The frosty season can be unbearable at times, especially if you’re an international student like me who comes from the equator where concepts like snow and temperatures below 22 degrees are unheard of.
Here are some of my top tips on how to survive the upcoming winter months.
Given the unpredictable nature of the weather throughout a typical day in the UK, it is likely that you’ll need to adapt to a range of conditions. This is where the layering system comes in. The base layer is worn closest to your skin and forms the foundations of good layering. They are generally synthetic fibres or merino wool which is great for winter sports and activities as it is a great insulator while absorbing moisture. Despite being offered in T-shirt designs, the longer the sleeves, the more heat they will retain. Ultimately, this depends on the occasion and your own preference. Mid-layers are generally made out of fleece but may constitute a hoodie or lightweight padded jacket. Fleece is considered the best as its design retains heat but still promotes breathability. Going for an option with a zip neck or full zip makes it easy to manage your temperature on the go. For trousers, walking or softshell trousers will bring comfort during long days on your feet. Your base and mid-layers will be irrelevant if your outer layer fails to protect you against the harsh physical elements and a rush of wind can feel extremely chilly if it penetrates your clothing. A softshell jacket offers greater comfort and breathability but may come at the expense of your protection levels. All-rounder multipurpose jackets may cost more but save you from having to carry and switch around 3 jackets throughout the day.
Don’t forget the little things
Now that you’ve sorted out your winter wardrobe, you can boost your defence with scarves, gloves, beanie hats, wool socks and neck warmers. Getting to grips with winter clothing is something that requires constant experimentation and it’s not unusual to have to change layers multiple times throughout the day. Remember that it’s better to be over-prepared and if that requires bringing a spare layer in your bag, you will be thankful when the weather takes a turn.
Staying warm without breaking your heater
One of the best things you can do to keep your insides warm is investing in a metal-insulated tumbler as it not only saves you from constantly boiling water in the kettle but also allows you to play your part in complying with LSE’s sustainable initiatives. To keep yourself warm externally, get yourself a hot water bottle which is an absolute lifesaver during the winter season. Just imagine snuggling up in your bed or sofa with one of these. Ah… the comfort! Not only do you save on your heating bills but it’s also great for when you’re experiencing muscle pain or for us girls who suffer from abdominal cramps.
Remember your GCSE physics class where you had to learn about the motion of particles and the transfer of heat? You might have been dozing off but who knew that the theory actually would come in handy one day! Indeed, there are ample opportunities for you to constantly be on the move whether it be walking, jogging or cycling around campus or during your daily commute. Even if you’re stuck at home you could vacuum or as they say it here “hoover” or pop some food into the oven or cook on the hob to generate heat throughout the room. Make sure you take full advantage of the sports facilities at LSE or join a sports club. If you’re unable to make such a big commitment or if you live rather far from campus, it might be worth checking out the vast array of gym options in London that are both affordable and diverse.