Alright, kiddos, let’s talk clothes. Presumably on applying to Wesleyan, we all knew it was in Connecticut. Geographically, it is situated in the Northeast, so summers tend towards the upper-seventies/low-eighties (in Fahrenheit) and unforgiving humidity, its autumns are cool, colorful, and *mwah* perfect, and winters, well…winters can resemble icy, snowy, and otherwise blizzardy nightmares. If you’re not originally from the NE, your understanding of frigid winters might be peripheral at best; my first CT winter at Wesleyan was described as ‘mild’ by upperclassmen and featured no less than three winter storms the likes of which my southern Arkansas heart had never experienced before. So here in this article, I would like to share some advice about seasonal wear at Wes I’ve learned since freshman year.
Lesson one: Layers.
This may seem obvious, but it is by no means a given: Thick winter jackets are lovely, but going from a winter wonderland to a supremely heated classroom may feel gross after a while, and just a sweater isn’t always enough, so to keep yourself warm but refrain from overheating during your Chemistry lecture, layer it up. T-shirt beneath sweatshirt beneath jacket beneath sweater beneath hat, leggings beneath jeans, thick socks beneath boots: keep it toasty. Invest in some warm pajamas (because sometimes the heat—which generally operates on a system out of your control– doesn’t kick on in some dorms and certain housing until after it starts getting chilly) and even some slippers/wool socks if your feet are particularly sensitive to the cold.
Lesson two: Bring summer clothes, too.
One mistake I made as a prospective freshman was buying way too many sweaters and wool socks, without considering the fact that my dorm did not have A/C and that Wesleyan is humid in August, September, and May. Although I had a few t-shirts and running shorts for when I moved in, I definitely boiled over in the first few weeks of school, and ended up buying a cheap box fan and sitting it by my bed so I could sleep. Wes experiences all four seasons (rainy short spring, humid summers, blissful falls, and icy winters), so make sure you pack clothes suitable for all elements. Bring raincoats. Make sure your winter boots are waterproof. Invest in an umbrella. A light jacket or hoodie for when things start to get cold (or warm-up) mid-season change will become your best friend.
Lesson three: Laundry
Laundry is an expense to keep in mind at Wesleyan. To wash and dry a single load costs $2.50, and that can add up annoyingly quickly. I for one as a freshman had a designated chair-of-shame upon which all my clothes accumulated between washes, simply because I didn’t often feel inclined to put money in my student account. I also overloaded the washers with my huge loads of laundry and as a result, my clothes didn’t get fully dry. Rather than run loads again and spend more money, or wash smaller loads like a normal person, I invested in a small drying rack, something I have found indispensable for drying clothes and hanging clothes that don’t go in the dryer (because while I’ve not yet reached that point of maturity where I wash my whites separately *one day!!*, I have at least learned NOT TO DRY WOOL). So, to recap, do your laundry, but if things don’t get dry the first time, hang it up (don’t run it again), don’t dry wool!!!, and try to do laundry on weeknights, when the washing machines in your building aren’t all taken up.
Stay comfy, y’all
-Jasmine J., Class of 2020