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Sophie's blog

Full time historian, part time ABBA enthusiast, obsessive watcher of cute animal videos.

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How to Survive until Christmas!

So it’s the run up to Christmas and I myself can feel that I’m beginning to flag. It feels like the end of the term is twenty years away, not two weeks, and you’re slowly losing the will to live. All those hours in the library just don’t feel like they’re paying off anymore. You can feel yourself slowly drowning under January exams, your dissertation, and all the other thousands of things you’ve got to do… Just you? Definitely not.
Everyone feels this way around the festive season. You just want to go home (home home, not your uni home where turning the heating on before you get frost bite is frowned upon by all your other housemates.) You want to go home, eat lots of food, put on at least a stone and come back when Cardiff isn’t permanently flooded, you’re not permanently stressed and your lecturers are chucking firsts around like it’s no one’s business.
It is undeniably a really important time of year, and yes, it can be very stressful. But you still need to enjoy your time at uni (trust me, it goes reallllllly fast!) and you need to learn how to cope with stress.
To the outside world university is one long party, no one gets out of bed before 12:00 and we’re always drunk. But of course we know otherwise. University can be tricky, but if you learn to manage your stress levels, it will be the best time of your life.
So here’s my list on how YOU can be calm, cool, collected and utterly fabulous on the run up to Christmas.
1. Go for a walk!!
- There are plenty of beautiful parks around Cardiff. Bute it my favourite, and it really is a great way to breathe deeply and gain a little perspective. For me, it’s always liberating to get out of Student Land and take the time to think about how I’m feeling. Making mental lists, writing your work schedule in your diary and taking some time out for yourself all help me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Go outside!! You’ll thank me for it!
2. Call your mum/dad
- Whenever I call my mum, I have a little two minute moan and stress, she tells me I’m being dramatic and I feel better for it. Chat to your parents, again they’ll be able to give you the perspective I sometimes think people can lose when they’re surrounded by students constantly.
3. Go for a run
- You may be terrible at it (I’m definitely not Mo Farah in the making) but we all know it’s good for us. Running makes you feel good about yourself and it allows us time to think, all on our own, and take some aggression out on the pavement too. You’ll feel healthier in body and mind!
4. Keep your room clean, sparkly, and wonderful
- There really is nothing worse than a messy room for your Zen! It will make you feel gross and no doubt it will be a source of procrastination when you start to work (‘Oh, I’ll just tidy my wardrobe…’ *Two hours later and you’ve tried every outfit at least twice, wondering if your top makes your elbows look chunky*) Your mum is right; tidy room, tidy mind!
5. Work somewhere fun!
- Instead of being stuck in all day doing uni work or stuck in the library, take yourself out. There are some gorgeous little coffee shops in Cardiff, from Barker’s to Madame Fromage. Going there to do some work and get some cake will be a treat for you. And it’s always good to do work somewhere outside of uni, it can be a really productive use of time- give it a go!
So there are a few of my tips for staying sane this winter. If you’re reading this and feeling a little blue, then give them a go, you really will feel much better!

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