I actually always describe it as Midwest-cold! Our winter here usually mirrors what my parents are getting in Indiana. Every season pretty much mirrors what my parents get in Indiana.
For all of you who don’t have to good fortune to have your own weather genies in Indiana what I am really saying is that winter is unpredictable. My first winter was a warmer winter with no snow accumulation (the worst). My second winter was cold and icy. This winter, the best type of winter, was full of snow. Snow up to your knees even with snow shoes on. It was amazing and heavenly.
Not to worry, dear Californians, there is plenty of heat in the buildings (most from our own biomass system) and you will soon become an expert layer-er. Also, we are gone for January and February, the peak of the winter, so you can soak up the sun if you so please. Or you can come visit me in Alaska.
You really just wanted a picture of a wintry campus, right? Wish granted.
(A true-north Vermonter)
I’m a rising sophomore and for my first FWT, I worked for a sculptor/performance artist in NYC.
I tried to answer an anonymous question about the weather, but I messed up and deleted it. So, TO WHOMEVER ASKED: Bennington is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. If you go to the wikipedia page for Bennington, Vermont, you can see a detailed temperature chart. It gets warm around April (sometimes March) and it gets cold around November (sometimes October).
Of course, I’m from the northeast, and someone from L.A. might disagree with my definitions of “cold” and “warm.” Californians tend to pull out the coats and gloves a few weeks before we New Yorkers, Pennsylvanians and New Englanders.
But I promise you’ll survive.
Inspired by the fun we had surveying people for our Bucket List post, Liam and I went out on the field this morning and got up close and personal with some REAL bennington students. The question: What are you excited to do for fun over break?
H.C.: Read a million books (especially She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir), and hang out with my dogs.
E.M.: See the Hobbit with my dad.
A.P.: read this super non-academic book called Dirty Snow about a serial killer or something. Finish watching Boardwalk Empires.
Z.W.: Do things I never expected to do, things I couldn’t even fathom, things the farthest reaches of my imagination couldn’t even think of right now!!!
Well, with any scale 1 to 10, it depends where you’re coming from. If you’re an eskimo writing this post from your igloo in the arctic, it’s probably about a 4. If you’re from Mexico writing this post while lounging on the beach drinking some lemonade, it’s probably an 8. If you use the Fahrenheit system, it’s around 20 degrees on average. Yes, I think parkas would definitely be acceptable. I’d bring a good winter jacket, some boots, and probs some gloves, a hat, and some scarves. Also, remember you’ll be away on winter break and FWT from December to February, so you’ll miss out on the worst (or best) of it.
It also varies quite a bit from year to year. Last year it was unusually warm, so you never know what to expect.
In other words, somewhere between this:
No!! We’ve never had an official snow day. Vermont winters are notorious so the whole town of Bennington tends to be well prepared for any type of snow situation. On the OTHER hand when I got back from FWT my sophomore year the snow was so heavy that some of my professors couldn’t make it to campus for class. But at the same time Jess still had class because her professor lived on campus…. So I’d keep an eye on the weather report but chances are Bennington professors will make it to class come hail or high water.
Not really, so far as I can tell. There is a rink in Manchester if you’ve got the itch to tear it up, and I’m sure you could find a few other students interested in going with you. I wouldn’t say ice skating is, like, a big factor in the Bennington social scene or anything like that, though.
Ok, so, even though I’m from Syracuse, NY (apparently the 4th-snowiest city in the lower 48) I think I can suspend my disbelief enough to help you out.
The real key to staying warm is layering. Lots of layers = more body heat that gets trapped inside your clothing. You probably want to stock up on plenty of sweaters (cotton »»> wool), maybe a couple good pairs of fuzzy socks, water-resistant footwear, a good water resistant jacket, and maaaaaaybe a pair of long johns. The most important thing I want to stress is that it’s not as if you’re buying all this as part of a winter outfit, but rather that they’re all components of what will become your daily wardrobe during cold, snowy stretches. You’ll be super warm with this setup regardless of what brands you choose to buy, so it’s pretty easy to go cheap as well.
I should also note that the buildings and houses on campus are really well-heated, so it’s not as if you’ll be bundled up all the time; this advice is just for days when you’ll be out of your house for extended periods of time.
The best thing about layering is that it’s easy to take off a jacket or a sweater to adapt to being indoors/outdoors. Some days you’ll only want a sweater and other days you’ll don the full suit of armor. Adaptability is key to survival, after all.
You do get to miss a fair amount of the worst of winter because of FWT, but you still have to deal with December and March.
I wouldn’t load up too much on clothes because you don’t know what the weather will be like next year or how cold you’re going to get, but there’s a couple things you should definitely bring.
1. A nice warm pair of water resistant boots (snow boots are the warmest but can be tough to lug around. Michaela says “go light”).
2. A nice warm water resistant winter jacket (with a hood).
3. A nice warm hat (if your jacket doesn’t have a hood).
4. And wool socks! (Especially if you go for lighter boots.)
A lot of times you won’t need to be that warm, so make sure you have a variety of sweatshirts or sweaters for less intense winter weather. Also probably some pants to mix in with your leggings. But there are stores around here, so don’t worry about it too much. You probably want to pack relatively light for shipping.
See you in September!