If this is your first Ithaca winter, you probably learned the hard way that the rumors are true: Ithaca is freezing. Despite this harsh reality, Ithaca’s bad rep for reaching abnormally low temperatures throughout the winter months is somewhat undeserved. As much as we complain, there are so many reasons to feel lucky to attend school in this frigid climate. Here are just some of the reasons to love college in the cold weather, no matter how cold it gets:

1Hot chocolate


What’s better than hot cocoa with marshmallows after a long day of classes? We have the benefit of having options of iced coffee (like college students who live in warmer climates) plus splendid winter drinks like cocoa or apple cider. Hot chocolate is just over three dollars at Nasties, or you can make it in your own room with some Swiss Miss or a Keurig.


There’s no lack of snow in Ithaca, that’s for sure, and there’s no shortage of hills. Whether you bring sleds to campus to sneak down Libe Slope or try to build a snowman on the Arts Quad with your friends, the snow can provide many opportunities for stress-relieving fun on the weekends or between classes.



There’s nothing better than watching a movie inside while the rain/snow/sleet/hail continues outside. If you are up for an adventure, you can trek to Cinemapolis in Ithaca Commons or simply watch Netflix in your room.


4Ski trips


Fortunately for us, Ithaca is close to many mountain resorts and ski spots. Plan a trip to Greek Peak with friends, or take advantage of Cornell’s P.E. courses that involve skiing and snowboarding on winter weekends. How many people can say they had the opportunity to ski for college credit?

5Time for homework


With no real excuse to be outdoors, take this opportunity to get ahead on your school work. It may not seem enticing at first, but homework is a productive way to spend a day when you don’t want to go outside for any reason. You’ll be especially happy you got your work done so that when the sun does decide to show up, you can spend that nicer weather outside with your friends. Just think: if you lived near the beach and the weather was always beautiful, it would be incredibly difficult to get your work done.



Hibernation is socially acceptable here. Forget leaving your dorm — you might not even want to leave your bed on the coldest days, and that’s okay. When it gets as cold outside as it does in Ithaca, use it as an excuse to stay warm under the covers, at least until your 1:25 start time.




The sometimes-treacherous weather makes everything an adventure. Whether you’re walking up Libe Slope in a blizzard, bundling up in a dozen layers to walk to class, or searching for your fracket late at night, the cold weather is something that unites us all and helps make Cornell the amazing place that it is.


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