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Florida born & raised -- should I stay away from the cold?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by cdmccart, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. cdmccart

    cdmccart 2+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Fort Myers
    Hello all. I was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida (northwest of Tampa) and now I'm attending undergrad in Fort Myers (couple hours north of Miami). I've never lived outside of Florida and never really been in cold weather. I've never seen snow and I've never been north of Wash D.C.

    As someone who's never been exposed to cold weather, is it a good idea to apply to northern schools? How far north can I go without being miserably cold in the winter? Right now one of my top choices is GWU in DC... too cold? Thanks guys!
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  3. taponthecloud

    taponthecloud 5+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    New England are we supposed to answer this for you? Open up your freezer and stand there for 10 minutes or until your nipples get hard. That's what it feels like in New England during the wintertime. If you can stand that then apply away.
  4. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    The last I heard, all of the med schools had indoor campuses with temperature control. ;)

    DC has some cold spells, but it's not terrible, and doesn't stay consistently cold all winter. It would be unfortunate to not consider a school just because there is some cold weather for a few months a year. People do adapt. In most places, if you live close enough to the school, you won't have to be outdoors very much unless you want to be.

    Now, for some of the ones that really do tend to have bitter winters with very short daytimes, I'd probably wind up thinking twice, too. :)
  5. saa09

    saa09 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2008
    It probably won't be that bad after a while. I live in CA and I'm a little worried about schools in the East and Chicago, but I think it's something you must get used to. I used to live somewhere it snowed in the winter, but after living in CA i'm not used to it anymore, but i'm sure we could acclimatize (not sure I spelled that right) after the first winter
  6. BoredMD


    May 7, 2008
    San Fran, CA

    Seriously, what is with people today making threads about only being able to tolerate living in certain areas?
  7. ChemGrad08

    ChemGrad08 5+ Year Member

    May 21, 2008
    I was born and raised in Tampa, and did undergrad in GA then went to grad school in upstate NY. If you can avoid it, I don't really recommend it, it's kinda miserable. But, med school is probably worth it. You do get used to it, it just feels like a lot of work to get all suited up for the cold every time you go out. I'm still applying to schools in the North but NYC is my limit (they don't tend to have many 0-10 degree days, which are pretty miserable).
  8. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Upstate New York - one of those places where, once the first snowflake falls, you start counting the days/weeks/months until you see anything but ice and snow. That really does have a bad effect on some people.
  9. ChemGrad08

    ChemGrad08 5+ Year Member

    May 21, 2008
    I'd also say that you should test your ability to go without sun for extended periods of time before you try to live somewhere that the sun doesn't come out for months on end. Most people get used to the cold, but the lack of sun is about the most depressing thing I've ever experienced.
  10. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    OP, this actually is a valid concern. I was raised in Florida and went to undergrad in NC. When I was applying to med schools, one of my favorites was Case Western in Cleveland...but when I went to my interview in October and it was already freezing, and then I went to 2nd look and it snowed at the end of March, I realized I couldn't do it. Cold weather and gray skies make me depressed and irritable.

    I don't think DC/VA is too bad, but I don't think I'd personally go much farther north than that.
  11. Hyperstudyosis

    Hyperstudyosis 7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    I used to live up north, but I've lived in FL for the past three years. I absolutely love FL (I hate cold) and I really don't want to go back up north. Unfortunately, it seems that schools up north are more academically challenging and competitive than schools in the south (at least this has been my undergrad exerpience...maybe I just picked an easy school). But I think the schools in the west are also more challenging, so I'm heading out to AZ to finish my undergrad in the fall. I don't know...when you're talking about med school this may very well not be the case, it's just something I've noticed in undergrad and my profs who used to teach up north concur.
  12. Revilla

    Revilla New Member 5+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    Hey neighbor, I'm from Clearwater as well. I moved up to New England for college (cold as hell, but you get used it and I actually prefer that climate to Florida's hot, humid, I-just-walked-into-a-sauna summers). After college, I moved to the midwest -- 22 below 0 some mornings. Again, it was cold as hell, but you get used to it (with a good automatic car starter anyway).

    It all depends on how much you enjoy the heat. If you embrace those hot Florida summers, then maybe you're better off applying to schools south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you're indifferent about heat and want to try out a different climate, go ahead and apply up north and hope for a December interview so you can test out the cold weather before making up your mind.

    Don't forget, it's only four years. I know that seems like a lifetime to most 20-year-olds, but to those of us a tad older, it's a really short time. I'd never trade the experiences I had in states that I never would have moved to had it not been for my career. This is your opportunity to spread your wings and see another part of the country -- the Appalachian chain in the mid-Atlantic, the mountains in Colorado, the big city in Chicago, the great plains and the cornfields of the midwest, the land of movie stars in L.A. Don't shut your mind off to a new experience just because of weather.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  13. mdgator

    mdgator 2+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    Born and raised in FL. Weather was actually a pretty significant factor for me in choosing FSU over Penn St. I loved Penn St, but I don't think I'd love it nearly as much after a few months of freezing temps. I'm just too much of a warm weather person. I think this is just going to vary from person to person.
  14. katarzyna

    katarzyna neutrino. neutritious? 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    florida resident...

