Philadelphia weather is pretty fickle. The city gets all four seasons, sometimes in the same week—it’s like eastern Pennsylvania is Mother Nature’s little freak experiment! While in-state students are used to the weather, students from Southern states or the coast have a little more to say about it. It does rain a lot here, so don’t forget your umbrella and raincoat. In winter, it can be bitter cold with temperatures dropping below zero degrees Fahrenheit. It is also not uncommon to see more than a foot of snow on the ground as you trek across campus. Don’t get your hopes up, though, because no matter what, classes are never, ever cancelled. Once, there were some three feet of snow on the ground and almost every college along the East Coast was cancelled—except Swarthmore. On the flipside, summer, early fall, and late spring can be unbearably hot and humid. This is when campus can seem like a country club resort, with the sprawling green fields, cheerful patrons, and grand architecture.
Swarthmore winters can become depressing and bear the brunt of a good portion of student complaints. It has been known to be gray outside for weeks, but don’t fear—spring is never far, and when it arrives, it’s usually mild and sunny. Plan to bring clothes for all types of weather when you come here, even if you plan on going home each break. Once again, you will need all of them, maybe even in the same week.