Here’s your official guide on how to romanticise the cooler months as an Exeter Uni student

Because some of us aren’t quite ready for Christmas music

It can be hard to see the positives of November when it’s dark at 4pm, deadlines are fast approaching and the heating still isn’t on in your house. If you’re feeling those post-Halloween blues and the honeymoon phase of first term has worn off, this guide will help you romanticise what’s left of autumn and get you ready for winter. Before you know it, it’ll be December and you can enjoy everything that has to offer – Christmas markets, deciding when to put up your tree and snow (fingers crossed). Until then, make the most of the rare glimpses of sunshine and the temperature being above three degrees.

1. Take a walk around campus

There’s no denying that campus is pretty all year round but it’s particularly nice in autumn. When you’re feeling stressed about a deadline in the library, take yourself on a walk around Reed Hall: The fountains are lit up and the all the leaves are different shades of red and orange. It’s so relaxing. Whilst you’re by the pond, keep your eyes peeled for the pair of ducks that love to stand next to each other – clearly someone’s found his seasonal girlfriend. However, whilst you’re on a “study break”, it might be wise to stick to the paths, we wouldn’t want those white linen trousers getting muddy now, would we?

2. Get practicing your roast dinners

It’s fast approaching the time when you sit down with your flat to have a Christmas dinner, pretending that you like each other and that you haven’t just argued about how the potatoes should be cooked. Why not get some practice in now? Nothing screams autumn like a Sunday roast followed by a cosy night in watching a movie. Who knows, with a few practice runs you might even avoid the awkwardness at having to swallow down lumpy gravy with a convincing: “It’s great, thanks.”

3. Go for a beach walk

The beach is a great place to blow away some cobwebs on an autumn afternoon – it’s just a bonus that there are loads of cute dogs running around. Rope in your friends, put on a warm coat and treat yourself to a coffee for the walk (they even do warm donuts if you fancy a sweet treat). Make the most of it, this may well be the only time that you can go to Exmouth without bumping into your first year flatmate, your course crush and the weird guy that always seems to be in the gym at the same time as you.

4. Make the switch from iced to hot coffee

This is a big step in accepting that it’s no longer summer. Whilst it’s heartbreaking to swap out your iced oat latte for a hot coffee, it’s really not a look when you’re shivering your way through your seminar afterwards. Plus, everyone knows that hot drinks become your best friend when that one housemate is refusing to put the heating on and you’re trying to avoid hypothermia. Hot drinks are an important step forward in romanticising autumn – embrace the switch and you’ll soon grow to love the cute latte art and how it warms you up after the walk into town or uni.

5. Wear an obnoxiously big scarf

It would just feel wrong to put together an autumn outfit and not pair it with a huge scarf. I’m talking a scarf SO big that you can’t even work out where your neck is supposed to be. What’s not to love? They’re cosy, warm and come in really cute colours. You really won’t have to try that hard if you don’t already own one of these scarves: Every single clothes shop seems to have their own variation.

6. Go Black Friday shopping

If you’re a shopaholic (let’s be honest all of us are a little bit) Black Friday is a date you don’t want to miss. On 24th November, big deals will be hitting the shops in Exeter. So, if you’re in need of some retail therapy to get you through the rest of the term, get yourself down to the high street. Just think of all the girl math you can do to justify coming home with half of Urban Outfitters! You can even force your housemates to sit through a try on haul – embrace your inner influencer.

7. Buy yourself some stash

Most societies seem to be releasing their stash around now so what better way to romanticise the rest of autumn than to spend whatever is left of your student loan on quarter zips and puffer jackets? You can’t go wrong with these staples and you can wear them at home over Christmas to remind everyone that you do in fact go to Exeter and that you’re so sophisticated that you sail now (mummy will be so proud). When you see everyone else on campus wearing their stash, you can smile to yourself knowing that you’ve officially hit the criteria for a true Exeter student.

8. Go home

If all else fails and you can’t find any other way of romanticising the mould growing in your room or the six consecutive days of rain, you could always go home for a weekend. While some people will give you stick about not toughing it out or going home so close to Christmas, you’ll be the one sat smug with a home cooked meal, your pets and a bed that hasn’t been slept in by 10 people before you. I don’t know about you but I know where I’d rather be.

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