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Staying in Plymouth over the Winter Break

If you are staying in Plymouth for the duration of the winter break, making some plans in advance will help to ensure it is as good an experience as possible.

The university is likely to be quieter over the break. At least some university buildings are likely to be closed for part of the time and most staff will be taking a well-earned rest from work. It may also be that there are fewer students around and less to do with your time.

In addition, if you normally celebrate Christmas, it can be easy to feel worried or upset at the prospect of spending it alone or away from your family.

While these worries are perfectly normal, there are things you can do to increase your enjoyment of the break. Taking control of your time proactively can help you to get the most out of the break and feel more positive.



Keep busy

Maintaining a daily structure and keeping active will help to maintain your mood and energy levels. A lack of structure and vegging out can be fine for a day or two, but over time it leaves us feeling sluggish and down.

Having a plan for each day can help you to stay active. You may want to think about socialising with friends who are still around; spring cleaning your room, getting regular exercise or studying for next term. This will help you to feel you are achieving something each day.






Volunteering is an excellent way of keeping busy and doing something positive, and at Christmas, charities need extra help. Volunteering to help others is also good for us and it can help to build up your CV.

Check out what opportunities are available on our Volunteering Hub, or you can explore what opportunities there are through local and national charities such as Time Bank.

Volunteering will also help you by putting you in touch with other people and giving you a sense of purpose.






Try to maintain social contact with as many people as possible. Not all students will go home for the whole of the break. Find out when your friends are going to be around and if local restrictions allow, plan socially distanced meetups with them. If there are periods where your friends aren’t around, try to schedule regular calls and video calls with friends and family elsewhere.

Remember we have our Connect Over Winter Facebook Group to help keep you connected with us and other students over the winter break, make sure you join and say hello!

You'll also find our Winter Buddies scheme run by your elected Wellbeing Officer Daniella Marley, who will be running events throughout the Winter Break to bring students together, read more about this here.






It can be tempting in December to stay indoors where it’s warm but you should make sure you are getting outside and exercising each day. Sunlight and exercise improves mood and will help you feel better physically as well.





Try to see the positives

For many people spending time alone may be preferable. If you are going to be alone you will have complete control over your own time, you can do what you want when you want, without pressure to please anyone else.






Give yourself rewards over the Winter Break. These don’t have to cost a lot of money but, if you can, treat yourself to something special. You could, for example, cook yourself a nice meal or just set aside time to watch a movie or read a book.





Seek support

If you are worried about how you will feel during the break it may help to talk to someone beforehand. Our Advice Team will be away for the break but know that other local services and University support will still be available, as well as Student Support services are open throughout the Winter Break.





From all of us here at UPSU, have an amazing break, keep safe in these difficult times and we will see you in the new year!