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Winter is Coming: What International Students Should Know

Winter will officially begin late December, but guess what? You could feel it in the air already. The sub-zero temperature is here, and I can’t help but shout – Winter is coming! Here are some things to note.

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By Amaraizu Genius

Wardrobe Has to Change

You must have heard the saying that there’s no bad weather in Sweden, just bad clothing. This is true to the truest form possible. If this is your first winter, you may think you understand, but I promise you, you don’t. And if you come from warmer climates like that of my country, Nigeria, then I’m sure you do not understand what we are talking about. Lol. 😁

Before moving to Sweden, I read about winter, and knew it was cold and lovely, of course, I was looking forward to the snow experience. However, I didn’t know the coldness could hurt as much as fire or even worse. I had gone for a long walk wearing my jacket and gloves; no one really explained to me that there is a difference between wearing a simple jacket and wool gloves we wore in autumn and dressing for winter. 15 minutes or less into the walk, I could no longer feel my hands. But I had some gloves, I thought. Hahahahaha, the winter laughed at me. Aside my hands, my feet started to burn. I wore a shoe and I wore my socks. I was wondering what was going on – or no, I was wondering how to survive. In the middle of nowhere, I could no longer proceed, going back was a problem, staying put was impossible, and moving forward was a ‘no-think’ option. With the help of my friends, I finally found a shelter with the needed heat. Here are the lessons I learnt – if your hands are frozen, do not pour warm water on them. I did that, thinking it will make my hands come to normal faster, but guess what, it hurt more. Okay, forget about that lesson. The main lesson is this – change your wardrobe. To stay outside during this period, know that there is winter jacket, winter hat, winter head warmer, winter boots, winter socks, winter everything needed to make you enjoy the beautiful nature. Again I repeat, change your wardrobe.

Light up in and out

Let me put this as plain as possible. Winter is beautiful but depressing. It is so cold and dark outside that you do not want to do anything other than lie under your duvet in the comfort of your warm bed and think of all the things and people you miss. You may even start crying without any reason. Any professor that puts a class at 8am must be very inhumane, hahahaha, so you will think. At 8am, it’s still very dark, and you wouldn’t want to imagine how cold it feels outside. At some point, if you remember you will be walking along in the snow, dragging your foot in a battle to reach your class, you start to hate the moment. Okay, let’s drag back the time to now, yeah, to this moment. It is not yet winter, and you already know how depressing it might get. What do we now do? – light up! Once you light up, your troubles are gone. Like magic, that’s it. This is how to do it: first, buy candles and lamps. Yes, I mean it, literally. Go for shopping and buy candles, lamps and decorative lights in addition to other house decorating stuff. Lighting up your environment at all times is a great way to wading off the spirit of negativity and inviting the spirit of light. Hahahahaha. This is no spiritual blog – I’m just sharing tips that work. A bright environment in the midst of the winter darkness helps keep us mentally alert and happy other than the dark cinema room coziness. Give your room some life, and it will return the favour. Next is to prepare your mind to embrace a positive attitude. You need it, light up both inside and outside, and you will enjoy an amazing winter.

Create an Amazing Calendar

Once it is break for the Christmas holidays, many students tend to lose a sense of calendar and schedule for their daily living. This is worse for international students who do not travel and may not have many friends to fill their holiday calendar with activities. Yes, it is Christmas and a lot of activities are happening in and around everywhere. But, don’t be surprised to see that many persons would prefer their bed over to stepping out. I think this feeling is a major reason for depression. There is so much unhealthy lone time and a drastic change in weather that can cause sleeping disorders or even disorientation in the worse scenario. To be at the top of your winter game, you need to create an amazing calendar. Example of such a calendar will have everyday exercises in the list, a winter hike through the forest, a cooking/baking experience, a visit to the museum, a party or concert attendance, a holiday shopping, reading a book, a local travel to see the winter nature around you, trying a winter sport, and of course, enjoying the sauna. The list goes on and on, engage in activities that make you happy, not sleeping in bed. Lol. Be outside to receive the sun any lucky day that brings the shinning sun and remember to take your vitamin supplements. Try new things and don’t forget to always put safety first.

You need help? Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: External link, opens in new window.

Picture of the author Amaraizu Genius
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