Every morning before I leave for class, I wake up, check the weather on my phone and stand by the window to get a feeling of what it’s like outside so I can decide what to wear. But almost every day I seem to put on an outfit that either has me sweating buckets or spending the day shivering. Milwaukee is confused about its weather, and so am I.
Sometimes I walk outside and feel like I’ve nailed it. Unfortunately, this only lasts so long. A couple hours later, I leave class and start walking home thinking it’s a bit warm. I try to tough it out for a block, but ultimately decide to take my sweatshirt off. It’s just after I put my sweater in my bag and continue walking that the sun disappears behind a cloud, and the wind kicks it up a notch, causing me to be covered in goosebumps. This is a common occurrence.
The sun that I’ve come to love, especially in the winter when there’s six inches of snow, is a total prankster. Looking out the window, it gives the impression that it’s typical fall sweater-weather, when that is just not the case.
When the temperature gets even slightly hot, students rush to Bradford Beach for a fun day of surf and sand. I have passed up going to the beach thinking the weather just wasn’t quite warm enough, only to have the weather heat up quickly and the window of opportunity disappear.
The next weekend brings nice fall weather, consisting of that perfect cozy temperature. Instagram fills up with pictures from pumpkin patches and apple orchards.
It seems to be a common consensus that many states are experiencing confusing weather, likely due to climate change, but I have never experienced weather quite like Milwaukee’s. For instance, on Sept. 22 Milwaukee broke the previous record high set in 1937 when the thermometer hit 95 degrees. At home in Chicago, it was pretty predictable in the sense that if it was cold out, they were stuck freezing, and if it was warm, they were stuck sweating — there was really no in-between.
The city of Milwaukee offers so many great things to do and explore, but the weather sometimes causes students to miss out. Last year, I was too busy getting acclimated to the new environment, and too confused about the bus system, that by the time the weather started getting bad, I had a list of things downtown that I wanted to do and ended up spending way too much on Uber.
I have seen people on campus tours shivering because they didn’t realize that Milwaukee’s weather changes every five minutes. Not a great first look at the school when all they can think about is how they need a sweatshirt from the Spirit Shop. Maybe the Spirit Shop is conspiring with mother nature to make more sales.
One thing I will thank the weather for is how beautiful it makes campus look. Even on gloomy days, the wind jostling the leaves on the trees is a great view, and the sunshine lights up Joan of Arc Chapel perfectly. Although the weather may be all over the place most of the time, it knows what to do to highlight campus’ best features. It’s obvious that a lot of students agree when it is nicer out, and there are a myriad of hammocks and students doing homework on blankets.
Hopefully, by senior year I will have figured out how to dress for Milwaukee’s ever-changing weather, but I fear that I will always be just as confused as I was the first day on campus.