By Haley Chi-Sing


It’s been about three months since I moved to Boston, and looking back, I laugh thinking about how clueless I was. Now, nearing the end of my first semester in Boston, I think I’ve picked up on a few decent tips and tricks that I definitely won’t be forgetting anytime soon:


1. Find anything to hold onto on the train — even if it’s the person next to you.

I’ve learned this the hard way, unfortunately. I hopped on the train, happy as could be, and found myself flat on the floor the next second.


Whenever you get on the train, if you can’t score a seat, head straight for the first pole or handle you can find and stick to it, because the train will take off, and you will fall flat on your behind.


Unfortunately, there are those handful of times when the train is terribly packed, you can’t even see two feet in front of you. “What do I hold onto then?” you may ask. Well, as you begin your trip when the train brakes, your best bet is simply the person to your left or to your right. They probably won’t mind, because they’re likely doing the same thing as you.


2. Don’t organize your closet by season.

I began to put my “summer” clothes away starting October, which happened to be a terrible mistake. Probably two days after I stored away the dresses and short-sleeve tops came a hot day that forced me to go back and scrounge around through my summer clothes.


Although it is getting chilly, there will be that occasional day when it is simply too warm for the heavy winter coat but too cold for your warm weather clothes. Be prepared, rely on layers. Have a combination of seasonal clothes ready in your closet at all times.


3. Carry an umbrella with you at all times.

Again, I have made this mistake several times already. I’ve checked the weather app, it says it’s going to be cloudy, and then, 10 minutes after I’ve left my building, it begins to pour. And there I go, trudging along the sidewalk all wet, cold and miserable.


So, lesson learned. I now carry an umbrella in my backpack at all times, just in case Mother Nature decides to screw me over and bring in some rain.


4. But leave the purse at home.

As we begin to pull out the big, heavy coats and jackets, balancing yourself and your purse can be somewhat of a hassle. Let’s be honest, it’s really just a pain having to carry a purse when all you want to do it stick your hands in your pockets so your fingers don’t freeze off.


Solution: leave your purse at home. Get yourself one of those small wallets (only large enough to carry your T pass, credit card and ID) and leave everything else in your dorm. That way, everything you need fits right in your pockets, and you’ll be ensured a hassle-free, purse-free outing without half-frozen fingers.


5. Carry lip balm with you.

What with the cold air slapping us across the face the moment we step out into the cold, our faces are already half-frozen the entire day. While the numbness may go away eventually once we go back inside, our lips might be taking the toll throughout the day.


Science fact of the day: the outer layer of skin on our lips is thinner than anywhere else on our bodies, which is why our lips get chapped and dry so easily. Do yourself a favor and carry around a lip balm with you that you can apply consistently. Otherwise, you’ll have chapped, cut lips that’ll be even more of a pain than a numb nose.


6. Don’t stand on the edge of the sidewalk.

This has happened to me twice already, and I have yet to learn. With the recent rainfalls and now the snow, the sidewalks and streets will start filling up with water. So, even if you’re running late for class and you’re prepared to sprint across the street before the light turns red, don’t put yourself in the danger zone. A car will drive by, and it will splash you, and you will definitely be more miserable than if you had been late to class. Believe me.