If you’re thinking about heading home for the holidays or you’re a parent who’s eagerly anticipating the arrival of student offspring then there’s plenty to think about prior to booking those all-important train or coach tickets.
Although spending Christmas nestled in the bosom of the family home is a lovely idea and could signal the time to put your feet up and devour box after box of Celebrations, this can also be an excellent chance to be productive as from cash to studies, using your time wisely is definitely something to strongly consider.
Take it from someone who knows, these mid-term breaks don’t come around too often and if you can work, play and spend time with mum and dad then you’re bound to have a happier Christmas than if you just sat around and waited for Santa.
Below are a just a few pearls of wisdom to get you off on the right track and if you’re hoping to turn your winter break into one to remember then read on and get ready to pack your bags for the holidays.
Plan and Prepare
Getting ready for the Christmas period is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly as from booking your travel tickets months in advance to knowing how to use each day to full effect, planning and preparing your time is essential for achieving success. If you have studies to do then make sure you set aside a few hours each day to bite into them rather than leaving a huge chunk until the last minute. Make sure you plan some time for your family and friends too, after all, this is one of the few occasions where you get to see them so spending some quality moments is just as important as dedicating yourself to research and background reading.
Create a New Work Space
Although you’re away from what, by now, has become familiar study territory i.e. your student digs, the college library and access to computer systems, there’s no reason why this sort of environment can’t be replicated back home. Talk to your mum and dad and ask them about their technology and Broadband width, maybe you’ll be ok or maybe you’ll need to take this into consideration to avoid getting frustrated at the last minute. Also, if they can set aside some quiet space in a room where you’re less likely to be disturbed then all the better or, alternatively, check out local educational facilities and ask what you’ll be able to have access to if you’re just visiting for the holidays.
Choose Presents Wisely
Although you’ll no doubt want to splash out on some gifts for little brothers, great aunts or parents they will (mostly) understand your financial constraints so don’t go crazy and put yourself into further debt. Sometimes just a well-written card or carefully chosen book is more than enough to show that you care and if you can make your own presents in advance then all the better. Pickled onions, herring pate or home made cakes and biscuits will all be particularly well-received and if you can shop savvy and wrap well then you’ll be giving a gift that’s unique and special as it comes from your own hand rather than just another quickly chosen jigsaw.
Get some Cash
Obviously, if you’re a student no matter of which generation, the prospect of finishing your studies and being faced with a mountain of debt is probably not something that you’re looking forward to. Well, needs must and if you can get yourself some employment over the Christmas period then this has to be the best policy. Signing on to a few temping agencies before you return home or asking your folks to keep an eye out in the local papers is definitely something to consider and if you can get yourself some packing, warehouse or bar work then you’ll be more inclined to enjoy the Christmas break and better equipped to return to your college or uni or have some money stored for a forthcoming gap year.
Help out your Folks
As mentioned, this time of year is essential for spending time with your folks and if you’ve not been bothered to help out in the past then now is the ideal opportunity to show them that you’ve changed and are willing to shoulder responsibility as much as the next man. Helping out in the garden, round the house or just doing the shopping will all no doubt give your parents one of the best Christmas presents ever and if you can get them to write a list in advance then you can get cracking quicker than Santa and his elves.
This is indeed a great time of year for students and their families however, a few thoughtful elements will ensure you all remember it for the right reasons and have a happy and helpful holiday as well as a great new year.