The Boola’s Guide to Basic Snow Etiquette

The vast majority of Yalies (including me) come to New Haven unprepared for the wintry hell that surrounds this benighted city from December through February. Contrary to popular belief, however, that is no reason for you all to be asshats during snow season. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for dickery, so here’s a quick rundown of how to behave when everything around you is covered with snow.

  1. Look where you’re going

The Yale-New Haven community has incredibly effective snow and ice removal technology at their disposal. They have Blizzard Wizard (which is basically just giant glorified sacks of salt), tire chains, snow plows, shovels for days, and a system of parking and driving bans that would admittedly have been useful during Georgia’s infamous Snowpocalypse 2014. That, incidentally, was caused by 2– count ’em, 2– inches of snow. Even civilians have attachable snow plows to put on the front of their truck, which I didn’t know was even something that people would need to do until I moved here.Personal Snow Plow

Are you kidding me with this shit?

Unfortunately, their main technique is to clear only the paths and to pile the snow up on each side of the sidewalks. That doesn’t seem so bad until you realize how much that narrows the walking space all over campus. During the rest of the year, if someone is coming down the middle of the path and they don’t want to move, you can just veer into the grass.

alba-s-crazy-eye-oOr you can give them the crazy eyes until they submit to your superior will.

But during winter, you can either get bumped, ask them to move or–God forbid–step into the frozen abyss on the side of the path. For someone like me, to whom the maintenance of their alpha status is the most important aspect of all their interactions, none of these are acceptable. Bumping someone in any weather is rude, and you shouldn’t have to be asked to move when there would be ample room for both of you if you just stayed in your lane. Walking from Hillhouse to Old Campus one day, a classmate decided that it would be just so precious if he stopped to make out with his girlfriend in the middle of the tiny pathway right in front of me. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t precious. I sighed as loudly as I could as I hiked up my pants and traipsed through the snow around their love-fest. This happens with texting walkers too. Be considerate, you animals.


Or be prepared for the shadiest side-eye I can muster.

2. Take off or dry your boots before coming in

Look, guys. This is common knowledge. Moms in Swiffer commercials the world over give a collective groan every time a Yalie tracks gross street slush into their suite. Each suite could probably have some sort of arrangement to avoid this. If you don’t have a carpet or doormat right inside your entryway, get one for your suite. If you don’t want to get a doormat (read: steal one from a neighbor), stop outside your door and take your shoes off first. If you don’t want to do that, then do it right when you get inside and put them somewhere safe– a shoe rack, a closet, something. If you just absolutely cannot be bothered to do even that for the good of the suite, then either you should only walk near your own furniture or you are unfit to live with other human beings.


Maybe people would have picked little Sally in Heads Up Seven Up if she had dried her goddamn boots.

It may not seem like it’s a huge problem at first glance, but that’s because it’s a cumulative one. It’s not a problem to have trash or recycling but it’s a problem to never take it out. Similarly, it’s not a problem to have snowy boots (we all do, look outside for God’s sake) but it’s a problem to prance around all over the nice floor with them. This problem is one of the easiest-to-solve ones that would come up in the suite with regards to cleanliness; as long as you just kick your shoes somewhere out of the way before you intrude upon the spotless inner sanctum that is our living room, there won’t be a problem. No need to come up with schedules as to who will do what when, no need to buy any supplies; all you have to do is just be slightly more mindful than usual. Is that so much to ask? No, you beasts. It isn’t. Quit letting the living room floor get so covered in snow that it looks like an ashy elbow.


And don’t even act like you don’t know exactly what I mean.

3. Slather on deodorant, everywhere

Ah, winter. The three or four months of the year where you can let your personal hygiene go completely to waste and no one will judge you for it. How liberating! Just kidding. I’m judging you. I’m judging you hard.


So hard. 

Two of the most common winter hygiene tropes are that in winter, you don’t have to shave and you don’t have to put on deodorant. One of those is completely and unequivocally true from now until the end of time, and one is the direct cause of some of the grossest experiences of one’s life. If you’ve read this far, you already know which is which and there is absolutely no mystery as to which is which, so I will just elaborate on why I’m right.


Just like always.

In Connecticut winter, as I have found out the hard way, one layer of clothes is never enough– sometimes not even inside. During math this week, I wore two full layers of clothes and my ridiculous puffy jacket and I still could’ve turned the heat up a bit. Georgia in no way prepared me for this level of freeze, so I tend to overdress for the winter, and so do lots of other Yalies. This is where the grossness comes in. Hauling ass back and forth through the snow in two or three layers of clothes actually ends up being quite a sweaty endeavor. Even though it’s below freezing outside, proper jackets will keep it nice and toasty on the inside (especially when they’re on top of sweats and thermals), but people tend to forget that. Most people directly correlate heat with sweat and cold with… not sweat. So they’ll look at their deodorant morning after morning and think, “Who needs that?”



Don’t be afraid to shower more than you think is normal for non-psychopaths, either. In the most uncomfortable words of my 8th grade math teacher Ms. Graham, “Wash your creases!” This means arm pits, leg pits, and yes, underboob. Somebody needs to talk about it. Underboob sweat is the worst and can be easily avoided by a copious layer of deodorant on every corner of your body. The worst case scenario with that is that it gets stain on your underclothes, and it’s not like anyone will be seeing those anyway– first of all, it’s too cold to not wear stuff on top of them, and secondly, you haven’t shaved, so you want to keep as many clothes between your legs and the judging eyes of society as possible.


Their quiet, judging eyes.

4. Don’t keep talking about where you’re from

I myself am so guilty of this cardinal sin that I’ve committed it twice in this article already. This is the easiest to slip into because it’s everyone’s first instinct to talk about the weather, and this unfortunately goes hand-in-hand with that. Since in high school everyone was from the same place, this extension of the already overused weather convo starter is rarely ever used. Here, though, it’s a constant competition for people to one-up each other on their lack of preparedness for winter (one-down them?) Here, people wave their home towns around like they’re trying to helicopter dick everyone they meet.


No one is impressed by you being from California, okay? Turn down.

Even though everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t make it alright and it doesn’t forward conversation at all. The only people who ever talk about where they’re from (without being asked) during winter are people who aren’t from cold places. You’ll never hear someone from Minnesota saying how they weren’t prepared for this, and you won’t hear Canadians’ teeth chattering. As such, the only people who really want to have those conversations in the first place are people from hot/warm/not-as-cold-as-the-Yeti’s-asshole places. This basically limits your small talk to people from those places, and even they can get tired of it sometimes. Being from Georgia myself, I– oh Jesus, it’s happening already


No! Wait! Come back! I- I can change!


I get it, okay? I understand that Frozen was fantastic movie that taught us that true love doesn’t always have to be between man and woman and that true beauty is within and it subverted the traditional cisheteropatriarchal structure of Disney princess movies and the music was pretty good and the husband and wife songwriting team was cute and I know that Anna just “so gets you” because she doesn’t wake up with perfect hair and she trips all over herself and you can just “totally identify with her”. That’s nice. I won’t try to take that away from you. But shut the hell up.


You see this? This is you.

I will never deny that that movie was enjoyable, because it was. But after a certain point you stop sounding quirky and sound like a 6-year-old whose only Christmas present was a singing Elsa doll. Yes, yes, I know that love is an open door. But it’s too cold to have doors open, so no love for you. No, I don’t want to build a snowman– have you seen the temperature? There is a literal igloo on my weather app to represent outside right now. And let’s be real– any of you who say that “the cold never bothered you anyway” are straight-up lying. I can only hope that by next winter the hype will have died down a bit and this won’t be a problem anymore. After all, if you love something–