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Unusual Christmas break

After a month of lockdown in November, everybody hoped that December would be different and be more normal compared to the rest of the year.

The first half of December was full of course deadlines and group projects. Students were hoping that after hard work in the first couple of months at school, they would get a well-deserved break to relax and reconnect with their families. Unfortunately, everything changed at the last moment with a new COVID strain. Travels were cancelled, and most students were celebrating Christmas and New Year far away from their families. Luckily, we live in an era where your relatives and friends if one click away from you.

It is very important to stay connected with the people you love and value. I try to speak to my parents almost every day and call my close friends at least bi-weekly. These calls give me a huge boost of positive energy to keep up with these uncertain times. Since my undergrad, I have been living away from my home country, and now because of the convenience and easiness of communication and the fact that I have much more free time, I speak and see the closest to me people the most.

I made sure to take some time off from studying to relax and recharge. However, I wanted to have plenty of time to get ahead on my term papers and projects so that I can focus on the review and exam preparations in January. I have made a schedule for all my assignments submission and created a plan on how I am going to tackle them. Keeping things organized and planned makes me more productive and efficient. It is also easier to see progress when you break something into pieces and track them. If you have several assignments, you can split each of them and do them in a different order. If you are stuck in one essay, you could switch to another one and work on it in a couple of days and return to the first task without losing productivity and keeping the overall study plan.

During the break, I studied for 3-4 hours per day. For the rest of the day, I keep my usual routine: going outside for a run or walk, exercising in the gym, cooking and watching Netflix. I go outside of Manchester for the hikes on the weekends to mark the end of the week.

I wish you to find great success and happiness in 2021. Happy New Year to you and your families.

An illuminated santa in front of the Central Library in Manchester

A hike just outside Manchester