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Year 13 students: five ways to squeeze the most out of the Christmas holidays

Festivities, food and celebrations... Your holidays will probably be packed with distractions. But try to make the most of that lull between 25 December and New Year to get some uni prep sorted.

Here are some pointers to ensure your 2017 gets off to a roaring start.

1. Finalise your Ucas application

If you haven't completed your Ucas application before the end of term rolls round, you only have just a few weeks to do so. The Ucas deadline for most courses is 15 January (or 24 March for art and design courses).

If you need final advice or are waiting on a Ucas reference, you'll have a small window of time for any final discussion or chasing up of this once you go back in January – it's one of the most common deadline delays, so ensure your referee has everything they need.

2. Catch up on work

Thing getting a little hectic as this term draws to a close? Are you struggling with a particular subject or module? Use the break to catch up on or revisit material without other study distraction. Or look ahead to the coming term and get a headstart on work.

Get as much done before Christmas so you can enjoy as much of your break as possible, using those final days off to relax and get set for the busy year ahead.

3. Plan your road to university 

The next year will be a challenging one as you juggle current commitments like exams and part-time jobs with your all-important university preparation.

Take some time over Christmas to look at the key dates and deadlines relevant to you so you can roughly plot in your mind what you need to do, and when. When might you need to attend an interview? When do you need to respond to offers by? What’s the deadline for applying for student finance so you get your student loan in time for the start of term?

4. Book some open days

You can still attend open days at the universities you've applied to after the Ucas deadline. Perhaps you just need another wander round the campus to confirm your feelings? Or answers to some specific questions before you feel confident to respond to offers?

It's impoerant that you're fully informed about a university or course before making those firm and insurance choices. See what open days are coming up and plan a few trips for January and February.

5. Start thinking about money

While Christmas probably isn't the ideal time to talk to your family about money for uni when they’ve perhaps just spent a small fortune on presents and food, it's still worthwhile thinking about what you'll need come next September. 

Putting aside money now can relieve some financial pressure later on to cover student bills and living costs. So it could be time to sign up for some extra hours at your part-time job or start with a financially focused New Year's resolution.

Find out more about students fees, loans and financial support available as well as bursaries and scholarships.

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