Features | How to Survive Christmas at Home

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With only a couple of weeks left of term, a return home is imminent. Of course you’re looking forward to seeing your family and home friends, but after a whole term of freedom, home can get a little suffocating. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your time at home and survive the month until second term dawns.


December is a mere few days away and the end of semester one is in reach too. With December having arrived it is time to think about your plans for Christmas and New Year’s. Here’s a manual to help you to get ready for Christmas at home with your family.

Important warning: Read all instructions carefully before use. Only to be used by students and unsuitable for adults and pets. Before use make sure you understand the terms and concepts discussed. Do not use outside Christmas time and uses in future years may require adjustment subject to approval of the manufacture.

Operation: To succeed in a joyful visit home for Christmas you are advised to read all the instructions below. This will allow you to make the most of your time away from Leeds, presuming your family lives outside Leeds and the surrounding area. Please be aware that patience and reading skills are required for use of this product.


Pick travel dates and plan last social events in Leeds before Christmas

First of all, you will need to decide on the dates you will leave and return to Leeds. Pick up your diary, write down any Christmas meals you are going to attend and any other events that will wrap up semester one for you. If you have assignments due before the end of the semester plan to finish them as early as possible. This will leave you with additional time for Christmas shopping. While picking your travel dates you may also want to consider to be flexible as travel on some days is more expensive than on others. You are advised to book as early as possible and choose either a coach or train service if you’re unable to go by your own or your family’s car. Booking a return ticket instead of two single tickets is likely to save you money.


Make a to do list of tasks you need to do before leaving

After you have organised your travel arrangements make a list of all the things that you will need to do before leaving. This list should include a last trip to the library, a trip to town to do all your Christmas shopping and packing your bags. You will need to prioritise your tasks and start as soon as possible. You probably want to make another list for your trip to the library. Include books that you will need to revise from for your

January exams and books needed to complete assignments over the holidays. If you plan to come back to Leeds relatively shortly after Christmas you may decide to give yourself a short break and resume revision upon your return. It is in your own interest to make sure you spend enough time studying but also to take time off and enjoy yourself over the holidays. Thinking ahead will give you a head start.


Brace yourself for time away from friends

You may only have gone home to please your parents or it was you who actually decided to enjoy joyful evenings together in the living room. Remember that between the start of the semester and seeing your family again more than two months will have passed.


Keep in touch with uni friends

Be prepared for a small culture shock when arriving back home as you will have grown as a person in your time at uni. Before you leave Leeds it is important to see your friends over a cup of tea and make sure you have a way of contacting them over the holidays. If needed, exchange your skype names. Remember, you will be back at uni in next to no time. In case you feel ‘homesick’ for your flatmates do contact them and exchange your Christmas stories over the phone. After feeling better remember to tell your family and old friends at home about all the great experiences you have had at university so far. Make sure you make them jealous of the German Christmas Market in Leeds as well.


Enjoy Christmas Day and prepare for your return to Leeds

On Christmas Eve have your Christmas presents ready giftwrapped and bring them down to the Christmas tree. Sing Christmas songs, exchange your presents and eat a lovely Christmas dinner together that reminds you of previous Christmases. If you plan to return to Leeds for New Year’s follow the instructions on list making as above and prepare for your departure. Before you leave thank your parents for the great time spent together and say you’ll visit them soon again. Remember that time flies by quickly and just as quickly as semester one passed semester two will pass. Keep calm and party on.


Michelle Heinrich

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