With lows in single digits approaching, staying warm walking to class is a challenge.

The following nine tips can keep dangerous cold risks at bay while also saving students who live off-campus a few dollars on their electric bills this season.

1. Utilize bus systems

Both bus systems — university and MITS — run routes through campus and into Muncie. Hopping on the bus reduces the chance of slipping on the sidewalk or risking a car accident from driving around slippery roads.

The MITS bus routes are available on its website and Ball State buses can be tracked in real time here. Each system has its own tracking app as well.

2. Find heated shelters on campus

There are three enclosed bus stops on campus: one south of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center, one at the north shelter between LaFollette Complex and Worthen Arena and one in the parking lot next to Scheumann Stadium.

Inside each stop there is a small dial with a timer. Turning the timer will turn on heat lamps hanging from the ceiling of the room.

3. Cut through buildings

Going from Teachers College to the L.A. Pittenger Student Center? Skip the snow. It’s roughly the same distance to walk through Burkhardt as it is to walk outside.

Freezing while walking along the Cow Path is no match for staying dry and warm from the second floor of Robert Bell to the Art and Journalism Building. 

4. Don’t drink alcohol to feel warm

Although it may feel like it’s heating you up, drinking alcohol actually lowers the internal body temperature, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center

The warm feeling comes from blood rushing to the skin’s surface, which in turn causes blood vessels to expand and increases the body’s rate of heat loss.

5. Wear loose layers

When dressing for the warm weather, stay true to the mantra of lots of loose layers.

Tight clothes may restrict blood flow to parts of the body, and layers allow adjustment to different temperatures throughout the day.

6. Cover extremities

When temperatures reach dangerously low, the first parts of the body at risk for frostbite are fingers, toes and other extremities. 

Your mother was right — wear gloves. Better yet, wear mittens if available.

7. Stay home where it’s warm

If the weather is too bad, don’t go outside. Stay updated with travel statuses, too.

8. Off-campus: insulate windows

Face it: student apartments aren’t known for having perfectly insulated windows. To stop money from drifting out cracks in caulking, buy an at-home indoor window insulating kit.

These usually involve taping a large piece of clear plastic to the inside perimeter of a window. One kit for five windows sells for $12.99 on Amazon.

9. Off-campus: winterize your ceiling fan

Most ceiling fans can switch from pulling cool air up from the floor to pushing warm air down to the rest of the room.

To change the spin, most fans have a button to switch up the air flow. A more detailed how-to for different types of fans is available here.

Contact Sara Barker with comments at slbarker3@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @sarabarker326.