Seems unimportant, but it concerns us....

<p>I know there are so many wonderful aspects to Carleton, and we are looking forward to our visit in July. However, I can't ignore the fact that we will be visiting in.....July. Which is very different -- climate wise -- from the weather during the academic months.</p>

<p>How rough is the weather? My son has been raised in the Southeast, and is concerned about dealing with the cold.</p>

<p>He is not a faint-of-heart kid, but is this going to be a vicious shock to his system? How much worse is a Minnesota winter than a NYC winter (where I grew up)?</p>

<p>When does the cool weather start and stop in MN (meaning, when do students stop and start wearing shorts)?</p>

<p>Sorry to put such a seemingly trivial topic out there. And thanks for any info!</p>

<p>Believe me this is a topic of much discussion among future carls, especially those from warmer climates. I can't answer all of your questions, because I did not live through it, but my daughter just finished her freshman year (born and raised in southern CA). Interestingly, the only time she actively complained about the weather was in the last few weeks when there were some days with higher temps and humidity and frequent rain showers (no AC in her dorm). Of course we don't have AC at home either but it not too humid here and it almost never rains.</p>

<p>Basically, it's warm in the fall when they arrive and cools off quickly toward October. They usually have the first snowfall in October (sometimes parents weekend), but it remains reasonable until they break at Thanksgiving (maybe down to teens at lowest - even though that does not sound reasonable to me!). When my daughter returned after New Years, it was -25 degrees (I was texting her that it was 100 degrees warmer at home). She still managed to walk to the bowling alley at 11 pm. </p>

<p>I have no idea how it compares to NYC (I grew up in AZ so I am a thoroughly warm weather person), but my understanding is it does not snow a lot (relatively low precipitation). It snows early, gets cold and stays cold and the snow stays. According to my daughter, wind makes things worse. Last year seemed to be a relatively short winter but I think it is typically manageable again by Spring Break (so the 10 week Winter term is the brunt of it). </p>

<p>A warm winter jacket (we got hers from LL Bean - rated to -25 degrees and still cute) is a must. </p>

<p>Good luck. Your son is going to LOVE Carleton!</p>

<p>I'm from Los Angeles, so it was a huge concern for me as well. However, it's not as hard to adapt as most people think it will be. With a good coat and some SmartWool socks, he'll be good to go. :) </p>

<p>It's hard to say exactly when shorts weather starts and stops, though. This year, I think there were a few days in February when people were wearing shorts, which caused mass chaos/celebration...but then there were a few days in May that were chilly. As for in the fall, I think I stopped wearing shorts in October-ish, but up until winter break, it wasn't much colder than it gets in Los Angeles.</p>

<p>Bad weather is awful to endure alone, but when you're dealing with it along with others, it's a totally different experience. First, it's hard to think of yourself as being imposed upon when everyone you know is enduring the exact same weather; second, those other people are dealing with it and helping you learn how to deal with it; and, third, it's more of a badge of honor that everyone earns together (good bonding experience). The peril of bad weather at college rests mostly with the people from more severe climates who tend to alienate themselves by suggesting "Ah, this is nothing! Back home, we had...."</p>

<p>As a parent, it's hard to think in these terms, but remember, for the students, it's not really cold weather as much as it's a bonding experience.</p>

<p>I'm from Hawaii and live in the Twin Cities. Get the right clothes and participate in winter sports and it will be totally manageable. Sure there will be a few brutally cold days -- but they pass. I'd miss the change of seasons if I moved.</p>

<p>I was a junior this semester near Houston and I visited in February. I figured if I like the school in February, then I REALLY like the school. It was a Tuesday and to me seemed pretty cold. Snow everywhere. Ice rinks on the Bald Spot. I had visited a different school the day before and I remember the weather pretty clearly from the prior day. But, what struck me the day of my Carleton visit wasn't the weather so much. It was the people. They were so engaged and friendly, so welcoming and authentically interested. I quickly got past the weather concerns I had.</p>

<p>This all makes perfect sense! Now the only thing is I wish he could be there when students were there, so he could meet all the warm, engaging people you're describing! Hopefully the spirit of the school will shine through in July as well. Thanks, everyone.</p>

<p>My heat-lovin' Texas daughter just graduated from Carleton. She learned to deal with the cold - for her, Carleton was worth it. Of course, she did spend this past winter in Mali with 100 degree temperatures.</p>

<p>I am in awe/amazed about what I keep reading about this school; can place really be this good? My D is attending the Summer Writing Program there this July. I hope she gets a glimmer of what you've been describing about this school. I think she will...</p>

<p>Suggestion: please consider calling ahead to make some appointments with professors in the areas that are of interest to your child. While you may not get to interact with students as much as you would like the time will be well spent. Also, take some time to walk downtown. Blue Monday for coffee/scones or donuts, other restaurants and coffee shops, and also check out the Arb (about 800-900 acres of Carleton land). Take a walk and enjoy nature. Some students will be there working for the summer so if you go to the bookstore you will likely run into some there. Don't be shy; introduce yourself and ask away. While Carls are a bit off the beaten path, they are engaging, smart as can be, and honest and informative about there home/school. (fyi: my daughter just graduated from Carleton, PBK, mcl, etc, and loved it. As her Dad, it was the perfect place for her and her life will be so much better for having gone there). The winters do get cold but your body adjusts and as others have noted the right clothing does the trick. My suggestion for clothing...lots of Patagonia winter wear including thermal undies for the really cold times. My daughter got used to it pretty quickly.</p>