Festivity is fast approaching, and despite the harsh weather I have to admit I’m still reluctant to accept we’re half way through December already. With exams looming in January and a bank account in some serious need of holiday charity, it can sometimes feel like the Christmas period is more miserable than merry.

Yet Scrooge I am not, because if there’s one thing I love about this time of year it’s the sense of togetherness. Office parties will see colleagues starring in unforgettable stories that’ll be told around the workplace for years to come, student folk will be toasting to their legendary bonds, and families will reunite after months apart. Corniness be damned, but Christmas really does make you appreciate your nearest and dearest.

Nevertheless, when your wallet prevents you from showing this it can really put a dampener on the whole season. I’m starting to seriously regret my decision not to get a job for the first semester, but then who has Christmas on their mind in September (apart from the supermarkets, that is)? While I’m sure I can scrape together enough cash to treat my family and friends to a few pound-store luxuries, I think they’re going to have to endure another Yuletide filled with hurried poems and badly made home videos.

Still, at least I can say goodbye to deadlines for a while, right? After all, there’s nearly a month between now and the first exams, which means it’s oh-so-tempting to ignore the inevitable revision for at least the first week of the holidays. Yet foresight and past experience tells me that I’ll probably want to keep those easy-going days for the Boxing Day hangover, not to mention New Year which I’ll be spending at a holiday cottage with a group of friends. With this in mind, I know I’ll probably be far better off setting aside a few hours a day to get those essays done and ensure January isn’t a rush of all-night revision sessions.

As for my 2012 Resolutions, there’s one there I know for certain – I want to start taking advantage of University life in ways I’ve, unfortunately, had to neglect up until now. And it seems there’s no better way to do so than signing up to a few societies, which are definitely one of the best ways to broaden your social circle (especially if, like me, you’re not living in on-campus). And that’s not their only advantage – they can bring you diversity through encouraging you to take part in activities you would not normally have the chance to; and rather than eating into any time you may think would be better spent studying, they can actually enhance your understanding of your course. Needless to say, they can also be a great way to unwind after classes (whether at the event itself or the pub you’re dragged to afterwards.)

But for now, there’s some aspects of student life I’m looking forward to having a break from (early morning lectures, baffling timetables, and over-priced coffee to name a few). And if there’s one thing to look forward to when we return – well, how many of us are more excited about our second loan instalment than whatever’s filling our stockings this year?

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