How to get the most out of SWOTVAC

Written by Peer Learning Advisor, Mel.

Well, it’s SWOTVAC Time!

SWOTVAC stands for Study Without Teaching Vacation – so we are sort of on vacation, right? Wrong! Don’t switch off just yet, we have a few more weeks to go before exams are over. So, how can we get the most out of SWOTVAC?

Take away distractions

We are constantly connected with mobile phones, instant messaging, Facebook, and Instagram, not to mention the lure of that new series on Netflix. These are all distractions we can switch off for a few hours each day so we make the most out of our SWOTVAC week. We don’t have to eliminate them and go into hibernation for the whole week, but maybe save these things for your reward time.

Chunk your study time

We can’t study the whole day and expect we will retain all the information. Work out which part of the day you work best and use this time to do the harder work. 

Try the Pomodoro technique. The idea is to set yourself a list and work in 25 minute blocks, taking short breaks. After 4 sets of 25 minute ‘Pomodoros,’ you take a longer break. This link explains it perfectly, and helps you create your list which you can tick off as you go. What a great idea!

Reward yourself

Let’s be honest, there are things we have to go without or not do to prioritise our studies. But wait, after we have finished our planned study for the day, let’s reward ourselves! Binge on some Netflix, check in with your social media or whatever you enjoy doing. It’s good to reward yourself with a good break doing something you love.

Look after yourself

Don’t just rely on dodgy take-away or two-minute noodles to get you through. If you have to order food, then choose a better option, like a good burger with salad or grilled fish and salad from your local fish and chip shop. Snack on fruits, vegetables and nuts and drink lots of water. Keep moving, go for a walk, run or play your favourite sport with friends. Finally, don’t forget to sleep! It’s tempting to stay up late to fit in a little extra study, but to feel your best on exam day and stay healthy, sleep is good!

Remember, help is still available – Library resources are available online 24/7, the Library Learning Services PLAs can chat with you via Zoom or face-to-face on campus, and Wellbeing are here to support you.

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published in October 2019.