Getting out of bed for a nine am lecture is tough enough at the best of times, let alone when it’s still dark outside and you can already feel the chill of winter through your duvet.
Walking through Bournemouth University on a December morning your vision is flooded with maroon cardboard Costa cups. People sit among newspapers strewn across the tables and chairs scattered around The Atrium. Students queue in the shop. Waiting to buy more current newspapers to later discard for others read after them. People mill slowly around inside, moving faster once outside the automatic doors and the chill hits them. When it gets closer to the hour everyone speeds up, on their way to lectures and seminars. Suddenly there are more people on the move.
It is easy to tell the freshers from the second and third years. First years wear ‘Leavers 2010’ hoodies and carefree expressions. Hoodies seem to be the clothing item of choice today; perhaps it’s because of the weather. Maybe it’s because of the fact they had to get up to be in University for nine o’clock in the morning. Logos and brand names emblazoned across the front of jumpers intrude on your vision; ‘Jack Wills’, ‘Hollister’, ‘Soul Cal’ and most commonly ‘Bournemouth University’. The majority of people you see are dressed for comfort rather than style. Ugg boots and tracksuit bottoms are in abundance. Occasionally a particularly fashionable person catches your eye, or in this weather they might be called brave. One girl wears a long black and white striped bandeau top with a flimsy grey cardigan and leggings. Either she does not feel the cold or she is yet to invest in a winter coat. Other girls walk past with earmuffs, duffel coats and scarves, but with tights so thin you can almost see through to the goose pimples on their slim legs.
Second and third years are also easy to spot, with the stress of impending work deadlines and stacks of books in their arms. The joy of Christmas cannot be seen in any students’ eyes in the library. One particularly harassed third year on the Advertising and Marketing course with frown lines aplenty, Jack Ward, was less than jubilant about the upcoming holiday. “I’ll get excited about Christmas once all of my work has been handed in, for now I’m literally snowed under.” (We both smiled at the pun). “I’ve only just realised all my deadlines are in a week and Christmas is approaching way too fast”. It seems that the library is not only a place to do work, but also to get warm. “Everyone seems to gather here, it’s a great place for group work, plus it’s the warmest place in Uni.” However even inside the library, everyone is wrapped up in layers upon layers, excluding one man who walks around wearing just a T-shirt and a grin, seeming not to feel the cold at all. Everywhere you look there are woolly hats, scarves and body warmers, gone are the days of flip-flops and summer for all except this surprisingly warm man with his T-shirt and jeans.