Top five things to do if you’re leaving Leeds this holiday (and one if you’re not)
The end of term is almost here — how did that happen? Sometimes it can feel a real rush, so we’ve put together a checklist for you to help you prepare like a pro this holiday.
1. Book a free Covid-19 test on campus
If you’re planning to travel during the Government’s “student travel window” ( 3–9 December) then, we are providing asymptomatic lateral flow testing facilities on campus facilities on campus between 30 November and 9 December if you don’t have symptoms of Covid-19 (known as being asymptomatic).
We are encouraging all students without symptoms to book an appointment to take a test before travelling, to indicate if you are carrying the virus — in which case you will need to self-isolate before making your journey to avoid transmitting the virus to those with whom you come into contact after leaving Leeds. Results will be sent by SMS or email via the NHS track and trace system, typically in a matter of hours.
2. Get your studies up to date
For many of you, assessments in January will be something you’ll be preparing for. Make sure you’ve got everything you need when you travel for the holidays — there’s nothing worse than realising your laptop charger or that crucial library book is still in your room!
Talking of books —have you got the right books for the holiday? Here’s the library website so you can plan to get them.
Any deadlines before the holidays? Assignments that need finishing are really important, and you know if you’re travelling to see family and friends during for the holidays, you’ll be pleased everything is ticked off your list before you go.
3. Tidy up your room/house — take with you what you don’t need and donate unwanted food
This is the perfect time to evaluate what you’ve got here in Leeds. Is there anything that you don’t need here? In the summer when you move out of your room or your house, it’s all going to have to be packed away and moved. Why not plan this now; the future you will be eternally grateful you’re not having to get rid of a Christmas tree or November’s study notes next June!
This year has proved challenging for food banks in Leeds. They have often struggled to support the people who rely on them. If you would like to donate, the collection points and dates are as follows:
- 7–9 December (11am — 5pm)– Leeds University Union Dance Studio opposite COOP
- 27 November — 9 December: Donations at Halls of Residences for residents only
Find out more about the food donation scheme, including what you can donate (and how to help if you’re in Leeds over the holidays)
You could always make some money by selling your unwanted textbooks, clothes, electricals and media and get some extra cash. Check out Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. Also, don’t forget the current students Facebook group!
Additionally, cleaning, emptying the fridge and taking the bins out will make it all the nicer for when you get back.
4. Keep in touch with your friends if you’re away
It’s been a difficult year for lots of people, and some of your friends might not be looking forward to the holiday. Sometimes this time of year can be difficult for lots of reasons.
Make sure you’ve got contact details and be a lovely friend to people. A nice message or a quick call might make someone’s day. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your friends too — speaking often make a big difference.
If you’re worried about how your mental health will be while you’re away, make a plan for support now. Get contact details, support numbers and websites, and a plan so you can avoid triggers and manage how you’re feeling. Even a list of activities to do, places to walk to or people to speak to can make a big difference.
Support and Wellbeing — University of Leeds For students website
5. Keep your student house safe when you’re away
Don’t let your house become a target while you’re away. There’s a few simple things to do:
- Take your valuables with you — you’ll probably need most of them anyway!
- Don’t leave expensive items in view of windows. Hide things away if you’re worried
- Think about investing in a light timer — this turns lights on and off and gives the impression someone is in the house.
- Lock any windows if you can. If they don’t shut properly or there’s any problem with door locks, get in touch with your landlord immediately.
- Make sure the last person to leave knows what the plan is.
In Leeds over the winter break?
- Lots of support and activities will be available over the winter break. Whether you’re new to Leeds or already know the campus and the city well, we’re here for you — online and in person, on-campus.
- Find a wide range of out of term time University events and activities you can get involved with to make the most of the holidays.
- The For Students website has loads of information, from staying connected, wellbeing and help if you’re arriving in Leeds over the holidays.
- We’ll be keeping you up to date on what’s open on campus in our Facebook group and on Twitter. Remember to check your emails too!
- If you live locally, or are remaining in Leeds over the holidays, there’s a fair bit going on. Look out for our “In Leeds over the holidays” article very soon.
It won’t be long before we’ll be back after the holidays. Keep an eye on your emails regularly, particularly if you’ve left Leeds over the holidays and are returning. We’ll add emails to the coronavirus website too — and save you having to search through your inbox!
Have a great Christmas if you’re celebrating, and with best wishes for a safe, prosperous and positive 2021.
We can’t wait to see you again.