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The nights are drawing in, there’s an abundance of mince pies and there’s a curious amount of people in the supermarket round the clock. It must be Christmas!
When your mind is getting used to the new, intense postgraduate routine, it can be easy to miss out on festive fun as you're occupied thinking about assignments and staying on track.
You should definitely take the time to enjoy the festivities. Even if you do have reading and exam prep to do, here are some quick tips on how to make the most of your Christmas time off.
Savour the Moment
First and foremost, take the opportunity to cherish this year. If you haven't started your postgraduate course yet, this time next year you could be up to your neck in revision timetables, coursework, dissertations and other unfun things lecturers like to set you during the Christmas holidays.
So do the things you might not be able to in 12 months time. For example, if you’re working right now but will be returning to full-time education next year, enjoy the Christmas party, relish the opportunity to spend some money and be grateful that you don’t have any revision to do just yet.
If you're currently on a postgraduate course, make the time to catch up with friends and family, taking some well deserved time away from your revision. Switching off will help you focus when you do some to revise and prepare for your exams.
Take a Festive Trip
If you’re going to be moving to a new town for your postgraduate course, a festive trip to that place is a great way to scope out preferred locations.
You may have already decided what you’re doing and where you’re going, but if not, you’ve got an excuse for a few holiday day trips to help you make your mind up. If you fall in love with somewhere on a gloomy day in December, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll get on well with it the rest of the year.
Make a Plan
At this time of year there can be long stretches of time plonked in front of the TV with nothing but re-runs for company.
While we all appreciate the opportunity to slob out, why not pair it with a bit of extra research. Get your calendar or diary out and make a physical plan of when you'll block out time to study and revise, leaving yourself enough time to have those lazy blocks. If you haven't started your postgraduate course yet, make a list of everything you need to research and get your laptop / tablet and notepad ready. Whether it's looking around university websites, checking out accommodation or seeing if you have the necessary entry requirements, this is a great time to get ahead and clue yourself up on everything you need to know about a prospective university.
Talk to People
Thanks to the internet it’s relatively easy to find people who are already studying for the postgraduate course you’ve got your eye on. You may have already made friends with people on your course too. Stay connected or check out social media for people studying the same course as you to touch base with them.
Alternatively you can find communities of people like you, whether that’s people who are currently studying an undergrad and staying on next year, or people who are hoping to return to education after some time away.
Using the free hours over the Christmas break to chat to likeminded people can help you make some important decisions, or ease any fears or worries you may have about the course, university or town you’re applying to. It can even get you on your way to thinking about life after your postgraduate degree.
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