After relaxing a little bit and enjoying Christmas break back home with my family, it is time to get back to reality and start studying for my exams. Conveniently enough, most of my exams are happening online this semester due to Covid, which makes it slightly less stressful, at least for me. Still, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you suddenly have due and thus it is very important to stay on top of your workload.
Altogether, I have to write 2 essays and 2 exams in January and so I think it is very important to divide your time accordingly. I would suggest getting familiar with each unit's assignments and looking into it a little bit even before you leave for Christmas because your professors usually publish the information in November / December, leaving enough time for you to actually start earlier.
I tried writing one of my essays back home, however, as you can guess it did not go as planned because I was getting distracted by my family all the time. Luckily, the university has more than enough spaces to study and get you back on track. I usually dedicate a few hours each day to progress with my assignments, rather than spending 10 hours trying to finish everything in a couple of days. My personal #1 study space is the library in AMBS. It is just such a nice building with loads of light, computers and quiet spaces that keep you motivated. Another great option is also the Ali G learning commons, which are open 24/7, in case you need to pull an all-nighter. The main library on campus is also a popular spot for students to go to. It is however super quiet and I've heard it's very cold as well, so enter at your own risk :)
Other fan-favourite study spots are coffee shops. There is just something very enjoyable about sitting in a cute, cosy place sipping on your iced latte whilst working on your essays. Some of the spots I would recommend are Black Sheep Coffee (sitting here right now, really enjoying it) - it is right in the city centre and it has big windows for people watching, if you like that. Also, Haunt - close to the central library or Feel Good Club - slightly further, located in the Northern Quarter, but really worth the visit. All of these have a really good selection of drinks and foods, ranging from pastries, protein bowls or smoothies.
In my opinion, it's also very important to keep your mental health in check as well, and so I like to destress a little bit by going to the gym (almost) every day. Manchester has a lot of gyms you can choose from - JD Gyms, The Gym, Sugden Sport Centre, etc. and so you can definitely find the one that suits all of your needs. The University also organises a lot of wellbeing workshops providing yoga classes, meditation or counselling services so that you can get the support you may need anytime. Make sure you keep in touch with your friends and family and maybe try to cook something healthy as well :)