Keeping Warm on Campus this Winter

Attending lectures during the winter months can be challenging especially if you are not dressed and prepared for the weather. Here are some ideas for keeping warm on campus this winter.

frost on grass

Layers of warmth

Insulate your body against heat loss by wearing layers of clothing:

  1. Start off with a base layer that lies next to your skin and helps regulate your temperature e.g. vest, long johns, tights, thermal underwear
  2. Next you have an insulating layer which helps retain warmth by trapping air close to your body e.g. jersey, fleece, thick shirt or top
  3. Finally you have a shell or outer layer which protects you from wind and rain e.g. jacket, body warmer, rain coat

winter layers

Head, Hands and Feet

Also known as your extremities, these parts of your body tend to get cold the easiest during winter because when the temperature drops, your body instinctively keeps your core warm because that is where all your vital organs are. Thus the blood vessels in your fingers, toes, ears and nose constrict in order to limit circulation to these parts.

The best way to keep your extremities warm is to dress them warmly, so either get knitting or else go get yourself a warm scarf, beanie, socks and gloves. And don’t forget your shoes – closed shoes with a thick sole that can be worn with socks (like trainers or boots) are best for cold winter days.

scarf and hat

For those of you who like to craft here are some ideas for making your own gloves and hand warmers:

Sock gloves

sock hand warmers

fingerless gloves knit

Tea for Two

You are just as susceptible to dehydration during winter as you are in summer, so keep hydrated and warm with a cup of tea. Drinking tea counts towards your daily water intake and spiced teas like ginger or cinnamon will also help to warm you up.

Although coffee and alcohol may leave you feeling warmer for a bit, neither count towards your water intake. The caffeine in coffee is what gives you that initial warm feeling as it stimulates your metabolism and so your body starts to burn fuel;  too much caffeine however can also result in headaches, restlessness, heart palpitations, nervousness and insomnia. Alcohol, besides the fact that it is not allowed on campus, may give you a rush of warmth but this is caused by the dilatation of the peripheral blood vessels near your skin, meaning your blood and warmth leaves the core of your body. So you may feel warm in the short-term but it is difficult to maintain your core body temperature and your risk of hypothermia increases.

Buying tea on campus or from restaurants can quickly add up. Why not consider buying yourself a flask and filling it each morning with your favourite tea to sip on throughout the day or even a nice soup for lunch.

tea


References:

All Day Chic. (2013). Fingerless Gloves Made From Socks – DIY. Retrieved from: http://alldaychic.com/fingerless-gloves-made-from-socks-diy/ [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]

Drink Aware. (n.d.). Alcohol and Cold Weather. Retrieved from: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/staying-safe-while-drinking/alcohol-and-cold-weather/ [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]

Hillman, Z. (2016). 7 Food and Drinks Scientifically Proven to Warm You Up (and One That Won’t). Retrieved from: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/staying-safe-while-drinking/alcohol-and-cold-weather/ [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]

Popsugar. (2009). What’s the Deal with Cold Hands and Feet?. Retrieved from: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Why-Your-Toes-Fingers-Always-Cold-Winter-2849454 [Accessed on: 05 July 2016].

Snails Pace Transformations. (2013). Simple to Knit Fingerless Gloves. Retrieved from: https://www.tescoliving.com/articles/easy-diy-hand-warmers [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]

Styles, S. (n.d.). Foods to Eat in Cold Temperatures. Retrieved from: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/foods-eat-cold-temperatures-2240.html [Accessed on: 05 July 2016]

Tesco Living. (n.d.). Easy DIY Hand Warmers. Retrieved from: https://www.tescoliving.com/articles/easy-diy-hand-warmers [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]

Tischler, S. (2015). Layering Basics. Retrieved from:  https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/layering-basics.html [Accessed on: 05 July 2016].

Summative Results: Dealing with Expectations & Disappointment

Semester A, Summative results are due for release shortly. For some the stress & anxiety is coming to an end, whilst for others it is just beginning. 

dying-to-know

The stress and anxiety you feel leading up to results day has a lot to do with your own expectations, but also those of your family and / or account payer. There are a variety of options available to you in terms of dealing with your and other’s expectations, as well as with the disappoint of possibly not having done as well as you had hoped:

Dealing with assessment result pressure and expectations

Assessment result anxiety is a very real thing and can be experienced during the wait for results or even once you’ve received them. Feelings you may experience include:

  • happiness
  • jubilation
  • disappointment
  • depression
  • guilt
  • confusion
  • anger
  • illness
  • numbness

Expectations, both real and imagined, internal and external, need to be managed in order to minimize their harmful, demotivating effects and maximize their energizing, positive effects. Ways of dealing with pressure and expectations, in relation to assessment results, include:

  • Talking to someone who is not directly impacted by or involved in the situation, such as a friend or the BMH counsellor.
  • Talking to the person who is setting the expectations, and explaining that the added pressure is not helping.
  • Re-assessing your own expectations – are they realistic, are they attainable, are they helping or hindering you?
  • Writing down your feelings, drawing, singing, dancing – these are all cathartic ways of expressing and excising what you are feeling.
  • Avoid using alcohol and / or drugs as a coping mechanism, the problems and stress will still be there once you sober up.

It is also useful to take a step back and put things into perspective:

  • Poor assessment results are not the be-all and end-all of life as you may know it – unless you allow them to, they cannot stop you from achieving your long term goals.
  • Poor assessment results are not a reflection of your worth – they are a snapshot of a moment in time in your life.
  • Ask yourself “Will this matter in five years from now?” – if the answer is “yes” now is the ideal time to make a change and put a plan into action; if the answer is “no” then let it go.

will-it-matter

Your options going forward

Depending on your assessment results, you have a number of options going forward:

a) Apply for a Supplementary

Second chances are a wonderful thing BUT before you get too excited and rush off to collect a Supplementary Assessment Breif, read the fine print and make sure you meet the requirements for a supp:

  • Did you get 30% or more for your first summative assessment attempt?

OR

  • Were you legitimately ill or absent for the summative assessment and do you have a valid medical certificate to back this up?
  • The 2017 supplementary fee for summative assessments is R350.00

For more information on supplementary assessments please consult your 2017 BMH Student Rulebook or click here.

b) Submit an Appeal

You have the right to appeal an assessment outcome.  All summative assessments are returned to students for the purpose of advancing learning and verification of grades awarded (excluding exit-point, exit-level subject summative assessments). It is thus your responsibility to check your assessment and grade awarded and inform your Branch Manager if there are any discrepancies.

You have five (5) working days, from the day that results are published to submit an appeal for a specific assessment event. Appeals submitted after the 5 day window will not be taken under consideration.

For more information on the procedure to follow should you with to appeal an assessment result please consult your 2017 BMH Student Rulebook or click here.

c) Set Up a Student-Lecturer Meeting

If after you have received feedback on the summative assessment and you are still unclear of where you went wrong or lost marks, consider setting up a student-lecturer meeting. All BMH lecturers have consultation hours during which they are available to meet with students.

For tips on how to prepare for and get the most from a student-lecturer meeting click here.

d) Schedule a Session with BMHs Counsellor

Sometimes you just need someone to talk to and be there for you, which is why BMH offers free counselling to all its registered students. You may be dealing with problems (personal and / or academic) which are bothering you and preventing you from achieving your goals, or you may just need an objective person to share your concerns with. For more information on how to go about scheduling a session with BMH’s Counsellor please click here.


References: 

Reach Out.com (2015). Dealing with Exam Results. Retrieved from:  http://au.reachout.com/dealing-with-exam-results. [Accessed: 24 June 2016].