Maximizing Your Study Vacation: Strategies for a Productive and Relaxing StuVac

What is StuVac?

StuVac, short for “study vacation,” is the week before the official exam period at the end of Semesters 1 and 2. For most students, no classes are held during this week. Often it is seen as a time to catch up on academic work. However, it’s equally important to view it as a genuine break—a “student vacation.” After the stress of the first half of the semester, taking a well-deserved pause is crucial. We’ll give you the best strategies for both work and play during StuVac.

Taking a Break: The Essential First Step

During StuVac, step away from the usual early mornings and late-night study sessions. Instead, embrace the flexibility you now have. Sleep in, and enjoy leisure activities like building puzzles or binge-watching a series recommended by a friend. These activities aren’t just fillers—they’re vital for mental health, helping you recharge and return to studies with renewed energy.

“Treat Yourself” – More Than Just a Mantra

The phrase “treat yourself” resonates deeply during StuVac. It’s about indulging in activities that bring joy and relaxation. For some, this might mean exploring new hobbies or revisiting old ones that were sidelined by coursework and deadlines. For others, it could involve treating themselves to simple pleasures like a long bath, a favorite meal, or a day out in nature.

Exploring the Urban Landscape

StuVac offers the perfect excuse to explore the nuances of city life that might go unnoticed during the hectic semester. Whether it’s biking through newly discovered routes, skating in top-rated parks, or exploring the evolving fashion scene, each activity offers a refreshing break from academic routines. Cities are bustling with diverse attractions, including:

Bike Routes:

Many cities offer extensive bike paths that provide great exercise and a new perspective on the urban landscape. Grab one of the free bikes at The Switch and go explore! We’ve also written an article about The Best Bike Routes in Victoria.

Skate Parks:

For those inclined towards more adrenaline-pumping activities, visiting well-designed skate parks can add an exciting element to your break. Melbourne for example has some great Skate Parks that we wrote another article about.


Dive into the local fashion scene—visit boutiques, attend pop-up shops, or explore street markets that showcase the creativity of local designers. For slow fashion and sustainable shopping in Australia check out our blog article here.

Restaurants and Cafés:

Culinary explorations are a key feature of any cityscape. Trying out new dining spots or quaint cafés can satisfy the palate and offer a sensory break from the monotony of instant noodles and cafeteria food. Whether it’s Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, or Adelaide, we’ve got you covered with the best eateries!

Strategic Study Planning

If you’re behind on your coursework, StuVac offers a perfect opportunity to refocus. Crafting a study plan can make a significant difference. Begin by listing all pending tasks for the remainder of the semester. Organise these tasks by priority and set realistic daily goals for the remaining time you have. Tools like a paper planner or Google Calendar can help manage your time effectively and keep track of group study sessions, ensuring you also have time to relax.

Additional strategies for reviewing material you’ve studied in recent weeks include the “Reverse Study Method” and the “Rule of Three” Strategy.

Reverse Study Method

This approach involves preparing for your final exam first, then the one before it, and so on, with your first exam being the last you prepare for.

This strategy prevents over-focusing on the initial exam at the expense of subsequent ones.

Start by mapping out tasks from your list for your last subject exam, then the previous ones, proceeding in reverse order. Place this detailed schedule on a calendar and hang it prominently. Seeing it daily will help you stay committed to your study plan.

The ‘Rule of Three’ Strategy

The Rule of Three is an effective technique for mastering practice questions and past exam papers.

Here’s how to implement it:

Under timed conditions, complete a set of questions or a past paper with open access to your notes.

Reduce the time limit by 5% for your next attempt, consulting your notes only when necessary.

For the final round, cut the time by an additional 10% and complete the exercise without referring to your notes.

This method gradually builds your confidence and proficiency under exam conditions.

Stay Connected

Mid-semester pressures can isolate us from friends and family. Use StuVac to reconnect. Whether it’s through a virtual movie night or a catch-up via video chat, maintaining relationships is key for emotional support and can provide a welcome distraction from study stress. Or simply grab a mate and enjoy down time by binging a few of your favorite shows together!

Learn a New Skill

If you find yourself with spare time, consider learning a new skill. Online platforms like LinkedIn Learning offer courses that can both challenge you and provide a productive diversion from academic pressures. Learning a new skill during StuVac not only adds to your personal development but can also be a refreshing change from your usual study routine.


StuVac shouldn’t be just another study period—it’s a chance to balance productivity with personal care. By managing your time effectively, reconnecting with loved ones, and allowing yourself time to unwind, you can make the most of this period. Remember, it’s about finding what works for you, so you can return to your studies feeling refreshed and ready to tackle what’s ahead.

The Switch