Pretty much the only constant thing about the weather in California is that it’s not constant at all. The temperature here is just like the dorm elevators: high one moment, low the next and never, ever reliable. If you’re from SoCal, you’re pretty okay with this crazy weather, as long as the temperature remains between 75 and 95 degrees.
But then, all of a sudden, the sky has transformed from blue to gray, you haven’t seen the sun in about a week and your professor is assuring you that the strange water from the sky is called “rain,” and that, no, it’s not going to hurt you. Maybe this is just a regular thing for students who hail from longitudes higher than 36 degrees north, but for Bears from the blazing desert of a land they call Southern California, the climate shock can be strange and terrifying. The temperatures are dropping faster than our GPAs and we are very cold and very afraid.
Is it really our fault that we think anything less than 70 degrees is chilly? You try moving from a climate where shorts and a T-shirt are perfectly acceptable for a 75 degree December day to a place where, in the beginning of November, the weekly average is centered around 57 degrees. Forgetting that you’re not in the LA area anymore and throwing on shorts and a T-shirt in the middle of a rainstorm is a fatal mistake for a person whose natural habitat is one known for the sun. But deciding to be proactive and building a barrier against the cold with a sweatshirt, mittens and boots means that you’re the laughingstock of your NorCal friends. It’s totally reasonable to wear a beanie in 65 degree weather, and if your heartier friends don’t believe you, just tell them it’s a fashion statement.
We struggle to understand the concept of multiple layers of clothing like it’s multivariable calculus. We wrap scarves around our necks and our faces as if leaving one inch of our skin exposed to the world will end in frostbite and a visit to the Tang Center’s urgent care. We absolutely loathe umbrellas — opening them up is all right, but folding them up quickly and quietly is the bane of our existence. Four days into November and we’re ready to shake our fists at the sky and scream, “Who invented rain anyway?”
Maybe it’s true that people from SoCal just don’t possess the frost-resistance of our northern brethren. We didn’t grow up with misty mornings by the Bay or week-long rain forecasts. And although both breeds of Californian are acquainted with surprise heat waves in the middle of December, SoCal natives just don’t seem to do well when there’s water coming from the sky instead of sunlight. You win this round, NorCal Bears, but remember that at the end of the day, you’re still from California. Winter is coming — but to out-of-staters, it’s still summer.
Contact Ariel Sauri at [email protected].