If there is one thing that us British are very keen about discussing it concerns the weather. We love, often every day, to moan about how dreary and how cold it is. For us, the weather is either too cold, too hot, too unreliable or too boring. The weather is never good enough for us. We moan when our weather is not as exciting as the heatwaves in America and we moan when we get massive flood events sweeping the country! I am sure that many international students are bemused by our obsession over the very boring British weather. But, how does the weather affect life on campus? In my opinion, it affects life on campus and lives of students greatly.
When it’s too cold, students have even less motivation to crawl from under their duvets to attend their 8:30am lectures. They are more likely to stay inside and sit watching Netflix then to go out and exercise. It has been scientifically suggested that general mental health tends to decrease due to the cold weather. When it is raining underdressed students on the way back from nightclubs at 2am can catch colds and get ill. The rain means students are less likely to go to the flat party at Birks when they know its horrible weather, meaning they could miss out on social interaction and become isolated and miss out on great Uni experiences. Similarly, students are less likely to eat properly in the cold weather. Who wants a salad when Dominos can deliver warm and comforting pizza? Who wants to go for a jog or go outside when it’s minus temperatures? Overall, the terrible weather does tend to lead to overall worsening mental and physical health.
The unreliable nature of British weather can also cause severe problems for both native and international students. Do you carry an umbrella even though the weather is currently clear? Do you take a coat or risk overheating whilst sprinting up forum hill? Do you bother going to the library when you know you will get soaked on the way?
why do we still have exams in january, when the weather is the most depressing?
The weather is a ridiculously large part of our lives. So what does the weather have in store for us? Well the forecast keeps on deciding that we shall soon be receiving snow…. Whether we will or not is a different matter but if we do I can only imagine the huge impact this snow will have on our student lives. How will we get to our lectures? More importantly how will people get up cardiac or forum hill? How will we get to Cheesies? I cannot wait to see the market place running out of stock of all canned goods in preparation for the ensuing snow. But, whilst time spent inside increases, the general attitude towards doing work or completing deadlines tends to decrease as Netflix or BBC iPlayer and a hot chocolate in bed seems like a much more therapeutic antidote to the cold.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is an increasing occurrence and many students appear to suffer from some mild form of the disorder as the winter blues spread across campus. I am not suggesting we all get bright blue lights that we sit in front of to mimic daylight, but surely if the halls of residence had better light in our rooms so we could read past 4pm, and the lecture theatres stabilised the temperature, then students’ lives would be much less altered by the ever-changing landscape of British weather.
According to Teachnology, an overwhelming majority of teachers also report their students’ performance being badly affected by cold and bad weather. So why do we still have exams in January, the month when the weather is the most depressing, the excitement of Christmas has worn off and students feel already loaded with the pressures of housing and the ‘new year, new me’ pressures? Technology also suggest changing the entire school year to fit in with out hemispheres weather patterns could work.