This piece is by Tyla-Mae Matthews, one of our Stagecoach Student Ambassadors. Find out more about our student ambassadors.
It’s that time of year again. The skies are grey, the air is crisp, and it’s way too cold to drag yourself out of your toasty bed to trek to a 9am lecture. Yes, winter is here and that means one thing, and one thing only. Christmas!
That’s right, it’s time to swap the student staple foods like noodles for … probably still noodles (come on, we’re students, we can’t afford real food). So, here’s a list of the dos and don’ts of Christmas now that you are a student!
DO: Make the most out of going back home
Whether you are homeward bound every weekend, or if you are making the special trip back for Christmas, you should make the most out of going back home for the holidays. I mean, after all, you do get to see your pets again, and you have forgotten just how cute they are! Oh, and I suppose you get to see your family, too. And somehow, your younger sibling’s annoying ways will be starting to grate on you the minute you set foot in the house.
Despite this, remember to tell your family how much you appreciate them, especially how much you love their cooking, and you will be given enough leftovers to get you through January (and maybe even February, if you’re lucky).
DON’T: Spend all of your money…
I know it’s tempting, believe me, but try not to spend all of your money during December. With all of the Christmas offers everywhere, it can be quite overwhelming and sometimes… we can get carried away (not like I’ve ever spent a month’s wages on clothes in 5 days, nope, never).
Planning and budgeting are your best friends! Write a list down of all your essentials, as well as what presents to buy for who, and remember to stick to this list. You will thank yourself later when you have money left over to spend on the Boxing Day sales. Oh, and enough money to begrudgingly pay for your extortionate student accommodation – that’s the most important thing, I suppose.
DO: Treat yourself!
Although you shouldn’t go overboard with the spending, you deserve a little treat for all the hard work you’ve done so far (or most likely, haven’t done yet). So, whether that’s a catch-up meal with friends, or buying that thing you’ve wanted for ages, go for it! #TreatYoSelf2017
DON’T: Forget about work, work, and more work!
On the other hand, student life doesn’t stop during the festive season, and we all unfortunately know that those pesky deadlines are looming. I am crying a bit on the inside already because of this. So, even though you will be busy de-frosting that Michael Buble Christmas album which will be on repeat for the whole of December, keep an eye on any uni work that needs doing before you venture back to halls! While all of your friends will be fretting over that one big essay, you can sit back and relax once uni starts back again! No caffeine-fuelled, late night library sessions needed.
It would also be a good idea to brush off the ol’ study books and get started with the reading list you were supposed to begin in September. Knowledge is power, my friend!
DO: Enjoy yourself and relax!
Christmas only comes once a year, so it’s best to get your yearly dose before it’s all over. Christmas markets are one of the best ways to do this, so if you have the time and live close to one, I’d definitely recommend going! My personal favourites have to be the Liverpool and Manchester markets. They’ve got a great variety of stalls and just being there makes you believe in Father Christmas again (even though he most certainly is real!). There are some great posts about the best Christmas markets on our blog so make sure to check them out!
I’d also suggest getting all the sleep you can before exam season starts. The dreaded, but inevitable, 4am revision sessions are just around the corner, so snooze away while you still have the opportunity to.
DON’T: Forget to give back.
Volunteering for a cause you care about this holiday season is a great way of getting into the Christmas spirit by helping others. Whether this is by doing a sponsored Elf Walk or helping out at a local hospice, your efforts will be greatly appreciated by those who need it this winter.
There are some fantastic websites to search for volunteering opportunities this Christmas such as https://do-it.org/channels/volunteer-at-christmas, or you could even ask around locally to see if anywhere needs any helpful volunteers this season! It looks amazing on your CV and if you love the volunteering position, you might even want to continue it after Christmas is over!
As well as this, foodbanks are always looking for donations so if you can, spare a thought for those in need by giving what you can to your nearest one. You can locate your local foodbank here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/. And why not do a bit of volunteering for them if you can?
That concludes the lists of do’s and don’ts for a successful Christmas as a student. Remember to leave out a mince pie and a glass of whiskey for your pare- I mean, Father Christmas! Have a fantastic December!
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