It’s 1st week, which means a flurry of ‘catchup’ conversations on the staircase as you haul your life’s possessions into your college room. These chats inevitably revolve around three key topics: holidays (New Year gossip), Collections (think you can out-fail me?) and, a last resort, the weather (the ultimate awkward-conversation classic). But if there is one thing I could change about Oxford, it would genuinely be the weather.

Having just returned to Oxford from holidays at home in Sydney, it’s all been a bit of a shock. The grey skies, 4pm sunsets, and fussing over gloves, scarves, and beanies, simply cannot compare with a month spent drinking watermelon mojitos in a bikini at Bondi.

Checking my phone every morning brings a wave of melancholy as I jealously scroll through beach snaps of my tanned friends or snapchats emblazoned with “38 degrees *heart-eye emoji face*”.

I’ve resorted to eating ice cream and drinking tropical cocktails at sub-zero temperatures just to maintain the illusion of summer as I face each week’s weather forecast.

Although I still find frost exciting (Sydney’s average winter temperature is a frost-bite inducing 13 degrees), the prospect of a permanently temperate, say Mediterranean, climate does sound appealing. Think of all the benefits of Trinity Term—punting, Pimms, sitting on the quad—but all year long.

On a more serious note, there are numerous physical and psychological benefits associated with warmer weather and sunlight exposure, such as increased Vitamin D intake, exercise frequency and up-beat socialising. As a coxswain whose exercise now consists of shivering, despite wearing ten thermal layers, I would much prefer outdoor sunrise runs.

Ultimately, a perpetual summertime Oxford would simply be a more vibrant, active, and happier place. So as I face the long post-Christmas winter, collections and an Australia Day in the Northern Hemisphere, I believe we could all do with a little extra sunshine to brighten up our days.

For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!