I’ve grown up in a variety of places, so I’m no stranger to rain. However, even after two years in Florida, I find that I still get caught unprepared by Florida’s rainy season.

For all those kids from places where clouds don’t suddenly blow in from nowhere and open up seconds later, it might be a bit of a shock.

You would think that it’s not a big deal. All you need to do, after all, is just have a good umbrella and a decent pair of shoes. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

What exactly constitutes a good umbrella during the rainy season? Most umbrellas these days are shallow, pretty much the equivalent of putting a plate over your head and hoping for the best when you go out into a torrential downpour. It’s not the best solution.

However, it’s a start. Those big umbrellas that are more like a bowl turned upside down, shielding your shoulders as well as your head, is probably the perfect umbrella.

A lot of us probably still have the shallow type, but don’t just forget it at home because you don’t think it will offer you much protection.

It might not do much to protect you against the winds that always seem to come with the rainy season, but it certainly does help.

Just keep your umbrella with you, keep it in good condition, and don’t forget it at home.

Some people I know seem to prefer rain jackets to umbrellas. That works too,  since it’ll be that much more difficult to lose it. Just keep in mind that you can’t fold up a jacket and you’ll have to place it, dripping, over the back of a chair.

A normal jacket is also a good thing to wear during this time. It’s pretty warm and moist out now, but if you get wet and go into a building with air conditioning, you’re going to be feeling it. Keep in mind that the buildings have a different temperature than the outdoors, and it might be easier to avoid getting sick.

Now we come to footwear. With recruitment happening this past week, a lot of girls were in cute, fashionable shoes with exposed toes. I can’t imagine what it was like to walk through the rain in those.

Flats are also not the best option when you wake up and the rain starts pouring down. One method of keeping your shoes from getting wet is to take off your shoes, walk barefoot to your next class, and then put your shoes back on there. I don’t recommend this method, because, frankly, you have no idea what the rain is washing in.

Tennis shoes are probably the safest bet if you don’t want to wear rain boots. For both types of footwear, I recommend bringing an extra pair of socks. Personally I recommend carrying an extra pair of shoes around with you as well, but not all of us have that kind of storage in our bags.

Despite all of these precautions, the rainy season does come in short bursts. Just get your rain gear ready, and prepare in case you get caught in a rainy day.