Dear 100 Hour Board,
Will an incoming freshman who is used to warm Texas weather be able to survive the freezing winter temperatures of Provo? How?
-Dreading the cold
Whenever I am sad about the weather, I simply look at the weather in Oymyakon, Russia (a city in Siberia). This works for me even when I am trying to endure Canadian winter, which is much worse than Provolone winter.
For example, if I was sad about the weather right now, I would go and check the weather in Oymyakon and see this:
And I would compare it to this:
**All temperatures in Fahrenheit.
And even though it is still sad, I would feel a bit better. I don't know why this works so well for me, but it does.
When I first left home for school, it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit when I got on the plane and -7 when I got off the plane. I was totally ready to catch the next flight back home. But my grandmother picked me up and brought a coat (I'd have your winter coat either in your carry-on or waiting here for you) and my other grandmother sent me a package full of leggings, thermal shirts, gloves, fuzzy socks, etc. That saved me for the first couple of months.
After that first year, everything else has been tolerable. It's never gotten that cold since (that was a particularly bad inversion). Also, I found that looking forward to winter things helps me keep a good attitude. That can be waking up to a soft snowfall, cuddling up with hot chocolate and a book, or breaking out a pair of swanky boots you only wear in the winter. For example, this year I developed a love for snowman building.
(Yes, I'm showing off. Just let me have my day in the sun!)
Speaking of day in the sun, I do still struggle with the cold. It's weeks like this that gets me down. I'd rather have a really short, cold winter than a winter that gives us two weeks of beautiful spring, then says, "Just kidding. Back in the snow with you!" Urgh.
The Lone Musketeer
Dear Fellow Texan,
As The Lone Musketeer mentioned, it really depends on the winter here. My first winter at BYU, I didn't see any weather that I hadn't seen growing up in northeast Texas. It got down into the 20°s sometimes and snowed a few inches, but everything was mostly comparable to what I had grown up with. The next two winters were apparently awful (or great if you really like snow), but I was on my mission, so I can't comment on those.
Speaking in more general terms, this is my fourth winter in Provo, and I can attest that you'll be fine if you do as Zedability suggests below. There will be a few weeks here and there where the temperature drops to 10° or 20°, but temperatures above freezing are far more common, particularly during the day.
In addition to wearing layers, hats, gloves, and scarves, I think one really important piece of advice is to not let the weather fool you. Pretty much every year there will be a short warm spell (around 50°) and everyone will think that spring has arrived. Don't believe it. If it isn't March, it will snow again. Even if it is March or April, winter might not be over for good. The forecast is usually pretty reliable, so check it before you plan what you'll wear.
My final piece of advice is to ignore all the people saying it gets hot in the summer. Just don't pay them any heed. Telling them that it's not that hot won't do you any good, so just let them wallow in their misery as you barely break a sweat in the 90° and 0% relative humidity.
Probably not. It's best to tell your mother that now so that you can preempt her sadness upon finding out that her dear child froze to death in the frigid wasteland of Provo, Utah.
-Alta, resident voice of doom
I served my mission in Texas, Fort Worth to be exact. In my opinion Texas winter is more bone chilling than Utah winter. Yes, Utah has the snow and colder temperatures, but Texas has humidity and the wind cuts through all of your clothes. I much prefer a Utah winter and I think you might as well!
-Sunday Night Banter
If you find yourself feeling cold, wear more layers, not thicker single sweaters. Also, take off some layers while you're inside so that your body doesn't adjust to feeling comfortable at room temperature in your coat/sweaters. That will make you feel cold when you go outside again. Don't forget to wear gloves, hats, scarves, and boots as needed.
You're going to be fine. I had mission companions in the Canada Halifax mission who came from warm areas and they all made it through weeks of -40 weather and snowstorms that dumped several feet of snow at a time.
Also, I second what SNB said about humidity. Utah is very dry and that actually helps a lot. (Dryness does bring its own issues, so you might want to invest in some good lotion and some hair conditioning products).