Five student-friendly things to do to beat the winter blues

Dinner with friends

By Lois Looker,

So, for the most part, exam time is finished and now you’re facing your next semester of classes, essays, exams and dissertations. It’s probably not getting you really excited about being a student. To make matters worse, everyone’s a bit skint from Christmas where all of our money was sucked away by travelling home, presents, nights out and catching up with friends. But alas, don’t let the winter blues defeat you! Here are five student-budget-friendly tips to beat the winter blues and keep you feeling motivated and happy.


  1. Dinners with friends
    I know, I know. Eating out is expensive, as is buying in all the ingredients needed to make a meal for all of your friends, but fear not. My friends and I made a new years’ resolution that we would all sit down and have dinner together one a month. There are no rules to it, just basically that someone each month should organise a dinner whether they want to cook, host a night of takeaway and wine or if you can scrounge up a cheap deal online in a restaurant. If someone wants to cook then you can all chip in a few pounds or just buy some cheap pasta and salad and cook together; it will only cost you pennies! It’s not really about the food anyway; it’s just a nice way to spend your nights in when no one can afford a night out.
  2. Plan a trip
    Whether it’s a day out to a theme park, the seaside or to a local park – it’s always nice to plan a fun day out and have something to look forward to.
    Right now I’m planning some travelling that I’m going to be doing during the summer and even though it’s probably just further procrastination, it’s making me feel a lot better about the rain outside knowing that I have some sunny adventures ahead.
  3. Help someone out
    Sometimes there’s no better perspective about life than helping out those who are less fortunate. Whether it’s just helping out someone who’s going through a tough time by being a shoulder for them to cry on or giving them a day out to really brighten their week, or if you decide to give a couple of hours of your week up to volunteering, I can guarantee that by helping those people around you you’ll also be helping yourself to feel brighter too and you’ll probably get just as much out of the experience as them.
  4. Discover something new
    I’ve been reading a book for my dissertation that my tutor recommended and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. It made me cry and laugh out loud several times - I don’t know what else you can ask for in a book! But after reading it, I spent the rest of the week suggesting the book to my friends who also loved it and now I’m really excited about the author, Kerry Hudson’s, next book coming out.
    If you don’t like reading, then maybe try listening to that band your friend’s been harping on about for the past year and a half and you might be surprised.
  5. Exercise
    It’s like the dreaded word and makes most recoil in fear but it’s been proven in studies (I’ve never read any of them, but I’m sure they’re very informative) that some gentle exercise can help you to feel a lot better about yourself and even help to increase your mood levels. I find that starting your day off with some sit-ups or pulling out a few yoga moves even helps to make me a bit more productive.
    If it still doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, then there’s always chocolate to help those mood levels.

What do you do to beat those winter blues?