Student Life

Winter prep 101

For students who have lived in a cold climate and those new to the negative temperatures alike, Montreal winters are brutal. The McGill Tribune details a few ways to make these dark months feel a bit brighter.

Invest in winter gear

Most students know to splurge on a winter parka and snow boots; however, it is also helpful to have other cold-weather accessories on hand. Wearing a hat and scarf helps stop body heat loss. Alternatively, students can invest in a blanket scarf, which multitasks as both a quilt and a neck warmer. Blanket scarves are particularly useful inside chilly buildings on campus, and, when bundled up under the scarf, students can even trick themselves into thinking that they are still in bed.  

Go to the gym

While it is easy to hide out in bed when there is snow on the ground, going to the gym can drastically improve students’ moods. Exercise can also help decrease symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). At the McGill Fitness Centre, students can participate in a wide variety of pay-as-you-go exercise classes and intramural sports.  

Additionally, research shows that regular exercise can strengthen the immune system. This health boost is particularly important in the dead of winter when the flu and colds are circulating among students.

Experiment with winter hobbies

Going outside in these dark winter months can seem like an impossible task, but Montreal’s lively social scene can make the season feel shorter. One of the best ways to take part in Montreal’s offering of fun outdoor activities is to visit the skating rinks across the city. From the skating rink located on Beaver Lake on top of the scenic Mount Royal to McGill’s very own rink, there are plenty of different parts of the city to explore through ice skating. Alternatively, students can rent snowshoes from the McGill Recreation Centre and hike along the base of the mountain.

Memorize McGill’s underground tunnel system  

While the tunnels on campus are not as extensive as the Underground City, many McGill buildings are connected so that students can stay inside in between classes and avoid low temperatures during the school day. The system is marked by snail icons, and its entrance is easy to spot beside the large staircases outside of the front of the Burnside Building.

Students can also access directions for the tunnels on Google Maps by searching for ‘McGill tunnels.’ Though icy pavements can make the campus commute laborious, the tunnel system can make students’ winter days a little more bearable.

Socialize with friends at home

Coat checks and the hassle of wearing boots can make winter outings arduous and expensive. For an easy and fun Saturday night at home, host a board game night with friends.

While many students might deem board games childish, they can provide endless hours of entertainment—especially when paired with a bottle of wine. At Le Valet d’Coeur, a charming game store in the Plateau, shoppers can peruse an eclectic selection of alternative, independent board games. This popular spot has a plethora of board games, puzzles, and interactive games that can make any night in more entertaining.

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