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Ways to make your holiday restful & meaningful!

It’s December now—another month gone in a flash. When are your first exams? If they’re during December, then it’s the final push right now, isn’t it? If they’re in January, then you still have more time to breathe… at the cost of your Christmas holiday.

Last time, we talked all about travelling, and how you could do that over the holidays coming up. But if you can’t and don’t have to study, what would you do instead (besides seeing family)? It’s important to relax and ease some of the fatigue and stress you’ve built up from exams, of course, but dilly-dally for too long and the break evaporates. In a flash, you’ll realize you did nothing productive over the break, and back to school you go. That’s no good, is it? Instead of staying at home all day, there are a bunch of things you could do.

Have you ever thought about volunteering? It’s a cliché, I know. Maybe your own parents have pestered you about trying volunteering out too, especially since it looks good on your resumé when you’re applying for secondary schools or universities. As someone who went through the same experience with my own parents, I can say that I definitely didn’t want to do it either at first. But now that I’ve been through it, I don’t regret spending time volunteering at all! I think there’s a lot to be learnt from it, in fact. It’s very meaningful if you get to be a volunteer tutor for young children, or if you visit and help old people who live alone. Getting a glimpse of life from the perspective of someone not even remotely similar to you lets you appreciate the good things in yours much better. And even for something as simple as selling flags, it is actually quite a challenge. Most people tend to ignore flag-sellers by quickly walking by and not even bothering to look at you (you’ve done that before too, haven’t you?)… quite the confidence-killer. But if you want to succeed, you’ll have to suck it up and show people your passion. It’s somewhat similar to salespeople do, so I’d say it’s a transferable skill worth trying to pick up.

If going out and meeting people isn’t quite your style, and you don’t want to just read books or something either, here’s a bit of a strange suggestion: try joining an online community (preferably an English one to get some practice!). The online world isn’t quite looked upon fondly by most people, and especially by parents. It’s often considered dangerous to make friends online, but really, some common sense like not revealing your real name or information will get you through fine. The community can be about anything, like your favourite video game, TV show, hobby… Just pick anything, and go on a forum or chat group about that topic. You’ll get to meet people that you will never ever get to speak to in your life without the internet, and that’s actually quite amazing. People say online friends are worthless, but I disagree; there may be screens between you, but the people behind the screens are all real. To communicate with them takes social skills as well, and the screen doesn’t devalue the time you spent forming a bond with another person either. Plus, if your hobby isn’t popular at school, it gives you a chance to share your thoughts with like-minded people. Your online life can be many things, but worthless is unlikely to be one of them unless you’re anti-social online too.

What do you think? Did you like those two ideas? Either way, good luck at school. If you failed all your exams, I don’t think you’ll have a holiday left to spend anyway…

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