Ho Ho Ho-lidays, A Merry Time Indeed
Updated: Feb 6, 2021
By Nimesha Theva & Jessie Gan
The holidays have finally arrived, after what was a long and exhausting semester for most of us (if someone has an explanation for how online classes are somehow more exhausting than regular classes or any opinions on the topic- hit us up and let us know! There *might* be an article coming your way concerning the most hated phrase of 2020, ‘The new normal’). Here are a few suggestions we have for you to make the most of your holidays!
1. Relax and reconnect with your friends and family.
Law school can be stressful so take this opportunity to recharge and rejuvenate because you deserve it! Obviously, with the pandemic, some of us are feeling a little lonely, especially with all the restrictions at this time of year. Take this little bit of free time that we have to chat with your friends and reconnect with everyone around you. Whether it’s late-night talks where you reveal too much personal information, a fun game night, or watching a movie together (Netflix has a cool feature that allows this called Netflix Party: www.netflixparty.com), try to embrace having virtual company.
In the spirit of embracing the drastic turn of events this year, online game nights are really fun! Invite your lecturers (they love it and are very entertaining- some of us have definitely missed the closeness with our lecturers that we get from seeing them face-to-face, and it’s good to be aware that lecturers feel the same way too! We guarantee (at your own risk) that there are a few things more entertaining than an online game with your friends and lecturers. Some personal favourites are “Among us”, “scribbl.io” and “Werewolf” on the app “Plato”.
2. Take time to focus on your physical and mental health.
Like any other law student, we’re willing to bet that you’re probably a little sleep deprived, and have probably consumed more coffee than is good for you. While there is absolutely no shame in consuming cup(s) of joe, ‘tis the season to swap the caffeine for endorphins. Be it playing badminton, long walks around your neighbourhood or a full-out dance session to your favourite tunes, exercising helps boost your brain’s norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin levels, all of which will not only keep you healthy but also improve your focus, concentration and wellbeing. Way to kill multiple birds with one stone!
The holiday season is a great opportunity to focus on your mental health too. We’re all guilty of spending more screen time on our devices than we care to admit and since we don’t have lectures or assignments, we could all use a little me time. While recharging, make the effort to fix any bad habits you might have developed *cough a terrible sleep schedule* so that you’ll be able to stay on track and hopefully make them a permanent feature of your life or get ready to repeat this cycle a few more times again during our next holidays!
With law being a reading-based discipline, by default, reading has become more of an obligation for us all. However, it would do us well to remember that there is a world out there beyond your pile of textbooks. Law is an amalgamation of different subjects and any reading will be beneficial; expanding your horizons to a multitude of different perspectives. At the end of the day, the more you read, the more you learn. If you would like to get a head-start because let’s face it, it’s in our blood as law students, we highly recommend ceasing resources that are accessible at our fingertips - the Taylor’s Library eBook portal. Chances are the textbooks you’re looking for will be available if everyone else exists as a couch potato during holidays. Alternatively, you can check out some generous Reddit posts about acquiring textbooks in manners that are completely, 100% legal.
Besides that, it would do us well to remember that some things don’t need to explicitly benefit us or be a strategic move. Pick up a good fantasy book, or a comic for that matter. Reading is something a lot of us would do for fun, and we should remember that! This article is about helping you find things you enjoy, on top of helping you grow as a person and preventing the worldwide phenomenon known as “inertia” which many students suffer from during the holidays.
4. Take online classes.
2020 has been a hard year for all of us. After all, it is the year of adaptation so we ought to adapt to changing times and equip ourselves with the necessary skill sets before entering the workforce. Websites like Coursehero, Udemy, and even Taylor’s themselves offer short courses for a plethora of different subjects. Sign up at these websites and remember to log on to TiMes for the courses Taylor’s University offers during holidays.
You can delve deeper into the rabbit hole of law-related subjects or branch out into non-law related subjects. Try picking up some skills that are fun and will give you an edge, such as coding, graphic design, languages, etc. These kill two birds with one stone; they keep us entertained and they increase our employability. Linked below are some other universities that offer online classes - but you can always scour the internet to find something else that interests you.
5. Listen to podcasts.
If you prefer interactive content instead of flipping through static pages then podcasts are for you. Grasp complicated topics thorough educational podcasts, akin to lectures but minus the academic pressure in a short amount of time as they are one the most feasible ways to pepper nuggets of information, especially if you’re an auditory learner. Fun fact: listening is one of the fastest methods for knowledge retention so you might want to consider hopping onto the podcast bandwagon. Rest assured, there’s something for everyone in the great wide podcast-verse. With podcasts, you can turn even the most mundane chores and longest commutes into a meaningful learning experience.
Some of our recommendations are ‘Advocates: The Podcast’, 'The Wooden Spoon’, ‘You’re Wrong About’, ‘99% Invisible’ and ‘Stuff You Should Know’. These podcasts dissect complicated topics into comprehensible nuggets of information and are even more entertaining when paired with other mundane tasks like chores or exercise.
6. Watch YouTube videos.
While we did recommend less screen time- we’re realists here and understand that you probably will still spend a significant amount of time on YouTube. Here are some interesting YouTubers (both law and non-law related) to watch in addition to your usual daily consumption.
Ali Abdaal, a Cambridge medical student who makes very well-researched and educational videos about productivity, studying techniques, and gadget reviews: https://www.youtube.com/user/Sepharoth64
Eve Cornwell, a fresh law graduate and coffee enthusiast in the UK who makes a range of videos related to law- reacting to legal events and video logs of her day to day life, all with a touch of humour sprinkled through the videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM8qRGoiaLwmMv31L7xeeEQ
Uncle Roger, a comedian who portrays the character of a Chinese uncle who loves MSG and Rice and hates his ex-wife, Auntie Helen (one of our personal favourites is the series of Uncle Roger working at restaurants):
7. Create something
There’s a certain sense of achievement that comes from creating something tangible. We don’t get the chance to do much of it in law school, so this might be a fun activity to do. Some ideas include doing some gardening with succulent starter kits, jewellery making kits, knitting, embroidery and wood carving. Basically, toys which are socially acceptable for young adults (available on sites like Shopee and Lazada).