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Colleges in cold weather states

maltmommaltmom Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
edited August 2011 in College Search & Selection
I would like to take my daughter to look at colleges in Minnesota - Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf. I think the student bodies at these schools could be "her people." However, I am concerned about what effects the cold Minnesota winters could have. While she doesn't have seasonal affective disorder, she is concerned that the cold dark winters could leave her feeling down in the dumps. How do students who aren't really "winter people" cope? Is it a factor? Thoughts anyone?
Post edited by maltmom on

Replies to: Colleges in cold weather states

  • jotajota218jotajota218 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    Winters aren't always dark, especially here in Minnesota. The sun shines quite frequently. Sun+Snow=Very Bright out. If she develops a good circle of friends and finds other activities to do during that time I'm sure she'd be fine.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,577 Senior Member
    Compared to dark wet Seattle it's a piece of cake. Much sunshine in upper midwest and fun things to do outside in the snow.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 31,315 Super Moderator
    Winter in Maine is beautiful. It's mid-March through May that are the hard months, when the snow is melting and everything is brown. The main thing I tell people who move here is that they have to take advantage of all the outdoor activities. If they sit in their house all winter, they will definitely feel down!
  • ccmom33409ccmom33409 - Posts: 94 Junior Member
    I would advise taking a look at these schools in the winter. Climate is a factor We had our son take a look at a few schools during their "weather worst" so that he would know exactly what he could expect. We toured one school in a rain / sleet storm then drove home through a blizzard. I thought, for sure, he would never want to go this particular school - nope - it is still on the list!
  • BobbyCTBobbyCT Registered User Posts: 1,135 Senior Member
    I love the Minnesota LAC's, you picked some great ones. You mentioned that you thought these student bodies at these schools could be "her people". Carleton, St. Olaf and Macalester are so different from each other that I would caution you not to over generalize. St Olaf and Mac, for example, might be 2 of the most different types of student populations you will find anywhere in the country. It depends on what your D feels comfortable with.

    We looked at these colleges 2 years ago and my D loved St Olaf but ultimately decided that the winters might be tough on her. We are from the New England area and are accustomed to the snow but not at the level of Minnesota. Good luck in your search!
  • bandgeek1bandgeek1 Registered User Posts: 504 Member
    I love the winter so I am extremely bias, but the winter can be fun if you have the right attitude about it. You get used to it too. The first winter will be difficult but you get used to the cold. I remember when I though 32 in the winter was freezing, now when it hits 32 now I'm out in a teeshirt and sweatshirt.
    If you join some winter activities you'll have a blast.

    What state do you live in now? Do you get a lot of snow/really cold weather for most of the winter?
  • gadadgadad Registered User Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    My Georgia daughters had only seen snow a couple times in their lives before heading to Boston for college. I was impressed at how quickly they went native up there. Having found "their people" in that environment certainly made the weather adjustment a secondary matter to them.
  • rwehavingfunyetrwehavingfunyet Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    Our kiddo is a California native, but seemed to adjust fine last winter to weather at The University of Iowa...it did not seem to be a big deal.
  • maltmommaltmom Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Your replies are really helpful. Do people agree that it would be best to visit these schools in the throes of winter? February? By the way, we live in New York City.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,577 Senior Member
    The biggest difference between the upper midwest and areas outside NYC like CT or NJ away from the city heat island is the couple weeks of very cold weather that is typical sometime in th eyear where temps hover around 0 daytime and well below at night. Outside that it's not that different--at least in Madison, WI. I went from NW Jersey>UW Madison and was fine except on those really really cold days.
  • BobbyCTBobbyCT Registered User Posts: 1,135 Senior Member
    "Your replies are really helpful. Do people agree that it would be best to visit these schools in the throes of winter? February? By the way, we live in New York City."

    It depends on your point of view. We were hoping that our D would like St Olaf so we went in the spring so she would not automatically rule it out when she felt the cold. We figured if it was a top choice we would return in the winter before she made her final decision. If you can only visit once, the question for you is whether you would rather to see these colleges in the coldest months. If your D likes the school in February than she would probably love it in the spring or fall. If your D, like mine, tends to rule things out quickly than you might want to consider a later visit.
  • bandgeek1bandgeek1 Registered User Posts: 504 Member
    If she is that concerned about not liking the winter she should visit in the winter. In areas like that winter/cold is what she'll have most of the time. I live in Northern PA and we usually get snow starting in October and ending the beginning of April, though there have been times were there was still snow in May.

    Cold doesn't really affect you too bad if you are dressed appropriately. Make sure if you do visit in Feb. you are dressed right.
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