Got the winter blues? Here’s how to tackle it as an Exeter Uni student

It’s all too much for little Lando Norris

Winter is fast approaching now, there’s no escaping it. Uggs are getting soaked, North Face puffers are out of hibernation, and you’re wondering how waterproof your Longchamp really is. We understand the struggle, the two hours of daylight really is stripping any spec of motivation you have left, but we’ll get through this together. Instead of wallowing in your misery and letting the winter blues take over, here’s what you can do to get that little bit of happiness back into your life.

Christmas Market

Just remember that with winter comes Christmas, and with Christmas comes roast dinners, 10am drinks, and festivity. Celebrations in Exeter start with the Cathedral Christmas market. Grab your secret Santa presents early and get lost in the chaos of the stalls. With a huge selection of food, drink, unique jewellery, and homemade cutlery, there’s something for everyone.

Hot girl run/walk

The hot girl walk was not just a summer trend. As much as you may hate to admit, your mum is right, fresh air and some exercise will do you good. I was a hater once, but forcing yourself out is the hardest part, the rest is easy and you’ll thank yourself later. Whether you’re walking or running, bring your friends or put on your favourite podcast and go where your heart desires – I would highly recommend the quay. Better see you all out there.

Decorate your room

Sometimes the library just doesn’t cut it, especially on dreary November days. The whispers are turning to loud chatters, the guy next to you won’t stop sniffing, and the Pret coffee is giving you nothing but smelly breath and a crying bank account. What you need is a cosy, Christmassy, Pinterest-esque room to boost your productivity. Even a scented candle and some fairy lights should do the trick. And once the motivation dies, the decor will pair perfectly with a soft blanket, a hot chocolate, and your favourite book or TV show: My version of self care.

Film night

The winter blues gives you the perfect excuse for a film night with your house. Whether you’re rewatching Harry Potter or starting a new Hallmark Christmas special, you will appreciate the evening away from coursework and dissertation proposals. Plus, you’ll need snacks and matching pyjamas, so a Big Tesco trip is a must.

Pub quiz

Whether it’s Black Horse or the Vic, a pub quiz is a great pick-me-up for those dark winter evenings. The questions do get your cogs turning so make sure to bring your brightest housemates (leave the business students at home) and channel your inner chaser. You will unfortunately need to miss your afternoon lectures and sell your first born child for a table, but it’s all worth it if you win (not that I would know).


A half hour train ride can take you to the sandy beaches of Exmouth to wash away your troubles. It will be like reliving your summer in the sun, although at this time of year you may need to get your vitamin D another way. So snuggle up to your “just a friend” and make a fire for some extra heat. Your clothes will stink after but it’s a sacrifice you just have to make.

A classic night out

Now if all else fails, and you’re wanting the less civilised answer to the winter blues, a night out is not a bad shout. A typical recommendation would be TP of course, but if you’re really needing to relive your fresher days where your only worries were flatcest and your next night out, Batty Bingo may be your calling. A few tequila shots and you will forget your troubles completely, until the next morning when the hangxiety gets the better of you.

At the end of the day, winter will pass. Although it seems like the deadlines and dark nights are endless, the bikinis and birkies will be back before you can say rah.

If you are a University of Exeter student feeling unsettled about the news, please be aware that support is available. To contact the Wellbeing Team, please email [email protected] or drop in at the Reed Mews Wellbeing Centre.

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