The Inevitable Side Effects of Studying

Studying and being a student are two very different things. Well, on paper perhaps not. But if you’re doing student life justice, during your undergraduate degree at university, then post-graduate studying in itself later can become quite a shock.

Gone are the days when I balanced researching the Italian Renaissance with searching my inner self to discover how many tequila slammers I could do before –

Anyway.

Now, my “student life” is all work and no play. How tragic. Let me try that again…

Don’t get me wrong, I have a social life and still enjoy all of the freetime that I can. The difference is that this downtime is now completely separate from my studies.

When I’m working, I’m working; when I’m relaxing, I’m definitely not doing it over coffee in the Student Union’s cafe or having lunch on campus with my books and laptop sneakily holding my seat in the library. Yes, I cannot deny, I was occasionally one of THOSE library seat hoggers. I can assure you it was never a good seat with a plug though (those are a rare specie!), so please forgive me!

I’ve been thinking about why this change occurs and I think the main reason is the nature of the GDL that I’m studying. Firstly, I am a distance learning student so there is simply no uni library cafe that is accessible to me. Secondly, the GDL is an all-intense law qualification where we study new topics for each module every week. This leaves a scarce amount of time for consolidation in class so the studying required at home is quite demanding. FINALLY, whereas I see my undergraduate degree as a stop-over academic stage of my life where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do other than have fun and come out with a 2.1 at the end of it, the GDL and my future legal qualifications have a lot more purpose to them and pressure riding on them.

That said, it is so important to maintain perspective along with the pressure we put on ourselves as students, no matter what stage of our academic, or even professional, lives we are in.

As with all of the exams I sit (other than my driving test), I like to remind myself that if it all goes horribly wrong and I crash and burn then it’s not the end of the world – now you understand why I excluded my driving test, right?

So let that be a reminder to myself and anyone else reading who this may apply to, keep up the hard work as we zone out of the January New Year’s buzz of motivation. May we maintain our strong work ethics whilst staying grounded and reminding ourselves that all we can do is our best!

Oh god, now I sound like my Dad.

Better leave it there.

Another Law Student of the studying sort.

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New Year, New… Everybody, apparently!

Happy New Year all!

Hope you all had a fab Christmas and enjoyed celebrating the start of 2016.

I enjoyed spending mine with family and friends and managed to switch off from revision suspiciously easily. I used to be one of those people that felt guilty for not revising when I was relaxing.

Now though, when I am having breaks I couldn’t care less about work and somehow manage to zone out from the pressures of studies! I’m not sure how this happened but I’m certainly not complaining.

It’s so important to have breaks and be able to relax during busy times. Not just because it’s obviously not good for our health to be uptight and stressed. But it makes sense it terms of how well we want to do on our courses too. Work 24/7 and you’ll simply burn out. SO, cheers to relaxing!

I was going to saying ‘I’ll drink to that!’ but god help me I’ve committed myself to doing ‘Dry January’. Eek! If you’re reading this and also planning on not drinking a drop of alcohol this month then I salute you.

This isn’t part of a ‘new year, new fad’ for me as such, I’m not doing it to lose weight or anything like that. I just quite like the buzz of the challenge! Don’t get me wrong, I also like the buzz of drinking champagne (haha!) but 11 other months this year for lots of that.

Best of luck to you all for staying motivated to keep up with your resolutions, goals and, if applicable, your studies!

Another foooooooolish Law Student

Fail to Prepare – Prepare to Fail

Who knows what the future holds? Anything can happen in the future! You can’t predict what will happen in life. Every day is a new day…

YADA YADA YADA.

All of the above words are beautifully poetic and somewhat inspirational. But I’ll tell you what the future looks like it’s holding.

It looks as though it’s holding 6 more months of the GDL, another academic year for the LPC, and a two year training contract in the City. That is a solid 3.5 years where my academic and professional life are unlikely to take any crazy swings or roundabouts.

