Ways To Adapt If Studying In A Heatwave I Oxford Open Learning


    Ways To Adapt If Studying In A Heatwave

    Effective studying requires your undivided attention. Even minor distractions can throw you off your game.

    While there are many articles out there about how technology and noise can interfere with studying, something that’s not mentioned too often is the weather. After all, studying typically takes place indoors, and being indoors means learning conditions can be better controlled.

    However, the intensity and frequency of heatwaves is now breaking records year-on-year. While one might expect to experience heatwaves in July-August, we’re now encountering mini-heatwaves in May time, too.

    Your ability to adapt to rising temperatures is crucial if you’re hoping to realise your academic potential! After all, 2024 is feared to be the hottest year on record, with last January and April being the warmest of their respective months, too.

    There’s a lot to account for when studying in a heatwave. Here are some tips that might help you persevere.

    Find Air Conditioning

    It might seem like an obvious solution, but if you don’t have air conditioning at home, things quickly become more difficult. Finding functioning air conditioning in a public place where you can study for an extended period is quite the quest.

    Your first port of call should probably be your local library. The Big Issue notes that there are not many libraries in the UK that do have air-con, but those that do are quite popular. Some even give out free water, too, when a heatwave is underway. In a library, you’ll also have an array of reading resources at your fingertips too, as well as chairs and desks. So, head to your local library and see if it’s suitable.

    Failing that, try a museum if there’s one in your area. Some museums even have dedicated ‘study rooms’, giving you access to their collections and cutting-edge research. There can be a downside to this though, as sometimes you need to make appointments first, or deal with short notice closures. Regulations vary, so do some research and see if there’s an arrangement to your liking.

    Alter Your Schedule During A Heatwave

    While it can seem like a heatwave is just a constant barrage of heat, the temperatures do change throughout the day. The British Red Cross note that the hottest hours of the day are usually between 11am-3pm, giving you some useful knowledge for scheduling your study.

    Studying especially early or late may not seem like an appealing idea at first. However, it’s important to remember that the situation is temporary, and that you’re essentially trying to maximise the effectiveness of your time. Remember, it’s not about how long you study for, but how effectively you study. One hour’s undisrupted revision will always be better than revising for three hours in hot and sweaty conditions!

    It may also be helpful to look at the weather forecast well ahead of time. That way, you can plan to adjust your studying schedule, rather than feel that the heatwave has upended everything and caused chaos with your pattern of learning. Heatwaves don’t need to be an inconvenience if you’re one step ahead of the game!

    Employ Useful Hacks

    So far, we’ve mentioned standard tips on countering the effects of a heatwave when you’re trying to study. We’ve also discussed fleeing the home space in favour of study elsewhere. Now, let’s focus on what you can do to make studying in a heatwave easier at home.

    The first thing you can do is cool your clothes. Put your socks in a plastic bag the day before you plan to study intensively. 24 hours later, take your socks out and let them thaw. If your socks seem a bit watery, ring out any water, then pop them on. You’ll be surprised how much the coolness travels from your feet and through the rest of your body.

    You could also just study in wet clothes, too. It might seem like an odd thing to do, but it can be a refreshing one-off! Wet towels on your body can also bring your temperature down. You could also get yourself some cooling pillows. These life-changing innovations become very popular in a heatwave, so try to get in quick if you think it’ll help. You can either study on them throughout the day, or simply ensure you get a good night’s sleep without the heatwave disrupting that too. After all, heatwaves are usually around for a minimum of three days, up to a recorded maximum of thirteen days! Maintaining your energy levels is key!


    Hopefully these tips and tricks are enough to make a positive impact on your studying experience during a heatwave. Try not to panic or resign yourself to being uncomfortable. Instead, stay positive and be proactive, as there’s always something you can do to make heatwaves just a less overbearing.


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    I'm a freelance copywriter with an undergraduate degree in English Literature. I've written for many different outlets, including but not limited to marketing agencies, graduate recruitment websites, and online training companies. I've even interviewed a few famous actors for student and arts blogs too! Covering a wide span of material has been incredibly rewarding, as I get to turn my experiences in the arts, education and careers into helpful advice. I sincerely hope you'll find something to your liking here!