December already!

Just like that another semester has whizzed past and it’s somehow already time for Christmas break. Final year has started out tiring, but on the most fulfilling way. Seeing everything you’ve learnt over the degree coming together and finally figuring out what parts you’re most interested in is exhilarating! I’ve spent most of this semester focusing on my dissertation and trying to get adequate research under my belt before I start writing.

I’ve recently found making a weekly plan or gals sheet to be extremely  helpful! I’ve pinned my sheet by my desk to keep in mind what to prioritize when I sit down to work. Make it colorful and clear so dates and criteria don’t get mistaken. Mini sticky notes have also become my best friend while sorting though all my research.

In non-academic news, I’ve been able to explore a lot more of Guildford this year. Living off-campus may seem off-putting at first because you no longer have that first-year luxury of rolling out of bed and being in class within minutes, but I’ve seen so much of the town that I wouldn’t have bothered with living on campus. I found Thorneycroft woods when I got lost at the park (typical behavior if you know me) and ended up following the river for ages!

Aside from stalking some geese and the crunchy leaves, the woods are THE place to be if you’re interested in being licked and tackled by some wonderfully large dogs- needless to say I could not have been happier with my discovery of this place.

The cold is starting to set in and so are all the Christmas lights!! The town centre is always beautifully decorated, you can’t escape Michael Bublé and festive food menus are out! The weekend markets are full of hot drinks, cakes and hand-painted ornaments. After living in Mumbai all my life the cold can be a bit startling, but the pastries and hot chocolate make it a lot easier. This year I’ll be spending Christmas in Guildford rather than flying home and I’m excited to have an actual Christmas celebration!  I’ve already gotten carried away with gifts and jumpers and mulled wine.

The university also has plans for all the students who won’t be going home and are organizing a lunch with drinks and carols. For some, being away from home this time of year is hard and it’s comforting to see that you aren’t actually alone! The lights and decorations all over campus are bound to make you smile as well (my personal favourite is Steve the Stags new Rudolph nose). Some of my favourite indoor activities have involved ridiculous amounts of baking and binge watching holiday movies which have been a brilliant escape for when deadlines get stressful. Whether you celebrate Chistmas or not, it’s hard to be grumpy this time of year.

It’s been a more turbulent year than we anticipated, but YAY we’re almost at the finish line!! Make sure you’re  looking out for your friends and family- a short phone call can make someone’s day- and even more importantly look after yourself. Take the time for some self- love and self- care and maybe bake some gingerbread as a treat while you’re at it😊 I hope all of you have exciting, cozy and safe plans this winter break!