Winter is a difficult time of year. For those of us who aren’t Canberra locals, we have to get used to freezing days, biting wind, and a sun that just never warms us the whole way through. But, whether this upcoming winter is your 20th or first here in Canberra, these eight tips and tricks will help you make it through (mostly) unscathed.
1. CRANK THE HEATER UP.
The heaters at college (or, at least, those at B&G) are actually pretty good. A word from the wise: you can turn the knob halfway, and for some of them this is a good middle ground between “help me I’m sweating through my socks” and “my first toe just fell off it’s time to let hypothermia take me”. Otherwise crank it up, but leave your window open just a sliver and your room will warm up without getting too stuffy. eave the window open when you’re not in your room. It’s cold when you first get back, but you’ve got to let some fresh air in there.
2. LAYER, LAYER, LAYER.
One of the best things about winter (for me, at least) is the fashion, but you do need to be smart. Go for lots of layers so that you can shed them when you arrive for that tute at AD Hope (which is unfailingly 30 degrees all year round), and then layer back up for the ride home. You should also invest in a puffer jacket – those bad boys are God’s gift to the frozen.
3. WEAR GLOVES.
Honestly, if you have to ride from campus into Civic on a freezing morning, or basically venture anywhere outdoors (which, let’s be real, we all eventually have to) then invest in a set of gloves. It doesn’t matter if they’re from Top Bargain or Mimco, but those babies are going to help you through the worst of winter. I went through an entire Canberra winter without gloves, and my hands were wind-chapped, cracking, and very unhappy with me. Learn from my mistakes.
4. TAKE A HOT SHOWER/BATH.
Particularly if you’re living off-campus and don’t want those gas and energy bills to be through the roof, take a bath or shower instead of turning on the heating. You’ll warm up, it’s a bit of self-love time, and you’ll actually feel toasty for the first time in months.
5. GO ICE-SKATING.
Since it doesn’t actually snow in Canberra you’ve got to take what you can get, and in our case that means going ice-skating. Each year around June there’s an outdoor ice-skating rink set up in Garema Place. Go and have fun with your friends, fall over, get blisters from ice skates that never fit quite right. It’ll make winter that little bit more bearable.
6. GET A HOBBY, AND CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS.
Coming from Queensland, the cloudiness, windiness, rain and general cold weather here can be a huge downer. During my first year (and hell, let’s be real, the years after too), I really felt the loss of the sun and struggled to get out and about as much as I usually do. It’s all too easy to curl up under the covers on a cold day and refuse to get out of bed, but it’s a dangerous cycle. Don’t start regularly missing your classes, and make sure that you’re still catching up with friends and doing the things that matter to you.
7. HEAD OUT.
Go clubbing if that’s your thing (enough drinks in and you won’t feel the cold, I promise), or head out for some eats and drinks. Grab a hot chocolate from Koko Black or literally anywhere on Lonsdale. Head to the Old Bus Depot Markets, take a stroll along the lake, or get a bit of shopping done in the city. You’ll be a bit chilly, but almost everywhere has heating on in winter, and you’ll feel better after getting out and about.
8. EAT WARM FOODS.
Embrace your cuddlier winter body and shovel warming foods into you. Come winter, I load up on Mum’s spag bol recipe, Nanna’s curry, and my best friend’s chili. Grab recipes that you know work, and make food that warms you from the inside out without worrying about carbs.
Keep warm, and good luck!