Students Find Ways to Cope with Winter Weather


Photo by Rachel Becker

  For many students, the arrival of winter weather means so many things depending on the coping strategies adopted. To some, the icy weather means feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, or even hopelessness. Others see it as a season of fun and time to lace up their running shoes and engage in more physical exercise.

  Missouri winters may be common for those born and raised in the state, but for students from around the world winter can be a new challenge. International students at the University of Central Missouri are developing coping strategies against “the winter blues.” 

  Krishna Mahathi Dara, graduate assistant in the School of Industrial Science and Technology, said that many international students have never experienced extremely cold weather before coming to Missouri. 

   “In the southern part of India, we have seasons and winter days starting from October and remaining till February,” Dara said.

  “A pullover jacket would be enough to keep me warm,” Dara said. “My strange experience with winters in Missouri started with pollen allergies. It was totally new to me being an international student as I noticed changes in my breathing process. However, taking anti-allergic pills has helped me a lot, and I learned it would be a continuous process.”

   Dara said that she stays hydrated by drinking warm beverages.

  Chibuike Joseph, a Nigerian Graduate student said that winters in Missouri are colder than what he has witnessed in his West African country. 

“This weather is so extremely cold,” Joseph said. “I haven’t experienced this kind of cold weather in my life, but I am gradually adjusting to the weather with thick clothes and a winter jacket depending on the distance I need to go. I now also drink a lot of hot coffee.”

  Graduate student Surya Teja Saithana said that he hardly stays outdoors for an hour daily. He said he is currently experiencing colder atmospheric weather conditions in Missouri compared to Italy or other countries he had been to. 

  “But with proper protection and engagement in activities I’m trying my best to cope,” Saithana said.

  Aviation student Rafiat Ogunmeno, who is in her first year, also described the winter as a weird season but said that, having stayed in the United States for over eight years, she had developed several coping strategies such as dressing warmly, keeping indoors and other safety tips  to survive the weather.