January 2017: Making the most of the Christmas break


At this moment, I found it interesting to write about how it was to finish the first semester of my Masters… and 2016!

December came with the last classes and also two written assignments: a qualitative assignment for the Research Methods unit and the final essay for the HRM unit. Both due dates were before the Christmas break, which in my opinion was a good thing. It allowed me to focus on those topics before the end of the year and be more relaxed during the break.

The University’s festive break lasted from 16 December until 15 January. As any normal and tired student would, I took a few days off to spend some time with my family and friends. However, you should know that it was not a completely carefree vacation… in fact, I had an exam and a final essay submission scheduled for 16 January.

Therefore, I would like to suggest a few things that were helpful and allowed me to enjoy the break and avoid stressing out.

  • First of all, plan your break. In my case, I took a little over a week off, from 24 December to 2 January.
  • Secondly, try to advance in your study before the holidays. Actually, most lecturers offered ‘surgeries’ or ‘drop-in’ sessions during that time, which in my case were useful to resolve doubts or discuss the essays’ topics.
  • Finally, if you are going away, return from your trip a couple of weeks before the January exams. Starting to reconnect with the studies can be slower than expected. So, a couple of weeks before the due date should be perfectly fine to handle your assignments.

Obviously, these are just recommendations because there are different approaches for studying and different ways to manage time. However, my aim is just to say that taking a break during festivities is possible without feeling guilty.

I know that it may sound odd to start the year studying (particularly if you are from South America). But it is not so bad. With a good plan, you will be able to take some time off for the festivities and have enough time to handle the exam period.

My best wishes for this New Year!

Me at the Manchester Christmas Markets

Me at the Manchester Christmas Markets

Family at Christmas

Family at Christmas

New Year

New Year


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Francisco Muhlhausen

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