Unless you’ve been back for the odd visit already (and inevitably hit up some of the points in this post), this will probably be your first extended stay away from your new student life that you’ve become accustomed to. So naturally, there’s a few more useful things to consider whilst you’re parked in one place
Get a Second Bag
If you’re stopping with family, be it at home or with extended family, chances are that you’re going to go back to uni with a little bit more than you came home with. Sometimes it’s because you find more stuff to take back (especially with Christmas around the corner and some awesome presents on the way, this will be a given). Sometimes it’s a restock of food and supplies by loving family members. Either way you may need something to take this back in – even if you’re driving up (it really helps with getting it unloaded!).
In festive times like these, we tend to eat a lot of food. Being starving students this is probably a good opportunity to get your appetite up and get some good food in you! If you’re like me when I was a student, use this as an opportunity to bolster your cooking knowledge or if you’re already a self acclaimed chef, to get in some real world practice ready to impress your friends with new recipes next semester.
Reconnect with your Friends
Whilst we live in an age where text messages are virtually unlimited, access to VoIP and video chat (like FaceTime, Skype, Hangouts and Viber) is on tap and social media has become the norm for contact, it’s still no replacement for meeting up face to face over a cup or tea/coffee, a walk in the park, a day down town or a pint in the pub. You won’t be in town for ‘long’ (if you’re a fresher you’ll learn that these 3 odd weeks are nothing compared to summer…), so use the time to reconnect and catch up with those friends you don’t get to see so often anymore.
Check Your Inventory
Twelve weeks is a long time and can take a toll on the stationary, equipment and storage space. With a lot of valuable work in your books and on your devices, it’s worth taking the time to archive and back everything up. Whilst it may be a good while before you may actually need to look at it again, it’s always worth having that available just incase your tech falls down or you leave your notes on the train. It would be painful should you need to resit or use it as reference to do all that research again from scratch!
Whilst you’re on the restock shopping trip, it’s probably worth restocking on these items whilst there is a chance, rather than getting a surprise when you need your utensils in your first lecture back.
Tech wise, it’s probably worth tuning up your machine too such as clearing out your temporary and unnecessary data (once your important files have been backed up of course!) and de-fragmenting your hard drive to allow it to perform swiftly again ready for your next batch of assignments. I’ll talk about this more in the New Year, but a couple of good programs I would highly recommend are Piriform’s CCleaner for Windows and macOS or Bleachbit for Linux/Windows. For De-fragmenting I’d recommend (again, by Piriform – not sponsored) Defraggler. As I’ve learned over time Linux based systems (such as Ubuntu, Debian, elementaryOS etc) and macOS systems don’t need de-fragmenting so much due to how their file system works, so you can skip this step for now!
Enjoy The Break!
Whether you’ve spent the last few weeks working hard or hardly working, everyone likes a true break from the weekly timetable of lectures and seminars now and again with the freedom to do what you want or need to, so enjoy these few weeks whilst they last and let yourself get used to the duality of your home/student life combined.
I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and I’ll be posting again just after boxing day.