November literally flew by, and we’re already into December. And you know what this means; it’s the beginning of the ever so dreaded long, loong, looooong, freezing cold winter of everybody who lives in South Korea experiences. Are you ready to fight the extreme temperature drop, the freezing sky bridge walks, and of course, the classrooms with barely-working heaters? If not, here’s a survival guide to help you through KIS winter; may the odds be ever in your favor!
1. Varsity jackets? Padding jackets?
Let’s start with the basics: your outerwear. As a KISian, you’ve probably seen 90% of the students wearing their varsity jackets during the winter. Honestly, varsity jackets keep you extremely warm. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry. You’ve also probably seen countless students from Korean schools wearing their padding jackets. Down jackets are usually quilted and filled with down feathers, which are great for thermal insulation. With the extreme winter that hits South Korea every year, many famous brands such as Descente, The North Face, and Adidas all come out with brand new lines of padding jackets. So whether it be your varsity jacket or padding jacket; make sure to wear what keeps you warm!
Warmers, or scarfs, whatever you want to call them; they’re pretty much vital to survive the winter. Keeping your neck warm makes a huge difference in the overall warmness of your body, and you really don’t want to be the only one with chattering teeth. Plus, they come in so many colors and styles. Whether it be red, black, or white. Whether it be an infinity scarf, or a wrap scarf. I guarantee you’ll find the perfect combination you’re looking for. Hunt around places like Gangnam, and get the warmer that will help you survive the winter!
3. KIS Go-to-places
Some places in KIS are extra warm, and this list just might help you overcome the winter. First off, Mr. McClure’s room is always exceptionally warm (maybe even a little too warm). I don’t know what’s up with his heating system but students usually find themselves sweating in his class, and end up taking off their jackets. But he sometimes opens his windows, and that drops the temperature right back down, so be careful with that! The individual practice rooms can also potentially keep you warm because you can control the temperature on your own (with the heater), and you’re confined in a small space where the heater can quickly take over. Other than those two rooms, I also recommend the theatre room, and of course, the beloved cafeteria.
I know, uggs are so last year. But what can I say; they’re so freakin’ warm. You’re better off wearing uggs in the winter over sneakers. Also, avoiding chilling your feet isn’t simply a matter of whether you’re warm or cold. According to Ronald Eccles, Ph.D, of Cardiff University, “chilling the feet causes vasoconstriction in the nose”, and “[this] has two common cold-producing effects”, which are the reduction of “immune cells available in the nasal epithelium”, which, inevitably, allows infectious viruses to easily attack our vulnerable bodies. Complicated terms and language aside, cold feet can lead to sickness, and we really want to avoid this; winter cold can get you pretty bad, and it can weaken your body a lot! Basically, the lesson here is: wear uggs!
5. KIS Must-avoid-places
Of course, KIS also has the complete opposite, absolutely freezing places. The quite obvious one are the two sky bridges; they’re absolutely freezing. You’ve probably encountered the cold breeze that you have no idea where it came from when you’re walking over to the H building from the G building. With the windows on both sides of the bridge, it’s inevitable for the sky bridges to be cold; so walk through them as quickly as possible before you start shivering. Other places to avoid (if you can) include the conference hall area, the first floor of the H building, and the gyms. Of course, if you’re actually exercising and playing sports, the gym will likely not feel cold. But if you aren’t, it’s definitely not the best place to go to if you want to stay warm!
The winter we experience as KISians may not always be the winter wonderland we yearn to be in. However, we’re lucky enough to be treated by Student Council with hot chocos, hot packs, and the winter ball. See, winter isn’t so bad. Plus, you have this survival guide; so have no fear. Make the best of the season, and stay warm so you don’t catch a cold! Happy Winter!
– Leona Maruyama (’17)
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