Boiling Beantown

by Amille Bottom

photography courtesy of Diego Pereira Cardoso

Spring is in the air! With temperatures slowly creeping out of the mid-30s, layering is key. Students can be seen rushing to their 8 a.m.’s in parkas and boots, but by mid-afternoon, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. While the summer heat seems like an elusive force, it’s quickly approaching. Soon enough, freshmen will be opening every window of Warren Towers, fans whirring away in an attempt to move the still, heated air.

According to Boston.com, “The Weather Channel predicts that the Northeast will see ‘above-average’ temperatures in the spring and early summer, particularly in April and May.” So, in the midst of the sudden spring and summer high temperatures, how can students keep cool? Read on to find out.

Become a Fan of Your Fan

While many students store their fans away during the winter months, now is the time to pull them out and plug them in again! It may seem obvious to use a fan when the temperatures start climbing, but sometimes they can be forgotten in the midst of the end-of-semester chaos. Circulating air is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep a room from heating up. For an extra boost of freshness, open windows and allow the fan to pick up the cooler outside air, especially at night!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Water: it’s a vital substance that most people do not consume enough of daily. According to The Mayo Clinic, water helps the body get rid of waste, regulate temperature and protect sensitive tissues. Furthermore, a lack of hydration fatigues the body, contributing to a slower pace during the work day (not optimal for finals week!) The average amount of water that should be consumed daily for men is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters). For women, it’s about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters.) So, grab a reusable water bottle and drink up!

Chill Out

If the heat is too much to handle, especially for those students braving the summer session, ice works wonders. The Muse recommends creating a makeshift air conditioner by putting a bowl of ice in front of a fan. The evaporation of the frozen cubes will allow the fan to blow cool air throughout the room. Ice packs are another great way to cool down. Place one on the back of your neck for instant relief, or put it in your bed sheets to make winding down easier. No ice pack to be found? Freeze a water bottle and use that instead.

Another pro-tip involves freezing the bed sheets. While this may sound “extra,” it’s quite effective. Place the sheets in a Ziploc bag, freeze them for a few hours, and then luxuriate in coolness for a few hours of peaceful sleep.

Choose Cotton

As many BU students know, choice of fabric can be the final factor in determining whether a walk from West Campus in the dead of winter will be freezing or bearable. The same goes for the warmer months! Cotton is one of the best fabrics to wear when trying to stay cool, as it is breathable and loose-fitting. Cotton also soaks up sweat, allowing the wearer to stay dry. While cotton is the best and often most affordable choice, linen can be a great addition to a warm-weather wardrobe. Linen tends to be stiff, but that prevents it from sticking to the body, allowing for a more breathable experience.

Power Down

In an age in which people are constantly surrounded by electronics, it can be easy to forget their effect on the environment. Electronics literally buzz with heat; it’s the reason a laptop heats up after hours of continued use on a cushy bed. A simple solution to maintaining and preventing the added heat from electronics is to simply power them down. Before bed, unplug unnecessary appliances and outlets. Not only does this reduce heat in a room, but it’s great for the environment, too!

Good luck staying cool, Terriers!