Things to do this Christmas vac

The Christmas vacation can be an odd time of year with a mix of things competing for your attention during the holiday season. 

Taking some time out and actually getting to relax, socialise and chill is a must after a busy Autumn Term. The benefit of recharging your batteries and having some downtime is essential for personal wellbeing.

However, for many students there’s also the prospect of exams and assessments in the New Year, which means continued academic work during the holidays. 

Amongst all the festivities, relaxation and revision, if you’ve got any time to spare(!) you might want to do something practical towards your career planning. So, if you want a break from turkey, trimmings, revision and research, why not try one (or more) of these suggestions?

  1. Work through York Strengths Online

This interactive course helps you discover and review your strengths – the things you are good at and love to do – at your own pace, and in a place to suit you.

If you’re a first year undergrad, doing York Strengths Online also helps you start preparing for a York Strengths Development Day session in Spring or Summer Terms.

For other year groups (and particularly for those who haven’t experienced York Strengths at all) it’s a great way to explore where your strengths lie. This, in turn, can inform your choices and decision-making, as you learn to play to your strengths.

  1. Search for jobs or postgraduate courses

Whether you’re looking for internships, placement years, graduate jobs or Masters courses and PhDs, the vacation period can offer a bit of time for you to search for opportunities.

Not sure where to start? Try some of the job and course sites listed on the finding work and further study pages. If you’ve got a particular job sector in mind, you can also check out the job sector pages for vacancy sites that specialise in roles in that field. 

BTW, don’t think you need to check out every single link on any of these pages – just start with a couple, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

  1. Prepare to apply for York Award 

This one is mainly for final year undergrads (as they’re the ones eligible to apply in the Spring Term), but elements of preparation for York Award can be useful for other year groups too.

The aim of York Award is to encourage students to reflect on all their experiences at university and then articulate the development gained from academic studies, work experience, involvement with student societies and other extra-curricular activities. 

The skills gained from this reflection and presentation process are also useful when it comes to making applications and talking to employers or course providers.

…and talking of York Award…

  1. Design a web banner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of York Award

Yes, York Award’s been going for a quarter of a century and though often imitated by other universities, it was the first of its kind – something we’re incredibly proud of!

To help celebrate 25 glorious years we’ve got a great design competition and the chance to win a Huion Kamvas 13 drawing pad tablet. Anyone can enter (not just final year undergrads), so take a look and get those design juices flowing!

Full details about the competition and how to enter are on our website.

  1. Apply to be a Postgraduate facilitator 

If you’re a postgrad student consider applying to be a facilitator for our student volunteering projects. These paid roles support groups of students undertaking our community projects, as they go through all of the stages of the project – briefings, project planning, delivery and evaluation.

For more information and details of how to apply, check out the Community Project Facilitators web page.

Whether you decide to have a go at any of these actions or not, we hope you have a great vacation. See you in the New Year!

Season’s greetings!