Currently we are in the midst of our 4 week Easter holiday. Those of you who have grown up in Malaysia or will be transitioning from Malaysia to the UK campus will find that holidays here in the UK to be very very very different from what you’ve been used too. Personally, having spent most of my life growing up in Malaysia, it took a little getting used to. Here, holidays come in lumped packages i.e. you get multiple weeks off instead of just a couple of days or weeks. Back in Malaysia, there was at least one public holiday every month if not more.
As a consequence of the above, you get longer academic weeks. This for me was a challenge, especially since in the first semester it was only after 11 weeks that we got our Christmas break. Some of you might be asking, what’s the problem with that? Well, for myself I found that the first semester modules had a lot of content and to be absorbing information week in and week out for 11 weeks can really take it out of you. Unfortunately, information is not able to diffuse into the brain, so you have to spend time to make sure you are keeping up with the modules or else the Christmas break won’t be much of a break, where you get 3 weeks off. Many students use this opportunity to travel and go sightseeing. Since most of the students transitioning here from USMC would mostly be in their 3rd year, I highly recommend that you plan your time well as there are exams in the January period. How you spend your time during the term can either “make or break” the holiday. In contrast, back in USMC we would normally be 6 to 8 weeks before we get a week off, not including the one off public holidays scattered across our calendar. This gave us an opportunity to slowly catchup if we fell behind.
The second semester is much more relaxed in that you get a 4 week Easter break after 8 weeks of classes. Many use this opportunity to travel as well the weather during this period is much better and there are more attractions available. Again, I feel the need to stress that the more you do during term time, the more time you get to enjoy during holidays. As there are a month or so of classes left after the Easter break, you are bound to still have deadlines. Most important of all these deadlines would be your Individual Project (if you were in your 3rd year).
As much as it all sounds doom and gloom, it really isn’t all that bad. Just a word of caution so you don’t end up being deer in headlights.