Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Illinois, Minnesota

  1. Dec 9, 2007 #1
    I'm applying to universities this year. A few universities are in Illinois and Minnesota, where my dad is telling me not to go because it's too cold there.
    I'm from CA, but after comparing academics in different universities, I have selected some good universities that might suit me, but they are in these states.
    What should I do?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2007 #2

    Kurdt

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I wouldn't not go there because my father said it was cold. You should do what you feel will be the best for your education.
     
  4. Dec 9, 2007 #3

    cristo

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I agree with Kurdt; if you've narrowed down your search for schools to some in these two states, and you think these will be best for you, then the weather should not be something that makes you completely change your mind.
     
  5. Dec 9, 2007 #4

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I concur with Kurdt and cristo. The program and curriculum are important rather than location.

    Besides - Illinois has a population of 12,831,970 (recent est) and Minnesota has 5,167,101, so they can't be all that bad. :biggrin:
     
  6. Dec 9, 2007 #5
    I you live in sunny southern California then you have nothing to relate to when it comes to what's cold in Minnesota. I live near Detroit and it's not cold until it gets below 10°, Minnesota often gets below 0°. Snow is warm compared to what you would face there, so if you think ice is cold then you have another thing coming. How would you feel about not going outside for months, not to mention what the cold does to your car. Illinois wouldn't be as bad as Minnesota.

    Now I'm not telling you not to go there, a good education is what's important. I just think you should be aware of what you're getting into, and where your dad is coming from. He just thinks you would have more fun in a warm climate, especially if you have to live there for 4 years.
     
  7. Dec 9, 2007 #6
    Cold? Who is scared for the cold? By all means, go for it and explore your personal limits, to expand them, and to set the standards higher. That's the way to become an allrounder who is not turned off by some headwind.

    What if the future would give you great perspectives in the cold and you did not know how much you liked skiing, skating, etc

    After all, It's not Resolute Bay NWT, February 1989, where I saw the thermometer drop below the scale of -60C during an Arctic Survival Course hosted by the Canadian Armed Forces.

     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2007
  8. Dec 9, 2007 #7
    Buy a warm jacket and a snowboard and have fun! It's not so bad, eventually you will get used to it, and if you don't you can leave after 4 years anyway :P Don't let the weather scare you away from attending your choice of university.

    Andre that must have been brutal! The coldest weather I have ever been in was about -45-50 which includes the windchill and I thought that was more than bad enough.
     
  9. Dec 9, 2007 #8

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I wouldn't let the weather deter you from applying to a good program just because your father said so. It is a consideration, if you're going to be miserable there, but just because your father doesn't like it doesn't mean you won't like it. When I lived in MI, one of our grad students was from southern CA, and the furthest north she had lived was in Davis. She enjoyed the snow and cold a whole heck of a lot more than I did, took up cross-country skiing, even got so carried away with snow shoveling that she shoveled the sidewalks for her entire block (she usually ran several miles every day, so the snow and ice on the ground seemed to leave her with quite an excess of energy she needed to burn off...I'm sure the neighbors didn't mind, I just wish I had known to live next to her!)

    As scorpa said, just buy a really warm jacket (and hats, gloves, scarves, snow boots).

    When you narrow your list by academics, you should visit the schools anyway. How will you know if you like any of them if you don't visit? If you're really concerned, visit in winter and see if it'll be absolutely awful to bear or if you can tolerate it (and keep in mind that it will be the ugliest time of year to see the campus, so you'll really see it at the worst it can get).
     
  10. Dec 9, 2007 #9
    Okay, it's probably not too much off thread when I tell a bit about it. I ran the Air Force survival school at that time and we were just starting to export our low flying trying to Goose Bay Labrador (the most amazing experience ever). Anyway, it was decided that we needed to know if it was required and feasible to give our pilots Arctic survival training for that. That's how I found myself back over there. One week of theory on Namao / Edmonton Air Force base and then 7 days of training in the Arctic snow. it started off in a Hotel but after 2 days we did not return and stayed in the field, first in a tent, bad idea (see the quote of Mark Twain), then we had to build our own iglo under supervision of two very skilled Inu. Most amazing construction work and actually quite comfy considering the circumstamces. The only way to keep warm is to keep moving and keep eating, I never knew how much amazing amounts I could stow away. Dressing is actually quite critical. You tend to wear too many layers, which works aversely when working hard. The sweat soakes your clothes and consequently it freezes and cools.