    I really don't like "i-just-walked-into-a-sauna summers."

    Max temp for me is 70ish. :p

    I don't really ever go to the beach during summers. The last time I went to the beach was with my dad... I came with him to get his paycheck at his work which is near the shore then I just walked around the beach while waiting for pops. I rarely go to the beach. I don't wear flip flops, I wear jackets and pants during summers... yeah i know weird... but i don't want cancer and i want to hide my fatssss :p but i guess i'm doing too much. :oops:
  15. WinterLights


    Sep 15, 2007
    Some people actually like seasonal changes and cold weather. Chances are that you aren't one of these people. You might as well stay where its hot and humid all year.
  16. TupacalipseT96

    TupacalipseT96 R U Still Down? 7+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    This was my experience with going to school in the northeast after coming from a warmer area.

    Born and raised in sunny parts of cali. I wasn't quote the snow virgin you seem to be, but I definitely didn't hang out around snow and colder weather longer than a 1 week vacation.

    For me, the snow was exciting and fun for the first year. The second year it was a bit old, and I wanted winter to end already but it wasn't the end of the world. By the third year I thoroughly hated the winter, my resulting paleness, and the following effects on my daily moods.

    And now I am EAGER to get back to warmer climates. Weather has become a HUGE factor for me in this process now, where the old more-naive me 4 years ago could've cared less.

    So long story short: You would make it through 4 years in the northeast. But you'd probably be done with cold weather from that point on.
  17. ripsta

    ripsta dog zero. 2+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2007
    Titletown, FL
    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence :)
  18. galaxie

    galaxie "visualize success" 2+ Year Member

    May 24, 2008
    Honestly, there are plenty of great schools in climates where you don't have to worry about frostbite. LOL. I'm from Canada and I hate the cold. It's miserable, you have to put on 380947 layers to stay warm, and forget about getting in your car and driving off. Have fun shoveling the driveway and waiting for your car to warm up before you can go anywhere!

    That said, everyone's tolerance for the cold is completely different. If I were you, I'd take a trip up north this winter and see what the cold REALLY feels like. Walk around outside and you can decide for yourself if it's something you're willing to deal with. Personally, I would rather take a 2nd choice school for the overall climate because the sun and warm weather make me a happier person overall, thus positively affecting my performance in school.
  19. Kromosoft

    Kromosoft Banned

    Mar 2, 2008

    I'll trade you for the 0 degree temps that we get for three months where I live for the weather you get in Florida during the winter. How about we trade houses (or apartments)? I'll even pay for all of your moving expenses.
  20. Revilla

    Revilla New Member 5+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    LOL, if you've never experienced Florida weather, you're in for quite a shock. I had a friend visit from Canada and as we were walking out of the airport to find my car, she asked, "how do you guys breathe down here?"
  21. wally47

    wally47 I drink your milkshake 2+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    You would be surprised how quickly you can adapt to the climate, cold or hot. Choose what school is right for you regardless of weather. After all, you'll probably be studying so much that your experience of the weather will be the short drive to campus and the grocery store.
  22. ChemGrad08

    ChemGrad08 5+ Year Member

    May 21, 2008
    I laughed a little when I realized you were from FL and stayed there (my apologies if you've spent a lot of time in a snow-filled climate and it just didn't bother you). In FL you just don't realize that weather is happening all around you because unless there's a hurricane it doesn't change anything about your day. That's just not the case in more miserable climates. Even if you are studying all the time you still have to go to school everyday which means you have to deal with the weather at least 5 days a week. That said, my understanding is that DC is a relatively nice place (weather wise compared to the north) and you shouldn't be reticent about applying there.
  23. Bacchus

    Bacchus Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Think of living in a cold climate as a preparation for the "frigid" ORs you'll be rotating through ;).

    In all seriousness, living in the North is not that bad. With regard to the sunlight comment above, the OP won't be going to school in Alaska! We have sun up here during the winter.

    OP, here's my POV for Philadelphia. The winter is not horrible except in W. Philly no one cleans their sidewalks and you sometimes have to walk in the streets. It rains more than it snows during the winter. About an hour and a half north, in the Poconos, where I am from its quite different. Its usually bitterly cold and windy and the snow has a hard time melting. However, this is all adaptable. Buy a winter jacket, some gloves, a scarf, and hat and you'll be fine.

    As humans we adapt. Therefore, you'll survive. Also, its much better to be cold than worry your deodorant/anti-perspirant is going to stop working ;).
  24. Truth.

    I'm not a Texan by birth, but I've been in the southern part of the state for a long time, and I'm applying to all TX schools. As much as I would absolutely love a cold climate for medical school, I figure that even something a few hours north of the friggin' coast will be a start. :thumbup:
  25. wally47

    wally47 I drink your milkshake 2+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    Every year I spend the month of december in Vail CO. Vail or most cities for that matter have the infrastructure to ensure that weather has little impact on travel and business(except nat. disasters). When I spoke previously I was referring to this aspect of "cold" weather cities. Therefore, travel shouldn't be a problem unless you will be living an hour away or commuting on roads that aren't plowed. This isn't to say that the OP wouldn't be miserable in the cold, this very well may be the case. However, if you love the school where you study, the teachers, the students, and so on.... the weather would be the last of my worries.

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