Coming home for Christmas
Term one is well and truly over at this point, and while the never-ending pile of work is still looming in the back of my mind, its important to take a step back from the struggles of university life at this time of year to regroup and refresh yourself ready for the #newyearnewme life awaiting us in 2018.
With the amount of work I still have on over this winter holiday, it’s easy to forget that we’re given a month off every ten weeks for a reason. No one can power through university work full steam ahead for the best part of a year without some serious repercussions on your health and wellbeing (if you CAN do that, please tell me- what planet are you from?), and so we’re given some time to kick back (at least a little bit) and some time to relax.
I’m the first to admit I struggle to put work to the back of my mind and wind down over the break, and to try and avoid this stress I usually stay an extra few days at the end of term to crack on with some of my holiday work to make it a little more relaxing when I do go home. This sounds like a great idea and I’d definitely recommend doing it if you think it can be productive, but I am the queen of leaving things ‘til the last minute, and so despite all my good intentions I rarely get anything done, meaning I’ve wasted a week of valuable home-cooked meals with very little reward.
It’s only taken me three years to learn this, but I definitely recommend getting home as soon as possible after term to catch up on those home comforts you might have been missing, and just take some time off. The first week is the time where you probably need to relax the most, a lot of degrees are heavy in end-of-term deadlines and so you’ve almost definitely struggled through some sleepless nights and high stress levels over the last week of term; being able to kick back and catch up on well deserved sleep is a must.
If you can’t afford to give yourself the full first week off, just give yourself a bit of a break- switch from eight-hour days to maybe half of what you’d usually do, and if you don’t feel like working one day then give yourself the day off- future you will appreciate the extra sleep and relaxation. Then, once you’re fully recovered and have made some progress towards your January deadlines (or exams), you can start ramping things back up and getting some serious work done.
Rather than staying at uni for an extra week at the beginning of the holidays, the best idea might be to go back a little earlier. By then you’ve recovered from the stresses of term one (and the new year’s hangover hopefully), and so can properly get back into the swing of things. Giving yourself a little extra time to settle back into university life before term two starts, getting your weeks shopping in, sorting your stationary for the new term (just me?) and finishing off any last-minute assignments or revision will definitely put you in a better mind frame for starting term rather than showing up on the Sunday to go straight to your 9am the next day.
No matter what you do over the holidays though, now is the time to relax and enjoy some quality time with your family and friends.