    That -60 was on the coldest morning in a shallow valley, normally it was -30/-40. The air stratifies strongly with those temperatures, perhaps a degree per meter. Only the lowest point the temps were that low. Also no wind chill, unless you decided to move. Cold!

    Bottomline, you can survive if you know what you're doing and if you believe in it and when you have the hardware. And that's what those courses are for but for the air force, we decided that cold winter survival (below the treeline) was sufficient.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2007
  11. Dec 9, 2007 #10
    Do you plan to study outdoors a lot? Because if you are serious about your classes then the bulk of your time will not be spent playing in the snow (although some of that is essential to mental health). While it can be a bit annoying to be stuck indoors most of the time, it sure helps to focus on your classes. For the rest of the time, do what others have said: invest in the best winter clothing you can afford. Cold weather is hard to take when you are ill-equipped for it. Comfortable warm clothing turns that into a minor inconvenience.
     
  12. Dec 9, 2007 #11
    Yes. But in hot weather, you get to play "name that mirage".
     
  13. Dec 9, 2007 #12
    I don't know about you guys, I still think girls look better in bikinis than parkas.
     
  14. Dec 9, 2007 #13
    The thing is even in CA, I hate it when winters come, and sometimes the winters in CA seem too much! I don't know about MI and IL.
    Still, thank you for the advice. Now I won't cut off the universities I want to reply, just because of the whether.
    Thanks everyone for the great advice.
     
  15. Dec 10, 2007 #14

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It may not hurt you to arrange a mid winter vist to one of the mideastern (come on, look at a map) schools you are considering. If a southern Ca. winter is tough, you need to experiance a cold day in Ill. You may want to time it to visit between Thanksgiving and Christmas go get a feel for how short a midwinter day in the North is.
     
  16. Dec 10, 2007 #15

    George Jones

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I agree with what people have have said. If you dress properly, you will be comfortable; if you don't dress properly, you could be *very* uncomfortable.

    Today, for the second time in less than a week, the temperature was -19 C (-2 F) while I waited for the bus to work, and the winter temperatures here are higher than where I lived two years ago. There, a morning temperature like this is slightly above normal (without windchill!) for this time a year, and a few degrees above normal for January. See this post.

    I do know, however, of a counterexample. I worked in the Caribbean (St. Croix) for a couple of years, and one of my colleagues, who grew up in the Caribbean (St. Kitts & Nevis), went to university in Iowa. She liked Iowa, but she found the winters to be almost unbearable. She *hated* the cold.
     
  17. Dec 10, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I agree this is the best way to find out if the weather is even remotely tolerable, but make sure you dress warmly enough for the visit or you'll have the wrong idea. Though, it may be tougher to take a mild CA winter than a very cold northern winter if in CA you're accustomed to dressing mostly for warm weather all the time, and everyone is primarily focused on warm-weather activities for fun. For example, it's a lot more fun to go outside and build snowmen or go sledding on cafeteria trays than it is to sit inside watching it rain.
     
  18. Dec 10, 2007 #17
    I grew up in the midwest and love the seasons, it brings so much variety to life!
     
  19. Dec 10, 2007 #18

    Kurdt

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The best part about seasons is that you get really fat in the winter and then have to work it all off in the summer.
     
  20. Dec 10, 2007 #19

    G01

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Do what's best for you education. I know a master's student at my university (In Pennsylvania) who came from equatorial Africa to PA in January, and he adjusted to the winter weather just fine (There may have been a few bumps in the road, but he's still alive!). Don't worry to much about it!
     
  21. Dec 10, 2007 #20
    I completely agree with everyone on here. Do what's best for your education...you'll regret it later if you don't. Besides, if you absolutely can't stand it, you can always transfer somewhere warmer.

    I personally love having all four seasons, although as a northern Iowa native, even St. Louis seems warm in the winter. I've discovered that it's much better for it to be cold and stay cold than it is to constantly change back and forth. Dress warm and you'll get used to it faster than you think. Just don't go around always thinking about how cold it is. It's part psychological, too. :)
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Illinois, Minnesota
  1. Earthquake in Illinois (Replies: 38)

Loading...