Beat the heat and frostbite


illustration by Yessenia Lopez

It’s 98 degrees outside. Humidity is at 80 percent. You dressed for this weather “” sporting shorts, a t-shirt and a ball cap to keep the sun off your face, yet the walk from Mabee to history class leaves you spent and sticky.

Awkwardly aware of your sweaty state, you sit down in class under the refreshing blow of the air conditioning vent. As the lecture progresses, the sweat dries off your forehead and is slowly replaced by goosebumps. The AC that had once saved you has turned on you, and suddenly, you’re shivering.

As a northerner, the experience of needing to layer up before going inside a building was completely foreign to me. We don’t even have AC in 70 percent of homes in Seattle. In what strange world do I need to carry my flannel when I’m outside, and then shrug it on when I get to class? Why is my Patagonia fleece completely useless until my dorm AC is stuck at the coldest setting?

To find solutions to these pressing dilemmas, I enlisted the help of a native Texan, Juhi Choudhury, a sophomore computer science major from Houston.

Kendra Derrig: What do you recommend I do to help transition from inside to outside?

Juhi Choudhury: Just layer. I wear flannel and a tank top. When I go outside, I tie it around my waist, and then I put it on if I get cold.

KD: Honestly, I can deal with the heat, but what about the sweat?

JC: Synthetic fabrics make you sweat, and they also retain sweat and the smell, so they get kind of gross. Cotton is supposed to be better because it is more breathable.

KD: But I really just want to wear black leggings all day.

JC: I mean, you could, but you should try and keep your clothes loose and light. Wearing lighter colors can help, too, not only because of the sun, but apparently it helps with mosquitoes, too. Technically, it’s best to wear long sleeves and long pants to protect against mosquitoes and the heat of the sun, but it’s also hot as f””, so you got to decide what you care about more. It’s a compromise.

KD: Anything else you’ve done to help combat the heat?

JC: I got a side shave to stay cool, in every sense.

So apparently, there’s no real solution to the combination of Texas heat and Trinity AC. You just have to resign yourself to carrying extra layers and sweating as soon as you step outside.

But there’s still hope. Rumor has it, the climate is changing at an alarming rate. Maybe the next freak weather phenomenon will be snow in San Antonio.