A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Surviving the Summer Heat

No matter where they live, the only adjective that comes to mind when people think of Arizona is hot. Us here in the sunny state barely survive through the brutal heat of the summers. It is surprising many of us have not melted into puddles switching to the next class. No matter how much we wish the temperatures didn’t reach so high, we still live in this oven. Because of this intense heat and the harmful rays of the sun, it is imperative that students learn how to beat the heat by staying safe and picking up some new habits.

Temperatures in this beginning school year have been reaching the 110s which feels like living in a fire. However, looking on the bright side, we have dry heat which feels much better than humid air. That’s a plus, but Arizona weather racks up a lot of negatives. “This summer heat during school has been brutal. Getting into my hot car after school is not something I look forward to,” explains Alexis Lowy, junior, highlighting how much the hot weather affects students.

A huge issue with living in such a sunny area are the sun’s harmful UV rays. It does lead to some nice tans, but the UV rays cause sunburns and harms your skin. Lots of UV rays can damage collagen and elastin overtime which can cause skin to look aged. Too much sun exposure can cause wrinkles and decrease firmness and elasticity which gives it the aged look. To try to prevent this damage, wearing sunscreen is vital. Women tend to look aged the most on their wrists, neck, and face. If you drive, your wrists are exposed when your hands are on the wheel where the sun is shining right down on them. The high places on your face are most likely to burn, such as cheeks, nose, and ears so make sure to apply to these areas well.  Putting sunscreen on these areas everyday will help protect your skin.

Other ways to escape the sun’s spicy rays is to stand and sit in the shade. If you’re walking to class, find a path that gets you to your class on time, but keeps you out of the sun for as much of the five minutes as possible. At lunch, if you sit outside, try to find a shady spot. An important heat-escaping tip for drivers is to have sun shades for your windshield. Our cars sit out in the heat for seven hours, roasting in the sun. A little bit of a block like that can make a difference when you’re trying to get in your car at the end of the day. Drinking lots of water is important to do throughout the day to avoid feeling dehydrated or something much worse.

The heat during this first semester is not pleasant for anyone living in Phoenix that is exposed to the sun throughout the day. However, there are some ways to try and stay protected from harmful rays. No matter what, fall and winter are on their way to bring some nice weather.