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Best Ways To Get Around Iowa State University During The Winter

Best Ways To Get Around Iowa State University During The Winter

Iowa State is a great place to further your education, but the winters in Iowa can be brutal. Winters at Iowa State can be frigid, windy, and icy. Here are the best ways to navigate Iowa State during the winter!

1. CyRide

More than 70% of Iowa State’s students live off-campus, which means commuting to campus. While some off-campus students drive to campus, there is still a good amount of students that don’t have access to a car. Enter CyRide, the main public transportation option in Ames. 

For Iowa State students riding the CyRide is free as long as you show your student ID when getting on. CyRide has around 13 different routes that span all across the city. The busses do get pretty crowded during the winter, but it is way better than walking 5 miles to campus in the frigid temperatures.


One of the main routes is the #1 red route. It runs all the way through town on Lincoln way, stopping at stops on campus in the middle. This is one of the best ways to get anywhere in Ames and stops at many stops that allow passengers to switch routes. 

CyRide is even a great way to navigate Ames in the winter if you don’t have access to a car. 


2. Main Campus Walkways

Now that you are on campus you will see that at Iowa State certain paths are cleared more often and better than others. Your best plan of action is to stay on those paths. The main walkways on campus or the ones that are high in traffic are the ones that get cleared the most often and cleared the best. 

It can be difficult sometimes to only get to class on the main paths, but if you can try to stay on those the most you can. This way you will not be trudging through a bunch of snow and slush on the way to class. 

The main walkways on campus are the sidewalks in front of the library, from Curtis to Beardshear, lining Osborn, and the ones around Friley and Lake Laverne. 


3. Cut-Through Buildings

Another trick to navigating Iowa State during the winter is to cut through as many buildings as you can. There are hundreds of buildings on campus which means there are bound to be plenty in your path on your way to class. By cutting through buildings you get out of the cold even if for a few seconds but you also get a few seconds of warmth making the rest of your trek bearable. 

Another plus about cutting through buildings is that you can cut your walk in half by taking shortcuts through the many buildings on Iowa State’s campus. It always seems to me that by cutting through buildings it always gets me to where I need to be faster. That means getting out fo the cold quicker and staying warm longer. Especially on those harsh Iowa winter days when the cold seems to pierce through every layer of clothing and the wind is blowing you every direction and the snow seems to blind your vision as you navigate Iowa State.


4. Carpool

A big part of college is making connections and networking. By now maybe you have met many people and made a good amount of friends. One of them is bound to drive to campus. Try asking them if you could hitch a ride with them on their way to Iowa State and the campus. 

If you and your roommates have similar schedules, then it is a great idea to carpool to campus together. Not only will you both have warm transportation to class, but you can also hold each other accountable for actually going to class and not missing when you just do not feel like going. 


Pro tip: do not be ungrateful. If you have a friend that is willing to pick you up on their way to class. At least offer to pay for gas, if not, slip a $20 bill into the cup holder while they are not looking!


5. Uber/Lyft

A recent addition to the Iowa State/Ames area has been Uber and Lyft. If you are willing to pay the money to get to campus by not walking out in the cold and do not want to be stuck on a full bus, then this is a fairly good option. All you would have to do is download their respective apps and follow the steps on screen! It is super easy and painless to set up your account and get on your way to class!

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For all of you who are about to be CSUN freshmen, here are some tips from a former Matador! Good luck tackling your first year in college!

This is also a great way to make a little extra money, by becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. 


6. Walking

If any of the above options failed to pique your attention then you will have to walk to campus. This is actually a pretty good option for those that live on campus. If you live on campus this is probably the fastest way to class. Especially in the winter, you want to get out of the cold as soon as you can. 

Make sure you bundle up and wear warm boots! Not to mention that as you walk your body’s internal temperature rises so by the time you reach your building you might be warmer than you thought you would be. 


7. Do Not Go To Class

At Iowa State, like all other colleges, going to class is important. However, when the winter and cold are threatening your well-being, sometimes it’s best to take a day off. But, do not let this become a habit. Skipping class can greatly decrease your performance in your classes.


Skipping class is great for your well-being every once in a while but can easily add to your stress due to your absence in class and you missing out on information given in lectures. 

How do you get around Iowa State during the cold winter months? Let us know in the comments below!

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