By Pelumi Agboola
The winter season is quickly approaching us, the sky is getting darker earlier and heating bills are going up so it’s time get ahold of your woolly hat and put down the sunglasses.
The British weather can be a tricky one to wrap your head around. Sometimes it’s cold in the morning and just chilly in the afternoon, but then freezing in the evening, and so it’s important to be on top of things if you want to survive the winter — especially if you’re an international student from a much warmer country.
So, first things first, your clothes will need a switch up: be gone with the strappy tops and flip flops, and get yourself some winter clothes. Much needed essentials when it comes to clothes are:
Puffer/winter coats – these are more or less clothing pillows and are a must if you want to keep warm on the go. Some can be more expensive, such as apparel from Urban Outfitter, and so a cheaper and still fashionable alternative is H&M for both men and women.
Winter boots/wellie boots – nothing is worse than cold or wet feet, and British winter brings a lot of rain and potential snow, so keep prepared with some boots. Ugg boots are a British favourite and feel like an incredibly comfy sock that you can walk outside in, and, while they are typically very pricey, you can get cheaper alternatives from OFFICE, Sports Direct, and Primark. If you don’t like the look of Ugg-style winter boots you can always wear thermal socks with your regular foot-wear instead.
Scarves – you can’t go wrong with a good scarf if it’s fashionable, which simultaneously adds to an outfit and can also be used on the coldest of winter days to make you feel extra warm. You can get them from most fashion retailers, but get them soon as the nice ones go quickly.
Now, while you can’t be wrapped up head to toe in a coat and shoes in your house, gas and electricity bills will go up during the winter time and so it’s important to know of better alternatives than putting on a fan heater or turning the radiator on.
A great idea is to get a hot water bottle. They are like the holy grail of the keeping warm world, as they not only keep you cozy at night and when you’re lounging around, but they save energy as you only need to boil a full kettle. They are super affordable, and you can buy them from Argos, Superdrug and many other common retailers ranging from £3 to a pricey £20 (if it’s got a fluffy cover over it).
You should try to keep windows shut and only open them when you’re not in the room (if you want to let some fresh air) so you can avoid going straight to the radiator or fan heater. Your room can be kept warm by keeping doors and windows shut as to avoid letting too much cold air in.
Candles and scents can be a more cost-effective way of keeping a small area warmer, and while they may not have the same strength as a fan heater they somewhat do the job, and plus they smell nice which is an added bonus! You can buy them super cheap from Poundland, or get something from Yankee Candles to treat yourself.
You should also invest in some good, comfy bedding that will keep you extra warm for the freezing winter nights. Extra bedding with a soft, warm throw is a good way to keep heat in.
It’s important to be aware of the rain, so always carry an umbrella. If that’s too much for you, carry the jackets you buy, and make sure these have a hood as the rain likes to creep up on you. Always check the weather forecast just before you leave, as things change, and check more than one source as some are not very reliable (no shade to the iPhone weather forecast).
British weather can sometimes be grey and boring with the dark skies and freezing mornings, but it can also be nice and pretty looking, and so you should just embrace it as you’re going to see more wintery and rainy days than sunny ones. Go out and buy all your winter essentials to make this winter season an enjoyable and fashionable one.
Do you have any other tips for students this winter? Why not tweet them to us @TridentMediaUK!