Your Freshers Guide to Celebrating Christmas at University

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It’s common tradition to get your freshers friends together and celebrate Christmas in your new home. Most of you will be travelling back for the festive period. Some will stay. But either way, you can set aside a date beforehand to carve some delicious turkey together.

A student Christmas Day is a toe-dip into serious adult life. It’s a test of your social and organisational skills. Your friends and family back home will tell you that you can’t do it. For many students, this is time to prove the doubters wrong.

Whether it’s selecting the finest frozen Iceland bird money can buy, or sourcing the strongest bottom shelf wine for under a fiver that doesn’t taste like vinegar: the party planning decisions you undertake will make or break your student Christmas Day.

Here’s a guide to planning the best fresher festive student get-together possible.

1) Pick a day

Most of you will be back at the family home over the Christmas period, so pick a day before then, obviously. Some students – mainly the international ones – won’t have that option, so this day could be perfect for them, too.

Try to include as many as you can, whether they celebrate for religious reasons or not. Wasn’t Jesus born in March, anyway? Although it is a student ‘Christmas Day’, it’s basically an excuse to eat, drink and be merry – not like you needed one. Don’t get too hung up on a date. Try to work it around as many people’s work and study plans as possible.

2) Dress-Up

Students love to dress-up, but students also need to watch their bank balance. This day is all about having fun and enjoying a well-earned break before second term. Be as whacky as you like. Imagine a Christmas dinner alongside a sexy nurse, Dracula and that one weird guy in a morph suit (sorry if that was you). Get those Halloween outfits back out.

You can also flip the coin and go ultra-dressed-up. Think graduate scheme interview at PwC attire. Get out the shoes, shirts, skirts and sherry and have a party that even Gatsby would be envious of. Who cares if you spill wine all over your finery? It’s unlikely you’ll be going to that graduate scheme interview anytime soon.

3) Eat, Drink, Be Merry

This is the easy part. Well, first comes the hard bit: cooking. Assign each other roles with the shopping and in the kitchen. Establish a leader. Think Monica Geller. It’s not as a hard as you think if you all chip-in. You may have to borrow next doors oven, though.

Once dinner is done, pop out the strong stuff and give yourself a second wind until the cheeseboard arrives. Or just skip dinner all-together and order a take-away. It really doesn’t matter. Enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it. Do you want to be the one calling maintenance after blocking your toilet with stomach discharged pigs in blankets the next day?

4) Gift Giving

The best part of Christmas for some, but for most students on an SLC funded budget that allows an extra £7 a week after rent, it can be a nightmare, unless you’ve managed to bag yourself a part-time job already. Just keep it fun, simple and under a fiver. You can still be thoughtful. STI tests are only cheap on the internet. Your housemate may not want one, but they’ll probably need one.

You can always get creative. If you’re a talented art student you could make something. Personalised vouchers a good idea, too. Just imagine cashing in a ‘get me a Maccies’ coupon as you lay bed-ridden with Jäger still coursing through your body the morning after. That could be the best secret Santa gift anyone has ever received.

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5) Party Or Chill

Flat parties aren’t new, but imagine a flat party with tinsel? After dinner is done and you’ve awoken from your cheeseboard coma, freshen-up and have one last big one with all your closest university mates. Most of you won’t see each other until the new year, so they’ll probably forget you making a fool of yourself. Enjoy it.

But if partying isn’t for you, you can still have festive social time the next day. Get together and bring the duvets into the living area. Borrow someone’s TV, order food and enjoy the many, many Christmas films your desired streaming platform offers. You can choose how to spend your Christmas Day, any way you want.

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