By David Wells, editor at Surviving the OU

Studying for an exam or coursework can be difficult when you’re hot, sweaty and uncomfortable

1. Wear comfortable, loose clothing

It’s not often in the UK and Ireland we have to contend with soaring temperatures and heatwaves, but hot, sticky weather can test everyone’s patience, especially when we are trying to study. Investing in big fancy air conditioning units is not a practical solution for the frugal OU student.

Stuffing ice cubes down the shorts is a bit cheaper, but probably not the most comfortable idea.

open university student in comfortable clothes


2. Get a chilled “hot” water bottle

As the nights draw in and it gets colder who doesn’t love snuggling up to a nice hot water bottle? One of the new crazes to hit the market over recent years are extra long hot water bottles and it looks like they are here to stay.

It’s one thing to snuggle in to a warm, soft comforting bottle when it’s snowing outside and you need a touch of warmth to help drag you through that AA100 assignment – but what happens when you are a hot and sticky mess, trying to negotiate Cezanne and Cleopatra in the heat?

Who knew that popping a hot water bottle in the fridge or freezer can work just as well?! Ice cubes, slushy frost or just a slight chill in the bottle can help cool things down when placed on your feet, or in the case of the longer ones tied with a loop and string around the neck.

extra long hot water bottle


3. Close the curtains and open those windows

Open your windows to let the fresh air flow in and circulate. Close the curtains so the natural sunlight does not flood the room, thus making it hotter. The breeze might not always be there but it’ll keep a stuffy house at bay. If you want to go one step further then black out blinds can help keep the greenhouse effect away and stop you feeling like an ever-ripening tomato.

closed curtains


4. Take a nice cold shower

Jump in the shower, bang the water to cool or lukewarm and feel the sweat slide off. Don’t dry yourself off, just hang about, leafing through those DB123 finance books (enough to make anyone start sweating) and dry off naturally.

Putting your pillowcase or bed sheets in the fridge can also help keep things cool.

open university student taking a shower


5. Go and study in the library

Most libraries that I’ve ever studied in are well ventilated. The local university library had nice air conditioning systems, temperature-controlled windows and automatic blinds, plus free wi-fi and full heating during winter. For the price of an Open University associate membership fee (£70 per year) it was a great way to use my time.

There was plenty of space to spread out as well, which is great during times when social distancing is required.

open university student in the library


Thanks for reading, fellow Open University students. Don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE if you get the chance and let us know any thoughts, feelings or suggestions you may have about our articles.

The Open University study guide is designed to help OU students like you achieve the grades you want and smash that degree.

Open University Companion Study Guide

Open University Companion Study Guide

Click here to find out more.