Polar VortexBy LAURA SANCHEZ, Staff Writer

My body has been winter-shocked. Just like every Michigander, yes, I am complaining about the cold. Typical! The problem is that I’m not your normal, average Michigander. I did not grow up here and was never exposed to these chilling temperatures or snow days or icy road conditions. The lowest temperature I’d been exposed to before moving to Michigan was 19°F, and exposed to snow twice in my lifetime. I don’t think I’ve ever even built a snowman! However, I am slowly learning how to adapt to these extreme temperatures and the madness that is Michigan weather. Warm one day, cool the next, freezing the day after. But as everyone says, and as I’ve learned – that’s Michigan for you!

Last winter was my first winter exposed to large amounts of snow and temperatures below freezing-level. I then learned the importance of the trifecta that keeps one weatherproof and warm: hat, gloves, and scarf. Sure, you see people roaming the freezing cold just wearing their North Face, a pair of gloves in hand, and no hat. Me? I’ve got my gear ready for battle with the wind.

Just a week ago when I was visiting my parents in Mexico for break, I was at a beautiful temperature of 62°F, cool enough to only wear a light sweater (no coat, thank you!) And not to brag or anything, but the week before THAT I was lying on the beach in 80°F weather; sun, sand, pineapple juice galore. I lay in the sun all I could, knowing that I had to absorb enough vitamin D and sunlight so I could survive the upcoming, brutal winter. I never thought that it’d be THIS brutal! I then spent our snow days last week daydreaming about the sun on my face and saltwater trickling my feet, but when it was back to school last Wednesday, I knew the daydream couldn’t last forever.

I won’t always have my oasis in my Mexico to escape winter, or always get a chance to go to the beach and dream away thoughts about blizzards and icy roads. As long as I am living in Michigan, I have to deal with the winter, with no unnecessary complaints or sulking. It was my choice to live in a place with the eternal winter (six months is a lot, okay?), and I must face the consequences. Even the -35°F wind chill, as unpleasant as that was. If you ever see a random girl and a multitude of snow gear looking harried as she walks to class in the middle of a flurry, just know that it’s just me, trying to weather the storm.