So I beg to differ. ‘Anything’ can probably not happen in the near future. It seems unlikely I will do anything but the above.

I had a conversation with my someone close to me yesterday. They told me it is not worth thinking about where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing in 3 months,  6 months, 1 year’s time. They said there’s no point preparing for something that might not happen. WELL, I’m going to agree to disagree.

I don’t see the harm in pondering on where I’ll be living, who I’ll be with or what I’ll be interested in in the new future. But so many people seem so afraid of doing so?

Perhaps it is down to being a law student – it means we are allowed to let our imaginations take us further into the future than perhaps we ought to wonder.

The path into a legal career is a fairly straightforward one (albeit with a lot of obstacles to jump over on the way) but it is predictable to say the least. So why hide away from thinking about the future when so much of it seems set in stone already?

Then again, I did start reading Eckhart Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’ which would completely argue against what I’ve just said. I never did quite finish that book though… The Power of I’ll read it later!

So I’d say I’m a law student plodding along through the present with my mind racing into the future – whether this is a good thing or not I’m not so sure.

Another Law Student …procrastinating

The Unglamorous Xmas Holidays for a Law Student

My Grandad told me yesterday that the sole fact alone that I am studying over the Christmas break means I will do well on my GDL. Oh, if only it were that easy Grandad!

But I did appreciate the boost of confidence and recognition, especially as Christmas is my favourite time of the year!

My family celebrate on Christmas day and Boxing day usually but this year we have ANOTHER big family get together today (27 December). So I was up until about 1:30am last night writing out flashcards for the Free Movement of Goods. And here I am again – with a very sore writer’s bump on my finger, might I add – writing some flashcards for the Free Movement of Persons before driving to my cousins’ for the afternoon.

Safe to say the idea of a house full of food and drink is getting me through the revision at the moment.

I must admit I am beginning to panic about how much there is for me to memorise but I’m counting on the fact that more must be seeping in gradually than I realise.

I hope you other law students are managing to balance the festive period with the not-so-festive studies. At least we’re in it together!

Another Law Student

Hoping There Is Such A Thing As Karma…

This may be a very British thing for me to say but jesus some people are just. so. rude!

Manners don’t cost a thing. It’s not like they require hours of studying to gain. Manners aren’t a talent or a hereditary gift. They’re not rocket science. But SOME PEOPLE. JEEEEZ.

Today I met a student who I knew would be in the process of writing applications as it was clear they want to go down the training contract route. I offered some advice just in passing, drawing from personal experiences. I certainly wasn’t shoving it down their throat as I’d be the first to admit I am not any sort of pro! Well, the response I got in return was ungrateful at best and frankly downright rude!

You can IMMEDIATELY tell that someone with such an offensive attitude hasn’t a chance in hell of becoming a successful solicitor. At least I know for sure I wouldn’t want a solicitor who was rude and unapproachable. I’m not sure of anyone who would?

Anyway, talk about a good deed being thrown back in your face!

Onwards and upwards though – I’m not about letting people like that deter me from having and sharing positivity where I can.

Another law student.. wishing there weren’t quite as many rude law students about! In fact, let’s expand that to rude people in general. I kindly ask you, please and thank you, to eff off.

Only joking… sarcasm and irony doesn’t work so well via keyboard…! But seriously, cheer up everyone it’s Christmas!

Mince Pies & Mocks

So today was a fantastically productive day – not on the work front no, don’t be silly – I got my hair done. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Tomorrow is a new day and will be more EU law-orientated!

The reason I struggled to do any revision today was because by the time I managed to sit down to study I had to finish off my Land law mock that was due in at 5pm. I had a little debate with myself at the time as to whether I should focus on revision and not bother with the Land mock but then (to my disbelief) swayed towards the mock.

As we only get the chance to hand in two mocks per module over the course of the year, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to have my writing marked by a lecturer.

I’m hoping that this was the right decision to make and I’m certainly feeling motivated to work hard tomorrow so that is the silver lining!

