When you arrive in Birmingham in September, the weather will probably be quite mild. However, this quickly changes in a few weeks, when the clocks go back an hour, meaning days get shorter and the weather becomes cooler. For many students, especially international students who may not have experienced the ever changeable British weather before, this can be a shock. Coupled with homesickness and adjusting to living independently, it's unsurprising that some people suffer with low mood and low motivation.
But don’t worry! Even though it can be a big adjustment, your Student Mentors are here with some tips to help you prepare and cope with the colder weather, and many of these things you can do before you arrive:
Be sure to pack more autumnal and winter wear.
It might be tempting to bring more summer clothes with you, but the weather will quickly become cooler and we are sure to experience lots of rain. So, make sure you pack jumpers, a coat and some comfortable (and ideally waterproof) shoes. Average temperatures for autumn range from 7°C-14°C (44°F-57°F).
Acknowledge that the days are continually getting shorter.
Not long after the semester starts, the clocks will change (they go back one hour on 30th October) and it will get darker much earlier. Mental preparations and expecting this change can really help with the transition to the winter months, making it less of a shock.
When packing your day-to-day bag, consider including an extra pair of socks!
It’s not fun when it rains and your socks get soaked. Being able to change into dry socks will provide an immediate remedy and will also help you keep warm!
Keep a routine!
Whilst dark mornings and evenings may make it more tempting to sleep in longer, too much sleep will make you more tired and may affect your mood. It may also make completing your studies more challenging.
Eat healthy food and avoid overeating.
A balanced diet will help keep you well and provide much needed energy, whereas overeating may make you feel sluggish.
Be sure to continue exercising regularly and consider participating in more activities.
Exercise helps produce endorphins which boost your mood and it will also keep you distracted from the weather and short days. Walking to and from campus with friends will help you do this. You might also consider indoor fitness classes to avoid the cold!
Less sunlight means getting less vitamin D, so take a daily vitamin tablet to combat this.
You might also consider getting a sun lamp to mimic natural sun lighting.
We hope these tips help you out, but if you do begin to struggle with low moods or anything else, contact your Student Mentors for some support!