Whether you were new to College in September, or a returning student, the autumn term is a busy one. Lots of new experiences, new places and new faces to get used to, as well as the exciting opportunity to really delve into your course, to build the skills and knowledge for your future career.

With Christmas around the corner, this is a really good time to reflect on some of the activities you have taken part in across the term. You may have experienced employer visits, industry competitions, work experience, industry trips, or opportunities to widen your cultural experience, alongside everything you have learned and achieved so far, from sitting exams to submitting your assignments.

The two-week Christmas break is a really good opportunity to relax and revive. Make sure you use the time to check you are up-to-date with your course and catch up on the targets you may have set yourself.

Here are a few areas you may want to consider.

Coursework and Exams

The week leading up to Christmas is the ideal time to set aside a few hours each day to work on your assignments and revision. If you make a timetable to keep you focussed and stick to it, revision is much more manageable and you will feel prepared for returning to College in the New Year. Don’t overload the second week of your break, especially for the main days of the holidays, it is unrealistic. You also need to balance your time for relaxation and fun activities. Depending on your plans with friends and family, there may be times you can put shorter but focussed activities on your revision/college work plan.

Higher Education

We hope that you have submitted your applications well before the Christmas break for your University choices. Put some time in your diary to check your offers. Some may require an interview – if so the university will have let you know. This is a great time to think about the questions they may ask you, what type of activities are on offer, plan your travel arrangements and write down anything you would like to know about the course to help you make a final decision. For those of you who have offers rolling in, it is important to make sure you accept the two that you really want. You could make final checks on the course content, find out about what alumni have to say about the course and university, and importantly, where they have progressed to, so you can be sure it is the right choice for you.

Apprenticeships and Employment

With two terms at least still to go, you might feel it’s too soon to start looking at this, but you can never be over-prepared for the world of work. Research the jobs market. What are the types of vacancies available in your chosen sectors, and which qualification and skills are employers seeking? Are there specific companies that interest you? Do some research on their web pages to find out more about the organisations. Sign up to search accounts that will help you seek the vacancies you are interested in. How prepared do you feel for the world of work? This is a great time to write down the areas that you think you need support with. You can bring your list to a meeting with the Careers team in College and we will help you get started.

Have a lovely Christmas break, use your time wisely and you will be surprised how much you can enjoy and achieve at the same time.

Links we think you may find useful for your research:

Use the Careers Coach site on the VLE – take assessments for guidance on careers you could explore. Find out more about growth, salaries, skills and what to expect in different industries. Create a CV. Use the live job search feature to research current opportunities.

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