Making the most of Trimester 3

Making the most of Trimester 3

Trimester 3 is coming up, but what’s it actually like to study over the summer months? myView sat down with two students, Poppy Carter and Ronan Speden, and got their experiences and advice for students who want to mix summer with study.

The botanic gardens, waterfront, and our own campus grounds give a relaxing backdrop to study in Trimester 3

myView: What did you choose to study over summer?

Poppy: I took a Biology course called BIOL 219 New Zealand Flora and Fauna. 

Ronan: I took a Trimester 3, 200 level Classics course at the end of my first year: CLAS 214 Wine, Sex, Drama, Madness, Death: Dionysos. This year it’s called Sex and Gender in the Ancient World.

myView: Why did you decide to study in Tri 3?

Poppy: I think the main factor was that it was fees-free so I wanted to get the most out of it in the first year. Also, the course looked really fun. I’m an Environmental Studies major so even though it was a Biology paper it was still going to be really useful.

Ronan: Partly because it was my first year, so I also still had the fees-free and because the topic was really interesting to me. It was also something to do over summer. I checked out the course and saw it was six weeks and checked to see if it would fall in the first year. Then I went to Student Finance and they confirmed that I would be eligible for fees-free. I’d recommend going to Student Finance if you’re not sure.

What was the atmosphere on campus like?

Poppy: Being on campus at that time of year was way more chill because people aren’t as stressed out, so studying in Tri 3 is great for wellbeing. We did our tests on campus but the majority of it was spent outside doing stuff.

Ronan: I only had a couple of lectures a week and they were about two hours. It was pretty quiet up on Kelburn campus but everything was still available, like student services.

Poppy Carter working for the Department of Conservation (DOC). Poppy credits her Trimester 3 study with helping her get the job.

myView: What was the course structure like?

Poppy: Well, we did lots of field trips, to places like Zealandia and Otari-Wilton’s Bush. It was pretty cool to be able to get to go there for free and go there with a full class and lots of PhD students. Being able to go out in the field meant it was a lot easier to learn. It was good to do it in the summer because you don’t want to go in the winter because of the weather. The course was every day over two weeks so it was good to be able to focus on it completely, and you get really immersed in it. I only took that one paper so I didn’t have any other classes distracting me so it was really good. I ended up getting a job at DOC (Department of Conservation) so all that knowledge I got in that course helped me get the job and helped me in the job itself. 

Ronan: Since it was a six-week course it was pretty packed-in and you were learning a lot of stuff in a short period of time. It allowed me to work and have free time on the side and just focus on that one thing. It was my first 200 level course.

The Hunter Lawn suddenly becomes a very popular lunch and study spot during the summer months

myView: What was the best thing about studying in Tri 3?

Poppy: The chill environment. There’s also a lot of diversity of papers that will cater to peoples’ specific interests. It’s cool to be able to take papers like that when you’re not taking four papers at once. You can really focus on what the topic is. The lecturers are pretty chill, too!

Ronan: You do have a lot of free time and you’re not at uni five days a week, which I found quite nice. You feel like you can take a break. During trimesters 1 and 2 sometimes I don’t feel like there’s as much time to have a break. The best thing about summer is that the beaches are actually swimmable and they’re a nice place you can go if you need a break from study. Wellington has a lot to do over summer.

myView: Did you feel like there was plenty of choice for courses to take?

Poppy: Definitely. There was another paper I was considering taking about Antarctica. I was considering other papers outside of my major so that I could really focus on in a short timeframe.

Ronan: As soon as I saw the Dionysos course it jumped out at me and I was only planning to take one course. There is a lot of choice but I would also say don’t cram too much in and burn yourself out. You can study and enjoy summer and work all at the same time.

Poppy Carter is studying for a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Environmental Studies and Public Policy with a minor in Māori Studies, and Ronan Speden is studying for a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Classical Studies and minoring in Criminology.

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