Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Winter Break

Winter Break

This time next week, most of us will enjoy a huge sigh of relief, having submitted our final assignments for the semester – woooo! Then the party season can really start!

Because we only have 12 weeks in the semester, students are incredibly lucky to have super long breaks, which provide us with time to do some travelling, learn new skills or maybe just hibernate for the season! I know some of you guys have exams in January, but hopefully once they are over with, you’ll be able to relax and make the most of the month. I was chatting with a friend the other day about what we will do over the wonderful long break and she said to me “but Debby I will sleep for 2 days over the holidays and then I’ll be bored”. I’m pretty sure this might apply to a lot of people, I mean we are students after all! But this did get me thinking, so I decided I’d give you a few ideas in order to use the month of January wisely.


There’s no better way (in my opinion anyway), than to use a long break to tick off bits of your bucket list and go travelling. Of course with Christmas and New Year’s, expenses aren’t always in the best of minds, but just like shops, travel sites and stores have January sales too! As annoying as junk mail can be, I’d recommend signing up to receive the latest offers and deals now, so that when things do go on offer you know what’s going and when. Skyscanner is one of the best sites to search for the cheapest flights – if you select view whole month and under destination choose the option of ‘everywhere’, it will give you a breakdown of the cheapest flights for different destinations over the month, so you can see exactly when and where the cheapest places to explore are for your budget. For accommodation, HostelWorld is an awesome place to start, or it might be worth checking out Air B&B for more homely options!


Pass your driving test

Or take some driving lessons. I’ve had so many lessons but because I haven’t booked my theory test yet I can’t go in for my practical. This might be about to change because I’ve booked my theory for the end of January! Haven’t started revising yet but as it’s booked, it should give me the motivation to revise and hopefully pass. Look out roads, I’ll be on wheels soon! Google usually gives a pretty good list of local drivers in specific areas, and I’m sure if any of your friends / family have passed their test they would happily recommend instructors. NUS also offer student discount on driving lessons too!

Work it

Having a job provides you with so many skills that you’ll need once you’ve gotten that 1st class degree! You don’t necessarily have to have a full or part-time job, there are lots of volunteer roles available too! Not only do they help out a cause or charity, but it looks amazing on your CV! Get yourself over to Hired@UCB on the 7th floor in Summer Row, they are the best people to seek out for any work opportunities, including volunteering and graduate positions! Hired@UCB also have a jobshop, which students can access from the UCB portal. Did you know they also run a CV clinic? Sometimes little things on your CV can make all the difference when applying for a job – and Hired@UCB can support you with this, along with the application process too!

Get sporty

Learning a new skill doesn’t just come down to working or volunteering, you could always use the month to find an activity you love to do, have fun and feel healthy at the same time. UCB has various sports and societies so it’s worth speaking to the Student Guild to see if there are any you’d be interested in joining. Around Birmingham there are also many gyms, sports and activity centres. I mentioned in my Birmingham Bucket List post a while back about learning to snowboard/ski at the Snowdome in Tamworth. My boyfriend can snowboard pretty well but I’m going to be heading to the slopes a lot after Christmas and attempt to be a snowboarder! I know it’s going to be so much fun, and with student rates it’ll be worth the bruises!

I hope this gives you a few things to think about over the break, I really can’t believe the semester is almost up! I’ll be working for most of the holiday break, but I’ve got some incredible plans that are happening over January, and I’ll fill you in about these later this week!

D x

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