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22nd November 2016

The festive deadlines fear

A few tips on how to create a balance between work and play as a busy student over the Christmas period

Christmas is a time of merry gatherings with friends and family, wandering endlessly around the festive markets, and snuggling up on an evening with a cup of hot chocolate whilst watching Home Alone. However, the cheeriness of the festive season can be severely sacrificed in order to complete assignments, meet deadlines, revise for exams, and in most cases, work a part-time job alongside your studies.

It is so easy to lose the excitement and fun of Christmas when the weight of university stress is on your shoulders, just as it is very easy to neglect your academic responsibilities when festive celebrations are offered to you on a plate every single day. Fear not, there are ways that you can enjoy the magic of the run up to Christmas as well as meet those dreaded deadlines and everything else that you have going on in your hectic life.

Planning is essential when it comes to delegating your time to different areas of your life. You need to organise what you need to do, when you are going to do it, and then stick to it. Keeping an up to date diary is extremely useful, but a standard page to page diary does not let you see what plans and deadlines that you have coming up far into the future. My academic year planner that I have pinned on my bedroom wall is a saviour, and it allows me to see what I have planned for the year ahead with just one quick glance. You can buy these in Rymans for less than £5 plus student discount — a valuable investment and a blatant bargain.

The saying ‘work hard, play hard’ could not be more fitting for this particular dilemma. I can guarantee you will enjoy that Christmas social with your friends ten times more if you know that you have achieved something with your academic work before you head out. Whether it is completing an essay plan, writing a section of your assignment, or even reading a few chapters of your seminar work, you will feel much more free and relaxed knowing that you have accomplished something beforehand.

That being said, you must not feel as though having a social life and participating in leisurely activities is a luxury. Delegating time into your weekly schedule to meet up with friends, to go shopping, or to even have a Netflix binge from the comfort of your own bed is just as important as delegating time to work on your assignments. You need to allow yourself time to unwind and to recharge in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. Do not feel guilty for allowing yourself to have ‘free time’ because it is essential, not optional.

So make a plan and stick with it. You do not want to miss out on that festive cheer, just as much as you don not want to miss out on achieving the grades that you deserve.

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