Winter in Worcester

Having lived in a country where winters averaged about 50F and it never snows, the New England winter has been quite the challenge. Personally I’ve grown to withstand the snow and the freezing cold but I doubt I will ever get used to the strong chilly wind Worcester throws your way.

city-hall-common-worcester

http://landperspectives.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/city-parks-in-winter/

Nonetheless I’ve enjoyed Worcester through all its’ seasons and I am hoping this winter break will be no different. While it breaks my heart to not be able to go to Bangladesh this break, I am having a good time experiencing the American Christmas and it’s festivities. So this piece is dedicated to all of you not going home this winter.

Tackling homesickness:

Be it freshmen or upperclassmen, winter breaks do fill us with nostalgia and perk up our urges to get on a plane and just fly home. Where I come from, winter means – a break from the scorching heat, no school for three weeks, countless Pithas (bread/cake like snacks made with coconut/rice flour and filled with palm dates, curd AKA pure goodness!) and of course the beginning of the WEDDING SEASON.

While I miss not being home this winter I try to be as connected with home as I can, because let’s face it we are all somewhat homesick. Skyping my friends and family during the holidays always makes my day. If Skype/oovoo/Viber is  not be the best method to talk to family back home, you could look for companies online that allow you to call internationally through your local phone at cheap rates (www.1pinless.com , www.localphone.com ) . A good conversation with the people you miss can always lift you up.

And while you are talking to family back home, ask them for some of their delicious family recipes. I’ve always considered cooking native food one of the best remedies to homesickness. Worcester is a very diverse city and with a little help from google you could probably try to track down if not all most of the ingredients you need.

Last but not the least; homesickness doesn’t really disappear so you might as well learn to survive it. Look around for other people who are staying on campus, make new friends, keep busy but stay connected with friends and family back home and homesickness surely won’t be a problem.

Things to do in the Woo:

If you’ve been spending your days locked up in your room and are dying out of boredom, I hope this helps you in some way.

WRTA:
The ‘Worcester Regional Transit Authority’  – more identifiable as the blue local buses. Personally, when I stayed in Worcester over the summer the WRTA bus was a blessing! I’ve hear a lot of people say they had a tough time figuring out the bus routes so I’ll try to start you off from somewhere-

Route 4 will take you to the Blackstone Valley Mall, Route 27 will take you to Auburn Mall, Route 14 takes you Showcase Cinemas, Route 15 takes you to Shrewsbury Street and Route 11 and 19 take you to Wal-Mart. Timings and other locations can be found at http://www.therta.com/schedules/ .

P.S : Please carry exact change for your fare and opt for the day pass if you are going to more than one location. And look out for snow routes/schedules.

The Worcester Public Library:

The Library is at a walking distance from Clark, but any bus that stops at City Hall will make it a shorter route. The library has a very good collection of books and movies that you could sort through and take out after you get a library card. And last time I checked, the card was not that hard to apply for either.

The library also holds many interesting events and offers free/reduced cost passes to museums and
You can find more information at : http://www.worcpublib.org/index.htm . Check it out!

Restaurants:

I’ve always enjoyed the diversity in and around the Clark community. As someone who enjoys trying out new cuisines, Worcester’s dining options have never failed to satiate my unpredictable food cravings.

The Clark website contains information regarding many of the eateries in Main south : http://www.clarku.edu/undergraduate-admissions/campus-visit/visit-clark/worcester-restaurants.cfm .

Among my personal favorties are:

Pad Thai @ Pho Dakao
Seafood Soup @ Da Lat
Lo Mein   @ Saigon
Honey mustard / Mustang Ranch Wings @ Wings over Worcester
Sirloin Steak, bourbon chicken @ Applebees
Chicken kebab @ Crown fried chicken (Chandler Street)
Crab Rangoon @ Kenichi (Shrewsbury Street)

Go ahead and ask around, I am sure there are many more things to do in Worcester that you don’t know about. If you don’t like going out, stay in and cook a great meal or search for internships you want to do in the future. Career services will be open all winter to help you out. If you are looking to go out and explore, try out the skating ring near City Hall or just go online and check for the numerous local events happening every day: http://www.worcestermass.org/calendar-of-events/?datebegin=12/29/2013 . If you want to get out of Worcester for a while take the commuter to Boston and make a day trip out of it. Don’t let the chilly winds depress you; winter in Worcester could be a memorable one if you want.

-Suaida Firoze

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