By David Wells, editor at Surviving the OU

Studying for an exam or coursework can be pretty unpleasant when you’re freezing cold and shivering

The last time you heard from us we presented a list of five ways Open University students like you can keep cool during the summer. Well, the summer heat has certainly dissipated and we are heading towards the winter time. Doesn’t last long does it?

1. Wear warm clothing

Not rocket science but adding a nice thick vest, a couple of t-shirts, jumper or cardigan will be extremely beneficial in those freezing winter months. Taking advantage of university heat is also a good idea. Stick the coat on, get down to your local library or brick-and-mortar university if you have an external membership (Sconul card or similar as many Open University students do). Use their heating and WiFi.

student in warm poncho


2. Grab an extra long hot water bottle for added warmth

Here at Surviving the OU, the traditional hot water bottle has been a silent study buddy for many years now. It sits so snuggly on the lap allowing the fingers to type away. The extra long hot water bottle is a new feature in our household that is proving to be a hit while studying. The beauty of these cuddly beasts is that they can be wrapped around the body and even tied with a loop and string to stay attached. For an investment of under £15 they can give out lot of loving heat to students for months on end.

extra long hot water bottle


3. Plenty of hot drinks and soups

An old favourite is the classic hot drink. While coffee can give a nice boost, why limit yourself? A nice cup of tea solves most minor issues and a hot chocolate is always a nice pudding alternative that can leave the belly full and satisfied. Some of the more well known brands can be hard on the student pocket but most supermarkets offer their own brand of hot choc that does a job. Don’t forget to invest in a portable mug or cup so you can drink and keep moving.


4. Lots of layers and a onesie

Stack up at the blankets, ponchos and onesies. Socks are an underrated part of keeping warm. Never underestimate a woolly pair of socks or football (soccer) socks to keep the feet toasty. A nice warm hat is important to retain heat.


5. Stock up on warming foods

OK so we’ve already covered hot drinks and soups but there are plenty of tummy-filling dishes that can help keep us Open University students nice and warm. Pep up your foods with some chilies or spices to get the palate toasting. If you are cool with carbs then fill up your basket when the breads and pancakes are being sold off at the end of the evening. Stick them in the freezer and either defrost on a plate or use the defrost button on your toaster for an instant slice of toast.


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