All the thoughts you have as a Southampton student in the lead up to Christmas

Michael Buble being played everywhere helps to distract from the pain of deadlines – just about


December is here, there’s a whole aisle in Sainsbury's dedicated to fairy lights, and you now require an extra 15 minutes to get ready for Sobar Tuesday in order to decide which coat is going to be spending the night in the cloakroom. These can all only mean one thing: Christmas is well and truly on its way.

To help you get in the festive spirit, here’s a rundown of everything all Southampton students will be thinking over the next few weeks.

Cooking the house Christmas dinner is far more stress than it’s worth

There will be arguments about who does the cooking – everyone will say they don’t mind doing it but it will always end up with one person sweating in the kitchen whilst everyone else watches Elf.

Someone will inevitably forget to buy the potatoes or carrots, and you'll all pretend it's fine even though it's absolutely not. You will cook the chicken for the exact right amount of time but it will either end up raw or burnt to a crisp.

Fuck it, let’s just go to Trago instead.

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Believe it or not, a semi-successful Christmas dinner is achievable

Being jealous of all your housemates with advent calendars

All your housemates will inevitably have advent calendars that their mum bought and posted to them weeks ago. Some of the really lucky ones will have a chocolate calendar as well as a cool one: gin, candles, makeup – you name it, there’s an advent calendar for it.

Meanwhile, you spent the whole of November waiting for yours to arrive. Nothing came through the post. So now you’re stuck between trying to convince yourself you're an adult who does laundry and doesn’t actually need an advent calendar, and feeling like you’re missing out on the best thing about December. Is it too sad to buy your own one?

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Why do I have roughly seven million deadlines before the holidays?

You attempt to get in the festive spirit by getting a turkey sandwich from the Union shop, to eat whilst crying in Hartley. This makes a nice change from your usual ham and cheese combo that you eat whilst crying in Hartley.

And you can’t even think about January exams. If it’s happening after Christmas, it doesn't exist right now.

Trying to decorate the damp-ridden living room

We all know that student houses are at least 65 per cent fairy lights – but at Christmas time you need to step your game up.

Someone will definitely have some weird tinsel, either found in Aldi or brought from home. You will attempt to decorate your entire house in this, or at least cover up the worst of the mould.

If someone has a spare fake Christmas tree lying around at home, convince them to bring it to Southampton. It will make your weird living room, with mis-matched furniture, stained carpet and manky sofas, feel so much nicer. The perfect atmosphere in which to watch Love Actually.

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Santa's face on the wall? At least we tried

The politics of Secret Santa

"The price limit’s £10 but how much should I REALLY spend?" You know that no matter how much effort you put in, either with a hilarious joke present or an actually nice one, you will be the one who ends up with some £1.99 hand wash.

Maybe you’ll get some bubble bath if you’re lucky – although, of course, your student bathroom doesn’t actually have a bath. Or at least one you’d be able to use without catching five diseases.

There are so many balls

If there’s one thing Southampton’s good at (except for being forgotten by everyone), it's Christmas balls. There are so, so many of them.

The better ones are both ridiculously expensive and sell out ridiculously fast. The slightly worse ones are considerably cheaper – but is it really worth paying £10 for what is essentially a night in Ocies?

No matter which ones you choose, they’re a great excuse to get dressed up and completely pissed. It’s Christmas, so you have a solid excuse for drinking non-stop for the whole of December.

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The best thing about all the balls? All the alcohol you get to drink

Let’s all go to the Winchester Christmas market!

You will never be able to get a big group together, because everyone’s student loans have dwindled into non-existence, and people will say that the train ticket price isn’t worth it – come on guys, it’s literally £4 with a rail card.

Once you’re there, though (with whatever dregs of your friendship group decided to come), you change your tune. The market’s nice, and it does make you get in the Christmas spirit, but really it’s just wandering around in the cold, looking at some overpriced craft stalls.

You will definitely see lots of dogs, though, so that makes up for it.

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Instead of trekking to Winchester, just going to West Quay’s Christmas market

You can look around West Quay’s shops and the market stalls, before drinking some overpriced mulled wine on an overcrowded bench, with a lovely festive view of Primark. What more could you want?

If you really want to push the boat out, you can go ice-skating at West Quay, too. It will take you roughly two minutes to remember how rubbish you are at it – honestly, human beings aren’t designed to balance on tiny slits of metal, let alone on ice.

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The benches you will soon be elbowing people off, Bailey's hot chocolate in hand