There’s nothing much worse than that Bloomington heat and humidity in the early fall and late spring months of the school year. If you’re living on campus in Collins, Wright or Read, you’ll be experiencing this heat firsthand, as these buildings do not have air-conditioned rooms. Here’s a few tips and tricks to staying cool!
The number one thing you need to survive the heat is definitely water. You will sweat a lot, and staying hydrated is of the utmost importance! Buying cases of water bottles from Kroger and storing the bottles in your fridge is always an option, but you can always buy a nice IU themed reusable water bottle from the IU Bookstore or TIS Bookstore. There are plenty of water fountains around campus and in the dorms to refill! Gatorade and other electrolyte replacing drinks are also a good option.
Fans are a must-have when you don’t have air conditioning. Box fans to stick in the window are always a good idea, as well as the little clip-on ones that come in handy while you’re studying or sleeping. Basically, the more fans you have, the better. Just don’t forget to bring surge-protectors to plug them all into!
One of my biggest struggles living without AC was that I was so hot that I barely wanted to eat. I was really sluggish and tired, which was all an effect of eating badly and/or not enough. Get those vitamins, nutrients, and proteins, even if it’s in small increments throughout the day. Fruit, yogurt and cold sandwiches were some of my favorite healthy options.
If you have the option to open your windows, do it! The air outside usually cools down a lot after the sun sets, so leaving the windows open along with having fans running really helps to get some cooler air circulating around your room. Keeping the door open also assists in keeping air moving throughout your room and through the building.
Wearing light cottons or dresses helps to keep you cool. Sports bras and shorts were basically all that my roommate and I wore for the first few weeks of the first semester around our room. Just keep it as light as possible. It’s really simple, but it helps!
Ice cream, smoothies and other frozen treats are a great and tasty way to keep cool. RPS dining such as Bloomingberry offer frozen yogurt and smoothies to keep you cool all year round. You can also purchase different kinds of ice cream at the C-stores around campus.
I thought my mom was insane when she suggested this last year, but putting damp washcloths in your mini-fridge and taking them out a few hours later to place on your neck, face or to just overall cool off your skin feels amazing and really does keep you cool for a bit. Also, cold showers are a go-to, especially before bed.
It’s a good idea to try to spend a good portion of the day somewhere that has air-conditioning. Hang out at a friend’s dorm or go to the library for a few hours. Some of the un-air conditioned dorms have areas that do have AC. For example, the rooms in Read don’t have AC, but the lounges and the center desk/lobby area do. Most buildings on campus do have air, so take advantage of them. It’s a lot easier to study when you aren’t so concerned about how sweaty and hot you are.
The first few weeks are kind of brutal, and it takes a few days to get used to sleeping in the heat, but the nights are relatively cool and the heat isn’t there to stay. By the time Welcome Week is over you'll be a pro at living without AC. At about mid-September and early October the heat dies down and you’re free from it until the end of spring semester. Before you know it, you'll be taking on the chilly winter and almost wishing for the heat!