University of Glasgow Cloisters, photo by @UofGlasgow
Christmas holidays, Winter Break, the Festive Season – however you choose to describe it, this time of the year is associated with happy celebrations, family gatherings, laughter and joy. Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed Christmas lunches with my lab, made several trips to Glasgow’s Christmas markets to warm both body and spirit with mulled wine, and I am still recovering from my Institutes’ Christmas party last week! But for those of us living away from home, one of the main joys of this season is going home to our family, friends, and mom’s cooking. I have been planning my winter break for months so I can cram in as many activities as possible – at the moment these include visits to two countries and about ten cities in order to see everyone!
During all this excitement it is easy to forget that not everyone experiences the holidays in the same way. With so many students from all over the world studying at the University of Glasgow, many of you might not celebrate Christmas at all or be able to go home to spend time with your families. This can make the “Festive Season” quite lonely and isolating for some people, especially when your colleagues and friends do go away. However, there is a lot to explore in and around Glasgow during this time! The International Student Support Office at the university has compiled a Winter Information Guide for those of you that will be staying in Glasgow during the break. It also covers events taking place in Glasgow and Edinburgh to celebrate Hogmanay (the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve). What’s On Glasgow and People Make Glasgow are also great resources for events happening in the city.
For some, Christmas can also be emotionally challenging. Whether you are dealing with mental health issues, grief, stress, a broken relationship – if you are struggling during this period, please know that support is available. Advice and support centres may have reduced opening hours during the holidays, but the SRC have compiled this helpful list of contacts and centres.
Whether you will spend your winter break far away or here in Glasgow, celebrating Christmas, Hannukah or nothing at all – have a great time! Those of you who are simply continuing your PGR work during this period can hopefully also take it easy for at least a few days. I hope we will all come back happy and healthy and ready to take the science world by storm in the New Year!