When we should be out having snowball fights in the park, singing Auld Lang Syne in a little old-fashioned local pub, skating on a large moonlit ice rink and drinking mulled wine by an open fire while the chestnuts are a-roasting (things that only happen in clichéd American Christmas films yet we feel cheated out of)… We’re not. We, the students, spend our winter breaks house-bound, transfixed by the looming January essay deadlines and exams.
Of course, little time is actually spent preparing for these important commitments, rather we like to let the thought of them weigh on our student shoulders every day from the end of term, until, aided by the post-Christmas blues, we start feeling very sorry for ourselves and hating any non-student who dares to ask us to “go for a catch up”. I AM A STUDENT WITH VERY IMPORTANT DEADLINES!!!
“Little time is actually spent preparing for these important commitments”
There is always that one friend who demonstrates that it is possible to use time off productively, allocating set days to work, rest, and play so that each can reach its full potential. But I can do no such thing. Pray, how can you possibly wake up early and work for the morning when you have not yet made next term’s colour co-ordinated timetable?!
Surely even the master reviser can’t work in a messy room. With my birthday being on Boxing Day I not only have Christmas presents to contend with but also birthday. I have actually had a very fruitful year gift-wise, and I would like to thank everyone for all their lovely presents… But seriously, have you seen what a shit-tip your generosity has made my bedroom?! I can’t even think about preparing my planner and sharpening my pencils until that is all squared away.
Having a dog also provides a nice distraction. Last Christmas I taught my Labrador, Sidney, to shut the door. So I spent yesterday trying to get her to open it. I eventually gave up and settled for putting a tea cosy on her head – the holes for the handle and spout are perfectly positioned for her ears. Three hours well spent. Cheers, Sid.
I thought I was being very savvy choosing all coursework-based modules for this year, thinking the lack of January exams would give me my first liberated Christmas in years, even going so far as to book a well earned post-Christmas break for the exam period. I failed to take into account that I would actually have to do some essays for these so called coursework-based subjects. If they don’t get you one way they get you another.
My little holiday also threw into the heady mix the inevitable fact that I left my passport in my bedroom in Nottingham (yes I agree, it is ironic that I didn’t realise this whilst writing my last blurb all about how much stuff gets left at uni a fortnight ago, but that would have been too easy). So I therefore spent today, which had once again been set aside for work, having a breakdown about my carelessness and trying to organise how my friend and landlord could get into my bedroom and find the missing passport. I reckon I could put good long-distance management skills on my CV now though, so not a wasted day!
“My little holiday also threw into the heady mix the inevitable fact that I left my passport in my bedroom in Nottingham”
So, here I sit, in my immaculate bedroom, essay-writing schedule up on the wall, awaiting a call from my landlord regarding the safe return of my passport, not one word written of the 5,500 that are due in for the start of term… And I am writing my column. Hey-ho, that’s what the holidays are for!
So an early start tomorrow – and some real inroads into my work – although as I am writing it is New Year’s Eve tonight… what could possibly go wrong?
Images: Floss Binks