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As we all know, the state of Minnesota has an extremely cold climate for eight months out of the year, which consists of snow and requires residents to wear big winter coats. It gets well below freezing, it snows multiple feet at a time and winter lasts well into April. Growing up in a warmer climate is something that everyone living in Minnesota has dreamed of at least once. Most people here wish they could grow up in a climate much like Southern California. Kicking your feet up and relaxing on a beach daily sounds a little bit too perfect to be true.

Rachel Mullin is a junior health sciences major at the University of Northwestern–St. Paul. Mullin was raised in Temecula, California and lived there for the majority of her life. Mullin explains that Southern Californian weather has a variety of different temperatures and climates, but it is mainly hot. She believes growing up in California for 18 years was nothing short of amazing.

Mullin decided to take a leap of faith and move to a state that was the opposite of the one she grew up in. “Moving from Southern California to Minnesota was one of the scariest things I have ever done,” she states, “I had never been to Minnesota except for when I toured UNW.”

On moving to Minnesota, Mulin says, “I love the fall weather. The leaves changing and cooler weather was not something that I was used to at all.” She goes on to discuss what it was like getting used to the snow and cooler climate: “When the first snow fall happened, I was thinking to myself, This is such a pretty snow. Why does everyone hate the winter?”

About experiencing the severe weather changes in Minnesota, she explains: “But then my freshman year we had a [really] cold day…. I thought I was going to die. The thought of not being outside for long in that temperature made me strangely claustrophobic.”

Getting used to driving in the snow is a monster of its own. Driving in the snow takes lots of focus and concentration. Experiencing slipping and sliding in the snow for the first time while driving is very daunting. Learning how to drive in the snow is a whole new skillset for somebody who has grown up in a permanent summer.

Being in Minnesota for three years now, Mullin has learned the intimidating task of taking on the snowy and icy roads. Even though the winter is brutal, Mullin states that “while the middle of winter is not my favorite, I do love the snow!”

Photo courtesy of Trinity Bottenfield.