Welfare at Leeds: advice about the Christmas break

The Student Advice Centre is running a ‘Hygge’ themed space in Room 4 of the Union from 23rd to 25th November and in Room 2 of the Union on 12th December.

The Christmas holidays in Leeds are typically associated with the lively Christmas market in Millennium Square, the festive lights strung up on Briggate and in various shopping arcades, and also with the annual exodus of the student populations from Hyde Park, Woodhouse, Burley and Headingley. This festive period is known to be one of the most exciting in the British calendar yet it’s also normal for students to be apprehensive about the upcoming Christmas break. Such anxiety can come from fears of returning home for what might be the first visit to your family since you moved to Leeds. It could be due to worries about seeing old school friends you have not kept in contact with as much as you hoped – or you could be uneasy because you are in fact staying in Leeds over the Christmas break and unsure how to spend the long holiday.

The first time I went back home after moving to Leeds for University was for the long Christmas break and I was nervous to go back to living with my family for a month. This apprehension wasn’t unjustified. I struggled to have the new freedom I had discovered at University limited again. I missed having the ability to make all the little decisions which form the basis of your adult life, such as when I go out, how long I stay out, who I inform about where I am going, what I eat and when I eat it and so many others.

This was hard and led to me bickering with my parents more often than I had before I had gone away, and it took a number of these lengthy University breaks to strike a balance which worked for both myself and my family.

Other worries over the upcoming break might come from the fact that you will not be going home over the Christmas break, or for only a limited amount of time and therefore will be in Leeds when many of your fellow students have left. This can be a daunting prospect to be left in the city when HiFi’s mixtape gets emptier and there’s actually seats spare in Hyde Park Pub on a Friday night. However we do not leave you on your own over the break; there are a number of events and socials organised by the University and Union which will fill up your timetable.

Fears about the Christmas break are experienced by a number of students so don’t worry about this in silence. If this is an issue which is relevant to you then come to the Student Advice Centre’s ‘hygge’ themed spaces which are designed to provide some comfort as the winter nights draw in. The space will also function as a place where students can come and air their concerns about this issue and have an informal chat about their options. Student Advice are working with the University’s International Team and there will be information about event happening in Leeds over the Christmas break for those who will be residing in Leeds over this period. Come for a chat and a brew!

Martha Clowes

(Photo credit: http://leedscornexchange.co.uk/christmas-at-leeds-corn-exchange/)

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