What to expect from Christmas in Belfast
It’s November: Time to talk Christmas
Christmas is – depending on who you ask – the "most wonderful time of the year". Let's be honest, Christmas isn't just one day, it's a whole season. For many, while they will be home for the big day, it is their first time away for the build up of it all. Here is what to expect from this November and December in Belfast.
Halls will either be the most fun thing ever, or you'll have managed to make it a full term without talking to your flatmates
Christmas in halls can be a blast, with flat turkey dinners, putting up a Christmas tree together (that definitely won't be taken down until Easter) and Secret Santa's. You will all feel closer than ever, talking about how much you will miss each other when you go home, what your next night out is, and stressing about what to get that one boy who you never see in your flat for Secret Santa.
There is another side to this, one where you're in a flat that never really clicked and you just cannot wait to get away from the constant dirty dishes in your kitchen for a few weeks. You usually invite your friends from other halls into your room to spend time with them and belt out 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' or just make yourself a sad Christmas 'dinner' by yourself.
You'll experience deadline horror for the first time
Once the McClay extends it's opening hours, you know it is time to stress out. The end of term is always filled with all-nighters and so many energy drinks that you begin to shake. At first, you will convince yourself that you will be able to get work done at home since it is too cold to go outside. Once you realise that you lied to yourself, you'll risk the iciest walk to the McClay you will ever face. This is most student's home until the end of term, finishing essays while living off vending machine snacks and the food from Hope Cafe.
You and your coursemates will promise each other to study together after your lecture for them not to turn up because it's "too cold". Now that is what betrayal feels like.
Your social life during Christmas time is the busiest it will ever be
Christmas time means Twelve Pubs, whether you decide to go on the RAG Christmas Crawl or organise a Twelve Pubs with your friends, there are one of two things that are bound to happen:
1. You don't make it past pub seven and either end up trying to nap in the pub or throw up your pints in the street.
2. You and your pals realised how stuck for time you are and skip half of the planned pubs for the club at the end, which is usually Limelight or Lux.
The bars will be packed, you will be sweating in your Christmas jumper, you will wait ages on a taxi and end up needing to make a freezing walking home, and it will be the best night of the term without a doubt.
Aside from Twelve Pubs, you have possibly the best part of Christmas in Belfast to look forward to; the Christmas Market. Full of amazing food and festive cheer, you and your mates will be buzzing off the atmosphere. You will all be going in just to see what are in the markets and leave after eating an ostrich burger, churros, and had enough hot chocolate to last you a lifetime.
You finally have freedom, well, at least for a few weeks
Term one is done, deadlines have passed, and you're ready to go home for Christmas. While you're buzzing to go home to your family, hometown friends, and to a proper meal for the first time in maybe months, there's also a sadness there. The people you've met while at uni have become a second family to you and leaving them for breaks will always be the hardest part of uni. Don't worry though, you will all be back together in January for Round 2.