Being from the Midwest makes you think that you’re prepared for anything related to the weather. But, I assure you, you’re not. Iowa has a high unpredictability about the weather. Take Valentine’s Day 2017 for instance. It was beautiful outside. The type of beautiful that is a 45-degree weather day after weeks of bitter cold. The type where you feel pretty comfortable in a thick pullover or a quarter-zip. It makes someone think that the next day will be equally as beautiful and you won’t give much thought to grabbing a jacket before you run out of your apartment at 7:30 in the morning to rush to work. That didn’t happen to me or anything.
So, I want to talk about how to prepare for Iowa’s climate. It takes some getting used to and there’s a trial and error process: meaning you will probably spend a couple days here and there either freezing your butt off or sweating your butt off.
My tip is to have a variety of clothing with you throughout the year. I know it’s hard for some people because the dorms only have limited closet space depending on whether you’re in a single, double, or triple, but it will only help you in the long run. I also know that some people like to take their non-season related clothes back home and rotate out. That’s fine but it won’t help you with dealing with the variability of the weather. In the fall, I always like to at least have a windbreaker and sweaters with me. The transition from the heat of summer to the crispness of fall happens fast and often before there’s even been a month of classes. It’s good to be prepared—especially if you can’t find a time to get your colder weather clothes back to campus.
Having a variety of clothes also helps you with changing weather throughout the day. I’m talking about layers. Layers are everything. If you wear a scarf and a big sweater during the cold morning, you can peel if off to your short sleeve. Especially in the late spring when the weather doesn’t want to make up its mind.
It all really comes down to having options on hand and being able to gauge how your body will react to changing weather. Don’t freeze (or sweat) too much out there.