Whether it’s your first year at uni or your last, we’ve all experienced the struggles of student accommodation during winter.

If your attitude during autumn was that multiple layers of clothing and duvets would help you survive, you might be reconsidering. Paper-thin walls, leaking windows and temperamental boilers are the daily struggle for many budget-obsessed undergrads. These are five struggles that reoccur in conversations about winter in Soton:

1)   Trying to convince your housemates to turn on the heating

We all know heating is expensive, daring to look at the bills over winter is a mission in itself. There is always one loony who is completely against using any utility if it will rack up gas or electricity prices.You have to pluck up the courage and approach each room in the house and politely remark ‘I’m bloody freezing, are you as well?’, hoping they will suggest turning the heating on, dreading the one who calmly replies ‘I’m not that cold to be honest mate’. They don’t care about you, or your well being.

It's like it's mocking you

It’s like it’s mocking you

2)   Getting stuck in the shower for hours due to the fear of the cold

Waking up for an early lecture and braving the warmth of a shower, knowing perfectly well that leaving the shower again will take all of your courage and pain tolerance. Don’t worry, we have all contemplated staying in the shower until spring.

3)   Missing multiple 9am lectures because you truly believe leaving your bed will be detrimental to your health.

Joel - Article

Your alarm goes off and it isn’t the tiredness that is holding you under your multiple duvets, it’s your indescribable dread that the cold will consume you. You stare hopelessly across your room for a dressing gown or hoodie to accompany you to the kitchen, before conceding defeat and going back to sleep until the afternoon.

4)   Hiding an electric blanket or electric heater from whoever manages the bills.

Ted - Article

Knowing that the resident Chancellor of the Exchequer will confiscate your energy scoffing life support machine, you are forced to find the most ingenious hiding places for your heating accessories. You’ve tried folding your electric blanket and hiding it in drawers, boxes, under the bed, but you still live in constant fear that you will be exposed.

5)   Wearing joggers, trackies, woolly hats and gloves indoors.

Sud - Article photo

Realising at the end of the day that you’ve been dressed like you’ve been on a super budget ski holiday since 8am. Do you regret it? Absolutely. But it’s a matter of life and death. Thermal socks, dappy-style woolly hat, joggers that your mum bought you in year nine and mittens that make any simple task a monumental mission.

Do you have any tips for beating the cold? Let us know in the comments!

Five struggles for every Soton student during exam period

Five struggles for every Soton student at Christmas 


Leave your response!

  • God

    This should be stating the obvious, but you’re going to do better in your degree if you’re not freezing yourself to death. If you’re going to spend tens of thousands of pounds on a degree, you might as well spend an extra few quid per month on heating to make sure you do as well as you can. (Also, what’s the point of paying all these tuition fees if you’re going to skip lectures just because it’s cold out of bed?)


  • A PhD student

    1) Student loans have just come in (put an extra 10 in the bills jar this month), you revise better with better bloodflow to all parts of your body and when your body isn’t in a state of thermal shutdown, 3 reasons to turn the heating on/up. also get the idiot whose window or vents are open to shut them. Turn the radiators off or down) in the rooms that don’t need heating (kitchen, living room etc). You’ll spend less time in the warm shower if you do this and save money on 2 bills instead of 1, bringing us to…
    2) make sure the radiator in here is turned on and bled so it works properly, You’ll spend less money on gas/water/electric if you are able to get out of the shower quicker! If it’s got an extractor fan, only have it running if the radiator is off else you may as well be throwing money out the extractor.
    3) Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier and get dressed (also under the duvet) after you’ve warmed your clothes up under the duvet with you, shame to let that heat go to waste wandering round to find clothes. remember the Lecture halls are at a fairly ambient temperature(or will be shortly after the lecture starts) even if your room isn’t
    4) 2 duvets, electric blanket inbetween with the cord plugged in behind the bed/under the pillow, worked for years and nobody ever knew. just don’t fall asleep with it on (get a timer plug for it)
    5) Keep making and drinking hot drinks as well as wrapping up; tea, hot chocolate, coffee squash, nesquick whatever takes your fancy, better to put heat into the middle of you rather than try and cling onto the little that’s leaving your body.

    If it does snow, take a look at the roof of your house, no snow on it means something is melting it (probably all the heat you’ve been trying to cling onto). Try securing (air tight if possible but every little helps) a non-permeable (plastic) sheet over the loft hatch and see if it makes a difference. just remember to check above it for mold every few days and kill any on sight.

    Hope those help.


  • A Man

    Lets be fair, if you stick the heating on for a couple of hours in the morning and an hour in the evening your house is going to be at an acceptable temperature all winter and you do it for about the price of a jesticle each per week. Not totally outrageous.

    P.S. Wear a bloody jumper


  • cjeam

    When choosing a house, ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate too since ones with a better EPC will generally be warmer and you’ll spend less money.