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study-tips 4 min read

How to make time for Head Start

By Sophie 21 Jul 2019
Blogger, Sophie

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Study … The thought of hitting the books for a long study session can be cringe-worthy. Holidays, on the other hand, are the highlight of my year. Just like on High School Musical 2, I count down the days, hours and minutes until the summer school holidays. So why on earth would I choose to combine study with my much-loved holidays?

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly keen on the idea at first. During Year 12, my school, parents and friends highly recommended that I take part in USQ’s Head Start program, which would give me the chance to complete a university course while still in high school. Eventually, I decided to apply to study a Head Start course in Semester 3 of the university year, which meant I would study over the summer school holidays once I’d completed year 12. I’ll admit that my expectations weren’t all that high. Initially, I had preconceived ideas that uni study would be extremely difficult and boring. As it turns out, enrolling for Head Start has been one of my best decisions to date.

Firstly, university is completely different from school. Because you have the choice to study something you are truly interested in, I found that self-motivation became a lot easier than when I was at school. I also found that by studying a Head Start course, by the time I started my Bachelor of Education at USQ I was already further ahead in my studies than other students in the same program. During my first semester, I watched as other ‘freshers’ tried to navigate their USQStudyDesk, while I focused on my studies without the worry of not knowing how to find course materials or my classroom.

Last, but not least, by passing my Head Start course I knew that I had guaranteed entry into USQ*, even though I was still waiting for my final Year 12 results! While my friends stressed for weeks about their future, I had a worry-free graduation, knowing my place at USQ was secure. Participating in Head Start even helped me finalise my decision to study education. Considering I got all of that from my free Head Start course, it was totally worth the holiday study!

If you’re about to graduate Year 12, it’s not too late to consider Head Start. Get your application in as soon as possible and use these tips to combine your summer holidays with your Head Start study.

1. Have a study buddy

I studied Head Start with my sister, making the experience a lot easier. We were able to share ideas, discuss the content and clarify questions about the courses we studied. Try to find out if anyone else from your school is studying Head Start and bounce ideas off each other during the semester.

2. Read and keep up with the study schedule

The course study schedule is designed to help you stay on track, so make use of it. Semester 3 is a few weeks shorter than a normal semester at university, so you’ll need to be organised to keep up with the workload.

3. Ask questions

The study forums and AskUSQ are very handy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, there’s guaranteed to be at least one other person wondering about the same thing!

4. Get your study materials early

Buy your course textbooks and get your Student ID card early before you get too busy or forget.

5. Plan ahead

A detailed timetable will help you to balance uni study with work, sports, family events etc., and make sure you devote enough time to each. The Orientation website is a great place to start your planning and this guide will help you get your calendar sorted.

6. Revise regularly

If you have exams for your course, don’t leave all your revision to the last few weeks of semester. Revise regularly to break down the workload so that you can walk into your exam feeling prepped and confident!

7. Keep calm and carry on

If you start to feel stressed, confused or overwhelmed, talk to someone and find out what can be done to help you get back on track. Your Student Relationship Officer is a great place to start and they can put you in touch with other USQ support services if needed.

While hitting the books might not be at the top of your holiday to-do list, from my experience, the Head Start program is totally worth it! You’ll be able to enjoy the end of the year without stressing about your Year 12 results and you’ll be an experienced uni student by the time you start your degree. It just takes a little organisation to fit study into your holiday plans.

If you’re interested in the Head Start program, now’s the time to get your application sorted! Head to the USQ Head Start website to find out how and when you’ll need to apply. Good luck!

*The USQ Head Start program allows students who have successfully completed a Head Start course to be eligible for guaranteed entry into a related USQ degree, provided that the student also meets other degree-specific entry requirements.