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 –


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.


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