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Tips for moving from warm to cold location for grad school (or south to north)

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psychamous, Mar 22, 2012.

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  1. psychamous

    psychamous

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    I'm moving from a warm southern state to a state in the northeast to start grad school this fall. I'm trying to make a list of things to buy/ things to keep in mind for whenever I make my big move. So far, all I have are:

    - snow shoes/boots
    - coat hanger

    Any other tips/things to get as a grad student living in the northeast? Is it worth it to get an apartment with indoor parking? What about snow tires? Any adjustment warnings?

    Any input is much appreciated!

    Edit:

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  2. ela

    ela

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    .
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  3. Marissa4usa

    Marissa4usa

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    -Snow tires
    -Snow chains (depending on how hilly it is where you live) - I wouldn't buy those until you know whether you need them.
  4. wigflip

    wigflip

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    sounds obvious, but earmuffs and/or giant scarf. ears get cold!
  5. busybusybusy

    busybusybusy

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    I think it depends on how Northeast you're going to be. Are you talking Maine or Philly?
  6. NotTheHoff

    NotTheHoff On Internship

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    Get some gloves. If you have a smart phone, you can look into gloves that allow you to expose your finger tips or look into smart phone-friendly mittens.
  7. psychamous

    psychamous

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    New Jersey, so closer to Philly.
  8. dramaqueen616

    dramaqueen616

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    I did this once and the things that made all the difference in the world for me were warm boots that are waterproof and insulated (if you are a girl Khombu had some great options), a past the knee down coat, long underwear (not the kind you are thinking of from when you were a kid something that is synthetic not cotton), and a Subaru if you need a car (all-wheel drive will save your life). Basically go to REI and ask for recomendations

    New things to expect: you're hair will never look the same and almost always has to be put up, salt that melts the snow destroys your nice shoes so just don't wear them out, summers tend to be so humid but the winter makes you feel dry as dust so get some good lotion, and finally at the end of your first winter...one day...unexpectedly...you will walk outside in 40 degree weather and find yourself saying, "Wow what a nice day." That was when I knew I needed to move back to Cali ;)
  9. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    You guys are talking about this like it's a move to Alaska! Also, not every state salts. And if it doesn't, you will wish it did...

    Talk to me when you think 20 F is a nice day. ;)
  10. deadmau5

    deadmau5

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    It's hotter in Toronto this week than in California.
  11. Pragma

    Pragma

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    Tim Tebow will keep you warm.
  12. syzergy

    syzergy

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    I just want to chime in as a born and raised Midwestern. It's not that bad. The weather is kind of crazy sometimes but buy a warm coat and hat and you'll be fine. I spend some harsh winter nights watching movies under the covers but is that really a bad thing? Summers can get humid but I keep a small fan on my desk and I get by.

    Great lakes, great times!
  13. busybusybusy

    busybusybusy

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    Ok, you aren't going to need snow tires. Pretty much from NY and south if you get enough snow where you'd need snow tires they're going to close the school. Definitely earmuffs or a good hat that covers your ears because wind is a killer. I would say inside parking would be nice, but not something to pay a ton extra for. Although putting a remote starter on your car or buying one of those seat heaters definitely helps out for those early mornings. Oh and a windshield scraper, but buy a good one, not a cheap one, bc those suckers will break and then you're screwed.

    I did the opposite of you, went from the northeast to Mississippi. Yay for all the stuff I don't need :D
  14. zensouth

    zensouth

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    Thanks for starting this thread . . . I am moving from Georgia to central New York and I have been wondering about all this stuff, especially the car stuff because I drive a light-duty truck (Chevy S-10) that is only two wheel drive. I am thinking about using the public transit in the city I'm moving too though I'll be kinda on the outskirts of the system. Does the snow/ice/winter weather really slow down public transit?

    Also . . . what about around the house/apt . . . any recommendations about space heaters, electric blankets, etc, or would it be better/cheaper to just use the central heat?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  15. paramour

    paramour

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    Beautiful! :love:
  16. dramaqueen616

    dramaqueen616

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    Hey as a California native a move to the East Coast felt like Alaska in the winter. Its a big difference when you are use to 60 degree winters and it took time to adjust. I seriously did get all of that stuff because I was walking around a lot in the city and natives that I knew recommended it. Although I did admittedly already have the Subaru :)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  17. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    Yeah, but then you move back to California and it's exhausting how much they complain about the "rain," the "cold" (60 degrees), the one cloud in the sky, AND the "heat" (80 degrees)! :laugh:

    Nothing will slow down if you're in a town that gets a lot of winter weather--everyone gets through it together. If you're late, everyone else will be late, too.
  18. sacredrage

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    There are actually "things" to "do" in California that keep you from worrying about both the weather and the rare person who might choose to complain about it. Not so sure that's the case for much (all) of the midwest.

