How to survive Christmas as a student alone and away from home

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For most students, come the end of term and they will be racing to the nearest train station to get home for the holidays. Christmas is the time of year where we all get too drunk, overeat and most importantly spend time with our loved ones.

But for many students, it can be the loneliest time of the year. If this year you have no family, friends, OR a significant other to spend it with, or you’re hundreds of miles away from home — don’t panic.

Here’s are some tips to make the most of a lonely Christmas:

  1. Leave the house – Moping around indoors all day will not jingle anyone’s bells. It will inevitably be sadder than watching the Queen’s speech and the Christmas special of Eastenders put together. Good things will happen if you leave the dressing gown behind, get out of the house. Be sure to check the opening hours of local destinations if you do venture out to avoid disappointment.
  1. Find a friend – Ask around to see if anyone else is in town for the festive period —the more the merrier. Try posting on halls of residence Facebook pages, they are an accessible platform where plenty of students will be notified of your post. If you get ignored by everyone on there, download Couchsurfing and check out the messaging boards, where people are always looking to socialise.
  1. Volunteer – Charities such as Crisis always welcome volunteers, espeically at this time of year. Helping the homeless is a great way to keep busy and give something back to the community. You will also meet like-minded volunteers whilst you help – after all, Christmas isn’t all about receiving.
  1. Accept the invite – If a friend has invited you to their home for Christmas, consider taking them up on the offer. Being around someone else’s family over the occasion could bring unexpected cheer or further awkwardness to your day – but, hey, it’s worth the risk. At least there’s a free Christmas lunch even if their weird uncle does hit on you later.
  1. FaceTime – If it’s just not your thing to join another family then ensure to plan contact with your own family and friends. Schedule video chats with your loved ones so you’re able to be included in some key moments of the day. At least this way you can end the call when your grandparents ask why you don’t have a boyfriend. AGAIN.
  1. Stuff your face – Even though you will be reading the cracker joke aloud to yourself before your meal, make sure you have a great plate of delicious food. Whatever you choose, traditional turkey or a takeaway, be sure you have plenty as Christmas is always about indulging.
  1. Watch a movie – Check The River’s guide to the best Xmas films and watch them whilst you’re “Home Alone”.
  1. Do something different – At home you would be eating Celebrations in front of the TV waiting for the Doctor Who special. Enjoy a spin on the JW3 ice rink in north London or head to the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park to cheer on those who take part in the annual Peter Pan Cup. This year you’ll be too busy to even think about the time lord.
  1. Treat yourself -If you have any student loan left then buy yourself a present. Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for ages (with the £7 you have left before pay day). The item will always remind you of the first time you endured Christmas alone.
  1. Get ahead – Last and the least… Try to get push on with your studies, now will be a great time to finish THAT piece of coursework or prepare for next year’s modules. Realistically you will complete everything on deadline day but, hey, at least you thought about doing it.
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