Whilst the answer will definitely depend on you as a person, this is a great topic to talk about because the Christmas break is a chance for university students to have four weeks off. But it is very rare for students to actually have that chance, leading us to the question of what to do over the Christmas university break?
In this blog post, I’ll give a few ideas to inspire you if you want to do something productive during your break, whilst having a good amount of time to relax too.
Leading us onto our first one.
Relax: Yourself and See Friends and Family
I know this isn’t anything new but I wanted to mention it because the Christmas break is a brilliant time to relax, catch up with people and see your friends and family again. This isn’t just critical for your mental health and wellbeing, but it’s critical for the sake of your relationships too. As during the past four months during the university term, I completely understand if you haven’t seen certain family members or friends.
For example, I have a few university friends so they’re busy during the term so I see them in the breaks. The same goes for family because they work, I’m busy with university so I see them in the breaks to make sure I still keep in contact with them and keep relationships alive.
You need to do the same.
Because seeing your friends and family will make you feel better and have other benefits for your mental health and wellbeing. As well as after a potentially stressful time during the university term, you need a break, and seeing friends and family is the perfect way to take a break.
Also I will fully admit it is really nice to see people outside of the university bubble.
Nonetheless, something that almost always gets overlooked in these sorts of posts is the importance of you taking time for yourself. I know you might not see spending some alone time as important but you need to do what you want to do for fun as a way to relax.
For instance, during the university term you might not be able to do some of your favourite things, like reading, watching TV and doing sports. Granted sports is a team activity normally but you get my point, use the Christmas break as a chance for you to do what you enjoy.
Personally, in my Christmas Break I’ll be enjoying myself and relaxing by seeing my friends and family and catching up on anything that I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gone round to it yet. Like, watching some films I’ve recorded six months ago.
Part of the university lifestyle is taking control of your own learning – this is part of the university mindset. Therefore, if you’re a bit behind with your university reading, coursework or anything else, the Christmas break is a perfect time to catch up because it’s four weeks of no lectures, no assignments and no readings. Meaning you can spend at least some of that time catching up with all of your work.
As a result of nothing is worse than going into a new term that brings more readings, more lectures and more everything, and you’re still playing catch-up with last term’s stuff. This isn’t fun and it will lead to burn out.
It’s that simple.
Therefore, if you are behind, I know a number of students that spend the first week of the Christmas break catching up with their work so they had the rest of the break to enjoy themselves.
So you might want to try that.
Personally, I’ve always used the breaks as deadlines and I make sure I’d finished all my work before then, but I know students aren’t always able to do that.
Let’s face it, university is expensive!
Therefore, during the Christmas Break, you might want to work, do some extra shifts or take a Christmas temporary job for the season. Not only will it give you some extra money to spend (or save), it will also allow you to gain new skills, experience and meet new people.
If you are going to seek out a Christmas temporary job I would recommend you start looking for that in early October or right NOW if it’s later. I’ve never done this sort of thing so I cannot comment on it too much, but it is an idea if you want some extra money.
Conclusion: Maintaining A Good Work-Life Balance
Throughout the blog post I have mentioned I lot of different ideas, from relaxing to catching up to working. But if you take anything away from this blog post, please let it be this, whatever you decide to do during your Christmas break, you need to maintain a good work-life balance – this will ultimately be the most beneficial in helping you come back to university feeling good.
If you don’t then you will most probably burn out, decrease your mental health and wellbeing. No one wants that.
Therefore, if you are going to work a job or work on catching up with your university work, then make sure you schedule some time for yourself, your friends and your family. Everything in life is about balance so please keep your time balanced to protect yourself.
In my Christmas break, I’ll be doing a few things that most people consider “work” but I will still be spending a lot of time with friends and family because I know the balance, and its importance.
All in all, have fun, have an amazing break and find a balance. You’ll be thanking me afterwards.