For most, Christmas is the time of year where you can leave all your problems behind as you let the magical wave of festive spirit carry you through to the end of the year. Decorating the house, eating every mince pie in sight and guzzling down the last of the alcohol your local newsagent has to offer, who can’t enjoy this wonderfully bliss time of year? The answer is us.
Unfortunately for students, the festive months are a little different. Stuck inside your frozen student house, working on your conveniently timed deadlines while your only break is to go out and spend the last of your money on disappointing gifts for other people – the festive period is not the kindest of times for students.
To shed a little light on the downtrodden spirit of a miserable slave to further education here are just a few of the many things which get students down in this "jolly" time of year.
There’s nothing that will dampen that anticipatory Christmas spirit like having to meet December deadlines. While you should be making sausage rolls and eating a budget Christmas lunch with your housemates. You’re stuck in the library listening to Mariah Carey over and over again. As every little bit of festive magic is lost with every letter you type on your ongoing essay, learning to despise the December months isn’t hard.
It’s hard to enjoy Christmas day knowing there’s a 3,000-word essay due in the first week of the New Year. Sitting inside on your laptop, tirelessly tapping away at the keyboard, with any little break to Facebook dominated by how much fun everybody else is having. Then the one-day you do give yourself off (Christmas Day) is hard to enjoy, as you know you haven’t even dented the looming word count.
Your family always tells you not to bother, but would they really be so accepting if you actually didn’t get them any presents? If you want to avoid an awkward Christmas dinner it’s always best to ignore your mum's demand when she tells you she’s not bothered. Without sticking to the annual tradition of perfume for mum, Clarkson DVD for dad, buying presents on a student budget is always a tricky task.
All the people
Whether you're at home with all the family you never knew you had, or out shopping among the flock of last minute Christmas shoppers one thing is certain – you can never be alone at Christmas. Finding some time alone over the festive period is harder than finding Mike Tyson in the UK.
Having to put the heating on
As temperatures drop, you argue with your housemates about when to turn the heating on, insisting it’s not that cold – as a white cloud of condensation floats out of your mouth. Looking over the heating bills in the winter months, your Christmas spirit evaporates with your breath.
Your house will look far from festive
There’s always one person who attempts to lift up the depressing winter spirits of a student house at Christmas. Like a strictly budgeted Santa, they return with Wilkinson’s bags full of cheap tinsel and paper decorations. By the time they are finished your house looks even more depressing than it already did, with festively coloured tat draped over every possible banister and windowsill. The final straw is drawn when you are asked to financially contribute.
Going home to house of rules
While going back to your home for Christmas means free food and no bills, it also comes with a set of rules you are used to living without. Rules that are enforced further when family members come to visit.
Non-alcoholic mulled wine
Your religious friend has managed to persuade you into going to a carol service at his/her local church. You go alone with the promise of free mince pies and mulled wine. A few glasses in you remain the same, thinking your tolerance levels have increased massively since fresher’s you crack on without the knowledge that what your drinking is essentially squash. If it’s not alcoholic - it’s not wine.