I spent a week romanticising my student life in Norwich to get into the Christmas spirit

Tis the season to pretend your life is a movie

My lecture finishes at 4pm and it is pitch black outside. On my walk home, I’m trying to think of when I’ll have time to get a Christmas tree for my student house. When I get back, I have so much work to do that I end up going to the SU bar and I try to pretend snakebites are a cheaper mulled wine alternative. Truth be told, my student life doesn’t always feel very festive.

Last night I watched a “romanticising university life” Tik Tok and I thought: my life does not look like that, but maybe it could. The point of these videos is to make everything look aesthetically pleasing but realistically I do not roll straight onto a yoga mat when I get out my bed. Yet, to get in the festive spirit I decided to experiment to see whether “romanticising” a week in Norwich changed my outlook. I know, I know, when staring at the gloomy concrete of UEA, it could be quite the challenge.


I tried to imagine waking up as the main character in a film and giving myself the best morning routine – minus the yoga. I made myself a coffee with some gingerbread syrup which is vegan and can easily be bought of Amazon. Adding little things like this saves money but still has the novelty of a coffee shop drink. Normally, I am rushing around on a Monday, but today I decided to watch a Christmas film; this was for research as main characters always do what they want. My recommendation is the Christmas Prince films on Netflix as they remind me of the Princess Diaries.


This morning, I made a Spotify playlist to put me in a good mood. I called it Vitamin D as that is what I lack at this time of year. Having a playlist brightened my spirits on my walk to campus. I’m starting to learn throughout my second year that it’s important to create downtime in the evening. So that day I watched Love Actually with my housemate and drank some mulled wine to get in the Christmas spirit.


Twinkly fairy lights and a brie and cranberry ciabatta – a perfect study spot! I went to the Cherry Leaf to do some work with my friend, and it was a lovely start to the day. I normally will sit in my room working but it made such a difference to go into the city. I felt a lot more motivated once I came home as well, or maybe it was the strong coffee that put me in a good mood.


My friends and I wanted to have a girly evening. We are constantly sending each other the wine and pasta TikToks so we took some inspiration. It was a much-needed catchup and then we went to the Pear Tree pub  whicgh has lots of Christmas vibes. There was something about drinking hot mulled wine, in a cold pub garden, gossiping with friends that made me feel very content. 


You know those movie scenes where the character just sits and stares at nothing? Today felt like that. I was super tired from a busy assessment week and was looking forward to going out that evening. It didn’t feel very “main character” but instead more mundane. However, I think days where you need to re-charge and accept that you are tired are a worthy plot-line.

I’ve learnt this week that you have the special moments where you feel the Christmas spirit all wrapped up in an evening; when the fairy lights are on and the winter spice candle is burning. Then others, where “romanticising” your life can also be accepting that you feel a certain way and prioritising self-care – every main character needs a break sometimes.

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