Top 10 practical ways to beat the heat

I wouldn’t wish this heat on my worst enemy


Ashley Botkin is a Top 10 writer and assistant managing editor for The Cavalier Daily. 

Christina Anton | Cavalier Daily

1. Buy a portable air conditioner

These things are amazing for places that are too old or too difficult for air conditioning units. They can also be amazing for keeping cool no matter where you go. There’s a reason they’re portable. Some of the models even come with a dehumidifier, which is absolutely what we all need right now. So if I were you, I would just wheel it around like a little dog on a leash and let the soft whirring of your new air conditioning unit lull you to a sense of calm and chilliness. 

2. Invest in some new transportation

Walking everywhere is old news. It’s too slow and far too hot. You could take the bus and relish in the air conditioning, but when those buses get packed, the body heat makes it almost irrelevant. I’m also not into being so close to other people when I know the both of us are extremely sweaty. Instead, I think a Slip ‘n Slide would be much more efficient. Sliding down the sidewalks would be much faster, not only because of your increased aerodynamics, but other people would be out of your way in a heartbeat. 

3. Visit the Rotunda pools

My first year, there was a girl that got so drunk during the first week that she went swimming in the small pools beside the Rotunda. Initially, I laughed and shook my head at the hot mess that was obviously going on there, but now I’m starting to think she had the right idea. They’re basically like stone kiddie pools, and I definitely think about jumping in one whenever I walk past. It also has the added benefit of disguising all of your sweat stains because who will be able to focus on that when you’re dripping wet?

4. Do not leave your room

How much is actually taught in class in the first couple months? Literally so much, but is it really worth it to go if your face melts off? It’s always possible to retake a class, but it is never possible to put all of that sweat back in your body. You can have your groceries delivered through Amazon or Blue Apron or have all of your meals brought right to your door. Say hello to your new life, hermit. It’s better than being outside. 

5. Save the planet

Listen up, all you climate-change deniers. I am calling you out. This heat is just going to get worse and worse, and I don’t know how much more I can take it. So please, please recycle your bottles and stop throwing your trash out the window. And especially stop supporting nonrenewable energy. It isn’t going to work immediately, but I am one more ridiculously hot summer away from throwing myself straight into the ocean in hopes of escaping. 

6. Take advantage of the sprinkler systems

Something I learned this summer is that the University loves to water their grass. The amount of times that Mad Bowl was watered was kind of ridiculous, and I do have some questions about where the money for that comes from. So if my tuition is going towards keeping Grounds green, then logically I should be able to use the sprinklers too. Just take a quick run through them whenever you go past, and I promise everything will be fine. Probably. 

7. Use ice packs

Some people use their bras to hold their keys or cash, so I think it definitely makes sense to use them for ice packs instead. No one will suspect that the stains on the front of your shirt are from water and not sweat, and they add the bonus of an extra cup size or two. I realize that not all of us wear bras, and they are pretty terrible, so pockets are just as good for this hack — maybe more socially acceptable too. 

8. Go to the convenience store

Convenience stores are the height of American luxury. Some convenience stores are better than others, but the absolute best ones have beer caves. So with your free time, there’s nothing stopping you from taking a little break in a walk-in cooler. As long as you buy something, I’m sure the employees won’t mind. They might even join you. 

9. Only schedule 8 a.m. classes

Honestly, out of all of these options, this one is the most far-fetched, but I never claimed to be good at giving advice — only extremely hilarious. Doing anything at 8 a.m. is practically treasonous, but you can’t argue with the fact that it’s cooler in the morning. Maybe it will even be cool enough for a hot coffee instead of iced. I can’t guarantee that you won’t fall asleep in class or be in an exhausted daze for the rest of the day, but at least you can retreat back to your room while everyone else is running around in the afternoon heat. 

10. Transfer

Let’s get real, this heat makes me so delirious that I consider transferring every time I step outside. Let me be your guide in choosing the perfect colleges for your future as a transfer student! May I suggest University of Alaska Anchorage? Their mascot is the seawolf, and to be honest, I have no idea what that is, but who cares? This week’s Anchorage forecast predicts temperatures no higher than 65 degrees. Or maybe Anchorage seems a little too cold for you. 

North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota may be a better choice. Their mascot is Thundar, a bison, and it’s not expected to get over 80 degrees in the upcoming week. Will you have to trade the beauty of Charlottesville for weird towns in the middle of nowhere? Yes. But think of all the money you’ll be saving in laundry costs when you don’t have to change two or three times a day. 

Ashley Botkin is a Top 10 Writer for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

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