like I was cheating the cold-shower regime.” 

While her routine may seem intense, Jaramillo believes the effort has paid off. “Even though I dreaded them, they definitely helped me get used to the cold,” she said.

Always wear a scarf

The broadcast media intern also shed light on a wardrobe essential for the crisp winter.

“I would say scarves are the most important and there’s an anatomical explanation to it too,” Jaramillo continued. “Even if the rest of your body is getting hit by cold weather, if your neck is covered, you’re probably not going to feel it as badly.”

FIU student and Hamilton Scholar Emelie Jimenez agreed on the importance of scarves over any other accessory. 

“Have one really good scarf,” she said. “Without it, the small gusts of wind will hit the back of your neck and you’re done for!”

Buy a pair of touchscreen gloves

Jimenez also commented on how difficult it can be to accomplish regular tasks when your extremities are cold. One Washington broadcast student who is also a Hamilton Scholar, Angelo Gomez, expanded on how to stay productive while protecting your hands.

“Invest in touchscreen gloves because trying to use your phone while having regular gloves can become a hassle. Nobody wants to take their gloves off to type in 20-degree weather,” he said. “It is not even an option to take off your gloves because your hands start to freeze pretty quickly.” 

Some of FIU’s current students and alumni gathered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon last weekend before the snowstorm (Courtesy of @fiuindc)

Schedule your outings for the daytime

Other FIU students advise that newcomers to the cold climate organize their time to avoid the extreme temperatures late in the day.

“The D.C. cold is no joke,” said Fabio Lopez, a digital broadcasting major. “To avoid getting the worst out of the cold, I would suggest getting all of your chores and shopping done before sunset since the wind and weather after that can truly test your endurance.” 

Layer all of your outfits

Each student agreed there is one crucial part of styling outfits for the brutal weather in the northeast.

“The key to surviving the cold is layering. I bought a thin layer, a medium layer, and a heavy layer,” stated Kali Ray Skinner, a digital journalism student. 

However, not all of the recommendations from the college students were made from fear of the bitter cold.

Most of these students have never lived outside of South Florida and are experiencing exciting changes like working in a new city, using public transportation and seeing snow for the first time.

“Living up here in the cold has been a joy for me so far! The air is so crisp and it just makes you feel so awake, energized and vibrant,” Skinner said.

Despite the drastic change in environment, these Floridians continue to face every day in D.C with optimism and, more importantly, a few extra layers. 

Taylor Gutierrez is a Cuban-American digital journalism student and intends to pursue a career as a multimedia journalist, combining her passions for writing and photography. Gutierrez currently works as a Communications Associate for FIU's Institute of Environment where she discusses issues within the field of environmental science. She hopes her writing will help bridge the gap in communication between media consumers and the scientific research community.

Sophia Lama is a senior at Florida International University majoring in broadcast journalism. She was ABC 7 Chicago’s first-ever race and culture reporting intern. Currently, Sophia is a part of the NBCU Diversity, Equity & Inclusion fellowship in Washington, DC and is interning for ESPN.