Surviving Chicago’s Winter

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by Eman El Bakry

When I applied to volunteer to be a global ambassador for LUC, I told myself that I will be as honest as possible and really try to capture moments from my experience here to share with other students and future international students as well. That being said, this blog is a little hard to write because the month of January is probably the worst of the year since I moved here and I predict the same for the next month. I just got back from the winter break where I spent 3 weeks in beautiful Cairo and its sunny weather, I had a free ticket to be lazy and unproductive and just relax my brains out. Food was cooked for me, clothes were washed for me, and it was like I had come back from serving time in the military (it’s an Egyptian culture thing, if you are still staying at your parents’ house, you never get older in their eyes 🙂 ) Coming back last week was definitely hard, but the hardest part was waking up and not having a full house, no going straight to my sister’s room to annoy her and wake her up, no opening a full fridge and picking out something to eat or drink from a large variety of options…and definitely no sun and warm weather to look forward to knowing that I will have to get out at some point in the day.

Despite all of this though, I am glad to be back, because that only means that the sooner I am here, the closer we are to spring! And I am also taking my time to slowly get back on track with my school work and other things that I need to do before summer. For those international students, or even nationals who moved here from a different state, if you are going through the same thing, I think it’s very important to keep reminding yourself of why you are here, and how far you came to get here which is a great deal on its own. Also, GET OUT there as much as you can. I know its freezing cold, but really once you have the appropriate attire and transportation means set, it’s not so bad. It is just important to not snuggle under your sheets and give in. I am fighting through consistently going to the gym at least 3 or 4 times a week and make sure to see friends or colleagues and make it to the social events. Also, go to a Starbucks, get a coffee and start working there for a different scenery, if you are bored of the library…whatever you do just don’t spend too much time at home. If you do have to stay home, make use of the time there too, I realized that I may not have the time to cook so I am picking a day or two from the week to cook in large amounts and then I have some left overs to eat from during the week if I am too tired or lazy to cook; it makes a difference. My last advice would be to take your time when getting ready and wearing the right layers. I realized there are times where I can’t be bothered to put on enough layers and then regret it when I leave my house, and other times when I don’t go out just because I can’t be bothered to get ready! So I started really enjoying it as if it is some kind of mission to choose the right number of layers and styling it together.

None the less, I still get excited about the snow, the other day, the streets literally looked like they were splashed with crystals, and the snow looked so beautiful. When it comes down to it, still loving every moment of it 🙂

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