Jodie: How to beat the summer heat and stay focused in Semester 3!

Jodie Powell
Jodie completed her Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (Primary) with USQ in 2015 and is now a qualified teacher passionate about holistic education for all children. When not hiking or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors, you'll find her relaxing with a good book or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

For those of you living in Australia or regions with similar climates, you’ll certainly have noticed the temperatures starting to soar. With so much to love about the summer months it can be difficult to stay indoors long enough to focus and get some serious study done. Add to that the extra pressure of there being fewer weeks in Semester 3 and I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you started to second-guess your decision to take on study during the holiday period. But don’t throw in the towel just yet!

These are my top three tips to help you keep your cool (literally and figuratively!) in the coming months so that you can ace your Semester 3 studies!

1. Choose your location wisely

Don’t underestimate the impact of the summer heat on your ability to study effectively. Hot, stuffy study environments can leave you feeling fatigued, bored and unable to focus. If you can’t set up a summer-friendly study space at home, grab your study basics and head for somewhere with a breeze or air conditioning like the USQ Library (or local public library if you don’t live near a campus), a bench in the park or even just your front verandah. If you have no trouble focusing with a bit of noise and movement around you, a café makes for a great spot to get your work done and many now offer free Wi-Fi to sweeten the deal. You can even throw in a generous slice of baked cheesecake (my all-time favourite) to reward yourself as you make progress through your study.

A fresh, airy study space is ideal for Semester 3. Image via Pinterest.

2. Be prepared to be under the pump

With Semester 3 being several weeks shorter than S1 and S2, there’s no denying that you’re going to need to be seriously organised to get through your work and still be able to enjoy the end of year holiday period. It is achievable though! Start by looking at your course study guide to see if your lecturers have already set out week to week ‘to do’ lists and goals for you. Keep to these targets as best you can (or better yet, exceed them) and you will do fine.

If something happens and you find yourself falling behind in your study, remember that you always have the option to drop the course and take it again another semester. Just be sure to check the official course drop dates to ensure you don’t receive any unexpected financial or academic penalties for doing so (you usually have a couple of weeks grace period from when semester starts, within which you won’t be penalised for dropping a subject).

S3 is over in a flash, so make sure you’re well prepared. Image via Pinterest.

3. Make time for a break

Semester 3 coincides with that busy end of year period when public holidays, travel and catch ups with friends and family all seem to happen at once. Not to mention the amazing Aussie beaches calling your name! No matter how dedicated you are to acing your S3 studies, it’s still important to have some time away from the books to enjoy all there is to love about this end of year period. It’s a crucial part of keeping your cool during S3!

The best way to combine your study success and a well-earned break is to factor the latter into your study schedule. Actually block out ‘study free’ periods when you can close the books and take a break. You may only be able to fit in a day here and a weekend there, but these pre-scheduled mini-breaks will give you something to look forward to and keep you feeling fresh and focused when you do come back to your study.

Don’t forget to factor in time for making awesome summer memories! Image via Pinterest.

Semester 3 might not be the easiest semester to get through with all that tends to be going on in our personal and work lives at this time of year, but it can be a truly rewarding one. Class sizes are smaller which means you get to know your fellow students that bit better and, most importantly, you will be a few courses closer to your graduation day. Studying during Semester 3 also means that you stay in the study zone and don’t lose your momentum over the holiday period. If you’ve decided to hit the books over S3, use these tips to beat the heat and stay focused on your study goals.

Want even more advice? Fellow Semester 3 student Candace has some great strategies for juggling study with work and family. Check out her blog right here on Social Hub.


Candace: 5 ways to smash summer semester as a working student

Roxy: The pros, cons and things to consider for Semester 3 

The secret behind staying motivated