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A comprehensive list of the best ways to beat the January Blues in Durham

From Tindur to Toastie Bars – a guide to making it through January


Whether or not you’re enjoying being back in Durham after the Christmas break, it’s almost inevitable that you’re experiencing the dreaded January Blues: Your housemates are grumpy, last term’s situationship ghosted you over the holidays, your bank account is low and your deadlines are fast approaching. Here’s our best advice on how to get through the month without completely losing the will to live.

1. Become a DU Athlete…

Anyone who’s ever had therapy will have been told that “exercise is the magical cure to all your problems”. Whilst this isn’t quite true, you shouldn’t underestimate the benefit of trying out one of the huge range of sports that Durham has to offer this January. From aerobics to Zumba, there’s something for everyone. College sport definitely shouldn’t be underestimated either. For most colleges it’s free with JCR membership and it’s a chance to get to know more people in your college – plus getting competitive in matches against your least favourite college (*cough* Hatfield), wearing every piece of stash you own is sure to bring you joy. If all this talk of sport is bringing you out in a rash then you can always join as a social member. Because who doesn’t love a CCTV Wednesday?

 2. Damp January anyone?

Talking of socials – do one sober. This may sound like your idea of a worst nightmare, but trust us – it’s worth a try. Meeting people sober means you’ll actually remember them and avoid the next day’s hanxiety and hangover that only adds to your January blues. Despite Durham’s heavy drinking culture, especially at “welcome drinks”, with lots of people doing dry January, many college bars are offering more non-alcoholic drinks that you can use to participate in equally as gruelling challenges. Let’s not forget the fact that you still get the fun of dressing up as a golfer/frat-boy/red flag (the list continues).

3. Escape those January deadlines

On a wholesome note – there are plenty of distracting, cheap activities to do with friends around Durham:

  • Visit the botanical gardens
  • Go for a walk along the river and explore the countryside around Durham
  • Go up observatory hill (especially at sunrise or sunset)
  • Explore one of Durham’s many coffee shops (Chapters and Flat White are two of our favourites)
  • Go for a cheap meal out – if you don’t feel like cooking then a lot of places have incredibly reasonable prices (eg. Rudy’s with its 9 pound pizza) – Spags byob policy is also very good value.
  • Visit the cathedral – they often do student open evenings
  • Go bowling or to the cinema on the riverside
  • If you’re in college toastie bars are perfect for an evening chat with your friends

4. Become one of the 70 per cent

If it’s love you’re looking for this January then you’re in luck – Durham has a famously unique dating scene – in fact 70 per cent of its students will go on to marry a fellow Durham graduate. Haven’t met “the one” yet then our best advice? Hop on Tindur. Tindur is Durham’s Facebook based dating page (think Gossip Girl) , where you can write anonymous comments to your crush – you can finally confess to that guy in the Billy B that the time they tripped over a bin on the 4th floor left you distracted from your summative for the rest of the day, or that “JA (Trevs) has the nicest hair in Durham”, in the hope that somehow they may realise it’s you and be so flattered that they immediately ask you on a date to Spags.

Alternatively, the serotonin rush you get when you see “the girl with the brunette hair, 2nd floor TLC, Friday – Get Tagged”, knowing that it is 1000 per cent you and absolutely none of the other brunette girls in Durham, will cure all your January blues. And yes of course the person who wrote “CH (Jobo)” mistyped and definitely meant “CH (Grey)”.

5. A last resort

If all fails – just go to Jimmy’s. Forget summatives for a night – A woodgate and the sweet sound of Angels by Robbie Williams will soon sort you out.

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