Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

There is one, single, humongous difference between high school and college. You may think you know what it is, like a chance to focus on your favorite subject, or independence from parents. But you would be wrong! No, that one, single, humongous difference between high school and college is:

Walking outside to get to classes.

Not that we haven’t all done this in high school. Many of us come from schools that are big enough to require multiple buildings, so we tend to fail to be locked inside a building all day for eight hours a week. However, many schools work to provide a protected outside, one where the option to walk under helpful awnings is always available to the many unwilling to get drenched whilst heading toward class.

College, I assure you, is different. There are many buildings, and if you live on campus, you are undoubtedly walking outside and to class, fully exposed to the elements. There are no awnings here! There are no clustered together buildings to help block away the wind. No, you are walking and the sky gets to approach you in whatever fashion it prefers. I promise you, unless you attend college in sunshine-y southern Florida, you will not be finding yourself with perfect days where the rain is a gentle refresher and a breeze does nothing but chase a few stray hairs out of your face. So what to do? I can’t speak for the wintry colleges, but since College Station gets 11 more inches of rain than my darling hometown, I can speak all day on the rainy day wardrobe.

Rain Boots

People love their rain boots in college, and for good reason. They protect your poor little toes from bearing the brunt of a rainy day. When that water lets loose in a downpour overnight and the poorly cared for sidewalks allow pools of water (or mud) to form, you undoubtedly will be ready to proudly smirk to yourself about your smart choice in footwear. Seriously, buy some rain boots because you will never wish to experience the agony that is sitting in class with soaked through socks and smelly shoes. I mean, do you remember what Lieutenant Dan told Forrest Gump? Change your socks. Wise words for those who choose tennis shoes over rain boots.

At the same time, rain boots are not universally loved, or at least, not by me. I absolutely cannot fathom keeping my feet in them longer than the two seconds they were in a pair I tried on. After suffering a year and a half of puddle stepping, I knew something needed to change and went to try them on. No, the foot suffocation could not be endured on my end, and we left without purchasing a pair. Bereft, I committed myself to carrying multiple pairs of socks in my backpack and watching the ground for puddles with absolute vigilance. But then, I was introduced to the brilliant Doc Martens. I have yet to look back. Expensive yes, but I hear they will do you well forever and come in possibly more styles than the classic rain boot. Save up and take your pick, but I assure you: waterproof footwear are a necessity!

Umbrella

If you’re going to keep your feet warm and dry, you better make the same attempt for your noggin, considering that’s where all your brains are at least. The umbrella is a classic love, but not all umbrellas were created equal. The benefits of various types below.

Small Umbrellas

Oh small umbrella. While you may be tiny, you sure are compact and easy to tote to class and everywhere else. However, you tend to lack sturdiness, when bought off the typical drugstore. After a particularly frustrating day of having the wind blow you outwards, I quickly dropped you upon arrival to class, only for you to break. Frustrated, I trashed you.

After the loss of my umbrella, a good friend did lend me his, and while the same size, it was quite sturdy. My best advice with this size of umbrella? If it’s worth its tote-able size and you can wisely purchase a strong one, go for it. But with caution.

Large Umbrellas

These are the massive ones that you can sometimes pretend to walk around with as if it were a cane. As a super mobile college student, it’s not always the most fun thing to carry this around. Along with its lack of mobility comes the annoying factor of if it can’t sit in your backpack all the time, then you may forget it in your rush out the door to get to class that includes forgetting to check the weather. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in sturdiness and are usually easier to manipulate. I’m seriously considering purchasing a clear plastic one to decorate, because I’m quite over my cheap little ones.

Rain Jackets

So, after some scarring experiences as a child – my mother forcing me into a heinous raincoat and me screaming something about social suicide – I am completely unwilling to wear raincoats. Yet, as my friend who lent me his umbrella pointed out, he didn’t need it because he had a raincoat. There is some credence to the item, seeing as they often come with hoods and I’ve even seen the classic sorority girl pull her sorority jacket over her backpack, so who knew, but definitely flexible. You won’t get as soaked and the rain sort of just slides off. Plus, they can certainly be cute/come in your favorite group’s logo/letters.

A Weather App

Perhaps you scorned your smartphone’s weather app before – you didn’t need an app! You had your mother, father, the weather channel running in the background of the morning rush, and flinging open your front door in your jammies to know the weather in high school. And even if you still failed to dress correctly, it was probably a few minutes between classes anyway you had to survive. But now you are dressing yourself all by yourself, probably without a tv, no mom or dad, and I doubt you’re going to want to run down five flights of stairs in your dorm to the front (or back) door to find out the weather in your jammies when it’s 7:50 am and you have an 8 am class. So figure out the best one, download it, and make sure it tells you when it’s raining, because I assure you, you’ll appreciate it.

But folks, overall it’s up to you how you handle the rainy weather. Some of you may be in the land of the dry, while some of you will have flash flood warnings every week for eight weeks (hi.) Rain boots? An umbrella? I swear to you, if you make sure you have those and wear them when necessary (hello app), you’re already winning at this rainy day game.



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the author

After applying to 21 schools partially for the fun of it and getting accepted to 17, Aida Guhlin decided on Texas A&M and is ecstatic about it. Aida is a sophomore, and since she’s noticed that there aren’t many others (yet) at The Prospect, she has to say that she is the loudest, proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2016 ( A-A-A-A-A!). In Aggieland, Aida majors in Geography, minors in English, and is working to figure out whether minoring in Biochemistry can be thrown into the mix because she has some funny dreams to work at the CDC. She loves Doctor Who, food, the sadly cancelled Bunheads, and reading books. When not writing articles for The Prospect, she hopes to be accepted to A&M’s new literary magazine staff “The Eckleburg Project” and has fun nerding out at Quiz Bowl practice. She also works as a writing grader for one of the writing centers on campus, editing the errors of students. While Aida currently is hiding from her Twitter account as the school year rushes in, Instagram will get you videos of her puppy, her brother, and pictures of random things that she finds while walking. Also, if you have no idea how to say her name, say this aloud: “I-eat-a fajita.” You’re good.

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