Staying safe over winter

The lake on campus covered in snow

The winter season can be fun and exciting, between ice skating, Christmas markets and the New Year, to fireworks, presents and an abundance of hot chocolate. However, there are plenty of risks associated with the colder months that are just as important once all the festivities are over. Here are some recommendations for staying safe over the winter months.

Keeping warm

Now that the nights are so much colder, the temperature is dropping and heavy winds are increasing, it’s more important than ever to keep warm, especially for those unfortunate enough to have trouble with their heating over the winter. There are things you can do that can make this time much more comfortable.

Use Blankets and layer up your clothes, there’s nothing wrong with wearing extra layers, and I guarantee you won’t be the only one doing it. If you’re spending most of your time in one room, remember to keep that door shut to preserve the heat. Consume more hot foods and drinks, especially if you’re travelling in the cold weather and pick the right sort of clothing, appropriate footwear if it snows, or waterproof coats, I don’t want to see anyone walking around in a t-shirt at -5 Celsius.

This isn’t just about the nights either, bundle yourselves up in blankets in the daytime too, and you can always purchase an electric blanket to go on your bed, for there’s nothing worse than sitting in the cold.


Remember to check the weather forecast before you travel and stay aware of frost and ice on the roads, especially black ice, and keep in mind it won’t just affect commuters but drivers too. Check train lines and buses in case there is a strike, or if it’s going to be cancelled so you can avoid being stranded – and because that isn’t always possible to predict, make sure you have someone you can contact before you leave.

The Dark

The nights are ever so slowly beginning to get lighter, by one or two minutes a day, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when walking home at night. You can take some comfort in knowing you won’t be the only ones heading back from classes at five or six in the evening, but if it’s possible, always travel in a group, or with someone you know to stay as safe as possible.

This can be applied to the summertime, though nightlife requires extra caution in winter. So, if you’re out at night you’re going to want to make sure;

  • You can get back home safely
  • Watch out for ice on the paths
  • Try and travel within a group
  • If you’re getting a lift back in an Uber or a Taxi, make sure someone has your location
  • And try to travel in the most well-lit areas

There has recently been a rise in spiking across universities, so please take extra caution when you’re out.

Mental Health

During the winter seasons, mental health can be affected by the dark gloomy days and seemingly endless rain. The extended periods of darkness can often feel more isolating and lonely, so do try and check in with the people you care about more often, and make sure they know there’s someone they can reach out to if they need it, and vice versa.

You can also access the university support hotline for 24-hour support; Nobody should feel alone.

Now this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other ways in which winter can be dangerous or unsafe, so remember to be aware and be kind to one another. Having fun is always important, but stay safe whilst doing it.

You can check out these resources for more ways to keep safe over the winter;

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