I hope everyone is able to have some Christmas respite amongst their work and studies…

I’ve eaten my weight in homemade mince pies today so am feeling adequately festive!

Another Law Student

Promotions and Perspective

Someone very close to me has just been promoted in their job. I am OBVIOUSLY so pleased and very proud of them but it has got me thinking…

Here I am plodding along with my GDL having graduated from my 4 year non-law UK degree in July. There they are, having graduated from a 3 year degree in 2014, and having earned a stable salary for a year, now watching their career progress.

The beginnings of a career in law is a slow process. I always have to remind myself that these years will pay off in the long run, they are investment years!

Whilst my friends may be in full-time employment, on stable salaries and watching their professional accomplishments grow… Us law students are continuing in the, sometimes gruelling, world of studies.

My bank balance is looking reasonably unhealthy at the moment. Let’s just say if it were my child and I took it to the doctors, I can only imagine I’d be told to look after it more and offer it some real TLC. But let’s blame Christmas.

Anyway, I digress.

The point is, don’t let the fact your friends might be earning and climbing up the professional ladder in their respective careers discourage you. The key term here is ‘respective careers’. My friend with the promotion is certainly not a lawyer. Different careers, different career paths.

What’s more… they are no longer receiving the free student hamburger with their Maccy Ds. So you win some, you lose some.

Another Law Student

Procrastination Central

So I’ve managed to write out some half-hearted revision notes for my EU law exam that is unfortunately around the corner. Now it’s just a matter of actually learning them. Easier said than done!

So naturally, I am procrastinating.

I’ve actually tried something new with the way I approach this course. I have typed up my notes onto Quizlet for each topic of the EU law module. I’d recommend the website/app to anyone wanting to spice up their revision life. Can’t believe I just wrote that, what a sad act.

But it is something different… You have all of your notes in one spot and can use the games like ‘scramble’ to test your memory.

The website forces me to write notes that are more concise than usual and hopefully will help with memorising.

It’s feeling very surreal coming from a non-law undergrad degree to now having to study legal statutes and common law cases. Quite a shock to the system from my usual attempt to justify watching Spanish films as language revision!

Waaaa here it goes.

Another Law Student

Prep or Panic?

So as the Christmas break approaches I’m viewing it almost as a make or break time. I’m not sure this is the best mental attitude to have but the pressure is certainly motivating me to do some extra work more than a laid back blasé would.

It seems to be a matter of juggling the final bits of prep for this week’s lectures and tutorials, whilst needing to consolidate everything already covered, meanwhile also getting some revision notes together for the EU exam… not to mention actually learning and memorising all of the notes!

Apparently the content of the GDL becomes more difficult in the second term (according to a lecturer!) – whether this is true or not I’ll have to wait and see. What I do know though is that the content seems to build each week. Not building in the sense of a huge pile of work (although that is what it feels like… and what my desk looks like!), but building more like a puzzle I think.

There are undoubtedly plenty of gaps to fill in the puzzle as it stands right now but hopefully it’ll come together more over the next couple of weeks. I just need to stay motivated!

I’m not sure there are enough hours in the day! Nothing we can do about that though so best keep plodding along with it!

Rambles of Another (procrastinating) Law Student!

Instagram: Where are the normal lot?

I can’t figure out why Instagram is so full of fitness, beauty and food bloggers packed with colourful photos and over-ambitious recipes. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a fad for normal professions for the every day person plodding along with their every day job.

When I’m on my way to work yes I’d love to oggle at some yoga poses that I’ll never manage to do unless I remove the odd rib. And it’s great to see those freshly made cappuccinos that remind you everyone else is a tired as you!

BUT

I think there’s a gap in the market for some normal lives. Where are the profiles of the people who ignore their alarm clocks, rush to work in a fluster and arrive just in time for a bit of small talk with their colleagues and a day of work? Where are these more NORMAL people?

Another Law Student