    :)
  19. paramour

    paramour

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    But, but, but . . . If it's cold, I can keep putting more & more clothes on to help shield & insulate myself from it. If it's warm, I can't very well run around nekkid . . . and even when (er, IF!) I do, that's no guarantee that I'm going to be okay with the temp. :p
  20. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Heh, say that when it's -60 out. :p
  21. sacredrage

    sacredrage

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    [​IMG]


    :highfive:
  22. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    In my experience, the complaints are not rare at all. I've never heard so much whining about perfect weather as in CA!
  23. sacredrage

    sacredrage

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    Been here my whole life (minus grad school on the east coast) and this thread is the most I've ever talked about the weather - and even then I'm only typing. What's there to talk about? It's epic 24/7 and there are way too many other things to do.
  24. Butterfly6

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    I've lived my entire life in a state bordering the Canadian border and have vast experience with coats, boots, and gloves/mittens. If you invest in a good coat, make sure it has down filling. Anything else will not keep you warm in extreme cold. For gloves/mittens and boots get ones containing Thinsulate. My fingers and toes swear by them. The best place to find these types of items at a reasonable cost is JcPenneys. Kmart (of all places) also carries thinsulate gloves/mittens. Don't be too proud to shop at these places. Even the most expensive coat at Macys, Saks, or any other high end retailer will not keep you warm without the down. I've been there, done it, and don't recommend it. So remember - down filled and Thinsulate. It's all you'll need to know for your outerwear!
  25. Doctor Eliza

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    I grew up in Ohio and went to grad school in Michigan. It was really snowy and cold and miserable. But what really got to me and the rest of the students was the horrible unyielding grayness from September to April. If you are going someplace where there is no sunshine, you might consider one of those light box thingys.

    Dr. E

    P.S. Also, under no circumstances, go to grad school where I did... :laugh:
  26. sacredrage

    sacredrage

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    Underarmor.
  27. ClinicalPsyPhd

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  28. psychamous

    psychamous

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    I'm excited to see someone's in the same boat as me! I'll add the house/apt questions to my original post also.

    Yeah, I hear that argument a lot. However, can you really wear multiple layers on your face (eyes and nose especially)?

    Thanks! I had no idea about Khombu shoes!

    Got it. Thinsulate and down, at K-Mart/JCPenney. This stuff is priceless!
  29. dramaqueen616

    dramaqueen616

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    Yep khombu has some cute warm options. I almost forgot Wigwam wool socks. They are soooooo soft I bought them for backpacking and ended up using them all the time :)
  30. paramour

    paramour

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    I have. ;)



    Until it goes out due to overexertion . . . and no one can fix it. Even after repeated attempts. :( Of course, my experience is in the South, where I suspect it's a wee bit more humid than California. I despise warm weather.



    Er, perhaps not on your face, but there are articles to help cover your face if you're really that darned cold. :thumbup: Perhaps when you're shoveling or out for an extended period of time?



    I prefer SmartWool for both undergarments and socks. Keeps me nice & toasty even in the coldest of temps. :love:
  31. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    I dunno, I grew up in the Midwest and I didn't really have super warm clothes until I moved where I am now (which is MUCH further north). I had warm socks and a peacoat, but that's about it. I didn't even buy boots until senior year of college.
  32. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    As a life long northeasterner, here's my advice: wait to buy the daily stuff until you get where you'll be living. If next winter is like this winter, you'll want sandals rather than snowboots. If it's a typical winter, you'll want to find out if that means an inch of snow per most snowstorms, with a storm 1-2 times per week, or a foot of snow per snowstorm with a storm every 2 weeks. It varies greatly by location (near the ocean or a large lake? Big impact). So just wait on that stuff and save yourself some money. Doesn't hurt to put a list of possibles together now, though.

    In my opinion, probably not worth it for indoor parking. Definitely worth it for plowed driveway/lot. Buy a small shovel (to dig out from the plow, if necessary) and an ice scraper / snow brush when you're expecting the first storm. :luck:
  33. spafticus

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    For those who moving north and looking for winter gear, look now as many places are placing deep discounts on their winter gear. I recently bought a nice Columbia coat (normally ~$300) for $40 at Kohls. If you can find a deal like that, jump at it, otherwise you can wait till you move and then pick up the stuff.
  34. deliciousgoose

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    All wheel drive is not necessary for most winter driving, but snow tires definitely are. If the university you are going to is in a remote location consider getting all-wheel drive, but it's not a necessity based on latitude. In many cities chains on tire are no allowed.

    Look-up the average temperatures and precipitation of the area you are going to. Some places are cold but get relatively little snow, where as others are the opposite. In either case I would wait until you have actually moved to stock-up on boots etc. as the north east in the fall will probably have a better selection and better prices than Cali does in the summer.

    Winter Survival Rules:
    Rule #1: Don't be afraid to look stupid. Honestly. In cold climates it's the people who don't wear appropriate clothing that are judged, not those who dress properly. Dressing properly might mean putting on huge Sorel boots, and thick down winter coats, with a hat and mitts, and that might look ridiculous to someone from the south, but to us cold-weather people, it doesn't look odd at all.

    Rule #2: Do no wear two pairs of socks at once. This will just expedite the feet freezing process. (If you wear two pairs of socks, your feet will sweat causing the socks to get wet, and then the outside sock will get very cold/freeze, and then you end up with cold wet feet.) As others have suggested, get Smartwool, Wigwam, or equivalent cold weather socks that are made to be thin and warm.

