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Brrr…Baby, it’s COLD outside!

by Feb 8, 2019

Home » Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Student Blog » Brrr…Baby, it’s COLD outside!

“The best part of waking up is…” not having Folgers in your cup, but hearing “‘there is no school due to below zero temperatures.'”



Wow–Chi-beria became a reality for a few days! Many throughout the Midwest had the chance to experience it first hand, or at least heard about it in the news. It was Chicago’s lowest temperature since 1985: -27°F degrees below 0!

Weather Pic

From January 29-31, 2019, the temperature in my hometown actually dropped below that level; I recorded -32°F degrees below 0 on January 30. Just opening the door was pretty amazing…feeling the tears begin freezing in your eyeballs. Don’t even try going outside and breathing in the air during such conditions, it almost hurt to do so! For our safety, NUHS watched over its faculty and students by calling off several days of no school due to the weather. There were a few “polar” incidents on campus where the pipes had frozen and the cleaning up was not nice. Lots of people were doing donuts on the road, and not by choice. Grocery shoppers were overstocking their homes with food to “survive” the impending temperatures. Lots of cute doggies with their dog booties ventured outside…if they even wanted to risk that part. Hmm…I wonder if smokers stopped smoking–hey, we can only hope! 

The best part of the experience was having another “holiday” at home, spending time with loved ones and of course studying. If you don’t keep up, you’ll fall behind. It doesn’t matter if there are snow days or cancellations in the agenda of a student’s life. As part of chugging along the medical school path, one has to keep on learning. Review and repeat–it’s the only way; it has to become a lifestyle.

Most schools and businesses were closed due to the weather. But did you know that many medical professionals, including emergency responders, still had to go in to work? Yes, it’s part of the contract. However, they have loved ones who worry about their safety during dangerously cold weather as well. Additionally, remember to be patient and forgive those who were many hours or even a day late to plow your driveway—it was a challenge just to move about.

Having the opportunity to be thankful and giving was the part I loved best when it came to this “real-life” test. Warming centers were open throughout the area for those who are less fortunate, giving them a warm place to stay and a warm meal. Salvation Army volunteers were also driving around in buses giving free transportation. Lyft and Uber offered rides for no charge. In the future, these examples will allow me to remember what I can do as a medical professional when I have my own practice; I can help give to those less fortunate, too.

I am truly blessed each day to have my loved ones safe and healthy, a roof over my head, reliable transportation, and most of all, to be able to continue on my path with NUHS. I thank God every day for the chance to continue on this journey as a student of Oriental Medicine, pursuing my passion for health and healing.

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About the Author

Rina Sem

Rina Sem

Rina Sem is a student at the Lombard, Illinois campus studying in the Master of Science-Oriental Medicine program. Though working in the medical field for 10 years, she is keeping the promise she made to her father to complete her master’s degree. Rina is a first-generation American of Cambodian heritage, and passionate about her studies in the field of complementary and alternative medicine.


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