Going Home for Christmas Break
Christmas is nearly here! And so is the time to head home after a long couple of months at university and get your well-deserved break. It can feel weird to get accustomed to the big change from living away from home for so long, to being back under the roof of your family with different rules to live by. AFS is here with some top tips for leaving your university home for the Christmas break.
o Try to complete as much of your university work as possible before you leave. This includes any essays or exam prep, as January time after Christmas is often the deadline and exam season. Plan to keep at least one week free of stress and university work over the Christmas period.
o Maintain structure to your days when you’re back at home, as it is easy to fall into bad habits when you don’t have lectures and seminars to attend.
o Book your travel home early if you’re going via public transport. Train tickets tend to be cheaper if you purchase them about a month in advance. If you know when you’re going to head back to university after, get a return ticket, or an open return as this will be more cost effective too!
o Remember to put the bins out and leave your bedroom and communal areas clean, so when you come back after Christmas it’s not an overwhelming mess! Most important is to empty out and clean your fridge. We’ve all made that mistake before with leaving something in the fridge and coming back to mouldy food.
o If you know you are the last one in the house, do a sweep to make sure everything is unplugged and all lights switched off, so this will help save money on your gas and electric bill.
o Don’t forget to shut and lock all windows and doors as this is often prime time for burglaries in student areas when there are lots of empty houses.
o Don’t overpack, remember that you probably have most of your necessities at home already, and you don’t need a hundred different outfits when you have a washing machine! But do double check your bags or suitcase for all the important things. Some items I always forget are my phone and laptop charger, my house keys, or my ID! Also remember to take all of your valuables with you, don’t leave these behind.
o Order your Christmas presents online to your home address, as this will help your bags be a lot lighter when travelling home for Christmas and make sure you are organised and prepared for the present-giving.
o Relax. The best thing you can do over the Christmas period is to relax after working hard at university. Take time out to spend it with your family and don’t forget to catch up with your home friends too. Have a bath, watch daytime television with your family, and enjoy a warm house with home-cooked meals whilst you’re living back at home, enjoy the things you can’t at university!
If, for whatever reason, you are unable to or don’t want to go home for Christmas, and are staying at university, most of these tips still apply! Despite it being a lot quieter at university, make sure to relax but also socialise with others who are staying so it doesn’t become too lonely. Structure your days so you avoid feeling sluggish, and enjoy your free time by indulging in self-care, buying yourself a Christmas present, and cooking an amazing Christmas meal with some university friends.