    Rule #3: Do not run to get inside more quickly. ...unless you are sure there is no ice. Walking on icy pavement is a technique that needs to be developed and honed. If you run you will likely hurt yourself.

    I developed these rules while living in a city so cold and icy that the university had to put up a firemen's rope for students to climb up the hill to residence.

    Also, many places that have awful winters, more than make-up for it with wonderful summers.
  35. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    I wear two pairs of socks a lot and haven't had any problems.

    My best advice: layer, layer, layer. You may be cold outside, but then you'll get indoors and start to sweat. Be able to remove outer layers.
  36. sacredrage

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    Hence my recommendation for underarmor - which reacts appropriately to either temperature extreme.
  37. deliciousgoose

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  38. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    This is so true. You know how freezing it is in the summer time when you go inside with the AC, in hot climates? Opposite is true in winter--you'll need less clothes when you're indoors in winter since the heat is pumping, especially with these old buildings that universities tend to inhabit :laugh:.
  39. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Haha, I didn't know it was such a contentious issue. FWIW, I wear a thin pair of socks on the inside and thick ones on the outside. Thick ones tend to have knitted material that aggravates my skin more, so wearing the thin ones on the inside solves that problem.
  40. hockey99

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    I can't speak for all areas that can get heavy snow, but Colorado schools rarely close due to weather. While growing up in Colorado I can only remember 3 times that schools were closed, and during those storms we were out for days.

    As an auto enthusiast who raced cars and helped engineer a formula car with our University, I would STRONGLY suggest that you get snow tires. It won't cost you any money in the long run since you'll be splitting your mileage between your dry weather set and winter set, and decrease the possibility of getting an accident because of winter weather and/or other drivers.

    The biggest thing I want to emphasize is that tires are the only thing that connect you and the car to the road. Poor tires can have profound effects on your steering, braking, and acceleration. I would suggest studless Blizzaks by Bridgestone. Studs don't do a whole lot except make your tires sound like they are covered with sticky soda, unless you get a ton of black ice where you live. I also wouldn't worry about chains either unless you are going to a place with REALLY bad weather conditions or poor snow removal.

    To sum up:

    (1) Snow Tires are an investment that will ultimately cost you nothing in the span of a few years because of the splitting of mileage between tire sets.

    (2) Increase safety caused by adverse weather conditions and other drivers.

    (3) Studs and chain aren't necessarily needed unless you are going to be living in an area that reflects Hoth...
  41. chuckdanger

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    I have lived in Alaska my entire life, and did my undergrad here. I have never worn Sorel boots to class, nor have I ever sported an obnoxiously puffy jacket. This is in spite of well below freezing temperatures for a significant portion of the winter and icy street conditions for most of that time. I change my tires biannually (to studs in the winter and back to all-weather in the spring) and have a winter wardrobe that consists primarily of dress coats and dress boots with more long sleeve shirts than tees.

    To ease your anxiety, it is not miserable all of the time. Some days it is so cold and snowy that you don't want to leave the house, but on those days classes are usually cancelled or no one will fault your being cautious and taking your time to get to campus. If you don't have a car with all-wheel drive maybe consider trading what you have for one, especially since most places (e.g. New York or Ohio) don't get enough snow to necessitate using snow tires except on the worst of days. Having AWD should be enough to safely handle those days. I know a lot of students that carpool or take the bus too, which isn't terribly inconvenient as long as you can afford to plan for it. If you are in school your time is spent mostly inside anyway so you won't feel as miserable if you are keeping busy.

    In some of the far northern schools (like those in AK) an absence of sunlight in the winter can be a real bummer. I try and keep active working out and playing indoor sports (as well as skiing and snowshoeing when it's nice) to fight off the languor that often creeps in. I have a bright-light alarm clock too to give me a boost of light on the days when I wake up and won't see sunlight for another 3-4 hours (which happens more than you'd think).

    Other than that I don't see it being a deal breaker if you have to go to school in a cold climate. More planning is usually required, but other than that it's about the same as training anywhere else.
  42. chuckdanger

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    I guess I should also recommend what to plan for in the NE. Wait to buy when you get there. Talk with people in your program about what it's like and plan around that. If you buy enough winter gear for a trip to Antarctica and then realize you could get by with gloves and a windbreaker you will certainly regret it (and have shipped all of it unnecessarily). The winter gear shops in NJ will also have more knowledge about what you'll need, more so than the shops down south or on the west coast. Winters in the pacific northwest are far drier than in the northeast, so windchill is not a variable you should plan for (which would involve scarves and enough skin lotion to combat it). Right now just plan to bring your warmest regular clothing and you can deal with the big stuff come fall.

    A covered parking space is nice but not essential to survival. When it dumps snow you simply brush it off and scoop it all to the side. Not everyone has the time to do this though and so parking lots can be full of snow for months before it melts down, so if it's a place with a huge uncovered lot I might see if something else is available (unless they plow it regularly, which often means greater expense).
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  43. psychamous

    psychamous

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    Thanks for all this useful information! Very helpful!

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